Monday, November 21, 2016

First Set of Challenges - Kuwait Application

Before my flight to Manila,  I still needed to stay for a couple of days or nights in the agency's accommodation in Zamboanga City. I needed to wait two more recruits that were under the same agency with mine and have the same schedule as mine for departure. Sort of, they were my batch mates.

The accommodation was at the third floor of the DXN building. I forgot the exact location, street, road, and etc. I sucked at remembering places during that time. All I could ever recall was my lightheadedness. Everything felt like inception. "Am I really here already? Am I really going for it? Is this for real?" Those were only few questions in my head.

The accommodation was a very old building and only had one room available to use for the applicants. (Sucks all my photos were deleted when I got here in Kuwait. My male boss had my old phone checked for Kuwaiti simcard to work in it. The repairman rebooted my phone but to no avail. One reason why the male boss got me a new phone to the female's disgust. I didn't say no for I needed the means to communicate.)

Anyway, there were actually two rooms in that accommodation but the other one was occupied by the manager,  sort of, and his niece. The room can fit up to six people only and wouldn't accommodate the growing numbers of recruits taken there everyday.

The Challenges:

Bedtime D5 este Dilemma. It is funny that this had to be my first challenge. I am a type of a person who can easily adapt to any situation but at that time, I truly was challenged. 😄
Truth is, I can't sleep when pressed between strangers (I have no problem when it is any of my sisters) but I knew I was not in a position to be choosy. I knew I needed to get used to it, which I eventually did, although I had to endure during the first few days. I held my self in. I managed to insert my then biggie self in the room on my first night. It felt like sleeping inside a box. I felt so deprived of a much-needed relaxation and a good-night sleep. Of course, I didn't fall into a deep slumber but in a shallow nightmare.

The Solution:

On the second night,  I decided to lay a mat in the living room along with the few applicants. I liked the wider space! I was able to stretch into whichever sleeping position I so desired without feeling awkward but I needed to endure being in the open, with no electric fan to counter mosquito bites. It was all good. I didn't even miss my soft, cozy bed back home. That thin mat, that sarong that I used as blanket and a folded towel as a pillow was already a set of luxury.

The Bathroom Competition. 
Falling into a line to use the bathroom for taking a bath and taking a shit is one of the major challenges in the accommodation. There was one toilet and one plain bathroom designed only for taking a bath, which means no toilet bowl. So, imagine having the urge to "poo" and you have to fall in line first. You can either hold your shit as much as you can or pray for a considerate mate to let you go first. Well, it never happened. Taking a bath was a bit easier to deal with. You just need to wake up early...and waking up early was quite a challenge on my part.

Back home, my usual wake up time is 11 in the morning. I usually skip breakfast, unintentionally. You can't eat breakfast when your butt is snoring. Waking up late was normal for me because I  often slept late like 3 to 5 in the morning. With my application abroad, my sleeping schedule had to change and it was never easy.

The Solution:

Get your butt up as early in the morning as possible. Self - discipline! You are not a princess to sleep in anytime you want.  Your co-applicants will not wait for your ass to wake up so you can use the bathroom. The bathroom is not yours in the first place. Wake up at 3 in the morning so you can use the bathroom or toilet at 4.

Fitting In to the Strange World, Opening Myself Up, Getting ALONG with Everyone and Enduring the Hardship. 

Fitting in to any situation used to be my specialty. Family and friends call me back home "walay libog". I can easily fit in to any situation and with any kind of people. But at the accommodation, I had to think again. Those simple people whose dreams were to only fly safely, work peacefully and come back home to reunite with their family made me feel so little. And for the first time I realized I did lose myself. You see, before my marriage and the statuesque turned Me into a complicated person, I was once like them; a simple-minded person with simple dreams but a huge heart that love and appreciate simple things in life.

Fitting myself in to that strange world never happened right away because I needed to open myself up first.

Opening My "self" Up. I thought I was the most open person in the whole world but again, those poeple made me doubt. I used to easily open myself up to anyone, telling about my life including my crazy little secrets, which is one reason why people often take advantage on me. I became cautious on things I shared. I let my guard on, and kept my life as private as it can be. One big secret I hid from my co-applicants and a few friends was the fact that I am married to an American man. I kept it to avoid questions and in order to get along with everyone. I then made quite a number of friends.

Enduring the Hardship.It's not that I am a precious princess who haven't experienced hardship in life. Darn, I experienced almost everything, beyond hard! I experienced having only a handful of grated stolen coconut for lunch. What's harder and heartbreaking was that I experienced it with my siblings. It was when we were left alone in our almost broken home. But that was all in the past now and it had already served its lesson. The Hardship I mentioned here are (1) Budgeting allowance or financial management - Work application abroad cost a freaking lot than what I expected. (2) Early stage of homesickness - I felt it lots of time even before flying. To some, this caused them to back-out. (3) Laziness and Loss of Determination - There was a time that I felt extremely lazy to the extent of losing the drive to go on but at the end of the day I got to realize also that I was already there. Many had wish they were in my position so why give in to laziness? Go on, fight!

My Zamboanga experience was hard for a first-timer. It was a "survival of the fittest" thing and unfortunately, it was only the beginning.  There were far more challenges awaiting us applicants in Manila such as medical examination, interview, training and work demonstration. And I thought it was easy to work ABROAD? LMAO! Hell not!!!😭😭😭

Saturday, October 22, 2016

The Craze for Yoo Ah In

Sungkyunkwan Scandal

It started in Sungkyunkwan Scandal, a 2010 Korean historical drama depicting the life of the Sungkyunkwan scholars during the Joseon Era. The drama focused mainly on the life of the Four Sungkyunkwan Scholars called the Jalguem Quartet or what the fans called them "Joseon F4" and Yoo Ah In was one of them. He played the role of Moon Jae Shin, a moody and rebellious scholar.  It was the first time I saw Yoo Ah In and then and there he caught my fancy. He was too sexy to snob with his long hair, full lips, sexy eyes and  in rugged fighter ensemble completed with a bow and arrows tucked on his back. I was totally smitten! I dubbed him then Sungkyunkwan Scandal's Notable Actor.

Fashion King

After Sungkyunkwan Scandal, I started stalking Yoo Ah In (Lol). I searched every Korean Drama he was in. I saw Fashion King and he happened to be the lead actor opposite Shin Se-kyung. I watched it but quitted at the second episode after I read a comment that said he died on this drama. 😖 But I thought of finishing the drama. It's Yoo Ah In, enough reason!

Jang OK Jeong

Then a drama Jang Ok Jung came out in 2013 with Yoo Ah In being the lead actor opposite Kim Take Hee as Jang Ok Jung. Ah In portrayed the Crown Prince Lee Soon and later became King Sukjung of Joseon. Kim Tae Hee died in this drama as it was based on the real life of the royal concubine Jang OK Jung who was sentenced to death. But regardless, this drama with Yoo Ah In in it was a real gem. Heavy drama this was, but worth the watch.

Secret Love affair

This is the sexiest drama I have ever watched of Yoo Ah In. Two thumbs up for him on this because it challenged his versatility as an actor and he did it really well. He made me fall in love with him deeply in this drama. He is a great actor, that is pretty damn sure! 

He played the role f a young man named Lee Sun-jae with a remarkable talent in paino he is unaware of.  He worked as a quick delivery boy and met an Arts school director Hye Won, married and in her 40s who later unleashed Sun-jae's inner piano genius. The two later entangled in a passionate relationship, a secret love affair.

Six Flying Dragons

A 2015 drama Six Flying Dragons was another historical drama of Yoo Ah In. He portrayed Lee Bang Won, the 3rd Flying Dragon next to his father and teacher in their fight to end Goryeo and create a new era, Joseon. He later became the third King of Joseon. He reunited with Shin Se-kyung in this drama from Fashion King. Shin Se-kyung portrayed Boon Yi, Lee Bang Won's lover. Oh, I love them both together! 
I am currently watching this drama and I am still at episode 19. Long way to go but I am already addicted to the story and to these lovebirds!

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

DH Job Application Abroad, You Think Easy?

If you think applying for a domestic help work abroad is easy,  you are wrong.  I was wrong before I experienced it myself. I thought it was as easy as 1, 2, 3 like getting in the office,  handing in your application, passing the interviews and tests and then flying to the country you applied for but it wasn't. It was a long process that requires a lot of patience, determination and endurance...and some money, definitely!

Household work is the most belittled job there is. We often hear remarks like "katulong ka lang" and "muchacha" in the Philippines. Meaning,  even before flying overseas,  we are already belittled in our home country. I did have a personal experience during the processing of my application. How sad, right? And the government calls you a hero?

You are only a slave! It stings but don't ever let it hinder you from going forward to attaining your goal. Household work is a noble job, so leave no room for arrogant people. Set your goal and work hard.  One won't dare try his/her luck abroad without a goal.  It could be a business, a dream house,  a college fund or simply a monthly family support and so on and so forth.  We overseas workers do have a reason why we are here working our ass out, getting enslaved. And whatever that reason or goal is could be attained easily if we are "masipag at matiyaga (diligent and persevering) at masinop at mapag-impok" (prudent and provident).

Application and Training (My Personal Experiences)

First application was at our local municipal office, Manukan. NOEC knocked on my door through our local government, I gave it a try. It was one of the good things my hometown had ever done for me - offering me a job. So I can say,  there was quite a progress, only the locals are too lazy or maybe too scared to try. I managed to tempt my friend slash neighbor Jeziel to apply with me. And lol,  we applied wearing shorts! 

So,  after filling out the application form followed by a short interview in a harsh Visayan dialect :), it was all done!  The interviewer then set a date, which was a week after for a formal interview in Zamboanga City.  We were given compensation for all our expenses. All expenses were covered up from passport to transportation. Thou I wasnt compensated for my passport because my pregnant recruiter was said to have spent it. It wasn't bad.  We got to travel to Zamboanga for free!
Midst of November I received a call saying I already had an employer and that my visa was being processed. I was like,  okay. I was lightheaded, it didn't sink in right away.

December, since I haven't done a thing, the agency started bugging me to work on my papers, get it all ready and fly to Manila for the training and medical exams.

Second week of January I left home for Zamboanga,  and from there to Manila.  Jeziel backed out from her application for a reason she couldn't leave her children.  For that,  I was thankful I didn't have any or I won't be able to leave as well.
Above was a street view from Zambo. accommodation. It was the night before my flight to Manila.  I was excited and nervous at the same time.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

What Makes Me Decide to Work in Kuwait?

The first time I told my husband of my plan to apply for a job in Kuwait he blurted out "are you crazy!?" He  freaked out more when I said I will apply for a household work, which means I would be a housemaid. I understood fully well why he freaked out like that and why he did not talk to me for days.

Kuwait being part of the Middle East is one of the countries known for violence and terrorism. Middle East in general is the most dangerous place to work overseas especially for Filipino women due to the many reported incidents of rape and sex slavery. To date, there is still a number of incidents reported regarding housemaids raped and killed by employers in the middle east. 

Well, I think I was crazy for braving Kuwait. I have enough means to live a not-so-hard life back  in the Philippines. I have my own house and a few monthly allowance.  Besides,  according to many,  I have no one to feed and support except for my dogs.  So what pushed me really to come work in Kuwait? There were a lot of reasons.

The main reason maybe,  as much as I can think of was uncertainty in relationship. Bored in marriage or marriage vs work. There was a lack of communication. For years I felt my husband's work was more important to him. He barely spared me his time...I felt neglected. I felt I was nothing but a burden on his shoulders. I reached a point of giving my marriage up and even thought of marrying someone else.  Funny, maybe shallow but true. I wasn't able to handle the distance, the dullness and the silence of our relationship. I got bored.  I thought i couldn't wait for another years that seemed to be endless. 

Second reason was to be productive  and to seek self-growth. I had been living a very unproductive life back in the Philippines. My routine was sleep - eat - get my fat ass fatter. Very boring, very unproductive, very stagnant life I had. I thought I needed to get my lazy butt up, do something and grow up. And like it was a heaven's plan,  this opportunity to work in Kuwait knocked on my door.

Third was to give in to the opportunity and to my mom's wish. An opportunity to come work in Kuwait knocked on my door at the right time. I got my passport and I wasn't able to leave for the US yet.  There was a conflict not with my papers but with the situation. So I heard I needed to wait for another two years. Oh well! Then my mother encouraged me to try other countries if I want to for the time being. That way I get my passport stamped and gain experience, although my mother didn't suggest the Middle East and the household work. So after a thorough thinking I decided to try Kuwait since it was the safest country in the Middle East as far as my investigation during that time. Its conflict between its neighboring country,  Iraq,  had ceased.  I passed my application on November, last year.  

Last reason was money. Of course! I needed a capital for my (small) business plan.  I long been wanting to build an internet cafe, I just wasn't able to materialize that plan because I was too busy wasting money on parties and outing with nonsense friends (not everyone). Hopefully after two years,  or when I get back to the Philippines, my internet cafe will be put up. Recently,  I invested on a food house named 4Chies Food House that offers mainly cakes and cupcakes with burgers and pizzas on the sides.  It is managed by my youngest sister. I helped out financially and so far the business is good.  Good job sissy! Praying for more success on 4Chies.  

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Blogging On Mobile with Blogger App

My inner talkative self itches to blog so here I am trying out this Blogger application for mobile. I hope this works out so I can write my personal experiences here in Kuwait along with some random stuffs that interest me regarding middle east living particularly Kuwait.

I heard about this app already back in the days when I was an active blogger, I just didn't pay attention  then. So this is my chance to use this app and see for myself how handy this could be.

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