April 26, 2011

Instead of making a phone call at 9:30PM, I fell asleep at 8:45PM. Chi Tam and I ate leftovers from the day before. I learned my lesson...no more shrimp. From now on, it's ground pork. I did my laundry. Grace was not too friendly with me. Did she expect a souvenir? I picked up my dry cleaning. I was running around with my head cut off. The walk home was pleasant, windy, and warm. After I was done with laundry, it became quite cold. I left the windows open, but closed them because of loud Chinese people downstairs. Today we have IT training but half of the office is out sick. I added my mom to my cellphone plan because she wants to talk for hours with her AT&T friends. The happy hour thing is not taking place this Thursday like Viet wanted. I already made other plans instead of waiting on him. I jumped the gun when I shouldn't have. Lesson learned...don't write it off just yet. Perhaps I should bake cookies to lighten the mood. Yes, I can smell one even without having to see it. It's something I learned from years of experience. I miss the smell of rose petals in the elevators.

April 25, 2011

We are the only ones who do not celebrate Easter Monday. We have Good Friday off if we are lucky. Other than that, the Lord's ascension into heaven ends on Sunday. I'm not sure what Easter Monday represents. Perhaps a day to rest after partying it up on Sunday? I am practically dead at 9PM since I got back to New York. I cannot stay up later than 9. This week, my goal is to at least extend it to 10PM. KNT, have a safe ride to Jersey City and back to Ottawa. See you in a couple month's for Nelson's 40th. I caught up with Ngoc by way of KNT and Nick at 88 Orchard. Cass and Michael picked me up on their way to Nam Son. They thought I spent the night at 88 Orchard. We ran into one of their friends who told us about a New Orleans poboy shop down the street...Cheeky Sandwiches. Instead of Nam Son, we went for the poboys and beignets. The guy grew up in Versailles of all places. Next time, I am going to try the breakfast biscuit sandwich. We crashed Jacq's breakfast pho with Rob. I biked to my office to drop off my laptop, workpapers, and supplies. Since it was still early and the weather was nice, I biked over to the west side up to GW Bridge. Jacq met me and we rode back together just in time for mass. I was seriously late for mass. They can never get the timing right. It's either too late or too early. After mass, I caught up with Alexis and Tammy. We were forced to drink Coors Light. Dat met us downstairs as well. i hurried back to Oro Bar for happy hour wine but I ended up drinking water. I ended the night eating pho ga at Jacq's.

April 24, 2011

I was good. Viet came over for banh mi and dessert. I thought I would be hungry again when it came time to see KNT and Nick. I was somewhat wrong. The rain did not let up on my walk to the LES. Like Molly said, I was on an air diet limiting myself to only water. Chi Kim made a cameo appearance. Mike is on WWF now. Yay! Looking forward to high scoring games. On my walk back, Chi Kim and I stood in line for doughnuts at the Doughnut Plant. I'm always standing in lines with her. The last time I stood in line was at a pizza place in Brooklyn. I caught up on "Pillars of the Earth". I passed my online exam. It took me almost 90 minutes to complete it. I have two more writing assignments and a final paper. I am home free after that...no more classes for a while. I ran into Dat in the streets and shared some of my doughnut with him. Henrietta drunk tweeted again about how she misses you know what. Adele's "Someone Like You" is intense. Can't wait to see her in a couple weeks. I keep referring to her as A-Deli instead of A-Dell. Viet, are we doing that happy hour this week? Hook a brother up. Happy Easter.

April 23, 2011

Yesterday was quite productive. I spent too much time texting with Chi Chinh about the Chinese cream. She kept using her son as bait. I bought the cream and mailed them at the Canal St post office. Although that location is out of the way, they always have a good stock of packing supplies. Plus, they never have long lines. I hate the location by my office because it's always a long wait and you have to provide your own packing boxes. I caught up with a few people, including Jacq and Henrietta. Jacq and I almost had a Barbara Walters moment. I had been running around all day and walking from point A to point B to point C to point D. By the time dinner was over, I was done for the night. It is raining today. The sky is still dark. This is the first time I have seen rain in over a month. Someone borrowed my green umbrella and never returned it. I think Chi Mai has it. That umbrella has been with me since I came to New York. I think I bought it at the Astor Place Kmart. Time to take my test. If I can successfully answer 16 out of 24 questions, I pass. We have spring break next week.

April 22, 2011

Brian and Mike C. took me out to Mardi Gras Bar one last time before I return to New York. The live band was there and remembered us from last time. They asked about the folks who were with us. I told them their visas expired and had to return home. They sang the usual songs. Yes, we were the only rowdy ones in the bar. During their set breaks, they turn on regular music. One of the songs they played was Chris Brown's "Forever". The song took me back a few years ago when things were simple and good. We shared our bottle with the singers as I asked them to sing at my wedding. After finishing the bottle of vodka, we went home. The next day was torturous. Mike C. came in around noon. Brian and I showed up on time. It was pretty bad. Now I know why I don't go out on a school night. My last day in the office was pleasant and quick, other than the unbearable pounding headache. I said my goodbyes. We went to the Emirates Palace to view the Saadiyat Island exhibition and drank tea. Instead of tea, I had an ice cream mocha drink. Gene really enjoyed tea. He said it was the most relaxing time in a very long time. We went to dinner at the Beach Rotana. I did not wear shorts so no one stared at me. After dinner, we strolled along the mini beach. I went home and packed. I couldn't stay up all night like last time. The next morning, we were out of Sama Tower. I dropped off my keys. My car was 10 minutes late. I showed up at check-in and was told my seat changed. They moved me from business to first class because business was overbooked. When walking into the airport lounge, the attendant escorted me to a separate first class lounge. I stored my luggage and went into the business class lounge to look for Debby and Gene. They were just about to eat. I made my way to the food buffet and stocked up on hash browns. They are the best hash browns in the world. I'm not exaggerating. I went back to get my luggage. We left the lounge to do some currency exchange and to spend our last few dirhams in the UAE. We bypassed a very long line at the gate. Instead of walking through the main jetway, I walked through a separate jetway for first class. The airplane was jam packed. My seat was great...wider and longer than the business class. The TV monitor was a lot bigger. The compartment allowed the passenger some privacy by sliding the doors. I popped a Benadryl and went to sleep on and off for about 7 hours. We departed and arrived on time. I was home within the hour. I dropped off dry cleaning and met up with Chi Tam for bun thit nuong at Pho Bang. My first meal back had to be Vietnamese. I unpacked and was in bed by 9PM. I caught up on some episodes of the New York housewives. I was knocked out by 9:30PM and woke up at 4:00AM. I'm looking forward to a relaxing day. Happy Good Friday!

April 19, 2011

I have this week to complete my exam. Don't bother me between now and Sunday. I ate dinner alone in the dining hall last night. I brought my textbook with me to read. I ended up eating really fast because I was super hungry from Jay's spinning class. I stopped by the dry cleaners but they didn't have my shirts ready. I finally picked up some Baskin-Robbins ice cream. It's been almost two months. I ate my first scoop of ice cream. It's literally in my building, but the people I am with either hate ice cream or lactose intolerant. I ran into Brian as I made my way up to my apartment. He came by and we caught up over the leftover grey goose that Tdanger left behind. Drunk tweeting is always better than drunk texting. "Something New" was on TV. The movie reminded me of Mo Hoa. We saw the movie when it was released back in Dallas. Mike, it's not nice to retweet people's mess. I am getting beaucoup emails from Agnes. She has finally reviewed my work and I am getting feedback. The final meeting with management went well. I have one more meeting today and two more days in Abu Dhabi. I cannot wait to be back in the dirty streets of New York. Addison, please wear a helmet. I'll get more Chinese cream for Carter when I return to Chinatown. Jacq, play me already. You haven't played me in 7 days. KNT, just add your last tile so I can beat you by one point. Step it up. P, I bet you and the fam are soaking up the sun in T&C.

April 18, 2011

I have been lazy to post stuff on this website. A lot has happened and I only remember half of what took place...kidding. I'm not a lush. We all went back to the Tourist Area to wish Mike C. happy birthday. We drank way too many beers. Sometimes I just want a simple vodka/soda, but I feel like all the beer drinkers will laugh at me...even the ladies. So I give in and order Stella like everyone else. Some of the older folks went home after the beer drinking. The night was still young so some of us went to the Emirates Palace for some booty shaking. One of the restaurants at the palace turns into a nightclub at night time. The music was amazing. It was the usual pop remixes and hip hop thrown in there. The next day, I returned to the Emirates Palace for afternoon tea with Debby. We shared one portion, which was more than enough for two people. We didn't even finish the dessert. The beach was gorgeous. We saw two camels walking on the beach. It was definitely odd to see camels on the beach. After my two hour afternoon nap, I came up to Brian's apartment for an early dinner. Brian made us dinner at his place. I have not had a good homecooked meal in a very long time. He made beef with an assortment of veggies. We ate it over rice of course. Gene arrived later that evening. He was hungry so I took him across the street to Eat Smart. I had the usual manakesh with Arabic cheese. We ate breakfast at Abu Dhabi Mall the next morning. Gene and I visited the huge mosque thereafter. He enjoyed the grand mosque and took plenty of pictures. I went home and took a 2 hour nap. I will miss my afternoon siestas when I return to New York. It does not get any better than waking up in the middle of an afternoon. Can I get an Amen, Mike S? For dinner, we went back to the Turkish place at Central Market. The souk had a cultural show with dancers and lively music. We sat right in front of it all. I skyped with a couple folks, including an interesting one. I managed to get the NYU proxy to work so I can now call for free through Google's call phone. Hooray for internet phones. Who needs Skype any more when you can call landlines and cellphones for free?

April 17, 2011

Happy Birthday, Sandrine!

April 16, 2011

Happy Birthday, Precious!

April 15, 2011

Mission accomplished.

April 14, 2011

Yay, Chang and I are now friends on Twitter. There's way too much info out there on Twitter. Talk about TMI all over the place...yes, I am talking about you two ladies. It was good catching up with an old friend via skype. I'm beginning to learn how skype works. It's very simple. I am behind the times. I know that and stop asking me to return to Facebook. I think my account is already deleted instead of deactivating it. My webinar this morning was quite interesting. We talked mainly about my paper topic. I made some notes and will use some of the ideas for my paper. I am not looking forward to next week's exam. Debby and I had way too much fun over lunch today. We ordered from Fine Fast Food. She now knows why I get excited to eat the chicken strips. I also ordered the mango drink. They put vanilla ice cream in the mango drink. After arguing with the delivery guy for calling me non-stop on the artsy Asian sounding mobile phone, I picked up my food. The receptionist was very pleasant. Today is our "Friday". It's also a coworker's birthday so we are meeting up at Captain's Arms for drinks. Don't worry, I won't drunk text anyone. I promise. My trips for the next two months are confirmed.

April 13, 2011

Precious received her welfare check in the mail and thought it was junk mail from Chase Bank. It is starting to cool down again. Debby and I are running low on currency. I may stop by the currency exchange place across the street. That would involve leaving the building. Yikes! I could not find Crest white strips last night. They had these whitening gels at the local pharmacy, but I was too afraid to try them. KNT killed my WWF. I downloaded the newer version. Jacq hasn't played me in a while. I bet she is busy with her new beau. I briefly spoke to my mom. Her phone kept dying. I gave up after a couple attempts. I ate breakfast this morning. For 20 dirhams, you get a plethora of breakfast food items. I am never good at buffets because I end up eating only one plate. Sandrine wants me back on Facebook because she thinks I am stuck in the 19th century. I will seriously consider a comeback if and when my current circumstance improves. Mike, get your facts in order. It was not China King or Mandarin Palace. Plus, a rebound takes place immediately after a breakup. If it happens after 2 or 3 years, it is not considered a rebound. #getwithit Frankly, I'm sick of seeing the twitter exchange between those two. They need to get on skype and have a private conversation. I don't care that you cannot download files and how you guys are connected because of the love for a Spanish song. LOL Yes, I am sensing my own jealousy.

April 12, 2011

Last night, I skyped for the first time in a very long time. The reception is a bit better than google's video chat. Jay was easy on us in spinning class because we had a couple newbies. Today is all about work. I have a couple aggressive deadlines with work and school. Debby and I are lucky to stay indoors all day and night. The weather has been hot and unbearable. We would order in for lunch and get something from downstairs for dinner. There's no need to leave the building unless doing a grocery run. That reminds me...I need to go get white strips. Yes, you can get whatever you want here. Everything is imported from other countries. The only difference is the labeling, which requires contents written in both Arabic and English. Apparently, Vertu phones are the desirable mobile devices here. I have never heard of it. I figured iphones are top of the line, but not here in the UAE.

April 11, 2011

It's always the little things that make me smile. Getting six bottles of your favorite wine for no apparent reason is something to smile about. Vuong is a good guy. Don't eff it up! Glad to hear Henrietta is well. We were all worried for her because she was inactive for a good 24 hours. She was too busy working the stage. Just when you think everything is going well, you get a little kick in the butt to remind you to return to reality. It's a roller coaster I tell ya. It's never easy. I've been listening to some old school Leona Lewis. She got me through the first one. I wonder what happened to her newer stuff. Her songs are like those lien khuc songs that Dat and I long to hear. It's funny how drinking hot tea in hot weather will cool your body. Here's one for you, Dat. Add this to your playlist, right next to Ngheo.

April 10, 2011

The call to prayer woke me up again. I was able to get another hour of sleep in. I was flipping through the channels last night and saw Ke$ha's new video. Apparently, she and Dawson were at it. It was pretty hilarious. Tonight, it's all about catching up on homework and starting on my paper. I believe we are halfway through the course. I have an exam next week. I ate a good breakfast this morning complete with scrambled eggs, french toast, bacon, and homemade potatoes. I walked away with a couple Del Monte bananas. Del Monte or Chiquita bananas are rare here. They are definitely better than the other local brands. Gene arrives this weekend. Yikes!

April 9, 2011

Before departing for Dubai, we had dinner at a Thai place in the Tourist Area. We stayed out for a couple drinks. The taxi driver took us to the wrong Sheraton Hotel. All the bars here smell like smoke. I am not a huge fan of that smell. Sandrine and Debby went on their desert safari while I explored Bur Dubai on my own. I felt like I was walking through India. Dubai's green line is underground. We stayed at the Ibis Hotel in the middle of town. I contemplated on whether to do the day pass or buy the pay-as-you-go deal. If you want to sleep well, don't take an afternoon nap. You'll end up staying up all night. I ate Japengo's fried rice. It is very hot right now. The sun is super shiny and we have highs in the mid to upper 90s. Sandrine, it was an awesome adventure with you in Abu Dhabi and Dubai. Our last adventure in Souk Karama was definitely a good highlight to end the week. Please find me a good matching costume or I'll end up going as your domestic servant. I'll see you in New York later this year for sure. Vietnamese candy is the best for sure. LOL They are playing J-Lo nonstop.

April 7, 2011

Yesterday, I woke up feeling under the weather. I did not feel any better as the day dragged on. I hung in there and told myself not to do anything after work and to rest up. Our phone call with Agnes took longer than expected. Sandrine gave me a "Cold & Sinus" pill. We went to dinner at Abu Dhabi Mall. I felt a bit better, but was very drowsy from the medicine. I woke up this morning feeling good. The medicine must have worked. We are to visit the downtown campus today for lunch and to drop off postcards. I may pick up a few items from the bookstore. The water fountain on our side of the office does not work. We have to walk to the other end of the floor to refill our water bottles. I have a session with Jay tonight before I start my weekend. Precious, I would hold off on doing anything at this point. Listen to your friend, Drew. Mike, we know you can flip upside down but how about leaving your tweets alone. I don't want people to think I'm looking at naked pictures because I have to turn my phone upside down. Henrietta, I don't want to hear any more of it. You're going to take it like a man and shut up. Mo Hoa, of course you'll be my date. You get first dibs for sure. Jacq, good to know you are back safe and sound. It is finally sunny today after dreary clouds for the past couple of days. I am going to be out of pocket for the next couple of days. Have a great weekend, whatever days make up your weekend!

April 6, 2011

We solved the snoring problem. Push her on her side and she will stop snoring. I never knew this. It is very warm here. Jackets are no longer required in the evenings. However, when going to the mall or any where indoors, it is very cold. Perhaps wearing a long sleeve is a good idea even if it is muggy and warm outside. We ordered way too much food at the Turkish place. We took the leftovers home for today's lunch. We were all too tired to smell like cigarettes. The Chinese food I ate for lunch made me thirsty all day long. I think I will stay clear of high sodium food for awhile. The food is good, but they can improve on fruits. Although, the pears are sweet and crunchy. I washed a load of laundry last night. I'm glad I brought fabric softener because it makes a huge difference. If you don't use softener, your clothes come out crispy. Precious, your standards are too high. No wonder you got no results. Mike, I am well. Thank you for asking. It is nice to be away from it all, but I am starting to miss home. Apparently, sleep aid medicine is not allowed in this country. I have one Benadryl left. I will put it to good use at some point. Sleeping is difficult for obvious reasons. Happy Birthday, Addison! Enjoy the ride! Happy Birthday, Rafael!

April 5, 2011

Did I mention there's nothing on TV here? If it's a good show like Glee or Brothers & Sisters, they are dubbed in Arabic. Everything else is in Arabic or Hindi. There are three news channels that broadcast in English. CNN, BBC, and Al Jazeera. I like Al Jazeera the best because they also have side documentaries about stories I never hear about in the states. Last night, I did a marathon at the gym. I ended the night with Bollywood class. The instructor taught us moves from the Kajra Re video because he knows I'm a huge fan of Aishwarya Rai. When I returned to the apartment, Sandrine was a few minutes away in her cab. She ate the rest of my manakish.

April 4, 2011

The elevator took forever coming to me. There is a total of four elevators and they all passed me up to get to the top floors. None of them were going down. The elevators finally descended onto my floor. Two elevators opened up I might add. When I hopped on the elevator, a computerized voice apologized for the wait. It literally said, "We apologize for the wait". I was taken back. I have never had an elevator apologize to me for waiting. I am very impressed with the elevator system. It knew that I waited a long time for an available lift. Sorry, I am a bit excited about this. Chang, hang in there. You'll get through this as you have in the past. On to the next one! I am addicted to the Manakish with Arabic cheese and a side of red chili flakes. For lunch, Debby and I shared Shanghai Noodles and Beef with Broccoli. I think we pretty much got our sodium intake for the week after yesterday's lunch and dinner. Sandrine arrives tonight.

April 3, 2011

Thanks, Alexis! I am still laughing about this one.

April 2, 2011

We left on the dot at 7AM on Friday. We arrived in Dubai within an hour and a half. There was no traffic because everyone was still asleep and it was a holy day. We got dropped off in the middle of town and hailed a cab. The taxi took us to the hotel where we showed up too early because it wasn't even 9AM. We left our bags with the bell hop and cabbed it to the Mall of the Emirates. None of the shops were open except for a few breakfast and coffee shops. We each had our own breakfast crepes. After eating the crepes, the shops opened up. After a bit of shopping, we headed back to the hotel. The metro was still not running because it was a holy day. The room was still not ready. We waited for 30 minutes in the lobby before going up to our room. The room was very big and nice, but it smelled like cigarettes. The room reminded me of a cheap motel because of the smell. They still smoke indoors here. It's insane. After settling in, we went downstairs for some cocktails. The tour van picked us up and we were on our way. There was heavy traffic in the Dubai Marina district. Debby picked up some really good bargains in the gold souk. After we were done with the city tour, we met up with Sandrine at Teatro. TD, I took them to Teatro and they loved it. I had to order the steak fries. They were quite yummy. We were all too tired to go out. Sandrine went home to her hotel and we went home to the Media Rotana in Dubai Internet City. The next morning, we hopped on the metro and took it to Dubai Mall. We ate breakfast outside overlooking the Burj Khalifa. The water was not dancing though. Sandrine met up with us to do the observation deck. After some more shopping, we retreated back to our hotel and got on the Abu Dhabi-bound bus from the Bur Dubai Bus Station. It took exactly 2 hours even with all the stops in between. I am very hungry as I am typing this because i have not eaten lunch. The cafeteria downstairs won't serve dinner until 6:30PM.

April 1, 2011

Gone fishing in Dubai. Will return in a couple days.