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Thursday, July 26, 2007

Lost Father

A couple of weeks ago as I was driving home from work in the evening "Dance with my father" by Luther Vandross came on the radio and I turned it up to full blast. It transported me back to our wedding in Samoa on the 17th of December 2005. As the sun was setting and the party was still going, my eight year old niece Yvonne stood up on the platform to sing this very song for me. It was her favourite song at the time and she had learned the whole song but was too nervous to sing alone so she did like a duet with Luther Vandross. It was a beautiful moment and I'm sure many tears were shed during that very song. Anyway I looked across and saw my brother in-law Yvonne's dad wiping his own tears.
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I wasn't very familiar with the song before then and as I was driving home I heard every word and I just started crying. It was so weird I just cried and cried while the song was playing partly because it reminded me that the song is about a little girl reminiscing about dancing with her father... and it hit me how ironic that it was sung at my wedding when I didn't even have a father to dance with me. Or maybe that the song was fitting because I would have loved to have danced with my father again if only at my wedding.
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I only just thought about this in the car that day because growing up I never felt I needed a father as I was so little when my father died that I didn't really know the difference. Though later on Mom told us that I was the most affected by my father's death as it was a critical time in my life when he passed. I had just started school and I remember him dropping us off to school and picking us up. I remember bits where he would lift me up and swing me around saying I was a big girl as I had started school. I also remember a little ballerina figurine he gave me because I had finished a school term. Another very vivid memory of him in my head is him walking around the guest house, hands behind his back with a Mozart LP blasting from the record player as he hummed, lost in the music. Due to this attention I got with the starting of school Mom said I lost interest in school after he passed! I remember being tutored at home because I missed too many days of school. Thanks to Mom for that!!
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Its healthy to cry as it is a natural thing and I always feel better afterwards. Funny enough I laughed at myself when the song finished as I felt a bit silly to have burst into tears like that. Anyway laugh like no one is watching and cry like the whole world is watching... or something like that.
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I love my father for I wouldn't be here without him and he left us with a lovely big family. For the fact that he was Mom's true love and that no man could measure up to him in my mother's eyes...Or did she just have enough. The moral of my story is I guess most of my siblings share this... The truth is: I would never really know what having a father is like.
But one thing I know for sure: I have one of the best mothers in the whole world.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Funnies in class

During one of my lessons this week I asked my students to make up general statements. I went around to check their work and was reading one of my Palestinian students work. He wrote a grammatically correct sentence but the content just made me want to run out of the room and laugh my head off. The sentence went like this: "Palestinian people are good at throwing stones." He looked at me and smiled and said.."but it's true" lol. It was hilarious. I had to keep it together to stay composed.
Two weeks ago we were doing present perfect e.g. I have known... This was one of the beginnings I gave them to complete. One student who was in his early twenties asked about what exactly to write. I knew this particular student just got married last year so I said "How long have you known your wife?" And he said "aaaah..." lightpulp moment, he thought for a bit and I was thinking.. How long does it take for one to figure out how long you've known your spouse of less than a year. "Twenty-four years" he said. I gulped thinking he's made a mistake and aske again are you sure? He is about 24 years old. Then it occurred to me that it was an arranged marriage of course he'd have known her all his life... Of course I proceeded to instruct him on how to write the sentence and not dwell in the details as it was just a different culture altogether!!!
Interesting things come up in the classroom at times.
Today was a holiday to commemorate the 37th year since Oman has been ruled by the current Sultan. I went to see a museum in Ruwi with my friend Lize. First we had lunch with a Kiwi friend who is moving to Saudi to teach English there for two years then Lize and I drove to Ruwi and saw the museum and an art gallery across the road. The art gallery was in an old villa that had a small court yard in the middle with a small fountain. I found myself lounged on one of the chairs there watching the soothing fountain and just enjoying the beauty of the small courtyard. It was a very random moment. It made me dream of Spain and their court yards. Reminds me we must travel to Spain in the near future!
Back to work tomorrow. I'm doing summer school in the morning and teaching adults in the evening. My morning classes are with students who basically speak very little English or none at all. Very trying and hard work but I'm slowly building a rapport with them and also figuring out how to get across to them. Not a bad bunch though. Now after a day out I'm exhausted and just wanna sleep. My body hasn't been agreeing with me lately and I've had different ailments that are just not nice! I guess life can't always be perfect:)

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Nasty hangovers and upgrades!

Just got back from Dubai tonight. Tired as. Went out last nite with Alex and Rich, Net's hubby from the UK to the Irish Village in Dubai. Of course a few beers too many later we moved to Rock Bottom... Next thing we were just wasted hahaha Because I was drinking for Nets and I...lol Left the club at 2am and went home. Woke up with the WORST hangover. I was supposed to go skiing at 9am with Alex's sister... I was still in bed by 11am. I was just GONE. Of course famous last words : I am never doing that again...!!! We went to sister-in-law's place and I went straight to bed. Two hours later I woke up revitalised and headed for the mall to catch up with hubby, C and our friends that we had planned to have lunch with. Heh heh! Let's just say I was a wreck choo hooo. And because of it I didn't even want to shop...darn it hahaha! After lunch had a quick look around then went home. I caught the 10.30pm flight back. The airport was packed. I was lucky to get a seat. Got to immigration and the queues were long so I braved it and stood in the fast track/business/first class queue which had less people. I walked up to the counter with the confidence of a first class pax hahaha! And thankfully got away with it. I saw a guy ahead of me being sent back so I wasn't keen to be embarrassed infront of all those people I don't even know hahaha!
Anyway got to the flight and one of our friends was flying. Told the flight attendant to say hi to the captain and she came back to invite me to the cockpit to say hi. Nhen he duly upgraded me to Business class. I politely and graciously smiled and thanked him for such a kind offer... choo hooo.
All of the 50 min flight the two flighties in biz class were trying to get me to have some champagne or wine and whatever else they had. I ungratefully refused as I had decided earlier I'm not touching that stuff anymore hahaha OK I thought 'Am I reeking so bad for them to be so persistent?' The flightie looked shocked when I told him no thanks! I said I was driving home. Very nice of them though. They're hubby's colleagues hence the graciousness. Anyway got here okay. So nice to be home, to sleep in my own bed. Ok gotta go sleep have to work early tomorrow. Hard week this week.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Thursday: week-end

Wow I had 50 visitors yesterday on the blog! That's a record! I wonder why that was. Well it's the week-end here and I must say I'm enjoying it. This morning I woke up at 6am which was new and it wasn't too hot then. The pools looked inviting but wasn't inspired enough to make the effort! I know, hopeless. Ok the real reason: Last night I had one too many wines with dinner and I woke up sick as a dog... cliche but yeah I hate that feeling. It's moments like that, that I vow never to put that stuff in my mouth again! But seriously I wonder why I drink one too many at times. I wish I could just stop consuming alcohol altogether but hmmmm will do eventually.
So today I went to pay bills and do some grocery shopping which was not bad. Just something to do to get out of the house. Poor hubby has been working hard so I let him sleep in and tried to tip-toe to give him peace....for a little while. heh heh! At 2pm we went to meet friends for coffee. Our friends that we haven't seen since we got back from the holidays. Slack I know but we try! We then went to see Wild Hogs at the movies. It was hilarious... I just about laughed from the beginning to the end. A bit too many swear words for kids but it's great.
Last night I decided I spend way too much time on the computer so I was not going to turn it on today or come near it... Hubby turned it on to start with and I walked in and saw it on and put in the password to enter it...yep just couldn't help myself. Anyway so I left the house with checking any mails or anything. Came back went to coffee to see friends and now waiting for another friend who's getting ready, to go with her to a shopping centre to hang out!
It is the height of summer here surprisingly it's not too hot!(I think) as I can hear people using the pool which is not the norm on most days.

Saturday, July 07, 2007

7/7/07

I thought I'd write a blog today on the triple 7 day. We went to Dubai for the week-end to see Alex's sister who lives there and catch up with friends. Alex arrived from work then we went back to the airport to fly to Dubai. We waited at the Crowne Plaza for Cesca for about an hour before Cesca finished work. Because it wasn't very far we walked it! In 35 degrees heat, it wasn't exactly the best idea. 20 minutes later and drenched in sweat we arrived at the house. It felt like a mission due to the heat and the high humidity on that day. What was nice was that, it was after 6.30pm and the sun was setting so the sky was beautiful and we walked through houses where the labourers lived. It was busy and it was so different from the other parts of Dubai. We werwe stared at as we didn't belong there but otherwise it was an interesting walk. From then on we figured out how to ring taxis so we wouldn't walk anymore:):)

Monday, July 02, 2007

Pick-up Story!

Yesterday in one of my classes, I gave the students some exercises to complete and in the middle of it they erupt into a frenzy of Arabic speaking! They were obviously discussing something they felt strongly about so I asked what the problem was and to at least discuss it in English!
One guy pointed at the one lady and said
"She wants to buy a pick-up!" and shook his head.
"So? She lost her car in the flood", I was a little confused about what the problem was.
The lady spoke up, "Teacher, I want to buy a pick-up and they're all saying I shouldn't because ladies don't drive pick-ups"
A classic example of cultural differences.
And the lady continued that even her family were against the idea of her buying a pick-up!!! Moreover when she went to the showroom even the salespeople were discouraging her form buying one!
I asked her why she had decided to buy a pick-up and she said she just wanted one and she didn't see the problem. Though her sister told her that they wouldn't ride in it if she does buy it!
The guys looked at me for support to tell the poor lady that it was a ridiculous idea and I plainly said to the lady;
"If you want to buy a pick-up then by all means go for it, you will change some perceptions in your country by doing so" She laughed and said that she might even be in the paper as the first woman to buy a pick-up in the country considering the fuss everyone was making"
However not many people own pick-ups here. They're mostly owned by businesses or driven by the bedouin people who live in the desert.