In case any of my non-existent reader wonders why I have not blogged for weeks, the reason is because I am on vacation in Singapore. This time I'm staying for 3 weeks and will leave by early December (Already I'm in the second week).
The pampering and comfortable life in Singapore provides a temporary repreive from the low standards of living in North Africa.
Take the example of water, tap water is safe to drink here. The quality of the water doesn't cause skin and scalp issues.
Or the water-heater. At home I get warm water for shower on demand 24 x 7.
At our guesthouse in Cheraga, the water-heaters had been conspiring to breakdown just when winter is coming. Freezing showers was becoming the norm because the hot water tends to get cut off halfway during the shower.
Before I left, I sent for the plumber who had no idea how to fix the problem. Meanwhile, the company deemed it cost ineffective to replace the unit. It just told us to share whichever heater is still working. They must think we are already very fortunate because the Algerians do not even get water everyday!
Interesting isn't it? A country that is steep in the Islamic faith and God seems to be turning his back.
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Cest La Vie
Anyway, I've been busy, very busy. There are so many personal errants to run.
Personal financial planning issues requires some attention especially after being away for months. Islamic countries frown upon insurance and interest so the money never grows and life is cheap. Lebanon is an exception but interest rates there cannot beat inflation and insurance cost like hell.
I've also been exercising regularly to reduce a little weight. Back in Algeria, the environment was not conducive enough. There is no place to jog without being harassed by the jobless bumps hanging along the streets day and night.
Partly, I'm at fault for not keeping a healthy dietary regime and the weight has been piling up. My intention is to kickstart a healthy habit of regular exercise and dieting while on vacation and bring it back after vacation.
Vacation is about meeting up friends and doing enjoyable things together. After being a third world recluse for months, I have no intention of excessive partying and binge drinking. Probably because I find no lack of alcohol in my guesthouse inventory anyway.
I still enjoy feasting and dining with friends. I believe that a little management on the ordering side will not be detrimental to my weight reduction plan. Nothing beats sitting down for food and drinks with likeminded friends while we reminisce the good old days, speculate the future or sometimes just resort to plain o'bitching about things under the sun.
But the best of all, family time! It's nice to come home and play with my nephews. All three are growing up fast and full of life's energizing zest!
It's heaven to laze around the house and be in the midst of family and relatives and the world of free food and clean laundry on demand. =D
Life is good...
Wednesday, November 21, 2007
Friday, November 09, 2007
Photo with group B
That's it, I have completed my part in the Freshmen Training Camp teaching 4 classes of about 30 students (31 Oct & 3, 4, 6 Nov) about marketing & TWSM.
I didn't want to lecture the entire day, so I planned the program to be a half day lecture and half day workshop. Still, it was exhausting as I had to talk almost the entire day. In the workshops, opposing teams sometimes can't see eye to eye and I have to play pacifier.
So workshops are just as tiring but they can be very fun too. There's a lot of brainstorming and teamwork.
Workshops are great for judging people too. Sometimes, I get a glimpse of occasional talent or leadership potention in several quiet and unassuming freshmen. Several of the better educated and outspoken ones ("You know I have a Masters degree?") seemed very self assured ("Don't I deserve more points for completing the task first.") but upon further evaluation, turned out to be just as clueless as the rest.
Next round, I'll plan a 2 hours lecture and workship for the rest of the day so that I don't have to work so much. Ha! Continuous improvement!
Class photos (Group C)