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Wednesday, January 27, 2010


You're sitting in a pub with your friends, and suddenly a plan for an amazing trip comes up! You shout "yeeeey" in the middle of the place filled with excitement and then it all exponentially goes away because you remember the traumatizing fact that you need a "visa"! As much as this trip would be the most exciting plan you ever planned for, you still prevent yourself from getting too excited about it because fact is, you're Lebanese and getting the visa is like winning the lottery; chance plays a big role.
For almost 2 months, the idea of getting this Visa was more than a paranoia issue, i want to start planning, i want to get excited but all i'm trying to do is keep my feet on the ground so that i don't get too disappointed.

And the quest for the visa starts...

You have to be prepared, you have to know all the answers and all the places you're planning to go visit and which sandwich you're gonna pick up from the street... You gotta know which roof you'll be sleeping under so a road trip and backpacking around a country is not designed for you.

And you have to show you can afford it, which makes sense but since you need to apply several months in advance, well maybe your bank accounts can't speak for themselves yet and you need to start saving much earlier.
You should find ways to show you're not a terrorist and specify in an application that you're not planning to do any terrorist activity.
You have to look for people who would certify the reasons you're visiting and you need to be well prepared with evidence that you're not planning to do anything abiding by the law in the country you're visiting.

Then the real nightmare "fun" begins, you take an appointment which can be set after a couple of weeks, and be grateful if it was the second day.
When the appointment date arrives, you spend the night panicking, obsessing about the interview and prepare in your head all the answers to any possible question the interviewer might feel like asking.
You put on 3 alarms, ask all the people you know to make sure you wake up, well obviously you cannot take a risk of not showing up on time during the interview.

The moment of truth arrives and you reach the embassy... you wait in line, make sure you do not having anything on you (other than your pile of documents) and you get checked more than 3 times, and you need to explain to everyone why you wanna visit that country.
And then you sit in a waiting room, and you wait endlessly for your name to be called. You could be asked about anything, people you don't know can ask you very personal questions and you have to answer honestly. You have to show you're trustworthy of visiting their country. Sometimes you directly get the answer, sometimes you have to wait for a couple of weeks.
And when they give you a positive answer, you're filled with joy and start jumping and suddenly it hits you that you're actually going to travel. People congratulate you, and it just feels like graduation!

And now you have to hope than nothing interrupts your trip or cancels it because if you get a visa and don't use it then it's a negative point on your record. YOU HAVE TO GO NO MATTER WHAT!

And that's the easy part because what i described above is a happy ending, and just one scenario of more dramatic ones you can encounter in your life, like living with a visa rejection...

I think it's really unfair, i mean why do i have to give evidence of why i'm planning to visit a certain country while its citizens don't need to worry about visiting mine? Why do i have to feel that i need to celebrate getting a visa, when they should be glad i'm planning to spend my money in their country?!
Why would i have to plan for a trip 3 months in advance?
Why would people wish they had a foreign passport that would save them all this humiliation and feel like a normal human being?

And that doesn't end here...you have to hope that your trip goes smoothly and you don't more humiliated just because you're Lebanese. I leave it to a friend's article to explain more on what i'm talking about : HOW IT FEELS TO BE SECOND CLASS


Thursday, January 21, 2010

Update system...

I wish there was something that you can install in your system that sends alerts when a repetitive issue happens which you always handle wrong!Wouldn't it be so cool?? Most of the time we just need a reminder, a voice, an automated behavior that handles situations where we always wonder "why the hell do i keep doing this?".
Most of the time i blame it on my memory issues but it's much more than that...
For example, here's some of the things i wish become embedded in me so that i save myself some irriation from my own self:

In the Morning:
  • When the alarm rings , take it seriously  it and get out of bed… Snooze is not music and an hour and a half snoozing doesn't really make you sleep more!! Each snooze adds a little to that grumpy face you're gonna have in the morning
  • I will not die if I leave the house without having my coffee… I think preparing it is what wakes me up because most of the time I forget to actually drink it!
  • When you wake up early because you planned to go to gym the day before and packed your stuff and all, just get out of bed and go to the fucking gym!! You're not going to sleep more anyway and you're going to be pissed off the whole day because you didn’t!
  • Skip checking your email first thing in the morning…probably nothing major happened between 1 AM and 8 AM … it can wait few more minutes until real people send you stuff and not only spam and ads...
At Home
  • Home appliances do not regenerate... you need to interfere at some point to fix them!
  • The tv remote is not used to help you remember how to count from 0 to 100... going over the channels more than 3 times will not bring in anything interesting to watch...so either put on a DVD or shut the TV down.
  • A pile of clothes on the bed is not decoration…If you put them now in the closet it will save you some ironing later!
In Stores
  • Not every item displayed on a shelf is a necessity and is calling on you! Some things are really not going to be used so don’t buy them
  • Think about how much you want something before you buy it; it will not disappear, cause you death if you don't have it and it will not be the last item produced
  • You don't have to buy at least something everytime you shop!
In the Car
  • Two or three cars in front of you is not called "traffic", so don’t  try taking shortcuts that most of the time hold real traffic...
  • When your car needs fuel, it doesn't really understand that you're planning on giving to it…It's gonna stop at some point so don't postpone..
  • Washing your car is not a yearly ritural...When you start using tissues to open the door, go wash it!!
At the Gym
  • The couch and showers at the gym are not one of its specialities and are not the reason you went there... You can use them after you work out but not before or instead of working out!
  • If you realized you can't make it three times this week, doesn't mean you shouldn't at least go once! It's not all or nothing!!
  • The treadmill will not make you fat, so if u came late to a class or didn't find places then just use it!
So the list is not over yet, not even close... but i'm gonna have to stop now before i hit my head against the wall...

Saturday, January 2, 2010

It's that time of the year...resolutions!!!

I was just contemplating on the idea of whether or not i should think of my 2010 resolutions. so I started remembering my last year's resolutions to see if i can see any encouragements from what i did accomplish last year.

So 2009's resolutions were:
1. Stop smoking : it worked for 3 weeks only and then i went back to more smoking then i used to do before.
2. Gym : Well i don't know if i actually achieved this or not, since some months i go regularly and others i just get voted the best customer who pays and never shows up! (Can i get a point for charity?)
3. Less alcohol : hmmmm ignored
4. Start saving : I'm in more dept this year than i was last year so i guess that says it all
5. Stop postponing and leave everything to the last minute :  When while writing this, i just postponed more than 3 important things i was planning to do so i guess that's self explanatory...

Come to think about if, i guess i failed big time. Not only i didn't accomplish any of those resolutions but i think i made myself one major thing i need to work on this year. When i think about my 2009, and the good moments i had, with friends, at work, family, relationship and on the personal level, 2009 was a pretty good year. Yes there were lots of ups and down but all in all i shouldn't complain. Yet all i did this year was complain. Starts with my blog. I mean i started this blog to share more or less fun stuff, and all i can read is nagging and complaining. (look at me, i'm even nagging about it now)
So that's the only thing i'm gonna focus on this year. And no no these are not resolutions, even thought i decided that on 2/1/2010, yet its just what i can "a decision to change" that happened to start randomly on that day. It starts today and doesn't expire in 2011 (since it's not a new year's resolution obviously)
As for the other resolutions listed above, i'm also not going to put them on my to do list and start stressing out whenever a month goes by. I guess when i'm ready i'm ready. I will lead more of a healthy lifestyle, more gym, less alcohol and less smoking and when will try to be more organized in my life and financially but i wont put a lot of stress on that and mess the rest up!

So in the end, would like to say that my 2009 was a good year, even though i didn't really appreciate it until today, and i'm not gonna ruin this new year like i did with the previous one.
This year starts exceptionally good and will do my best to keep it this way!
And hope that i will succeed with my none resolutions! :D