Sunday, September 30, 2007

“flawless lindsay…. flawless”

as many of you know i have been working my way towards my second event which took place last week. this included about 60 people from all over the world and i handled and arranged everything from visas to hotel to the group dinners and event. during this whole time my boss made it clear that this event was to be “flawless” and now whenever i hear this word i have a pavlov’s response where my blood pressure spikes (see the psych degree paid off!). but that’s ok because the stress and hard work was totally worth it! my event was officially pronounced “flawless”! now don’t get me wrong there were problems that came up but thanks to the many people i have around me i was able to correct the problems before they were ever noticeable. i even got an award from my boss in front of everyone (only slightly embarrassing ; ) ) for my hard work. and it was great to meet the whole team from around the world. now i have faces to go with everyone's names. oh and i got to ride a camel! woot woot
so now i’m looking at all this event planning as good practice for the big wedding in the spring. anyways it has turned out to be a very good week for me with the event going well and the whole birthday thing tagged on to the end ; )

on a sadder note the ducks lost their last game and are now 4-1 :::sigh::: but we can come back from this… right?

Friday, September 21, 2007

i miss....

there are many things that I miss from portland starting with ranch dressing and double stuffed oreo. yes we do have ranch at some (very few) american restaurant chains (Fuddrukers) and we even have oreos but they just aren’t the same. they don’t taste the same. and as far as oreos go well, nothing compares to double stuffed. i miss p.f. changs and i miss the spaghetti factory oooh and olive garden…. yummm. we did finally get ramano’s macaroni grill but that was never my favorite but at least we’re getting closer.

i miss understanding what people are saying. most of the people here speak english but everyone (at least to me) has an accent. it’s hard enough to understand one accent but to constantly have to re-acclimate your self to new accents is exhausting. not to mention that even when you do understand someone just fine they often have expressions that you have no idea what they mean.... now this i realize is common in the states when you go from region to region. in fact just the other day my co-workers and i were talking about just this, and we were testing our expressions out on each other (“you look smart today” “let’s cross that bridge when we get to it” etc etc) well my co-workers (from the uk) asked me if i had some expression in the states… (sorry can’t remember the exact words) well i said “i have heard of it nobody really says it”
my other co-worker (third one) who lived in FL for a few years said “no, we say it all the time!”
i tried and tired to explain how big the US is and mind you she lived there! but she couldn’t conceive that maybe there were different expressions used in different areas. so back to my point i suppose this is a relevant problem for the states as well.

lets see… i miss normal driving where you aren’t on RED ALERT at all times. so far everything has gone well for me here, but you have to be a really defensive driver because everyone else is so aggressive! you can’t move out of the way fast enough for them… never mind that there is a car next to you that you would smash into! so they drive on the LEFT hand shoulder to go around. and they drive at like 180kph (100mph = 160kph) i miss normal cops that would pull you over for this even if you have a low number license plate, which is a sign that you have money to by a license plate, like $300,000, who buys a car plate for $300,000?

i miss the rain. it is so dusty and hot and humid right now that it’s ridiculous… i miss the rain that cleans everything and takes the dust away! i use my windshield wipers for wiping away the sand more than anything. ha! like it ever rains here. oh there is that one day in november where it will rain… and then it’s like that inch and a half of snow in portland. it brings the whole city to its knees with car accidents everywhere and flooded roads you can’t drive on.

i really miss washington square. my mall. that i know. and everyone there knows what i’m asking for when i ask for it. no blank stares or being pointed to the wrong store because they really have no idea what you are asking for. in fact in WS i don’t even have to ask… i already know where everything is! also it’s a manageable size. yes at first having one of the biggest malls (and soon the THE biggest mall) in the world is great. but then you get tired of walking back and forth when you forget something. our mall is so big it has a food court on each end! wanna know why?!? because when you eat at one you’re hungry again by the time to walk to the other one. it’s too much choice, you are never sure if you got a good deal because there are 11 other stores selling the same thing but you can’t keep comparing prices! it would take you all day! i know! who thought i would complain about a mall ever!?! but i guess even i have my limits…

most of all i miss my family and being able to call them and see them whenever i want. especially call. not just because of the cost but because of the time difference too! we’re all only awake at the same time for like 2 hrs in the morning (my morning) and 3 hrs in the evening. and if i don’t have any credit on my phone (like now) than it doesn’t matter anyways cause i can’t make a call again until i stop by the petrol (yes I know! we call gas stations petrol stations oh and bathrooms are called toilets, weird) station to buy a new phone card.

i miss you all and love you!

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

waiting in line

lines here are ridiculous… first of all there are no lines or ques as they like to call them. people just rush up to the front of the counter and every time the poor guy on the other side looks up they all start ordering at once. the guy must then decide who he thinks was there first and if he’s wrong, and he always is, a battle begins between two people (not necessarily the next two people) who say that they are the one’s who are next and blah blah blah.
you might think hey why don't they use those ropes like the ones at the post office? they do and they don't work... people just go around the ropes and the people at the counter will never say anything because they honestly can't afford to loose their job.
add to this the fact that people’s personal bubbles are much smaller here and you end up being very uncomfortable and upset every time you try to go get a movie ticket. i just can't figure out what the person behind me is hoping to accomplish by stepping on the backs of my feet and bumping me forward in to the person in front of me.
honestly the problem here is that everyone thinks that they are the most important person ever! whether they are driving (don't get me started on the driving) or standing in line or shopping they are the most important person out there. what’s really funny is every once in a while you see a “really” important person tangle with an actual important person only they don’t realize it. that’s the time you can see them get put back in their place. when they are reminded that they are mere mortals like the rest of us!

Saturday, September 15, 2007

weekend? what weekend?

in this country there is no sense of weekend. when you start a new job the first thing people ask you is how many days do you work a week?
my usual response was "uhhh five." accompanied by my "ummm duh" face. later i realized that this is not the case for everyone. some only get one day off a week and others get a day and a half. this is in the form of either getting all of friday and half of saturday off or getting every friday and every other saturday off.
add to this the fact that the rest of the world gets saturday and sunday off and you have really frustrating weekends where you end up dealing with phone calls and e-mails of people trying to conduct business. when you inform the person on the other end of the phone that you are not at work because it's the weekend they act all surprised like "what do you mean you don't work every hour of everyday"
you end up in this endless cycle where it's easier to handle it at that moment then to let it wait or there's some saturday (a day everyone in the world should have off. no?) emergency of some sorts and the whole world will fall apart if you do not handle it right now!
really there's no way to fix the whole weekend situation because the more you get bugged on your weekend the more you start bugging others on theirs (in order to fix the saturday emergencies)... the more people bug each other and the more it seems ok. so really we need a new weekends rule. i think we need to take back our weekends and relax so that we can enjoy our time off to get all those things done that we otherwise don't have time to do.
lucky for me my boss likes his weekends so he never bugs me on mine, but those hotels...

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btw the ducks are doing awesome this year (2-0).... so far! lets see how they do today!

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Ramadan Kareem everyone!

Saturday, September 8, 2007

Whew... It's over

my first every event is now over! and it went well, if i do say so my self. everyone got to where they were suppose to be and no one was left behind! the agenda stayed relatively on schedule and people liked the food at the dinners. of course there were a few problems (which i anticipated) but the key was to fix them before anyone noticed they were real problems. i.e. last minute i found out we had a birthday in the group. thankfully i called the hotel and ta dah cake to be delivered with singing waiters at dinner. it was great. the sailing went off with out a hitch. it was so much fun but my team lost... what to do... we were still able to work on our team building skills and have a ton of fun at the same time. as soon as I get pics i'll figure out how to post them here.
but I gotta tell you this whole event planning thing is very exhausting... i came home yesterday and slept 12 hrs, woke up then took a nap. today has been nothing but pampering. i woke up late and then went shopping! i know! it doesn't get much better than that. now i'm back home lounging and drinking my starbucks. maybe for dinner i'll order pizza...