(I was channel surfing when I saw the nose-to-nose scene by Filipinos from a talent show over The Filipino Channel. As part of the culture, you might see Gulf men greeting each other by rubbing noses.)
I was, of course, beaming when I was sent to a (getting popular) structured cultural awareness workshop. I’m now a little over three years living (and working) in Abu Dhabi and you might ask isn’t it too late? When an expatriate or any non-national goes to another country, it’s a given that one must orient himself in many possible ways before landing in a foreign land. Especially when one crosses borders to augment and/or explore the workforce. It’s specially tricky in the UAE because it’s not simply dealing with the UAE Nationals; it actually means dealing with different Arabs and Muslims + the other nationalities. Configure the equation that not all Arabs are Muslims, not all Muslims are Arabs, and all the other nationalities could either be Muslims or not. Hence, when I was picked to attend the “proper” cultural awareness workshop, there was so much wooooow painted in my heart and face. I just really find it interesting to learn about new culture, everyday there’s always a new discovery.
I’ve started reading Errornomics, one of the previous birthday presents I got. It talks about why we make mistakes and what we can do to avoid them. It’s an enjoyable read and although I’m still 200+ pages to the end, I’ve already exclaimed “Aha!” plenty of times. Since I’m still miles away to making a book review, I just want to share the specific learning points that I’ve “tested” or realized.
As we look for things, we don’t always see.
This morning, we were in Lulu Hypermarket to do the weekly groceries. We intentionally went in during the peak hour to test one theory. Apparently, handedness is the best predictor of a person’s directional preference. Hence, most people who are right handed, like me, tend to look at the right when searching for the shortest lines for people at stores, banks, and the like. At the supermarket today, as we were about to pay, I checked the queues at the left first. Really short!
(Boxing in Ilustrado, a story of murder mystery punctuated with serious philosophical musings. The novel traces 150 years of Filipino history, posing questions about identity and art, exile and duty.)
I’m starting to lose faith in me whenever I’d say that I’m not going to buy another book until I’m done with my pending reads. I’m thankful to those who gifted me books for my last birthday. That way, fate finds a reason to bless me with fresh reads. The challenge with having to deal with pending reads is that I have the tendency to embrace the LIFO (last in, first out) methodology. Anyway, I dropped by in my most favorite bookstore in the UAE and was not able to resist buying Ilustrado which was authored by our very own Miguel Syjuco. It has been listed by New York Times as one of the 100 notable books of 2010.
(We were flipping the pages of this free teaser magazine while waiting for the 4:30 PM screening of The Karate Kid last Saturday.)
I think that it is odd that I got surprised when I learned that the third installment of the Twilight Saga, Eclipse, is going to be shown in the cinemas soon. I mean, I used to be very informed of anything Twilight related. While it is debuting on the 30th of June in most of the countries, we got the 8th of July playdate here. It is odder that I did not take it as a big deal like when I did when the first installment was shown here few days late. Really, the delay strained my patience and even pained my sleep. I even made pre-screening preparations like re-reading the book, having the ticket in advance, at a minimum. It is interesting though that there is going to be an advanced screening (which is rarely happening in the UAE) of Eclipse on 1st of July. The oddest thing was that I did not even consider that. Wow, I think I have matured a lot (*facepalm*).