04/28/2007 11:41pm - I AM PACKED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Nothing worse than having to stuff your life into a 4 tiny suitcases, each at 50lb. But I am, at last, DONE!

04/30/2007 12:20pm

There have been fleeting moments where I was sitting amongst some form of chaos - whether it be my clothes or a mess of paperwork or holding the line for the millionth minute on the phone - where I wonder what I got myself into.

There have been other moments - when I received email full of kind words, new friends wishing me luck and offering support like they'd been around when I was in diapers, and old friends with bittersweet tone of voice saying they will miss me but want me to do well - where I cannot believe I am so lucky.

Today is the day my peeps. I take off for my Aussie adventure in mere hours from now!

I know I got to thank some people in person, but again, I can't thank you enough for all the wonderful, kind words of support, encouragement and love.

And, again, I promise I will put up as many pictures as I can possibly take and give you oodles of detail. Til then, take care and be good.


P.S. About the title of this post...well you'll have to Google it to find out the meaning, but apparently it's a saying there...?
Sunday, April 29, 2007
It's a bad time to be alive in the world...
  • Families eat infront of the TV or alone
  • Wars are being faught in different parts of the world under false pretenses or judgements
  • Media has never had more power or been more biased
  • The gap between the rich and the poor is growing at an exponential rate
  • Some countries have a disturbing excess of food to the point where they get diseases and die from eating too much; other countries have drought and no sources of food to the point where they are dying of starvation and dehydration
  • Natural, non-renewable resources are depleting at an alarming rate, yet very few understand the danger or care to do anything about it
  • Third World Debt will never be forgiven
  • The World Bank and the IMF rule the world, in one way or another
  • Young people are in more of a rush to be older; old people are cutting themselves up to be younger
  • Lindsay Lohan's antics make the cover of a newspaper more often than apartheid in Africa

It's a good time to be alive in the world...
  • There are advances in medicine that are able to treat and cure many old diseases
  • Global communication is as easy as visiting a neighbour
  • there are better solutions being found to create a sustainable environment on earth
  • More and more women are being respected as equal counterparts and given opportunities to lead
  • There is more tolerance and increased accessibility of and for minority groups, including those with special needs
  • Education is slowly become more accessible for the poor with school opening up in small villages with the help of NGOs
  • Systems like the Grameen bank and other grassroot projects are at an increase
  • Though mainstream media has become a source for propaganda, thanks to satellites and Internet, people can seek different sources of media publications throughout the world
  • Economies of Second World countries are strengthening

On either hand...
  • Jobs are being exported from the West to the East - countries in the West, such as Canada and the US still need their middle class jobs to sustain their economy, but the jobs are being sent to countries with larger populations and where people are in more dire need for money
  • Getting a divorce can now cost as little as $300 - it's accessible to the poor who may need to get out of an abusive relationship, but makes divorce an easy way out of marriage for anyone
  • Banks offer more security and an insurance for your money from being eroded by inflation, but at ridiculous fees and rates.
  • People are seeking to have more post-secondary education to get better jobs, but leave school with the highest amount of student debt seen in a decade

I didn't write this all to especially show a depressing or optimistic side to life in particular, but it was just something running through my head, and since I don't usually take a more serious tone on my blog, I thought this would be a change...a little less "self-involved", you could say (right Anonymous?). Feel free to add your own.
Thursday, April 26, 2007
SA: "hey, what would you call yourself if you were a superhero?"

AKA: "'If'? Hahahahahaha"

SA: "Yeah, whatever...c'mon, what would it be?"

AKA: "Hmmm...Indecisive Girl"

SA: "Whaaat?!"

AKA: "Indecisive Girl"

SA: "How could you save the world with the power to not be able to make decisions!?"

AKA: "Well, I'd throw in a couple other things like super-human-strength, and maybe a spidey-sense sorta thing, but mainly I'd throw all sorts of confusing questions and options at the bad guy so he'd become all disoriented and can't figure out what he wants and THEN I will attack!"

SA: "Uh..huh...."

AKA: "Why? What would yours be?"

SA: "I was referring to something like on the show Heroes. Y'know, invisibility, being
indestructible, flying etc..."

AKA: "Oh...well those are good too...I guess"

Ruby's interview...

Ruby had a nice little interview game where she gets to ask me questions and then I pass it along:

1) To graduate law school in Aus you're required to either: adopt a kangaroo or a koala...which do you pick?

Definitely a koala. We have a long history together. I've always loved them - they're cute and innocent looking on the outside, but they are vicious and will attack when needed - (sorta) just like me! I did a very long report about them in 6th grade and was selected to do a speech on behalf of our class and got the best grade. And then I had this toy koala that my dad gave me which was my favourite stuffed toy of all...and then my mom accidentally gave him away...heartbroken ever since, so hoping for the real thing.

2) Of all your purses which one would you be miserable without?

No, no, no...I can't pick sides - the others will be mad at me. And am as bad as a rich playboy when it comes to purses, there's always a nice new one that comes along. BUT if I had to choose it'd be my lovely black and cream striped clutch. Would you like a picture? :D

3) Now that we've seen Johnny, who would you next like to see in concert?

I'd love to see U2 (first pick) and Coldplay.

4) Second Cup or Starbucks?

Second cup for coffee and Italian sodas, Starbuck for frozen drinks (light ice Passion Tea Lemonade, please! Or, light Caramel Macchiato Blended Frappacino, merci) and the blueberry-white-chocolate scones...and chocolate chip cookies...and oatmeal.

5) If you could see any one day in the future, just for an hour, and just as an observer what day would you choose?

Okay, so you forgot the last question Ruby, but you came back with a great one! At first I thought of my own graduation day, but I don't want to ruin that. Then I thought of the day I will die, but no one should see that.

I've settled on choosing to observe my first child's wedding day - I could see who I'm still friends with then, how they've aged, see my other kids, maybe get an idea how much money I'll need to start saving from now for this possibly lavish wedding. Whether I need to start using anti-wrinkle cream soon...whether people liked the food. You know, the basics. I can't think of any huge important day in politics or society so I'm going to be selfish on this one.


The rules to pass along:
- Leave me a comment saying, "Interview me!"

- I will respond by e-mailing you five questions. *I* get to pick them, and you have to answer them all. - You will update your blog with the answers to the questions.
- You will include this explanation and an offer to interview someone else in the same post.
- When others comment asking to be interviewed, you will ask them five questions.

"Alright...no one needs to know that you only have one full suitcase packed. There's plenty of time for packing, right? SURE! There's one whole week! Well...down to 5 days, but nothing to do in those 5 days so I'm free to take my time."

"Start with purses...ha, this will be easy! I have only a few favourites to take along....hmm, so I'll need a black one, obviously."

"Hmm...I sure do have more black purses than I remembered...there's this large one...oh yeeaah! And this other large one. Hm, guess I wouldn't have bought that last one had I remembered this one. Well I guess I could use both right? Afterall, they are different styles. Oh - a large brown one? What? Oh riiiight....someone commented I looked like a bag lady with it so I stopped carrying it. HAHAHAHAHAHA...bag lady, guess I sort of am..."

"...Ok, move on. Three small black ones...? What the?! Well this one is more a medium than a small, which would be convenient for all-round use. OK that's a go. And now two small ones. One's all sequin-y the other is plain. What if I'm in a sequin mood? Better take both..."

"This bluey-green one...what was I thinking? I guess I could leave it. And this purple. Ebay. Oh and the green one...another eBay. Hey this silver one was a gift...well no...I told my mom it was a gift so she wouldn't think I bought another one. Well all these coloured ones will come in handy, might as well throw them in too."

"This one is more a shoulder-school bag than a handbag. It may be useful. Oh plus my laptop bag. And my backpack. Hey where'd this little colourful bag come from? Hmm, it could go with a variety of things. Ooohhh and my white one! I love this one, this is a must-take too..."

Me: "Mom, which is nicer? This light blue or dark blue sweater?"
Mom: "They're the same"
Me: "The same style. I bought them in different colours, but can't decide which to take"
Mom: "They're both nice."
Me: "Which is nicer?"
Mom: "They are both nice. You're the one who spent so much money on all this stuff that you never wear but keep spending, spending, spending like that money is given to you from a rich chacha [uncle]! I mean look at all this stuff, it's everywhere and you keep pulling out more! Why can't you be more like -"
Me: "Moooooommmmmm pleeease! Which ONE!?"
Mom: "Take them both..."
Me: "Well...okay...that's what you said for the last three"
Mom: "Told you not get so much stuff"


Mom: "With your black suit"
Me: "No, those are the suit pants, I mean my regular black pants!"
Mom: "The pinstripes?"
Me: "Noooooo, plain! Regular! PLAIN BLACK!"
Mom: "In the laundry?"
Me: "I did the laundry and brought them upstairs...!"
Mom: "Maybe you packed them already! Check that suitcase"
Me: "It's NOT in a suitcase already, I unpacked all the ones you packed, I'd have seen it there. I check everywhere I could think of!!"
Mom: "Check your brother's room"
Me: "Why would they be there?!"
Mom: "Did you check?"
Me: "But why....."
...few moments later...
Mom: "Told you so"

Very Detailed Girl says:
what did you take? like what kind of shoes
AKA says:
I have a couple dressy shoes, flats and sneakers
Very Detailed Girl says:
nice!! so i decided ot tke two pairs of black dress shoes, one with heels, one without, that will go with all
Very Detailed Girl says:
i am taking 1 pair of gym shoes
Very Detailed Girl says:
then 6 flats..3 are more dressy than the other 3 which are more bright. kind of the Indian style shoes, you know?
Very Detailed Girl says:
5 flipflops...blue, grey, white, black, pink
Very Detailed Girl says:
and then 3-4 sandels...grey, white and black
Very Detailed Girl says:
fyi - fliflops are very expensive there, you should buy them here

AKA appears to be offline. Messages you send will be delivered when they sign in. E-mail this contact instead
Monday, April 23, 2007

Webcams, adapters, and flash drives, oh my!

Just when you realize you don't have a penny to throw into a fountain to make a wish you find yourself needing to spend money everywhere!

I'm not a technology-challenged person. I'm usually the one setting up and fixing the gadgets at home and work. But when you're actually trying to find a product to purchase, it's near impossible to narrow down the selection!

I'd been advised to get a whole mess of things before starting school. My big purchases last year were my iPod and my laptop, debts that I still have yet to get over. I have no idea what kind of webcam is good, if I should even buy one or wait, is a laptop sized one good enough, or if I can get a pack of 2 for myself and my family...? These are the questions that burn within...sadly...

While going through all these thing in preparation for my trip, I've been fortunate to realize the true people who care about me. On the one hand I have people who suddenly called me up out of the blue after a year or so to ask about my trip and then slowly drop that they wanted to know if I could take a care package down with me for their cousin's fiance who's also going to the same school. Or the family friends who have also failed to mention or call me but then feel it's necessary to call our family over, then guilt me into staying because they won't see me for such a long time (it'd been 8 months since I'd seen them anyways) and then proceed to talk to my dad only about some mortgage and real estate needs they have.

Then, on the other had, I have people who have dropped their own plans to make sure they get to see me in anyway possible before I leave just to say "goodbye" in person. One such person I met in Michigan and was probably the only person I really got be close with. She came home after exams Sunday night (she hadn't been home in about 3 months herself), met up with me last night, and flew out for to London for a vacation this morning at 6am. Then I have another who is sick with some crazy mutant form of a virus and is still calling me to see if she can come visit from the city. And then there are the lovely ladies (one's a gem the other a very tasty Indian snack...)I met through this blog who are breaking my heart because I only got to meet them now right before I left and won't get to spend any more time with them.

With our busy lifestyles it's hard to find the time to talk to everyone we want. Things like MSN and Facebook help to keep up the lost connection but nothing will tell you more about a person than how they step up to the plate when you most need them. I am quite literally beside myself in awe with the number of people who have showed real concern and support over my leaving. I never thought I was this fortunate, but I've been proven wrong.

There's exactly 1 week left (and I mean exact...my flight leave at this time next Monday!) and thank God that all my issues are slowly working out for me.

Just don't ask about my packing progress...

If you are feeling sad or depressed around this time, all you have to do is go see a Raptors game with a hardcore fanatic. Had you been around the ACC like I was this past Saturday, their long, beaten, and tear-stained faces would have pretty much got you to see that you couldn't possibly be feeling as bad as these fans after the loss to the Nets (CURSE YOU VINCE CARTER!!!!!)

OR, if when they win Tuesday night, you will get so caught up in the elated joy in the aftermath that you will pretty much forget what your own problem was to begin with.

Either way, there is no way we are losing to the Nets. No. Way. It's like a city-wide pride thing. And we CANNOT let a person like Vince Carter take it away. No pressure boys

Friday, April 20, 2007
Now I remember what I'd forgotten to write in my last post - I had to see a specific authorized doctor for a medical exam for my Aussie student visa and pay another big chunk of money for. The doctor himself was really quite nice, but, of course, he sent the wrong chest film into the Australian High Commission. And as well, kindly made no mention of it so that for weeks I kept calling him and looking up the status of my documents online. Finally I got a call back explaining what happened and that he'd now sent the right ones in. I tried contacting someone at the AHC but no response. BUT thankfully, it came back approved online...just been waiting for the papers....

After giving up every crumb of hope on my peeps from the homeland at the various Travelocity call centres, I went down to the airport myself to see an agent at the airline ticketing counter.

20 minutes later I walked out of there with a fresh new printed ticket in hand, and only $200US less in my pocket for the change I made.

So where were the Travelocity people pulling out the additional $1000 sum from if the SAME AIRLINE counter woman was able to do it for just the change fee? I don't want to name the specific bodily region where I believe these numbers were pulled from, as I am a very nice girl who refrains from such speech when possible, but I suspect you are able to guess?

So I have crossed said problem off the list. And to celebrate I made gigantic half-vanilla-half -chocolate-chocolate-chip cupcakes with my little sis.

OSAP - you are offically ON NOTICE. I am coming for you...muahahahahaha....*ahem*

(Thank you, thank you, thank you for all the kind words and support...a good friend of mine kind of gave me wise and wonderful advice on how to overcome being stressed [i.e. he basically told me to stop whining] and I'm attempting to meet all these challenges head on. So far, it's working..!)
Wednesday, April 18, 2007
***Warning: The following is a whiny, anger-filled, dripping-with-sarcasm rant about the tragic unfairness of life...and travel websites. Proceed with caution***

It was soooo super nice of OSAP to up and cancel my loan application last week without informing me. Apparently the brainiacs that run the place thought it was possible, and logical, for me to attend two law schools in two different continents at the same time.

SURE! Why not? Sounds like a fun commute, doesn't it? And hey, I've always wanted to pay double tuition! Who wouldn't!?

Despite sending in all sorts of confirmations of enrolling in my new school, they thought I was still enrolled in school in Michigan and cancelled my application without any notice. My last loan ran from Sept. 06 through April 07. New one was to start in May. So though the term of the loan didn't overlap and the Aussie school sent confirmation that I was a real person about to attend their school, OSAP though it would be a fun game to just hit the "Cancel" button on me and wait for me to find out on my own. After calling them they said I need a letter to be sent from my old school. Sure, they only move as fast as a turtle with a broken hip in quicksand.


The other loan funding source I have, based in the US also has put my loan application on hold. Must be some sort of conspiracy. But no, they say my father has had less than a year of credit history. Well, yeaaaaahhh since he's been a citizen in the country for just 30+ years, he only bothered to go out and get a credit card last week. Silly dad. I'm sure, since the same loan people took about 5 months to fund my last loan, this will all get sorted out quickly.

Double awesome!

Rocky, who is a customer service agent for Travelocity.com kindly informed me that instead of paying $100 to change my return ticket date, I will actually have to pay $1200US. WOW. Just, plain...wow. I mean, all this time I was wondering what I would do with all this extra cash lying around! I mean especially with all these loan companies practically throwing their money at me from every angle!

Rocky says that since it's an international flight I must pay $230 administration fee (Ohhhh is that what they call pushing the key on the computer now? Damn it...I'm so stupid!) and then the difference in the ticket from the time I originally purchased mine to what the ticket is at now. That is sooooooooooo cool that I have frostbite!

But wait - is this the SAME Travelocity.com that is so smart that they POST their prices in Canadian dollars ("CAD") but CHARGED me in US dollars! Whoa...I'm getting a headache with all this smooth and unflawed company!

Wait, wait WAIT! This is the SAME Travelocity.com that posts LOWER prices than their Travelocity.CA website for the EXACT SAME FLIGHT, even after converting the price!? NO WAY DUDE!!!!

Hold the phone! Oh no, I mean that's what I did a lot of...

[After holding 40 minutes]

Call #1 - Anita in Mumbai
Anita told me that I would pay exactly the price AND currency on the website. Really Anita? Honestly honey, I believe you, but would you be a dear and check with your supervisor - because hey, I don't want to book and pay only to find out different right? Oh you'll put me on hold? Half an hour you say? No problemo. Anything for you babe. What's that you say? Your supervisor confirmed this? Ohhh and since I haven't yet booked the flight you cannot put a comment on my file even though I registered on your website and you can see my account? What call centre are you at? Mumbai? No way! That's cool. Ok, no worries, I understand I'll go ahead and book.

[That evening...after holding 45 minutes]

Call #2 - Nick in New Delhi
Heyyyyy Nickyyyyyyyyyyyyy...'sup homeboy! Well see here dude, I called and spoke to Anita - you don't know her? You're in New Delhi? Hey it's ok, she's all the way in Bollywood-land! So here's the dilly...I FINALLY found an awesome price for tickets, since I'm buying 5 I need a good deal and you guys are the only ones offering a low price. I called my girl 'Nita who said I'll pay $7--- Canadian because that's what your site quoted. She totally confirmed it for me too. But now as I'm going to put my credit card info in, you're website STILL says $7---CAD but above it says prices in U.S. dollars. What gives? What? Put me on hold? Wait for a manager? Well...ok, but you know last time I got cut -

[15 minutes later] This recording is annoying. Where's Nick? Maybe he's still helping me...I'll just wait...

[40 minutes later] It's almost like he forgot about me...ha! He wouldn't do that...right? I mean--

@$&U%)&(#*%&*)#%&)*I JUST GOT CUT OFF!?!?!?!??!?!*%*@(&%&#)!!(*$_#+$%

My mom: "Beta, just call another travel agency, or website, it'll be fine. Don't waste your time"
Me: "NO! They SAID I will pay Canadian dollars. AND making me pay otherwise is FALSE REPRESENTATION. A lie. They CANNOT do business like that. They're the cheapest ones out there for this flight - I've checked EVERY OTHER WEBSITE and travel agency - and I will pay the price on the site but in CANADIAN dollars as PROMISED!!!!!I'm calling back...

[50 minutes later]

Call #3 - Rick and Nick in Mumbai
Rick: "Welcome to Travelocity, this is Rick, how may I help you?"
Me: "Rick?" (I bet it's short for Rakesh...)
Rick: "Yes"
Me: "Ok, listen. Before I start yelling at you and messing up your day. Get me a manager. NOW. No, you will not put me on hold, I've been put on hold twice and got cut off twice. You will need to sit there and get a manager to come to YOU. And I am not holding for more than 1 minute, do you understand me?"
Rick: "...uh, yes ma'am. Please wait ma'am. I'm not going anywhere ma'am. I just have to pause the line ma'am, to get a manager ma'am, ok?"
Me: "Yeah you do that"

[1 minute later]

Nick: "Hello this is Nick here"
Me: "NICK?! Are you in the New Delhi call centre..?!"
Nick: "No ma'am, Mumbai"
Me: "So I'll have to explain this all over again...great..."

[10 minutes later]

Nick: "Let me put you on hold and check this out. I will need to call my support line. I checked the website and you are right. I'll take down your number, just in case we get disconnected, but hold please."
Me: "....yeah ok..."

[30 minutes of holding] Nick says he will call me back....

[another 45 minutes later]

Nick: "It's a glitch in our system ma'am. I'm very sorry about that but the pricing is in Canadian dollars for some reason, even when I access the site here. But it is US dollars you would pay."
Me: "So there's nothing you can do? After all this horrible service? You're company won't help me? You're company offers a higher price to Canadian residents for the exact same flight [same flight number, time, airline etc] than US? So why would I bother with the Canadian site?"
Nick: I'll email you a $100 credit for the next time you book a flight with us to be used for a hotel or car rental. That's all I can do.
Me: "Ok, seems I have no choice. Please send it. I appreciate everything you've done for me. I'm sorry for being so frustrated"
Nick: "It's ok, I understand. I will send it, and you should get it with 48 hours"

Needless to say, I did NOT get the promised credit. A call back to the Mumbai call centre lead me to discover there are several "Nicks" and many different shifts. No way to trace him. SUPER!

Fast forward to now and my coversation with Rocky from don't-know-don't-care and the $1200 charge.

I'm really over-flowing with all this joy. It brings me to tears...literally...

Did I mention that my mom packed much of my stuff while half-asking me and now I only have three-quarters of suitcase space left while having a suitcase full worth of things to put in? Since the airline only allows a suitcase size of 60-inches and 50lb weight, I either shell out for a new case, or pay overage.

The Very Detailed Girl (VDG) also has had time to email a list of items she will be bringing...and has asked that I do the same so we can compare notes. Woo......hooooooooooooooo!

Yes, I realize I have my health, my family, friends, chocolate and a warm forecast for the weekend, but what's your point?
Monday, April 16, 2007
Calling all super-organized and time-conscious people:

Need help with packing for a two-year trip within two week time period. Inquire within.

So I met a girl who will be starting school with me in a couple weeks. I met her through my classmate from undergrad who is already there. And upfront, I will say that she is a really nice person, pretty outgoing and very, very detailed. Very.

Our first meeting was at Tim Horton's. I thought it would be just a casual chat about ourseleves, how our application process has been, and what special things we'll be taking with us. It was surely all that, but then some more.

For starters she brought a laptop - ok, fine, cool - she thought it'd be a good idea to take notes or look up things she has saved etc. Smart.

Then came the spreadsheets on Excel - how much money she spent on tuition, postage, the annual interest rate on her mother's credit card that her tuition and other expenses were charged on calculated daily, the amount of interest her savings account and term deposits in the bank were earning...you get the idea.

After that she asked what I was bringing. Alright, also fine, a seemingly general question, right? I ticked off a list of items : regular everyday clothes, business suit (for mock trial), desk lamp, couple electrical outlet adapters, toilettries. That was all that I had remembered (which was not yet packed).

Then I asked her.

She owns 5 cardigans, but will bring only 4: white, black, beige ("well, not beige, but more like a wheat colour, a light wheat colour"), and green ("a forest green, like pine"); 7 pairs of jeans (Guess, Seven, and Gap were the brands mentioned, I believe); 3 skirts (that come just to the knee - floral and solid colours).

And so the list went. When the question came to how many bras and things I'm bringing, I about tuned out.

Again - she's reeeaaallly nice. A genuine person who I guess you could say is refreshingly open and honest. Not seen in people. She just threw me for a bit because I didn't expect that level of...meticulous-ness? I have no idea how many cardigans or anything I own (so am apt to buy things in repeat designs, at times, but this is besides the point).

But, unbeknownst to me, I gave her the impression that I was a shy and wallflower type of person. I can be shy, but just depends on the situation. I do have an issue with being too self-conscious, but we all have a bit of that, don't we? So with all this in mind, she started to give me advice on how I should use this time to branch out and try to meet new people and that it was ok to dress up and put on jewelry now and then. That I should be more confident. That wearing tank tops and skirts would be ok because I should try to be more "open to new things".

I was a bit flabbergasted at all this. As the eldest in the family (siblings and maternal-side cousins included) I'm used to giving advice and pep talks to others. I've never been on the receiving end like this especially from a perpetual stranger...! I had no clue what to say so I made attempts to clarify that I was not a wallflower and had I been such, I wouldn't be making this huge trip across the world! I've lived on my own for a bit, and lived in different counties. I'm not afraid of speaking up when I need to. And, above all, I am not afraid to be open to new things but I will not compromise my beliefs and current way of living to do it.

I know she didn't mean any of this in a insulting way at all. She was trying to be nice and encouraging with her tone, but in my mind I was laughing because this person had no idea what I was like (since she'd only known me for an hour). People who read my blog know me better than she did at this point..!

Is it just me, or would anyone else be uncomfortable with this? Just a tad? Call me crazy (actually that name was reserved for the last post), but I'd like to have at least meet you more than once (or at least be reading your blog for awhile...ha!) before I even think about discussing undergarments, past relationships and how much money I have in the bank.
It's not that I normally can't wake up early in the mornings, I've done so plenty of times for work and school, prayer etc. But when I've been up 'til 3am trying to register for classes and figure out all sorts of other school details which has left me frazzled, I an not the person you want to drive you anywhere, let alone speak to anyone.

Such is what my brother learned last weekend.

While blissfully in a deep slumber, I'm awokened by a really annoying "Baji [meaning "sister" in Urdu]baji, baji,...baajiii...BAJI.....BAJI!"

My right eye slowly opens and sees my brothers tall figure looming in the doorway.


"You need to drop me to work, we need to leave in about 10 minutes. BAJI!!!"

My right eye moves to the sidetable digital clock. It's bright red numbers show "6:19AM". HA, kid must be crazy. Must've gotten up an hour earlier and now thinks he'll get me to drive him all the way to work. HA! Just pretend you didn't hear anything...

Didn't work. He's now shaking my shoulder, "Baji, seriously. I need someone to drop me to work now"

I knew this - my parents had assigned this duty to me the night before but in that state of mind I thought that if I ignored him long enough he would magically *poof* away. But then my mind slowly realized the verbal bashing I would get had my brother decided to wake my dad up instead and I had to chuck my plan out and relent. "FINE. I. AM. UP. OKAY!? Why can't you get a normal-hour-of-the-day job like normal people?"

My grumbling went unnoticed as he was already out of the room.

I somehow made it out the door and into the chilly car with the right clothes on and started towards his workplace. The ride itself was uneventful. My sleepy state didn't fade away and during the ride I did find myself talking nonsense and laughing at myself.

Solution? Coffee. Tim Horton's coffee. I turn into the first drive-thru I see and pull up to the intercom.

"Can I help you?" comes a half-bored and annoyed voice.

"Uh yeah, can I get a - wait, what do you want?" I say turning to my brother

"What?" says the intercom voice

"What? No - wait..hold on..." I say, turning back and forth from the intercom to my brother

"Medium, one milk, one sweetner" says my brother

"What? Sweetner?" Eww..

"Sorry?" says the intercom, impatience growing in the static-ridden voice.

"One medium, one sweetner, one milk - no wait, what was it? One milk, one sweetner. Oh and a medium, no, large, double-double"

"Is that all?"

"Uhhh....no, I mean yes"

"Okay total is $2.65. Drive through."

Pulling out a $5 bill out of my purse I roll up to the window. The expression of the girl at the window matches the intercom voice exactly.

Now this is the point where the drama went down. Either I suddenly blacked out for a few milliseconds, or just plainly fell asleep, or it's everyone's else's fault. I maintain the latter.

I handed over my $5 bill and immediately received my change back in my hand. Huh? How did she know what I would give her...? I stared down at the palm of my hand trying will all my might to do the math in my head (did I mention my hatred for calculus - it pretty much extends to all math in general) it just didn't look like enough. I had $1.85 in my hand. Was this change meant for the car that had been ahead of me when I pulled up? HOW DID SHE KNOW WHAT I'D GIVE HER?!

When I looked up at her she was handing me a medium sized coffee cup which I took and handed to my brother. Then waited...

And she waited...

"Uh, can I get my coffee, please?" I say, trying to be nice

One eyebrow raised she responds "I gave you the other one"

"Um, no you didn't" I said, picking up her tone.

"Yes she did" spoke up my brother, already sipping on his own coffee and gesturing towards the car cup holder.

I looked at him, then at the coffee, back at him, and then at the girl. "But how...when did she...?"

From the time she gave me the change and I looked up to get my brother's coffee, somehow another one had appeared in the car. I do not remember taking that one from her. I did not, at that moment, see or remember her giving me my coffee. I started to drive away, unsure of what happened around me just then.

"Did you see her give me my coffee!?" I asked. I needed answers.

"I'm getting late for work" was the reply.

But for some reason, I was unsettled. This not-so-nice girl had ripped me off. She just randomly passed off some change on me and I was supposed to just take that? NO. No sir. 7am or not, it was the principle of the matter. The prin-ci-ple. She can't choose to give me a certain amount of change. I reserve the right to say "keep the change". MY right.

"NO!" I announced, "she ripped me off! Look! She didn't know I'd give her a $5! How could she?! NO! I want my change! She's owed me a dollar something...!"

I whipped the car around and made a sharp turn back into the drive-thru lane.

My brother started laughing and shaking his head at my suddenly resolute speech and actions, "baj, it's only $0.50!!"


"$0.50! It's not worth it...hahahahahahahahahaha"

At this point I was paused right before the intercom, "really?" I said perplexed, and glanced down at my hand, still gripping the change, "oh."

I'd already lost a certain amount of integrity during my first round-a-bout through that drive thru. I couldn't face intercom-girl again. So I did the only thing I could do and sped past the window looking the other way, with my brother shaking his head and still laughing at me.

Once we got back on the road, I burst into a maniacal sort of laughter and just couldn't stop. Seriously folks, it was borderline take-me-to-the-asylum kind of laughter. And I could stop until I got to my brother's workplace a couple minutes further down (in my defense, he kept replaying the scene and laughing himself, causing me to laugh even more). It was only after he got out of the car that I was able to calm down and drive away.

In retrospect, now that I've told a couple people this story, I've just made myself look like an idiot to the world. And each time I get this strange look of half-amusement and half-pity. W'sup with that? It was funny! Really! And the change...I mean you'd go back too, wouldn't you??

Wouldn't you...?

You're giving me that look too, aren't you?
Tuesday, April 10, 2007
I was tagged by Hafsa (and Dee, although her blog is password-protected and I never put up a link to it...yet...?) a little while ago to do a list of "10 Things You Didn't Know" and have been racking my brain for anything remotely interesting or just non-crazy that you would fancy reading.

So here's the inane thoughts I managed to get...

1. I hate the colour red - red clothing, walls, furniture, fire engine, Raid canister...all of it. It's just so...there...and bright, and red.

2. I love red food - cherries, strawberries, red delicious apples, tandoori chicken.
(But you don't like the colour red? Yes, that's right. Maybe the fact that I can devour it makes it comforting? I'm an enigma, folks)

3. I am organized chaos personified - even as I type this I'm surrounded by piles of paper and clothes BUT I know exactly where everything is...I think...

4. "Klumsy" is my middle name - well, not literally, though it would make sense since my initials are AKA...but it's really not. Ok, ok, like, for example, I went bowling a short while back with the girls and it was my turn up and I was thinking about how badly I needed a strike or anything remotely good to pull myself out of the shame spiral I was in, and so I positioned myself in the centre of the lane, swung my 10lb bowling ball back with my left arm aaannnd...released it into the air towards my group of friends sitting behind me. Thankfully, it narrowly missed one of my friends but not before she jumped out of her seat. Causing a collective gasp and then an erruption of laughter from my friends, me and the group next to us (which conicidentally included a coworker who arrived shortly before).

5. I'm ambidextrous - I started out as a lefty and was forced into right-handedness by my parents, supposedly for my own good.

6. I cannot watch horror movies - give me blood, guts and gore on a medical show, but I cannot take the gruseomeness (it is too a word!) of horror movies - yes, even the cheesy, over-dramatic ones. I attempted to watch Saw 1 when it came out on DVD. I watched the first 17 minutes then shut off the DVD player, took the DVD out of it, put it in it's case and went outside to put in my car to be driven back to the video store asap. I couldn't have that thing near me in the house...did I mention it was about 2pm and brightly sunny outside with everyone at home?

7. Calculus terrifies me more than Freddie Kruger, Jason, The Saw psychopath and Michael Jackson, Paul Bearer (the WWF/E fans will know) and the possessed little girl from The Exorcist put together - seriously.

8. I need someone to buy my books from last term - I'm running out of ideas...but this is true.

9. When I was about 4-5 years old, I used to follow my dad to the corner convenience store where he snuck out to get cigarettes (he quit now -yay) and when I knew I could con him into getting me candy (that wide-eyed puppy face melts dads much easier than moms). One time as I hurried to catch up with him, I left the front door and screen door open causing my toddler brother to wander out on to road by himself. Fortunately my neighbour came out and saw him and got him home. Some time later I arrived, Bonkers clutched in my hands to find a very shaken and angry mother at home and my younger brother sitting in the living room munching on a cookie. That's my earliest experience of feeling what it was like to have a room grow cold and dread fill my tiny heart. Stupid little brothers...

10. I was bullied as a kid when I was in kindergarten - I don't know why. I wasn't the shortest or the nose-picker, or a bully myself. There was a couple girls who maybe just didn't like my name? But the nerve of those brats - when it was my birthday I distinctly remember them raising their hands when the teacher said I could pick a friend to help pass out my birthday cupcakes...

Ok now I'm afraid that you couldn't possibly want to know anything more about me or that you all know be too well and will easily spot me on the street if I were to pass you by. Just look for the girl not wearing red, eating a red delicious apple and attempting to walk away from the horror movie theatre but tripping over her own feet in the process.
Monday, April 09, 2007
Ok folks, I've deleted all the comments, as well as disabled commenting, in my last post. This was not because of any one single comment, but collectively things were getting out of hand, especially with a comment that was made about 10 minutes ago.

I don't mind debate, but certain remarks were becoming increasingly offensive to certain people who are kind enough to read my blog to begin with. In the outside world this sort of conversation is fine since everyone has equal opportunity to contribute. But here, I'm responsible for what goes on my blog and since I have no control over what you think, I can control whether I publish it.

For a moment I considered giving up blogging altogether because I had a similar situation before on here that upset me and put me off blogging. Or I may just start to moderate the comments so that they have to be approved by me before being published. Or eliminating the "anonymous" feature so you'd have to log into blogger to comment.

But I don't want any of that. I like giving people the chance to use their name or not, and I don't want to have to "approve" comments - spam included (sometims they offer good products, k?).

I love the circle of bloggers that find the time to make it to my silly blog and read and even comment. Non-bloggers don't get the appeal of this whole thing, but if you're reading this, then you know how great i is to be a part of something like this. I've met so many nice people that they've become friends. You go through their good times and bad more honesly than you would in real life.

So, please do feel free to speak your mind, but I will not allow abusive comments on here in any way. If I've ever missed something in the comments, or even my post, that has offended you, please, please, please email me or add an anonymous comment to tell me so and I will deal with it one way or another.

Thank you.

(3 weeks 'til The Move and I'm a little very strung out and loopy. Excuse the incoherency of my writing, if it's visible (trust me, it's there...)
Friday, April 06, 2007

I haven't had time to blog in awhile...busy with so many things! I know I've gotten a couple other tags (thanks Hafsa and Dee) and I promise I will update soon with another "Things you didn't know about me" but this is an older post I had written and saved as a draft so I'm digging it out now to post in the meantime.

Bipolar tendencies...

Either I'm sickeningly polite or I just have some issues with pleasing others.

I tend to say "sorry" quite often, even when things aren't fault. Someone bumps into me in a grocery store and I blurt out "oh I'm so sorry!" automatically, while that person glares at me rudely. Not that I would want to be the rude one, but I just shouldn't be the one to apologize, right?

Overly thanking people, excusing myself for little mistakes and a million other things. Lawyers are supposed to be tough exteriored and demanding. No wonder my coworkers were always skeptical at my lawyerness.

I have a temper...unfortunately a little more than I should. And I am stubborn - also too much so for my own good. But then I'm afraid that my Miss Congeniality crown will slip off my head if I start to hold back the niceties.

Kids say the darndest things...

"You don't know anything about my life or what I can understand" - my 8-year old sister...yes EIGHT

You little...I knew you before you started your life!!! Kids these days...sheesh

Sticks and stones...

Aunty-I-don't-really-know-but-forced-to-talk-to-when-I-answered-the-phone> "...it's a good thing you're becoming a lawyer"

Me> "oh, well yes, I wanted that career for some time..."

AIDRKBFTTTWIATP> "Well there are girls much more prettier than you and a little younger. Your education is the only way you'll find a good husband"

Me> flabbergasted silence

AIDRKBFTTTWIATP> "It's hard to find good husband's these days, you know. You should be prepapred to get married soon. How are you're studies in Michigan? Almost done?"


Dinner for 500, please

I've always hated the fact that Indian weddings are so insanely big. Anyone and everyone who you've managed to share a breath of air with seems to be invited. The bride and groom are lucky to know a quarter of the invitees.

But on the same note, I understand our parents need and desire to invite all these people (some who they've known for 20 years, but haven't seen in 18). It's their time to celebrate and send their child off into their new life with a bang. They've attended other weddings and festivities so now it's time to return an invitation. They've spent your whole life raising you - teaching, scolding, loving and admiring - and now they can have the chance to share their over-flowing happiness.

But still, with the number of people my dad seems to know, I'll be lucky to have one table of friends at my own wedding!