A Travellerspoint blog

My Kish Exit Story: Surviving in Kish Island, Iran

sunny

Like most foreign workers in The UAE, I was required to exit the country while awaiting my work permit. Some are lucky enough to be able to do A to A (airport to airport) wherein all they need is an exit stamp on their passport and they can fly back in on the same day. Since the company I was going to work for doesn't have the capacity to do A to A, I really had to stay a couple of days in Kish Island.

Kish Island is a part of Iran, and is favored by a lot of Filipino workers as their exit point while waiting for work visas and visit visas to be processed. I have heard a lot of horror stories about Kish, stories about drugs, rape, theft and loneliness. I definitely was not looking forward to staying there.

Packing Smart - Since I didn't know exactly how long I would be staying there, It made sense to pack food and clothes enough for 5 days. Kish Airways has a baggage allowance of 30kg so I had no trouble trying to fit everything in. I did some last minute shopping the night before my flight. I brought cup noodles, biscuits, instant coffee, teabags, canned goods that had easy open tabs, white flower oil for headaches and for blocking out unwanted smells, a mini first aid kit, toiletries and a nail cutter for my cable-tie (I used a small cable-tie to secure the lock on my luggage since padlocks are easily opened), disposable utensils, a microwaveable container, rolls of tissue and a big bottle of alcohol.

For clothes, i bought just 3 pairs of jeans, leggings, long sleeved shirts, light cardigans that were long enough to reach up to mid-thigh, socks, undies of course and pashminas. Since Kish Island is a part of Iran, the Islamic code of dressing has to be followed, wherein full body and hair covering must be observed by women. Shorts were okay for when you're in your room, but otherwise, stepping out means dressing up as well. You also have to bring your own bath towel, a blanket and pillowcases as well since the first choice for a hotel is not really in the 3-4 star range.

90_B041FB31C239D16F2A100851D7C84141.jpg

August 27, 2014 1500H -- My flight from DXB to KIH was only around 30 minutes, but it was the most terrifying 30 minutes of my life. The plane looked older than my grandma, and sounded like her too. There were some screws missing from the overhead cabin and I was afraid it would come crashing down on our heads. The english translation of the safety guidelines were done so fast that all I could grasp was "Since we will be flying over water..." And that was it. Takeoff was scary since the plane made screeching sounds and flew at a 35 degree angle for about 15 minutes, and almost sideways for the remaining 15. Landing was felt by every muscle in my body and I just kept pinching myself in order to feel something other than fear.
The flight stewardess had no customer service skills whatsoever, did not smile and just kept saying "pull up the shutters" or "wear your seatbelt". Since it was only a short flight, I was surprised that we were handed out snacks. It consisted of a tuna sandwich and juice. 1 point for Kish Airways. When I took a bite, I mentally took the point away, although I was grateful that we were given something.

180_B0A61F3EEC40815C5F7D23867CDD687F.jpg

Upon landing, we were herded like sheep into a shuttle that would take us to the arrivals section of the Kish Airport. From the shuttle, you could see a sign saying "Welcome to Beautiful Kish Island" and the flag nearby.

90_B18800919AF361BCB28670616828A911.jpg

Before entering the airport, all the women were scrutinized by an elderly airport security personnel to ensure that we were "presentable" to the male population. Those wearing shirts that did not cover their behinds or reached partly mid-thigh, myself included, were told to go into a changing room where sheilas (hair covers) and blue strait-jacket-like clothing were provided. These would be on loan to you up until your departure flight.

Like Dubai, there was a separate line for men and women. The airport was small, since I think it only expected around 5-6 flights from the UAE daily. I waited in line with my new acquaintance, Roxanne from Ras Al Khaimah whom I met at the DXB airport. I was told by friends to stick with a "buddy" during my stay in Kish, preferably someone who was also a first-timer like myself. Our passports were inspected, scanned and stamped in no time by the immigration officer and again, we were herded into the waiting area for the shuttle that would take us to the hotel. I say herded, because it really felt like we were being corralled into an area, no stragglers allowed.

90_B1E7167BFB4D2152F1ABDED5D1709134.jpg

The 2 shuttles from the hotel arrived after around 5 minutes and again, we were segregated into groups according to gender. "Filipino ladies to this shuttle, Filipino males into the other shuttle." By now I was starting to regret my maximizing the 30kg luggage allowance, since I had to carry my bag up to the shuttle and stack it alongside the others. Only the Farabi Hotel had shuttle service to and from the airport, and if you preferred to stay at a different hotel, you had to either take the shuttle and look for a cab at the Farabi Hotel, or you could take a cab directly from the airport to your hotel of choice.

90_B21CEE98C5B5AE65CC1C8A13C049BBC3.jpg

During check-in at the Farabi Hotel, Filipinos are required to give 100AED deposit, whereas other nationalities are required 300AED deposit. The rate at the hotels in Kish are at 40AED per night, with the first night free at the Farabi. We were grouped into 4's and assigned rooms that way.. Our names were called at the front desk and our room numbers were handwritten on our "cards", which is basically just a plain white plastic card, with barcodes on stickers for identification purposes. Our passports were also collected at the front desk, and would be given back upon check out.

90_B24FB184B562A76C6F2D5218B9A24F50.jpg

Our group was told to follow a guy, who led us to where we collected our blankets. We were then left at the end of a staircase leading up to our room...on the third floor. I was half hoping that there was a lift somewhere, but then I ended up just dragging my luggage up the stairs. We got to room 360 but it was locked. We tried to tap our cards near the door to try to open it, but it turned out, it was a doorbell. Someone answered the door and let us in. Only then did I understand that the room would not just be shared by 4, but along with 5 others who were already in the room. The room had a toilet and shower, 2 bedrooms and a living area. One bedroom had 4 beds inside, which were occupied by the 5 girls who were there ahead of us, the other room had 3 beds but no AC, the living area had another 4 beds. We stationed ourselves on the beds in the living area, since it was not as creepy as the ones inside the other room.

90_B2B631A80E7369D7C58F62E65CA68476.jpg90_B2B5C071B2E8E963CE819F41CD5F6E93.jpg
90_BEE60C4B089B25B383E848FCB3289532.jpg90_BEE763C3991B4551DF3C359EC387CBF4.jpg90_BEE88213E6821077F09E44D4829EA4F8.jpg90_BEE95CF4D912B42213F67FB549A93663.jpg

After a brief rest, Roxanne and I got bundled up again and went out in search of a place to have dinner. We walked across what looked like a plaza, turned right into a road near the beach and walked all the way under the scorching sun and finally found a small mall. We entered almost all of the shops but did not get any service and ended up buying almost nothing. Whenever we would ask how much something was, the salesman would barely look up and mutter "40 dirhams". If you dared ask another question, you would not get an answer. This happened in all shops we visited, except one. The shopkeeper was a friendly local named Abbas, who took one look at what I was wearing (the clothes from the airport) and told me "Ate, magpalit ka, ang pangit" ("Sister, change your clothes, they are ugly") and Roxanne and I knew we finally found a shop that we would be buying something from. Abbas was a nice salesperson and knew how to speak Tagalog. He kept offering buy 2 take 1 or gave us discounts if we bought 2 of the same items. I ended up buying 2 pashminas for 20AED, (they usually cost 2 for 25 AED back in Dubai) a long sleeved blouse for 40AED and a long skirt for 20AED. I never intended to spend that much on clothes since I bought my own pashminas and cardigans, but that is how good Abbas was. He called himself Albert Martinez, so if you ever find yourself in Kish island near Farabi Hotel, look for Albert Martinez :)

Food - We had dinner at the Kabayan Restaurant. The meal was nothing to write home to, come to think of it, none of the meals I had in Kish were good. They were edible, but not good. The rice at the Kabayan Restaurant had an unappetizing smell, something that made you think the water used was not clean. Only the fried chicken was worth eating. We went back to the room full but not satisfied and slept it off.

You can also buy your food at the Roodaki Restaurant, located near block 7 of the Farabi. Their chef speaks tagalog and is friendly. Like most establishments, they close from 1:30 to 4:30 so it is advisable to buy your food early. Or, if you're feeling lazy or just not up to the task of putting on layers of clothing just to go outside, you can have your food delivered to your room. The staff at the Roodaki goes room to room and takes orders around 10am for lunch, it will be delivered around 1pm with 1AED mark up. This is fine by me, better compared to donning jeans or leggings, an oversized cardigan over a shirt and wrapping your head properly in a sheila.

90_B34760339719A0CE7BB3870186C79815.jpg90_B346F8ADBE038F790BB907FBA4CE5478.jpg90_B3468F1DD3BEF7ABFAEB282EA6406C2C.jpg90_B3460100E8A50B1E970C193FCBA3BB40.jpg

Places to go to - Used to be that they offered a Kish Tour for only 10AED, but since they stopped doing that, you had to look for nice places to visit on your own. The only mall near the Farabi Hotel was the Venus International Mall, located beside the Venus Kabayan Hotel. Now according to rumors, the Venus Hotel is where girls get drugged and raped all the time, but since I did not stay there, I cannot say for sure. The Venus hotel looked seedy, with a billiard table at the lobby and dim lights, smoke-filled room, who would not mistake that as a brothel? I came there only once to buy food, since a lot of kabayans said that the rice there tasted better.

The Venus International Mall is small compared to our malls and the shops are not enticing. Maybe it stems from the fact that storekeepers there would not even look at you when you enter, so much as respond when you ask how much something is. There is no fast-food at the Venus, just a cafe located at the atrium of the mall and I noticed a "SunWay" kiosk, their version of Sub Way.

On our third day on the island, Roxanne and I visited the Kish Trade Center, which was a much bigger mall compared to Venus, although we walked about 20 minutes to get there. We ended up not buying anything since everything seemed so expensive, and the sales clerks wouldn't really talk to us.

90_B3BE70E8EBD52E8A4B781B42A7F9A8E2.jpg90_B3BDA0B4EBB29327ABECA1EE7A8255C3.jpg90_B3BC1CA2CFC1C5EE24645BA2128CD6E9.jpg90_B3BB12039B567641EB11C4DA92E6A2C5.jpg90_B3BA6F99E1DD8FBF14575597D807CB94.jpg90_B3B9DC19F740457768435C72B956A4D4.jpg90_B3B978F7C4F69C7A44EB6DC10378D65B.jpg

We also checked out the Zaytoon Mall, which had the ambience of Virra Mall in Greenhills. There were a lot of shops, a food stall that sold stale popcorn, never ending staircases, one working escalator, some sales people who would call out to you to buy their items, and still some others who don't give a hoot about selling anything.

Connectivity - Du and Etisalat have a decent roaming service in Kish, but expensive. That is why some people who expect their stay to be more than 10 days, opt to purchase what is commonly known there as the Iran Sim. The two major networks are MCI or Hamrahe Aval and the other one is MTN Irancell. Irancell is what is referred to as Iran sim. You can purchase 10AED balance for your Iran sim and have enough to call the UAE 8for about 6 minutes. There is a myth that if you are using Etisalat or Du and are out of balance or credits, calls would not come through. I refute that since my Etisalat ran out of balance on Day 1 and people were still able to call me. There is wifi available in the rooms, but it only works with Viber and Whatsapp.
To access Facebook, you have to rent a pc at the internet cafe and use their proxy server. Charges are at 2AED for 30 minutes and 4AED for 1 hour. Since internet connection is usually slow, I often found myself losing about 10 minutes of my 30 minute time just waiting for my Facebook page to load. Phone calls can be made from the business center as well, starting at 3AED for 1 minute and then 2AED for each succeeding minute. So, I advise against long calls if you want to save your money.

90_B509899AAF682C12BF030F71FDC513A5.jpg

Budgeting - Since I had no idea how long I would be staying there, I deemed it best to keep purchases at a minimum, I had to stretch out every dirham I had. The room rate was at 40 AED per night, a meal was at an average of 12AED, drinking water was at 1 AED per liter, internet at 2AED for 30 minutes. That was about 67 to 70AED a day. Good enough. I figured your budget wouldn't last only if you spent the night at a shisha spot. A lot of kabayans prefer to meet up with other kabayans of the opposite sex and have a shisha session in the dark. I have nothing against them, I just have better things to do.

Sept. 2, 2014 1730H, I was in deep conversation with Suji, a Sri Lankan who arrived the day before and I didn't notice that my phone was ringing. I wasn't expecting any calls as well since I still believed the myth that without balance, you won't get to receive calls. It was the best news ever. After 5 days, my work visa was already processed and ready for printing. I hurriedly went to the business center, had my visa printed out (2 copies; one for the Kish Airlines ticketing office, and one to present at the airport. As it was only a few minutes past 5:30, I went out to check if I could still book my return flight. Turns out that the airline office was open until 6:00pm and I was able to secure a 12:45pm return flight to Dubai the following day, my birthday.

Upon returning to the room, I packed my bag, which weighed considerably less now since I had consumed most of the food. I laid out the clothes I would wear the following day. I wanted the night to be over as quickly as possible. My room mates and I had dinner (delivered by the Roodaki) while telling each others' life stories and making plans to have a movie night. Our choice for the night was White Chicks, which was in my iPad since it was one of my favorite movies. By 2am, it was "lights out", but we kept all the lights on because we all felt scared at one time or another.

Checking Out - Since my flight was for 1245H, I had to be at the front desk by 1000H to check out and be on the first trip to the airport. I gave my room card, along with the deposit receipt, waited for my name to be called at the check out counter, proceeded to the cashier and paid my dues amounting to 240AED for 7 days with 1 day free, hugged my room mates who saw me off, got into the shuttle before you could say Geronimo and waited for driver to take us back to the airport.

Leaving Kish - At the airport, we were allowed to check in for our flight at 1100H. After I checked in, I proceeded to the Security office, where the xray was. Once your luggage goes past the machine, you would be allowed to go to the immigration counter. Again, customer service was nowhere to be found, but this time, I knew better than to expect it. The only mistake I made was not going to the rest room before going through Immigrations, as it turned out, there were no rest rooms in the waiting area near the gate; just prayer rooms and a smoking room, and we were not allowed to leave the waiting area, even just to use the rest rooms. So, I had to hold it in until we reached DXB.

There was a small snack counter located near the gate, with a souvenir shop beside it. I didn't want to drink even though I was thirsty because I still had to relieve myself, and I didn't want any other souvenirs from Kish aside from the friends and memories that I had, so I just stayed in my seat and talked with an acquaintance up until the time we boarded the shuttle that would take us across the road to a much bigger plane this time that actually looked capable enough to take us home.

90_BF999DA20C24730CAF85050DB490B41F.jpg90_BF99374B037057ECA8C6FBB99722D371.jpg90_BF98B36DE1C3BF5942774B62873190F4.jpg

I made friends and acquaintances from my trip to Kish, I took pictures of the places and things that amused me. It was a trip worth remembering, an adventure. But it is something that I wouldn't want to go through again.

90_BFA92020C3D0D864A00BC6E035844C35.jpgBFAA1574050C3AD64490E0BE0AA2AF66.jpg90_BFAAD691E90EDDF320F919475A622E91.jpg90_BFAB91ACBBB985684B5C7A286E9752B4.jpg

At 1340H, we landed at the DXB terminal 2, waited for 10 minutes inside the plane with no AC on for the stairs to arrive and finally took the shuttle back to the arrivals area. I wanted to kiss the ground, but instead I half-ran to the nearest rest room. Once I freshened up, I headed to Visa Collection counter. An officer was checking the visas while we were in lone, and told me that I could go straight to the Immigration counter since what I had was an eVisa.

I headed to the Immigrations counter, presented my passport and visa copy, proceeded with the eye scan, heard the lovely sound of the stamp meeting my passport and smiled for the first time in 7 days. I was finally back in the UAE on September 3, 2014, my 37th birthday. A new adventure awaits.

Posted by GingerFerrer 03:02 Archived in Philippines Tagged women dubai uae tips iran kish venus tips_and_tricks kish_island farabi Comments (12)

Papa Jack

rain

My shift usually starts at midnight, and sure enough, when i get into a cab at around 11:15pm to go to work, the cabbie would be listening to a radio program hosted by a certain "papa jack". Papa Jack's program is amusing and for some, they need it for a rude awakening. He gets callers from all walks of life...hurting housewives, battered husbands, rebellious teenagers.

Last night, on my way to work, the cabbie had the radio on and was tuned in to papa jack. The caller was a 38 year old woman, whose husband left her for another woman, and she in turn has a boyfriend, who is at the same time in a relationship with another woman - this other woman also being married to a different man. The woman caller was asking for "advice" because her boyfriend just left to work abroad and she is quite bothered that her boyfriend still sees the other woman when he comes home for a vacation. Very bluntly, papa jack answered her underlying questions. He said something like "noon, tumingin lang jowa mo sa iba, naiinis ka na. Eto ngayon, alam mo nang nakikipag sex sa iba, pumapayag ka?! Anong tawag mo dun?!" the caller replied, "pagmamahal". Papa jack was taken by surprise and he said "no! Katangahan yan! Binibigyan mo ng ibang ibig sabihin ang love. Parang kanta lang ni bon jovi yan eh -- you give love a bad name" hahahaha! That's one way of saying it!

Still, the story of the caller bothered me. I thought back and tried to recall other caller's stories and realized that these callers are not really asking for advice, they just want to be heard. These are the people who have no one else to talk to, because all their friends got tired of pleading with them to stop their insanity and get out of these types of relationships. These are the people who, in moments of desperation, called up a faceless person, and chose to air their stories to the public. In a way, they are helping others trapped in the same miserable situation that thy are in. They help by awakening the listeners.

When I heard that woman's story last night, I thought to myself, how could she be so blind? She's so stupid! The guy is just trying to get the best of both worlds by being with her and the other woman at the same time. But still, I realized that if I were in the same situation, and I heard her story, i would probably wake up and bang my head on the wall for being so damn stupid. So, I guess more girls have to listen to papa jack...if they want to hear straight out what they have to hear.

I'm not one to lecture about what's right and whats wrong in love, but I definitely know that if my current relationship may be hurting someone, even if she doesn't know about it, I'd stop and say goodbye. I'm not an expert and have had my share of heartaches and pains, but I can say to others that a broken heart will not kill you. Its going to hurt like hell for a while, but you will survive. This message goes out to a friend of mine who is in a really shitty mess now. What are you afraid of? Being alone? You have friends. Don't wallow in misery. Let go of that so called relationship. You're destroying something sacred ---marriage. You'll meet another person, and if that doesn't work out as well, I'm sure you'll met another. It pains me that you have degraded yourself by being a mistress...is it too late? Or should i give you papa jacks number?

Posted by GingerFerrer 03:04 Archived in Philippines Tagged family love Comments (0)

Flying Solo

all seasons in one day

I thought only relationships ended, but the feelings stayed with the person; to look back on and smile when the hurt has gone. Was I ever wrong. The human heart can only take so much abuse. My heart has been used, abused and discarded. Since the start of this so-called relationship, I was on the losing end. But I did not turn out to be the loser.

I compromised, bargained, pleaded and now, I eventually decided to simply not care. I have no hopes of ever getting back together with him. He always will remain my son’s father, but that is all he will be from now on. I decided to go back to being myself. No longer would I care if he approves of everything about me. His family may be good to me, but he definitely is not.

I wanted so badly to work things out that I ended up losing myself in the process. I was not brought up by my parents to take abuse from someone. Anyone. He never hurt me physically, but the emotional wounds he left are deep, and hurts much more than a blow.

I have always been a fighter, but I could not bring myself to stand up to him. I did not know what sort of hold he had on me that I could never resist his apologies, smiles and text messages after a misunderstanding. I would tell myself that this would be the last time I would forgive. Then another incident occurs, and I still end up forgiving for the Nth time.

Ralph was gay enough to lend me the book “Wicked”. The story behind the Wicked Witch of the West. It tackled why she acted the way she did in The Wizard of Oz. The way I understand it, Elphaba was not purely evil. She was a mother to Liir, a lover to Fiyero, a friend to Galinda, a daughter to Frex and a sister to Nessarose as well. She had a “family”. Elphaba was opinionated, strong-willed and simply did not care what other people thought. I admired her because she could say “No” to Fiyero, who meant the world to her. From the words written by Gregory Maguire, I interpreted that she loved Fiyero more than her own son, Liir. But she could still say “two weeks from now” when Fiyero would ask when they’d meet again. I never was that strong-willed. My priorities got messed up when he would subtly imply that he wanted to be with me. I would miss out on work, friend’s reunions and family gatherings to be with him.

Never Again. I will not try to bargain anymore, I am worth so much more than he could ever realize. I will no longer hope for his love, as it was never given to begin with. I will no longer degrade myself by apologizing for things I did not commit. Hell, I will not even try to save him by turning him into a Scarecrow like Elphaba did with Fiyero.

And to you, you know who you are: I always had a special place in my poor old heart for you, but you left me with no choice but to start not caring. I would like to leave you with a couple of lines from Defying Gravity:

“Something has changed within me
Something is not the same
I’m through with playing by the rules
Of someone else’s game
Too late for second guessing
Too late to go back to sleep
It’s time to trust my instinct
Close my eyes and leave

It’s time to try defying gravity
I feel like trying to defy gravity
And you can’t pull me down..”

Adios.

Posted by GingerFerrer 18:43 Archived in Philippines Tagged women Comments (3)

First Day High

sunny

AHHH!! Im back to taking calls! It finally sunk in.

I am now "married" to the avaya. I can no longer get up and say "Its time" whenever I want. I now have a break schedule to be strictly followed. I have to set up my tools at least ten minutes prior to taking calls.

In the middle of biliran surfing, a call comes in and I quickly alt-tab'd to the ExpeRT homepage. "Thank you for calling, my name is Deanne. May I have your name please?" Alt-tab alt-tab alt tab... (where is my fr****n notepad?!) alt-tab alt-tab... (ayun) ... Hello Caroline, how may assist you today? Alt-tab type type type (ah sa Gocheap sya)... blah blah blah blah...

Lets look at my stats... hmmm.. 3 calls 4.41minutes average talk time. Not bad for a newbie...

Bongga is in the middle of a near-sup call. "You are not listening to me... we havent charged you anything yet..."

Babette is doing something quietly. (mumbling)

Tere is taking another call. "so this is for.."

I love first days.

Posted by GingerFerrer 17:15 Archived in Philippines Tagged events Comments (2)

Movement Shmovement

mga sentimyento de patatas

I am tired. I am angry. I am numb.

For three plus years, I was on the email team. WAS. I am now undergoing training, along with ten other team mates, for a different LOB. WWTE. Hay, karma karma karma chameleon.

My "favorite" agent was from this team. I remember waiting for her to give me more material for an article in this blog. Her famous "we are operating a standard procedure" line made me smile even on my darkest hours. Now, I will be on the same team.

We had a meeting on the 24th and this was when Jobel announced the movement from email to wwte. I was hoping and praying that the stats used to determine the agents for the movement will be the last three months stats. If this was the case, I hopefully had a chance to stay on my beloved team. But if they used either the annual appraisal, or an average from 2008, I had no chance. My average rating was an S. Not that I didnt know what I was doing, I knew the ins and outs of how the email team works. I am knowledgeable in client specs, especially my favorite queue - WWTE. But I did NOT want to take WWTE calls.

Jobel anounced the names by rank for the GY team. Cris, Gi, Ianne, Shayne, Kit, Philline. Damn. Neri was crying. Ianne and Shayne were too. I wanted to scream. At that time, I thought, ITS TIME. Its time to say goodbye to this company. They downgraded our Maxicare plan, they make us go to our stations with only a 3"X6" pouch in hand (how can you fit the following in a 3"X6" pouch: loose powder, compact mirror, comb, 2 tubes of lipstick, lipgloss, eyeliner, blusher, wallet and VS body spray). They do not have competitive incentives and salaries. They have managers who seemingly manipulate stats to make favorites or lovers look good. They will charge you 5K if you lose your headset, but do not take measures to prevent headsets from being stolen from your work station. Etcera blah blah blah.

Our manager was lurking outside the meeting room and went in just as I was asking Jobel "what if all ten agents resign?". His response was, resignation is not an option. This was when he went in to explain what set of stats were used in the movement, how this was something he fought, how he did not want to let us go. At this point, I was not hearing anything. I wanted to give him the "dead air" spiel. I was asking questions in the way they entered my mind...jumbled. I was not making sense. I just had to say someting. I had to show him that I was hurt. I had to speak in behalf of Shayne and Ianne who were sobbing freely. I knew at that time that nothing more could be done. I was going to be transferred and I WILL be taking calls again. I wanted to say " P****a! mas magaling ako di hamak kay Cherfer, pero maiiwan sya? Sa akin pa nagtatanong ng irereply si Chuva pero maiiwan sya? May utak ba kayo?" But I also knew that my stats said it all. I became too relaxed for 2008 and ended up having mediocre stats. shit.

Before the meeting, I have replied to 55 emails already. Since our quota was to hit at least 8 emails per hour, I figured I just needed 25 more and I was set. I had plenty of time to spare, around three hours. After the meeting, I sent my logs to Jobel with a total of 56 emails replied. I had no more desire to reply to emails. I did not have the energy.

Mars 1 and Mars 2, as well as Shayne, were seriously contemplating on how many days notice to give. 15 or 30? Immediate resignation? They were as appalled at taking calls as I was. Mars1 and her child Gavin could very well be provided for my her family. Mars2, being a member of a jewelry-magnate family (suarez wedding rings and suarez and sons), will very well survive without a job. Shayne, the newly licensed nurse of the email team, has more job options open to her now that theres an RN after her name. If Kit wanted to resign, his finances would not suffer too much. His family owns a manning agency and I know it is a lucrative business.

If I didnt have a family, I could very well have walked out from that meeting room and sent my resignation via email the following day. But since Koko, Kiko and I will not survive on the shops earnings alone, I figured I could not afford to be a bitch. I could give a 30-day notice, which will leave me ample time to get a new job. But then, it would not ease the pain. What hurt me the most is that after almost four years in this company, I might have no choice but to resign. What a stupid reason to resign - I didnt want to take calls. But I really am tempted to be stupid.

Training started last Monday. We basically tackled an overview of wwte. I felt sleepy. I kept on dozing off. I wanted to go home and sleep beside Kiko and Koko. I wanted to be replying to emails, not listening to "what is wwte" bull. I wanted to be in the 5th floor, copying and pasting from my templates to the ExpeRT page. I wanted to be able to turn to my seatmate, whether it be Jules, Nikki, Shayne or Red, and say ITS TIME. I wanted to enjoy seeing my docs multi colored docs page for logs which had a reminder "hit at least 60, dont forget your quality" (I never changed it from when we had to reply to only 6 emails per hour).

Last night, our conversion class double-jacked with the GY team and this was when it hit me. I really was going to be part of this team. Bebeh (mr manubay), assured me even before training that he would not leave me to fend for myself. He said he would take care of me and my other team mates. I learned that not all agents were as savvy when it came to "making palusot" to customers. Some did not have the "skill" to make an airline change fee sound like chocolate dipped strawberries to the customer. One agent did not even know what to advise the customer since the PNR she pulled up was already "purged". The fare rules could not be competely viewed. She kept on looking at the historical notes and went back to the caller stating that there will be a $200 change fee for the flights. This made my ears and heart hurt more.

I may never get over this movement. I may simply walk away from everything, taking Kiko, Koko, Nina, Blu and Lora to the mountains and live on boiled kamote. Or I may simply polish up my skills in tuning up motorcycles so I could simply help Kiko out with the shop. Life would be greasy and dirty but we might manage to scrape off a decent living as a tandem for the KIKStart Shop. But then, the image of Koko and Nina writing "motorcycle mechanic" on "Mother's Occupation" popped into my head. I did not want that for my kids.

My only source of happiness these days are Nina, Kiko and Koko. They make me forget my work worries. Sometimes they also provide more head aches than work gives me, but I love them. I only hope that God will give us all enough strength to overcome whatever is in store.

Posted by GingerFerrer 10:56 Archived in Philippines Tagged events Comments (0)

Moving Forward

sunny 35 °C

I have learned that you can tell that you found your life-partner when he doesn't just look into your eyes, but he looks into the future in the same direction as you. I have had my share of partners who would just look at me in the eyes and tell me that I AM THE ONE. Unfortunately, I am not Jet Li.

I have learned that to be truly happy, you have to be content with what you have. I learned to appreciate the small things that life has to offer. The way my kids smile and scream MOOOMMMYYY!! when I come home - it's priceless. I have a job that pays enough for me to get by, although Im glad that my sister is always there for me just in case I run out of cash before the next payday (which is quite often). :) I have a wonderful family who I know will always stand by me. I have a Mom whom I have hurt so many times because of all the bad decisions I made in the past. I have my other sibs Dindin and Iris, who can be quite irritating at times, but I know they always mean well. My Dad, who is always the first to show his disappointment at me, has somehow mellowed down with the coming of his grandson.

My kids are definitely my life. Nina, now 8 years old, will be in 3rd grade this school year. She has grown so much, and when I remember that she used to be so teeny tiny in my arms, I feel like time flew so fast and I hardly enjoyed her toddler years. She is a replica of her Papa Nix, and the naughty-side Im thinking she may have gotten from me. On the other hand, handsome little Koko is no longer a cutie baby boy. He is now in his terrible-two stage and I can totally relate when they said that it is really Terrible Two. I sometimes wish he was but a few months old again, when I could easily cuddle him and rock him to sleep.

I have encountered a lot of single moms and they all have their stories to tell. There is this one friend who also has two kids with different dads. Our difference is, she doesn't deem it necessary to provide for her kids. tsktsk. She would always be borrowing money from officemates, saying that this happened and another tragic event occured in her life. Tragedy always seem to strike during payday though... a lost wallet, a quarrel with a sib, and still an emergency where she had to move out of the house. I know Im not as irresponsible as her, I just hope she wakes up soon enough that she should take care of her kids and not be drinking all the time and job-hopping.

I also know a couple of single moms whom I know deserve every bit of love and attention their kids give them. There's Sonj and Laine - just two of my friends at work whom I salute for bringing up well-rounded kids by themselves.

There are also some moms who could be classified as single though they're married. There's Mommy Tess for instance, who has the tough job of being a mom and dad to both Nina and Nino since Daddy Dingdong is abroad. There is no financial want, but it must be hard to fulfill the roles of both parents to two teeners.

Now that I am a certified single mom, I am scared at what the future may hold. Will my kids detest me? Will they say that I deprived them of the right to have a dad? Will they think that I have not done enough for them? When is enough, enough? I dont know, only time will tell.

Through all these worries, I am glad that I can depend on my family - not just the blood relatives...but the friends who have proved that they will always support what I want to do. The people who will always say "I got your back". The people who are not afraid to criticize me. The people who always believed in me, even when I myself did not believe in anything anymore. Mommy, for always trusting me and knowing I'd turn over a new leaf. Ate Aileen, for always being there in every aspect. Ate Din, for being blunt and stating what you mean. Iris, for taking care of my kiddos when Im asleep. Dad, for being a great grandpa to Nina and Koko. Nix, for being a good provider and dad to Nina. Kiko, for bringing Koko into my life - and for making me realize that I am worth more than you could ever imagine. Edu, for always making me feel wanted. Nina, for being kind of cute while irritating me, especially when Im alseep. Koko, for showing me what I probably was like when I was your age. Eugene, for being my first love. Rommel, for making me feel like I wanted to be in love. Quiti and Mommy Tess, for always listening and sharing your stories and experiences with me. Bomps, thanks for finally getting married!! Ralph, Chaz, Gavin and Jiji, for being such wonderful bekis. (I super miss you gays). Daddy Olj, for teaching me the importance of teamwork. Mosman, for always believing. Joan and Yanna, for the good times and serious talks. Randy, for being the only straight guy friend whom I can tell beki-stories to. My entire Mafia Family, thanks for all the help and gifts! (Esp John France).

Posted by GingerFerrer 03:06 Archived in Philippines Comments (0)

Spaghetti

-17 °C

At Daddy's house, we were having spaghetti for dinner. I had Koko on my lap while eating and chatting with my sisters. I turned briefly to say something to my sister. When I faced the table again, a cute little hand was already busy playing with my spaghetti. The dainty fingers were squeezing the life out of every strand of pasta. It was such a cutie moment that I couldn't help but take some pictures before I finally untangled the spaghetti from the naughty little boys' hand.

spag1.jpg
spag2.jpg
spag3.jpg

When dinner was finally done, it seemed as if my baby boy was not finished with his gnawing time... and this is what he chewed on next:

foot1.jpg
foot2.jpg
foot3.jpg

Posted by GingerFerrer 03:06 Archived in Philippines Comments (0)

Did she or did she NOT?!

show us the pictures!!!

I love pictures. Specially if it has me in it! I love showing pictures to my friends and I also love looking at theirs. When Mommy Tess and Mommy Cristy had their super extreme Cagayan de Oro adventure, I spent hours browsing their pics and imagining what it felt like to be there.

This picture of Mommy Tess and Mommy Cristy taken in Camiguin makes me want to jump in the water and splash all around:

wowowee.jpg

I visited teenas' page to view her Boracay pictures and wished I was with her so that I could enjoy the view. (oh, we can only have too much Boracay pictures!):

teenabora.jpg

Of course, whoever has gone to Disney Land will always have their picture taken with one of the disney Princesses. Like my sisters for example who had a photo-op with Cinderella:

cinderella.jpg

It doesnt matter where the picture was taken, its the feeling of when the picture was taken that captures me. Take this one of Nina and Koko for example.. its the feeling of love!

koko_and_ate_nina.jpg

This picture of youngsters was taken by Mommy in upper Canada:

villagers.jpg

Even mundane things, such as Zue's e-ticket, amuses me:

zue-etkt.jpg

However, theres this one person at work who, before her vacation leave, went on and on about where she was going. Seems like the whole floor was aware of her itinerary on her Northern Europe trip. Even the people who didnt need to know, knew.

When she came back, we were quite dubious due to her lack of stories. (Which is very unusual). Searching through her site, we were unable to locate any pictures pertaining to the said trip.

Its quite weird because we know how Filipinos love posting pictures. Gawd, even my 12 year old niece has her own friendster account, with around 300 plus pictures.

We decided to wait til she posts hers. One week... awwww. She might be busy. Let's wait til next week. Awww, still no pics. Maybe next week. Its such a shame to let those pictures sit untouched and unseen on your digicam! Post them! Post them! That is, if there is anything to post. What?! NO PICS YET?! Hmmm.. makes me think... MAYBE NO SUCH TRIP TOOK PLACE.

Posted by GingerFerrer 02:06 Archived in Philippines Tagged photography Comments (3)

My Little Fairy turned 7

Nina's birthday

August 24, 2008
McDonalds, JP Rizal
3PM MNL time

My baby girl is a baby no more. She turned seven last August 24 and I really am amazed at how time flies. It seems like only a few months ago when she was still in nappies, taking her first tentative steps, learning to run, first day of school.. and now she's in Grade 1!

We celebrated her birthday at Mc Donalds in JP Rizal with a Disney Fairies-themed party. I know she misses her papa nico but its also a good thing that he called during the party. The usual spaghetti, burgers, fries and sundaes were served. My favorite part is when Nina blew the candles on her Barbie-cake... and the candles re-lit. (A little prank from my sister)... Nina blew and blew, the candles kept on re-lighting. Ahahha... such priceless look on her face.

Happy Birthday babylove!

nina-kiss.jpg
nina_and_cake.jpg
nina_and_daddy_buks.jpg
nina_and_j..s_girls.jpg
nina_and_i.jpg
nina_and_p..nd_gift.jpg
nina_and_papas_gift.jpg
nina_me_and_ron.jpg
ninas_cake.jpg
ninas_tarp.jpg
nina-with_..dronald.jpg

Posted by GingerFerrer 18:42 Comments (1)

Gianfranco Morales is here!!!!

-17 °C

Last April 25, 2008, I gave birth to a healthy baby boy at the Rizal Medical Center. The hospital service and facilities were way below a Needs Improvement rating. However, my baby boy receives an O for Outstanding from me! Nurses and doctors were cranky, not to mention this chinita doctor who was uber rude. Maintenance and janitorial staff acted as if they were part of the medical team. The food, OMG, the food... the food arrived two days after I was admitted. My first meal after my caesarian section was going to be a cup of rice and sardines if no one had succeeded in sneaking in healthy food for me. The floors needed new tiles. The comfort rooms offered no comfort. At least the operating room looked sterile enough. Well, beggars can't be feelers, I would say. So I would not dwell on what else needs improvement in that hospital.

When I woke up from the operation, I was transferred to the ward and was advised that my baby boy would also be brought to room-in with me.

My baby Gianfranco was bought in and it was then that I saw my little boy. He defenitely looks like me!!

uu.jpgu.jpgpukuykuy.jpgpp.jpgp.jpgo.jpgnnn.jpgnn.jpgn.jpgme_and_my_milk.jpglittle_pogi.jpglike_tatay.jpgl.jpgkulit.jpgkk.jpgharhar.jpg

Posted by GingerFerrer 03:09 Archived in Philippines Tagged women Comments (5)

(Entries 11 - 20 of 37) « Page 1 [2] 3 4 »