Le Pinay in Dubai… :)

Welcome to my world! My happiness.. my favorite things… my travels… my journey… My life. :) I’m a rookie housewife in Dubai- trying to be a domestic goddess! “JOIE DE VIVRE” – (FRENCH for joie, “joy”; de, “of”; vivre, “living”; “THE JOY OF LIVING”) is a term sometimes imported into English to express a cheerful enjoyment of life; an exultation of spirit. Joie de vivre, as one scholar has written, can be a: JOY OF CONVERSATION, JOY OF EATING, JOY OF ANYTHING ONE MIGHT DO…

Cheated… Confessed…. Rewarded? November 3, 2008

Filed under: Priceless Snippets of my Life!,Uncategorized — joiedevivre79 @ 9:00 am
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Last night, I reminisced with a friend and realized that I MUST document my priceless memories and personal anecdotes… Here’s my first one:


I was a Sophomore in high school and one day, our class was given a surprise exam based on a story that we were assigned to read. Problem is, we didn’t do our homework! How on earth were we supposed to answer the questions if we hadn’t read the story in the first place?!

We all panicked.  Fortunately, “Ms. G”, our teacher, left the class briefly to go to the restroom. We instantly grabbed our books and copied the answers. Alas! We were too busy looking up the answers that we didn’t notice Ms. G watching us from across the room.  She stormed into our classroom and threw a fit… she was so angry, outraged… “monstrously MAD” if there’s such a word!!! She was yelling at the top of her lungs and gave us a very long sermon.

 

Then she screamed:

   “WHO AMONG YOU CHEATED?! STAND UP NOW!

   I SAID STAND UP!!!”


Well, I’m basically an honest person and after a while, my conscience was bothering me… so I gathered my wits and stood up, confident that my other classmates would follow my lead.

 

To my horror, nobody else stood up!!! And there I was, the only one standing up in the middle of about 50 students… the only one who admitted to cheating. You can just imagine how embarassed and scared I felt!

 

And then my teacher said…

     “Very good, Trina. I give you a PERFECT SCORE for your honesty. All the rest of you will   get zero.”

 

Wow. Unbelievable huh? It’s been 15 years since this happened, and it’s so enlightening to think about it now. Back then, I had a different perspective. But now, reminiscing about this makes me feel so good about being honest, courageous, and morally upright.

 

At 14 years old, I stood up… and it made all the difference.

Or shall I say… I MADE A DIFFERENCE.



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A Housewife’s Struggle with Bird Phobia :-O October 24, 2008

Filed under: All About Dubai,Confession Box,Uncategorized — joiedevivre79 @ 11:06 am
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(Cartoons edited from http://www.toondoo.com and sketchedout.wordpress.com - hope they wouldn't mind coz it would be too gross if I put actual pics to illustrate hehe)

I used to love birds…  In fact, when I was still a kid, I used to have lovebirds as pets.. until I had some really appalling experiences which led me to have this hounding fear of birds… especially dead ones. I’m actually tempted to enumerate those experiences but on second thought, I don’t want my readers to turn into ornithophobic themselves. Hehehe…

 

I was relieved to read online that there are other people suffering from the same fear.  I am so terrified of dead birds that I always jump whenever I “THINK” I see one (even had nightmares before). My hubby says its all in my mind coz 100% of the time, what I thought was a dead bird was never one (unless he just didn’t wanna tell me). For some reason, I’ve had a lot of encounters with dead birds (like bird falling on our windshield, twice!!! Good thing I wasn’t with my husband in the car when it happened the 3rd time! And that happened both in Philippines and Dubai).

 

And now that I’m married – and cooking everyday – it got worse… It became quite a struggle for me to cook chicken (weird huh..) after buying a frozen chicken which still had some bits of feathers left… To me, a chicken with some feathers makes it look more like a dead bird rather than a “main course”. When I saw it, I was alone in our apartment and I really felt like crying, but I had no choice but to cook our dinner.  It was so nasty that I wrapped my hands in plastic bags coz I couldn’t touch it.. ughh.. After that, I couldn’t eat chicken for days… We started buying skinless chicken in the grocery but that didn’t really make my chickenholic hubby very happy, hehe. Now, I have my husband inspect first if the chicken is totally clean before I even touch it. It’s his job to pluck the tiniest bit of feather left, harharhar… and I hardly eat chicken skin now… 😛

 

Here in Dubai, it irritates me that I see so many feathers around! Bird feathers on the streets, sidewalks, everywhere! So I always have to be extra careful when walking, lest I see or – God forbid! – step on a dead bird somewhere. It’s common here for PEOPLE to suffer from hairfall due to the quality of water and the climate…  but it’s quite surprising that birds suffer from falling feathers too. hehe. 

 

Anyway, I researched online, and the cure for this seems to be only thru hypnosis… Well I guess I’m not yet in such a bad state to go through that… no… uhmm… Am I? Hmm… 😛

 

Attempts at Lomography October 22, 2008

Filed under: lomography,Uncategorized — joiedevivre79 @ 11:51 am
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  LOMOGRAPHY = PERFECTLY imPeRFEcT!

I’m a newbie and I know I still have a lot to learn…

Just wanted to share some of my first shots from my Holga 135 and Fisheye2 cams. I took these using expired color films (learned it from one of the online forums)… but heck, I misunderstood… according to Jed (my lomo guru *wink*), I should have used expired SLIDE films (box says “chrome” instead of “color”). I can also have it developed using C-41 chemicals instead of the usual E-6… voila.. Cross Processing!   hmmm.. I’ll try that in my next lomo sessions. 😉

By the way, I definitely need a flash for my Holga.. which one can you suggest, Colorsplash Flash? Ringflash? and what’s this Holga Filter set? 

Hope I can shoot better pics in our Aussie trip next month 🙂 Would love to hear more tips. Thanks!

Ciao! 🙂

 

Eiffel Tower lights at night... Taken under the Eiffel while turning around.. Whewww, this made me dizzy! 🙂

 

A beautiful accident... double exposure

 

An alley in Stockholm

"Panis" in Filipino means "spoiled food"... hehe how cute 🙂

Eiffel thru Fisheye

 

Allergy attack… Looking for a Good Air Purifier :P October 19, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — joiedevivre79 @ 9:02 am
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Lately I’ve been having allergies and breathing difficulties… I haven’t eaten anything unusual, and I haven’t been going out at all… so there’s only one culprit… dust! And when I surfed online… I was so surprised to find out that “indoor pollution” is 5x worse than outdoor pollution… that includes microscopic dust, fumes from detergents, from cooking, from food, dust mites, and the list goes on and on…

I usually spend the whole day in our flat (with aircon on coz I didn’t want the dust from outside to get in), so I guess I’d been breathing all these indoor pollution the whole time 😦 no wonder it triggered my allergy.  Anyway, my hubby and I have been looking for an air purifier at different stores, but we couldn’t find any. I don’t need the big ones coz our flat’s small.

By the way, does the air purifier with leaf design and swishing water work? (pls refer to pic)… There’s a lot of brands with this same design… If this kind works for you, hope you can let me know what brand you use…

If anyone can suggest a good air purifier (available here in Dubai), please do let me know. Thanks! 🙂

 

Cruisin’ Together (Stockholm, Sweden) September 17, 2008

Stockholm was definitely a part of our itinerary for September 12-14… and I was kinda freaking out that we still hadn’t booked for the trip 2 days before our departure.. My hubby’s contact person wasn’t replying… some of his officemates wanted to join but were still undecided, etc… After about 2-3 days of pestering him with  “babe, can you please call up Viking Line…. now??” (coz I didn’t know his officemates’ arrangements), he finally gave in. And thank God for my persistence, coz we got the very last available cabin!!! It didn’t matter anymore that the cabin was below water level, as long as we could leave for Stockholm Friday…

 

Stockholm is very beautiful and has a different character than Helsinki… I’d say that Helsinki is “masculine”, and Stockholm very “feminine” in terms of architecture and charm. We had a limited time in Stockholm so we prepared an itinerary:

 

Gamla Stan (Old Town) – it’s a small island in the middle of Stockholm. I loved the old buildings and the little shops. Picturesque view! We also posed at Stockholm’s narrowest alley, Marten Trotzigs (less than a meter wide)… My hubby and I were joking that some eskenitas back in the Philippines were even narrower than this… 

             

 

 

Royal Coin Cabinet – we saw the largest coin in the world! Strange though, that it’s rectangular, almost like the size of a laptop… solid metal so it’s much, much heavier!

 

 

Royal Palace (Royal Crown Jewels, Royal Carriages, Royal Armoury  late 14th-18th century collections)

The Royal Palace has different museums, but we went only to the top 3 that interested us. I must have said “WOW!” a hundred times – each one louder than the previous – as I ogled the 15th century Royal Crowns, Scepters, Orbs, Knights (and horses’) Armours, royal clothes, boots, sleepwear.. and the Royal Carriages!!! I didn’t expect that they would actually look like the ones in fairy tales – with fabrics and threads of silver and gold! The gems on the crowns were unbelievable and must be worth hundreds of millions… the diamonds were huge (and so many!).. and the details very intricate. For example, from a foot away, you’d see a tiny dot on the crown… but if you peer closely, you’d realize that the tiny dot was a sculpted face, with a body, a crown and scepter with little jewels! Too bad we were not allowed to take pictures of the crowns… I just got myself 2 books on Royal Crown Jewels and Royal Armoury and Carriages… It was truly was an honor having seen those collections. It gave me goosebumps!!!

      

After that, we headed to a mall, then a small museum called “The Medieval Stockholm”, but after everything that we’d seen in the Royal Palace, we were bored with their stuff. We just went around the market stalls in the plaza and got some smoked cheese and marmalade cheese (yup cheese with marmalade mixed in it! Yum!), had some sausages, Dutch pancakes, coffee… and guess what, we found a Fisheye2 Lomo at a camera store along Gamla Stan… we just had to get it for our Paris trip, especially for the Eiffel Tower… yipee… 

Too late when we realized that we forgot to go to the Army Museum where the Viking collections were. I would have loved to go to the Museum of National Antiquities and Vasa Museum too if we had more time, but as hubby said, it was a reason for us to go back someday… I had a wonderful time in Stockholm, and I’ve fallen in love with the Royal Palace collections…

 

Holga Disaster September 12, 2008

Filed under: lomography,Uncategorized — joiedevivre79 @ 11:51 am
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Ok, I learned a very important lesson today…

Read instructions carefully, word by word… check – and recheck –  if you have understood it clearly until there’s no more room for error.

I mentioned before that it’s my first time to use the Holga 135, and I wanted to share some lomo pics from Helsinki… well, goodbye to my Helsinki shots… the whole roll was exposed… each and every shot I lovingly took… all because my hubby and I overlooked one important word — “bottom”.

The instruction said: Push and Hold the Rewind Button on the bottom of the camera. Spin the rewind crank clockwise until you feel the tension drop off.

There was a rewind crank on top (so we thought that was it!) and yes, we felt a tension while rewinding so we thought we were doing it right. And then there was no tension anymore… we opened the camera… it was too late when we found out that we had actually forced the film to snap out of the roll, exposed under our bright cabin lights… darn… 😦

I badly wanted to see those shots… they were supposed to be my “baby” shots… 36 wonderful Helsinki moments down the drain. Shucks.

 

Strolling around Helsinki September 11, 2008

The weather was nice yesterday… for the first time since our arrival, it didn’t rain! So I had the urge to go out and explore Helsinki alone. Armed with videocam, digicam, and my sweet Holga 135, I went out and clicked away… I hung on to my city map (and kept an extra one in my pocket- just in case)… It wasn’t very easy navigating my way to the tourist information and City Museum.. yes it was just about 10 blocks away, but it was hard reading maps with streetnames like Kalevagatan, Mannerheiminite, Pohjoisesplanadi, Aleksanterinkatu, Keskuskatu… I must have looked disoriented and hopeless as I peered closely into my map, that an old Finnish man approached me and asked if I needed help.  For a split second, I wondered if I should talk to him or not, but then I needed anybody’s help… so “YES!”. He was very kind to help me figure out where I was in the map (told ya Finnish people are very nice and friendly!).. so I finally found the City Museum and the Tourist Information Center. 

 

HELSINKI CITY MUSEUM (Free Entrance)

 It was a small museum, but very informative. I loved the old stuff displayed… we were only a few people so sometimes I would get a creepy feeling when I’m alone in a dark corner, surrounded by old stuff (though not as old or ancient as I wished), and some mannequins in old costumes… It was different in a way, that there’s an area dedicated to some “not-so-old” stuff…  things I kinda not expected to be displayed in a museum, like some not-so-old dentist chair and bicycles? I must have missed reading the special story behind it.. hmm…  Anyway, it was a good trip… 

 

 SEDERHOLM HOUSE (Free Entrance)

The map says “Visit the oldest house in central Helsinki from 1757… very interesting… it’s just near the huge white Lutheran Cathedral. I was expecting a really old house… but when I got there, it looked so new to me! The walls were newly painted… everything was intact… it was nothing like a 1757 house… the old soul in me was disappointed… (I grew up in the Philippines in an ancestral house made in the 1800’s, great condition, but it has maintained its antique look) so it hurts me that they have made this supposedly 250-yr. old house look new. But anyway, it’s still pretty… the house led to different rooms, showing pictures of Finnish festivities and celebrations. Apparently, Finns had lots of them (and they loved eating)! The house was like a maze, and again, gave me an odd feeling, being the only person in the second floor, amidst the old furnitures and costumed mannequins… so I walked around the rooms, hearing only the thuds of my boots (and an occasional suspense movie soundtrack in my head) and then… EEEEEEKKK!!! At the end of it was some huge, black, monstrous-looking creature (uhmm let me correct that, it was a HUGE, BLACK MONSTER, period.) hanging in the hall!!! I shrieked loudly (I was alone, remember?)… and was embarassed to see a Finnish man behind the wall… why the heck did they hang it there?!? Whatever it was, it’s my first time to see such a thing, maybe it’s a Finnish monster… Haha, I think I got it on my videocam, together with my shriek… hehehe…

 

KORKEASAARI  ZOO (12 Euros with boatride)

Well, the port was just a couple of streets away! So I thought, why not check out the schedules for the boat trip to the zoo… and what do you know, I  arrived exactly on time and had only about 5 seconds to decide if I’m coming or not.. and so, Miss Spontaneous jumped on the boat… And then it struck me, “why am I the only passenger here?”… The pretty Finnish assistant told me, “No, no! There are other guests!” and pointed to the lower dock… and there I found a couple sitting at the very end (obviously not wanting to be disturbed) hehehe… Oh well.. I should enjoy this trip… so we arrived at the Korkeasaari Island Zoo.. there were about 6-8 other people in that huge zoo… so just imagine going around (most of the time alone coz the other people are somewhere else)… sometimes there were beautiful peacocks walking around (at first I thought they accidentally got out of their cage, but I realized it was normal when I saw 3 of them perched on the restaurant porch).  

Of course they had camels, leopards, tigers, lions, etcetera… but what I really loved were the reindeers!!! As in SANTA’s reindeers!!! I loved watching them… (Ohh I haven’t mentioned, Santa Claus lived in Lapland, which is in North Finland… so I’m in the home country of Santa Claus!)

Going back to the zoo… ok, a couple of huge cages away was supposed to be some kind of owl. (Now I really have to tell you about my bird phobia… I had horror experiences with my pet lovebirds when I was a kid -i saw the birds die horribly- so I grew up disgusted with birds or anything with feathers, having nightmares, and for some reason, I usually encounter dead ones)…  Anyway… so this cage was supposed to have some kind of owl.. but I couldn’t see any… so I looked around some more (some animals are shy).. and I saw a big rock on the ground.. and saw something… I peered closer… and eeeekk… it looked like a mutilated bird.. so I thought… no it can’t be… it must be my imagination acting up again… I tried to convince myself that it wasn’t what I thought it was.. and ended up staring and staring at it… and it really was “that”… I don’t know… maybe it was the owl… or maybe it was the owl’s meal?! Ughhhhh!!! Well, there’s a saying that “what you resist, persists“, and the things that you absolutely abhor shows itself to you the more you resist it… It IS happening to me… !!! Ok enough of that, I must be grossing you out… Well, it was another experience to laugh about with my husband. Aside from the fact that I got lost in the zoo. I was diligently following the map and looking for the seals, when I got lost… It felt like I was in Blairwitch project hehe… it came to a point that it wasn’t interesting or funny anymore.. Later on I found out that I was walking on the other end of the island… behind the zoo! So the only way I could find the port entrance was to trace the edges of the island, praying that I’d end up back where I started… I was very thankful that I found my way back to the port, coz I read just now that the zoo island was 22 hectares. Whoaaah!!! Hehe… you must be thinking that I didn’t enjoy those trips… true I had some creepy moments, but well, that’s why it’s called adventure… it’s something to look back to and smile about. 

And so, I rode the ferry back to Helsinki. BRRRRrrrr… it was sooo cold.. but it was something I should embrace and experience while I’m here… so I sat on the top deck, and however uncomfortable, decided to enjoy the cold 10ºC air  …