Friday, October 27, 2006


so my boss emails back saying that Saudi Arabia was the only region to submit on time. He copied in the GM and the rest of the team. Apparently everyone else was busy with Eid (Hmm...I WONDER WHY!) LOL. That's happens when you hire a nerd, hehehe. Actually, the whole team here in Saudi is just super. I am so happy to belong to such a team!!

Go Cisco KSA!!!!

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

It's a good thing that "be popular" is not in my job description. I am quickly becoming The B****. some people don't appreciate you calling them to get something done during Eid when they are with their families. LOL

HELLO! PEOPLE, it's not like I don't have a life! (Well, I don't, but thats not the point) It's not my choice. You get a task and a deadline. It has to be done. All I am doing to consolidating their input for a quick report.

hehehe, ok so it's not as bad as I make it sound. Everybody is actually pretty nice. I guess they are used to this. I just feel bad.

Monday, October 23, 2006

UW Convocation

I attended my convocation ceremony on Saturday. Suffice to say, I was impressed. Despite the slight boredom of waiting to hear other 799 names of people who graduated at the same time, it was quite exciting. The formality of it all makes it all so official! Being a systems-girl, I also had to be impressed by how organized it was. All what we graduates got was a quick brief before the ceremony. Everything else was organized by the university itself. I would like to express my gratitude to everyone involved it making it a smooth success!

We rented the gowns two hours before the ceremony. An hour and a half later, we started filing into the auditorium. My parents were inside already. My dear mother was taping everything on video. The funniest thing in the video was how looking around for them in the crowd. My mother was actually able to capture my expression the second I spotted them. LOL. It was like “Yay! Yay! I can see you!!” Hehehe. When we got to our seats, we remained standing until the faculty, dean and chancellor all came in as well.

The speech was disappointingly rather mundane. The message was something along the usual lines of seizing the day and looking up to our future. I don’t know what I was looking for, but it seemed irrelevant since most of us already know what our plans are and where our future is heading. I guess if it was least delivered with more gusto, it would have been delightful. Maybe I am being picky because I delivered the graduate speeches in high school and my undergraduate school and I know how it can more inspiring :P

The coolest thing is that I was hooded by Mike Lazaridis, the founder and CEO or RIM – the company which created the Blackberry. He’s like the Canadian Bill Gates. Fantastic! I met him before but it was nice having a 10-second private conversation about the future up on the stage with him =)) That was definitely inspiring!

I was hoping that my parents weren’t too bored because I was there chilling and joking around with my old classmates. It was lovely seeing some of them again. It reassured me that some of the friendships I built over the last years were strong and are going to last for a long time.

We had a private reception at CBET later on with some of our professors. I got to meet my friends’ parents as well. Too bad I missed on the tempting canapés because I was fasting :P In the end it was hard to say good bye again to my closest friends again =( Nevertheless, we made DRAFT plans for the summer.

I returned to Toronto with my parents. They then took me, my dear friend Veva and her friend from Duke University out to dinner at Spring Rolls, my favorite restaurant in Toronto =)))

Most people don’t necessarily prefer the company of their parents. Not me, though. My parents are some of the coolest, smartest, funniest people I ever knew :P I enjoy their company anytime, anywhere for however long! Even my friends enjoyed having dinner with them =) We talked about everything, from the most intellectual issues to the funniest jokes. All while taking pleasure in delicious food. It was the perfect end to a perfect day…

The ironic part is where many want to be as far away as possible from their parents but are stuck, I am a person who want to always be by their side but it seems fate always separates us. I haven’t been able to see them for over three weeks. They had to fly to Canada for me to be able to spend some time with them. It was very hard to have to leave them there. The reason is that they were continuing on to Paris for some business.

Sigh…Anyhow. The quick trip to Toronto was awesome. I was able to meet someone at the Cisco office there for a project I’m working on. During the day I was working in the hotel or the coffee shop, while at night I caught a show at my favorite stand-up comedy club. God, I love Toronto. I sure will miss it =)

I wish all my siblings and friends were there with me. I’m on my way back to be with you for eid!

This concludes the MBET chapter of my life. I guess I have to renovate the design of my blog now!

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

In Frankfurt Airport

Could it be? Can I turn my back on Heathrow? Heathrow, my first love, the shopping sanctuary with the luxurious BA lounge? Oh my, it looks like it. My last couple of experiences with Heathrow have been very sad. Whether because of tightened security measures or because of mean BA employees or even because it’s simply so huge!

This is the second time in Frankfurt, however, this time it’s for three hours. I got invited to stay in the business lounge by a friend, but it turns out Lufthansa has stopped allowing visitors. As a result, I took my time to explore this new maze.

I arrived very early in the morning so as you can expect, it can be a little intimidating. Especially with the language barrier. Nevertheless, it turned out to be sooo much more easier to deal with than Heathrow. That ‘tension’ isn’t there. Here, I’m not worried of making a wrong turn then being accused of being a terrorist. But the best part is yet to come.

“Al dunya arzag”
Rough translation is that life has ups and downs. One day you are getting a royal first-class treatment, the other, you are another mundane traveler searching for any corner to lie down. Today is one of the latter days. Thanks to company policy, all employees fly economy class. Eventually, when you build enough miles, you get to stay in the lounge. Till then though, I am going to be one of those unfortunate travelers you find sprawling across two or three seats in airports. LOL

Here comes the reason why I suddenly fell in love with Frankfurt Airport…..

Next time you stop in Frankfurt for a couple of hours, go to the area between terminal A and B. If you arrive in terminal A, you will have to take the train to B and C. When you get there, start walking towards B. Suddenly, to your right, you will find chaise-lounge (sp?) chairs!!! Halleluiah!!!

It was like a dream…ma3goola? I can…rest my back?! How…THOUGHTFUL of them =))) You don’t have to pay $$$$$ for a business/ first class ticket to deserve to be treated like a human being. Oooh, I could have hugged whoever thought: “Hey, why don’t we install a couple of COMFORTABLE chairs, instead of normal airport let’s-test-your-back’s-endurance chairs, for people who might have to wait a couple of hours!”

So, this post is dedicated to that person. You, who had the brilliance and foresight to install those FREE chairs, thank you and god bless =)

p.s. I love wireless!

Monday, October 16, 2006

Home is where the heart is, right? But, where is my heart?

Aha. So to all of you JEALOUS people, thanks A LOT. Muscat plan has been canned.

My family called me up and explained how tragic it would be if I miss another Eid away from them. I tried convincing them to JOIN me in Muscat, but to no avail. Sigh.

It’s not so bad really, I’ll be diving the whole week in Jeddah =)

I'm leaving to Toronto tonight. Going for a meeting there, then attend my convocation (graduation) ceremony on Saturday. I am sooo looking forward to it. I miss my MBET ppl!!! It's going to be so much fun. It would also be wonderful to see Waterloo again.

I wonder if it would hard to leave again.
I hate airports.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Making Eid plans!

Many of you know how boring and sad it is to eat futoor by yourself, I have a suggestions on how to change that in 5 minutes!

For the last couple of days, I have been trying to plan my eid trip. Orginally, I was going to go on a business/ convocation trip back to Canada. I booked a flight back to Jeddah the night before eid so I can be with my family. Low and behold, I discover that my family will ALL be out of town. My choices to join them ranged between Cairo, Paris and London. :S That sucks. I checked out where my friends are going and my options expanded even further to Canada, USA, Cardiff, beirut and Jordan! Sigh...more options and non of which I like.

Then, it occured to me. Why don't I do what I REALLY want? There has been a couple of places on my mind which I have been thinking about. New places that I have never been before. I always wanted to go to those Arabic countries I have never visited! Suddenly, I had MORE options, non of which my FRIEDNS liked! LOL. I want to go to either Tunisia, Morocco or Oman.

So, today during my alone time with my salad and frozen lasagne, I decided. Oman it is!!! Thanks to a certain
blogger who once visited this fantastic place and I have been curious ever since! It's an awesome hotel, plus the choice of activities are exciting! Scuba diving in the Indian Oceans (hello sharks!), Horseback riding into the desert, ATV name it! The you come back to a luxurious hotel and treat yourself to world-class spa treatments.

So, I went ahead, called them up and booked three nights =) I told anyone who would like to join should confirm by tomorrow before 6pm.

Hehehe, suddenly my lonely futoor wasn't lonely no more. I kept getting so many calls! (from excited friends or confused parent LOL either way I was getting calls left and right :P)

So, people, moral of this post is, if you are lonely, think of an absolutely NEW place to go for Eid and suddenly you will be extremely popular for 30 minutes!!!


Monday, October 09, 2006

thoughts in Riyo...

I apologize for disappearing like that. I apologize to my family for barely having the time for them. However, I won't apologize to the world for living exactly how I like it =)

I know many will critisize how much I am dedicated. How I am not 'balancing' my professional and business life. How staying late and working weekends is not healthy.

How wrong they are. LOL. All that is unhealthy if you are unhappy, if you are compromising your personal relationships and if you are physically stressed out.

For me, this is what gives me self-satisfaction. Being single has its advantages, such as being selfish. I won't lie and say that I am not thinking about settling down. But not right now, I work too much, I travel too much and I think too much. I need a while to build myself here.

It is after that I will take a chance on someone, hope they are at least somewhat understanding, then find that elusive balance between a successful career and a happy relationship.

It is not easy dealing with my family, especially with a 'suitor' popping up every once in a while. Everytime I have to re-evaluate my life decisions. How can I be wrong when I am so happy? Will marriage really bring me happiness? Am I too demanding and selfish to think I can get both?