The true meaning of a vacation

A vacation for me is not about doing as many different entertainment activities as possible. My vacations used to be stressful because I always thought that I am on vacation and I shouldn't waste my time on sleeping, relaxing and wasting time. I thought it was about utilizing time as much as possible.

But not any more.

This vacation, I decided to do two things, do whatever I wanna do as they come without overthinking about who to meet, when to meet and where to meet, what to do, when to do, and where to do.

So what was the first step?

Drop the watch.

You can't believe how relieving it is to live a day without having any sort of commitment to time. Without worrying about getting to finish a task before a certain time.

In those 2 days, I never made any commitment to see anyone. I always tell my friends to call me and i just keep updating them on my location like a GPS device.

So what have I done during my first day here?

Walk, walk, and walk. Yesterday I have walked a distance equivalent to what I would walk in KSA for 3 days. I started my day with a bagel of cream cheese and hot chocolate from TIM HORTONS.. I kept shouting in my mind: "TIMMMMMMMMMMYYYYYYYYYs....." oh how much I missed TIM HORTONS. I am definitely buying their coffee and bring it back to me to KSA (looool, I don' even drink coffee)

It took me a couple of minutes to try and remember the bus system. Ok, take bus 29W to south common mall. oh, South Common Mall is still the same. Not much has changed. I spent 9 months taking the 26 bus from sheridan transport to my college. The whole trip lasted 45 minutes. I then took 1E dundas to stop by Hurontario Street & Dundas.

Later, I went to square one and just walked and walked and walked. My friend called me and we went to watch the spain vs russia game in JACKASTOR's...a pub next to Chapters in Square one. Oh man at Chapters, I remember the days where I was bored and I used to sit all alone by myself hide in a corner and read the books inside the bookstore before the owners kick me out at 9 when they close. hehehehehe

Watching the game was fun, especially when you always have smiling waitresses who enjoy doing their jobs, no matter how clumsy you can get when you get superexcited and spill the jug of beer all over your friends and all over her. She doesn't complain. She smiles back, cleans the table and the floor and adds the icing on the cake with the wink telling you: "this one is free of charge". You can't help but be very generous in your tip especially since she constantly kept supplying me SPRITE refills. I drank about 4 cups of SPRITE that my friends thought I am getting drunk on SPRITE.

3-0 was the ending result. Celebrations all over the street. We drove to streetsville, bought a couple of jerseys, screamed and cheered with spanish fans who we don't know. People thought we were spanish because we were wearing spain jerseys (except me :( ) and because of our super hyperactivity in our celebrations.
Later, we went to an Italian restaurant to try their veal sandwiches. As usual, my rooomate and his friends kept making fun of the italian team and how they 'choked' in this competition. I was siding with the waitress and her friend who were making our sandwiches till I discovered that they were InterMilan fans.

What I still don't understand is how do all girls we asked (the ones we know and the ones we don't know) find Sergio Ramos to be the cutest guy on the spanish team.

I didn't do much later. Went home, chilled for a bit. Then asked my friend to drop me in ERIN MILLS mall. The mall that I usually visit to do all my shopping errands. Had to buy the things that I forgot to bring with me like a hairbrush, and a travel adapter plug for all the electronics i have from the Middle East.

Oh man, here I was, walking again through ZELLERS, WAL-MART and SEARS. Lol at Wal-Mart. I just remembered the campaign I did 2 years ago where I vowed to myself to try all the different candy types they have on those 3 different aisles. It took me over 5 months to try all of them. But hey I did it. am I Crazy? guilty as charged. My favourite ones are the sugary jelly worms

As I left the mall, the sun was setting. I wondered what time it is. and for the first time in this day, I loook at my cellphone clock. It said 9:10 p.m. Wow, the sun is still up at 9:10 p.m?

Went back home, tired and exhausted. I didn't feel like doing anything. I guess I still didn't shake the effects of jetlag yet. I played a couple of FIFA 2008 games with my roomate on his xbox 360 (yep, he still has it) before I decided to call it a day.

I woke up half an hour ago. Its 9 a.m as I write this. My legs are hurting me. I guess it is from all the walking I did yesterday. Its ok, I am gonna walk more and more. Oh how much I miss walking. Let's see what this day will unravel for me. :)

Readmore »»

The Milestone of this year

I can't believe that almost a month passed since I wrote anything.

I acknowledged the fact that i had a blackhole growing inside of me. Now whether this is associated with depression or not, I don't know coz I didn't feel i was depressed and I had many joyful moments. Unless my situation is so bad that I am depressed but I didn't know about it.

So what was going on with me lately? I had mentally blogged in my head many topics.

I could have talked about the hectic week from 31st of May to 4th of June where we had our annual meeting. An event that took more than 2 months of organization in order to prepare for hosting over 102 ministers coming from over 56 Islamic Member Countries. The Main conclusion of that meeting was establishing the Jeddah Declaration where 1.5 Billion Dollars will be dedicated to solve the Food Crisis in the Muslim World.

I could talk about my role as an event manager for one of the seminars hosted by a partnering organisation regarding "Corporate Social Responsibility". I could talk about the poor attendance of the seminar where only 30 or 35 ppl showed up and where I was the only representative from my workplace. I could talk about the embarassing moment when the President of the organisation approached me to ask me that the Directors in his organisation are very interested in meetng our Experts in the Consultancy & Procurement Department. He asked me how big and how many people we have in the Procurement & Consultancy Department. I was too embarassed to say that we only have one person and i managed to divert the topic to something else.

I could talk about the humiliation and the lack of organisation that resulted in having the secretaries and general staff storming and filling the Lunch Buffet leaving the High Delegates and VIP guests standing outside waiting in a queue for a vacant place to sit & eat. That's assuming that there were any food left.

I could talk about what was stressing me for last two weeks in which I have to decide on where to spend my next rotation at work. I shortlisted two departments. Structured Finance Department is a small and growing department with alot of potential. The exposure and learning experience is extremely high. However, the working environment is hostile. Colleagues are not that friendly. There is no sense of teamwork and people tend to work in silos. As for Treasury Department, the situation is mysterious. The whole department has a big question mark over it. They say they are going through a reform and they need to change the way they handle investments. It looks interesting, assuming I won't be in for some shocking surprises.

but all this does not matter. What matters is that I am going through a great moment these days. I finally managed to complete my 1000 piece jigsaw puzzle. You can find the final picture here:

I started working on it 15 months ago. Long time definitely but what matters is that I finished it. It took me 2 months to assemble 60% of it which is the lower part. The upper part (which is the sky) took me all the time because assembling it was extremely hard. all the pieces looked almost the same. It was so hard to distinguish them that i could not use normal room light to differentiate between the pieces. The only time I could work on them was using sunlight. i.e. only during weekends from 10 to 2 (since I have work during weekdays).

Nobody can imagine the overwhelming sensation I felt as I put the last piece. I made this puzzle represent my life where each day I'd piece one piece in it so that i discover myself in it. I used to wake up every morning to look at it and give me the boost to start my day. Finally, the day came where i completed it. Nothing is impossible after all.

I would like to thank all those who have given their support during this period. Regarding the vacation that many of you told me about, I will be taking it next week. I will be going to Toronto for 3 weeks. It'll be definitely a change for me. I am tired of hanging around the close-minded stubborn arabs here. It will be good to hang around foreign people for a change and to re-enjoy the services and the efficient system of Canada. It might not be a full vacation as I have many things on my to-do list. One of them could be roaming the subways in search of a 5 month pregnant woman with Arabic features reading a book titled: "notes from underground". [hint hint at a blogger :P]

Readmore »»