Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Trapped in the 13th floor

I found myself trapped in my apartment's elevator this morning. I was on my way to work when the lift (that's how the British call elevators) decided to go crazy and take me for a terror morning ride. I was trapped in the 13th floor (what a number right?!) with the lift's door only partially open.

I was on my way down when the lift suddenly bolted up instead of down. The indicator lights for the 14th and 15th floors lit up so I thought someone must have pushed that button before I boarded to lift. Then suddenly I felt a large jerk. Then the doors opened about 2 inches then stopped. That was when I realized I was stuck!

Trying not to get myself in a panic mode I began to push the open button. I dared not to push any other button as it might cause more problems. I pushed the alarm button to signal to the outside world that I was trapped. I had my phone and started to think of people to call for a rescue. Unfortunately I didn't have any of my apartment's maintenance people saved in my phone book.

It started to feel extremely hot after several minutes. I realized that the ventillation system wasnt working and if it werent for that tiny open slot i would have been suffocated for lack of air. My arm was already starting to numb from pressing that darn alarm button (it would turn off whenever I pull my finger out). After a few more minutes I saw an Indian guy pass by. I yelled for him to notice me. He looked lost first and finally noticed my voice. He was kind enough to call for help downstairs to the main security post. 10 minutes later two guards came to rescue me out. The two gentlemen were the guards I have come to befriend in the condo. Every morning we would say hello. When they saw me trapped there, they immediately rescued me out.

They had to pry the doors open with a wrench. That tiny slot saved my ass again. For had there been no opening, I would have had to wait for a technician to show up since the guards wont be able to pry it open at all.

It was 20 minutes of hell. By the time I got out I was sweating like a pig. The guards escorted me down and for a few moments there I actually contemplated on taking the stairs instead. I was so grateful to my two superheroes.

I used to just hear stories about people being trapped in elevators. Now I know how it feels like. And its a feeling I don't want to ever repeat again. Sana man lang may gwapo dun sa loob ng elevator diba?

Another misadventure in the life of an expat. It makes you realize--life is indeed full of surprises.

Chocolate Memories

"Life is a box of chocolates, you never know what you're gonna get."

Forrest Gump once said this words to a stranger sitting beside him. When you think about it, its really true-- life is indeed full of surprises like that of opening a chocolate box. And even though the chocolate you have in front of you is actually one flavor, each bite is a surprise.

Staring at a worn toblerone box last night, I remembered the happiest day of my vacation. At the same I remembered that that day was also the saddest because it was the day of goodbye.

Life is like that in a way- full of ironies and twists of faith. Hello's and goodbyes always go hand in hand and Happiness and sadness will always be partners. And like eating chocolate, it gives you a high that leaves you feeling low once the sugar crashes your system.

But you'll always most definitely will remember the happy moments.

I hang on to those happy memories these days.
I hang on to them for dear life
Until the day I can relive them again
Until that day,
I'll look at my toblerone bars and smile.
And remember...

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Ariantart's visit

Yesterday I had my first visitor for 2008-- Arian. We were orgmates in college and while she was still an applicant she became my sort of "adopted buddy" by virtue of her being Peter's buddy. Through the years weve remained in contact. We've never forgotten each other during the important dates like birthdays (she shares the same birthday with peter) and holidays. We even got to play badminton once or twice. She was like a little sister to me in MMC.

So yesterday she came over for an overnight visit on her way back from Melbourne to Manila. We went around KL to explore some of the city's highlights. Of course there was the traditional trek up the skybridge of Petronas and the "must" stop to buy vincci shoes. We walked around Merdeka square and took pictures around the city's well known landmarks.

It was nice to reminisce with her about our old college adventures. Ang dami na palang kinasal, ikakasal, nagbreak, nagkabalikan, nagbreak muli, etc. After a long day of nonstop walking, we took her to Kinrara to introduce her to malaysian streetfood.

Till the next visitor...

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

24 hours

If you had only 24 hours left to live, how would you like to live it?

Some people do not know the value of one day. They take it for granted. I almost did. Fortunately Ella reminded me of how special 1 day was. On my last day in Manila, I spent a few hours bitching over the fact that I couldn't do the things I want because of duties. And although it was childish and fickle, I was really so annoyed that I was "losing" my last day to just waiting in traffic and lining up in empty hallways.

Then I realized that I still had the rest of my 24 hours to live. By being annoyed and bitchy I was depriving myself the chance of being happy on my last day. So I did the next best thing-- I enjoyed what was left of my 24 hours and created memories to last me through until my next trip home.

In the final 24 hours I...

... played badminton with my original badminton group-- CUBES at Chut's. Had a blast playing with the boys once more.
... partnered with an old friend in a mixed doubles game that reminded me of my old form-- despite the long hiatus of our old partnership, he still brings out the competitive side in me.
... became friends again, even for a few minutes with someone. Kahit isang saglit.
... met up with the p10 girls for a traditional shakey's dinner of our favorites-- pepperoni crunch, basket of mojos, chicken and chips, and captain's choice of appetizers.
... paid a visit to enzo and Kim. took gazillions of pics again of our beloved inaanak and made some last minute chikka about our lives.
... played pusoy dos with my cousins after almost 10 years of hiatus. We used to have pusoy dos challenges when we were younger with our own scoring system to match. Ves used to win those games hands down. Until now she remains the champ.
... met some long lost relatives whom I haven't seen in ages.
... ate crispy ulo from baliwag's lechon and bought sweet corn from ateneo.
...called ella one time to many to update her about my whereabouts and doabouts-- I will miss our telebabad nights again.
... bonfire grill with divina, tetet, and jai. I didnt feel like "emoting" at home so I decided to show up to the post shakey's hangout.
... had my final eat out with idol at Figaro in sgt. esguerra. He treated me to a cup of freshly brewed coffee and a small chocolate cake-- this was tradition-- something Idol and I haven't broken (technically). He's always the last person I go out with every time I am home.

As I Anthony and I were leaving Figaro, I felt a twinge of nostalgia and regret. Idol gave me a box of toblerone chocolates (like the ones he gave me back in September) and we finally said our final goodbye. Weren't it for the realization that my mascara wasn't waterproof, I was literally on the verge of crying. Because at that moment it finally hit me-- that that was goodbye. I was going back to Malaysia the next day.

The tough part about going home I guess is leaving again especially when you've come to realize how much home meant. It would be a while again before I could just make a quick call to ella and classmate adrian and just say out of the blue, "tara lunch out tayo!" or have one of my late night dinners with Luis and Byo at Eastwood or tease idol in person while sipping our favorite cups of coffee (winnie the pooh and honey pie!hehehe) plus seeing weevens cringe with "imbyerna" whenever we speak about the soulmates RQ and V(Q?)

But still I'm happy. I'm happy I had 21 beautiful days. And I had 24 final hours to relish each one of those days.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Coffee-Hyperiffic day

I used to be a noncoffee drinker. I used to hate the smell of coffee so much that I would even ask Banjo back in college not to drink it while I was around. Ganon ko siya kaayaw. But through the years I learned to occasionally drink it until I discovered coffee in the UK. Ever since my UK trip, I've turned into a new coffee lover.

Last monday I experienced my first real coffee high. hahaha. I was literally in hyper mode the whole day thanks to the multiple coffee stops idol (a.k.a. winnie the pooh) and I made the entire day while working on his "baby" aka "thesis." We had breakfast in mcdo followed by coffee in starbucks. Then we had lunch at Dencio's (where I had coke) followed by tea in Figaro. By the time we got to Figaro in commonwealth I was in extra hyper mode already.

Yesterday I was in day 2 of my hyperrific coffee day. I don't know what was in the coffee at idol's house but after I cup I was in hyper mode na. To shut me up, he gave me his discussion chapter to read. hehehe. Di pa kami nadala, nag figaro pa uli kami while waiting for welibird to come out of class. More hyperness. hehehe. By the time we were eating lunch I was in my extra makulit mode already.

Thus when I got home last night I felt the sugar crash in my system.. plakda! After my chikka with ella, I was asleep faster than one could count from 1-10. hehe.

The hyper mode worked though coz we did manage to get a lot of work done. Kaya dapat matapos na yang thesis na yan.. para yung libre ko matuloy na. hehehe.

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Celebrating the New Year in Davao

I'm here in Davao City for the New Year. My uncle was very gracious to invite us to spend some quality time with the rest of the family which includes my 86 year old grandparents, 2 sets of aunts and uncles, 4 cousins, and a brand new niece. Although I visited Davao right before I moved to Malaysia, it has been years since I got to celebrate the holidays here. When I was a kid, we used to go to Davao every Christmas. And growing up was filled with fond memories of our "family reunions."

Although definitely "older," we were like our old selves still. We had the traditional dinner in the 27 year old dining table with Papa and Mama at the helm. Gone is children's table since we all fit in the big table now but all the jokes and food are the still very much the same. We went to Paradise Resort for our traditional trip to the beach and ate our ever favorite calamares (now with Beer on the side! haha). Tryke, Kaye, Ves, and I swam our hearts out in my favorite beach of all time. I discovered that I wasn't totally hopeless in swimming as I could actually float in the seawater. I made a pact with Kaye that next Christmas, I'm coming back for my diving lessons courtesy of my cousin the dive master.

New Year's eve we went to Merco to eat our favorite ice cream dessert. When we were young we used to dare each other in ordering the "choo choo train" their humongous dessert. Pippin was the one we successfully dared that time who actually vomitted after eating too much ice cream. Pippin was our baby cousin then. Now he's a college student (and now I feel old! hahaha). Ves and Mikko ordered their ever favorite chocolate parfait (our favorite) while Kaye had the banana boat (2 scoops of ice cream as compared to the three scoops that comes with the Banana split... kaya boat lang siya.). I on the other hand finally succumbed to my halohalo craving and ordered my most missed dessert. Merco was on a christmas sale and everything was either buy one take one or 50% off. So I partnered with tito mannie so that I dont have to eat two orders of halohalo (kundi goodluck my diet naman diba?).

This reunion introduced us to the newest baby of the Llaneza clan-- Kikay, Mikko's cute baby girl. I met kikay when she was just about a month old last year but now 1 year later, she's as bubbly as ever. She loves to dance and smile. She's afraid of statues and giant bears but once accustomed to them she warms up nicely. She enjoys being carried by me and we bonded over goats and our penchant for headbanging while giggling together.

Then there's Pips and Happy-- my uncle's two dogs. Pips is an overweight golden retriever whose so lazy because he's so big. Last night he was too lazy to come and greet us in the porch from his post in the garden that he would only wiggle his tail to acknowledge hearing his name when we called him. Happy on the hand is the datschund with ADHD. I think he was injected with anti depressants or uppers. He can jump all day and all night without ever tiring himself.

Tomorrow were going back to Samal.. And saturday we'll be back home...

Kamusta na kya sina olie and annie?