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Monthly Archives: August 2011
I was admitted in the hospital last weekend as per the recommendation of my doctor. She was quite anxious because during my last ultrasound the heartbeat of my baby was below normal. So, I was confined in the delivery room for 12 hours with some medical device attached to my tummy and my baby’s heartbeat was monitored the entire evening.
Gladly, everything was alright and after two nights in the hospital, I was discharged.
While my sister was busy settling the hospital bills, I was somehow in the state of ignorance. I was not sure how much to expect because I have been out of the country since 2002. I knew it is costly because that is the rant I always hear from the news but I never felt the expensive cost until my sister handed over to me the details of the hospitalization bills.
The two nights in the hospital along with the laboratories and other tests costed me Php 13,000 (approx USD 325).
My medical bills made me think. Just imagine that I paid already such amount for two days only. What will happen to those patients who have complicated illness and require intensive medications or treatments? What happen if they cannot afford the cost of hospitalization bills?
It really made me think and in a way scares me.. I should have always a health fund in case such needs arise (though God forbids!).
Every time I am browsing the internet, I always end up reading blogs and websites of either digital nomads or location independent professionals. It inspires me though in a way it stirs the jealousy deep within me.
Of course, I drool over the thought of travelling and exploring the world like they do but it is the freedom from the shackles of 9-5 job that really strikes me. Let’s face it. Not everyone is keen to embrace the idea of ditching their full time job. Just the thought of losing the monthly pay check can be disturbing, right?
I have been in the rat race for almost ten years now and the longer my tenure is, the more I am itching to leave the corporate world.
I really want to join the mainstream of working online and hopefully move up to the next level, an online entrepreneur. I am desperate but it is not yet feasible because of my current financial commitments. I know that taking the path of independent location worker is not easy. In fact, the starting phase can be very demanding but still I am keen to take the challenge.
Anyway, just sharing my thoughts.. LOL!
Working online has kept me busy for the last one week. I took up writing gigs again to keep my sanity. (LOL!)
Right now, I am somehow in a transition period from being a working individual to a home based person. I usually took short vacations only. The longest I can remember was three weeks and that period was packed with travel plans.
As I am expecting, I am not fit to travel except for short trips only. So to keep me occupied for the next few weeks, I started scouring the internet for online jobs. I used to work as part time online writer before but I totally stopped earlier this year because of the workload in my full time job.
Now, I am just glad to write again. I actually find it very therapeutic. Anyway, I sent my applications to potential online employers and recently I started receiving some feedbacks. Honestly, I was overwhelmed to realize how lucrative the offers are. If you are working at home, then it is really a decent package considering that you do not have expenses for transportation, lunch and office uniforms.
Earlier I was not convinced in working online as a full time job and relying on it as a bread-and-butter until my sister worked as an online based HR Officer. Seeing her for the last two weeks working and functioning as a typical HR Officer (but based online) amazed me. The only drawback is she works in the evening because her employer is based in the US.
Anyway, it has always been my plan to join the bandwagon of web workers and now that I have a better grasp of it, I wish to take that big career leap soon.
I wrote earlier that I received a parking fine for not having a parking ticket though I paid my parking dues through the sms option.
So before I left for vacation, I visited the Mawaqif (a division of Department of Transport that does the parking management in Abu Dhabi) Customer Service Center. I explained the issue to the customer service agent then I showed my ticket fine and the sms parking confirmation that I received in my phone.
After that, the agent asked me to complete and submit a complaint form along with the ticket fine. She then reviewed the details in the form and stamped my ticket fine to indicate that they received my complaint.
According to the agent, the feedback of my complaint will be advised after one to two months only through sms. Also, the discount of 25% (which one can avail if the fine is settled within 15 days from the date of issue) is still valid in case my complaint is rejected.
So, let us see…
Etihad Airlines is the National Airlines of Abu Dhabi and it is the only airline which has a direct flight from Abu Dhabi to Manila. So when I travelled to Philippines last week, I took Etihad Airlines without any second thoughts considering that I was 7 months pregnant.
Before purchasing the airline ticket, I checked the pregnancy policy of the airlines.
Etihad allows expectant mothers to travel up to 36 weeks for single pregnancy and 32 weeks for multiple pregnancy. Travelling from 28 weeks and onwards, the airline will require a medical certificate from your attending physician stating that you are fit to travel, the expected date of delivery, the number of weeks and if it is single or multiple pregnancy.
And most importantly, the medical certificate must be dated within 7 days from the date of departure.
Click here to read more about Etihad Airline’s policy for expectant mothers.
As for my experience, they didn’t ask for my medical certificate during the check-in process and even during the boarding time. My only regret was I opted for a window seat. The passenger beside me was not really feeling well and she was asleep most of the time during our journey. I felt awkward waking her up every time I needed to pee.
It is really recommended to choose a seat close to the washroom. In my opinion the best option is the exit row because it is very spacious. Also, do not forget to consider your baggage as pregnant women are not advised to lift heavy weights.
As mentioned in my previous post, I felt like my life was going through a 180 degrees spin after realizing that I was pregnant as there were so many changes happening physically, emotionally and financially. My priorities in life are suddenly changed.
Anyway, I decided to take an extended leave because I want to deliver here in Philippines. I am quite anxious considering it is my first baby. So, my Mum’s presence during this milestone will make a significant difference.
Gladly, my employer agreed for extended leave. I availed my remaining vacation days for 2011 and I took also advance vacations days. On top of that, I am covered for 45 days paid maternity leave as per the law in UAE.
It is indeed quite a long leave from work.
The challenge is at work because we have limited staff. Fortunately, it was all sorted out before I left but I decided to continue checking my office emails at home to lessen somehow the work burden I left to my colleagues.
Well, wish me luck as I open this new chapter in my life.
My colleague was calculating her approximate expenses for Ramadan. Confused, I asked what was the calculation all about. She was quite concerned because during Ramadan it means that she will shell out more money for the parking tickets.
Honestly, it really didn’t occur in my mind but she is right. The paid parking during Ramadan is from 9 am until 4 pm and from 10:30 pm until 2:30 am. Since our office ends at 3pm, it means that we have to pay 4 hours parking fee instead of the usual parking fee of 3 hours during the normal days.
If it is not Ramadan, the paid parking is from 8am to 9pm and since our office finishes at 6pm, we are paying only 3 hours. Oftentimes we go home at past six, so on average we are spending AED 4 for standard parking and AED 6 for premium parking for two hours.
Honestly, the amount is immaterial if it is calculated only on daily basis. However, end of the day when you sum up the parking fee expenditures, it is still a good amount of money.
Like my situation, I am spending an average of AED 9 per day for parking and that is only for the parking fee paid after office hours. Then on Saturdays as I do not have work I am paying AED 15 for the full day parking fee.
It means that I am shelling out an average of AED 240 per month and approximately AED 2,800 by end of the year.
See, after all it is not a bad amount, right? With that amount of AED 2,800, I can already purchase an airline ticket for Abu Dhabi – Manila – Abu Dhabi (except on high season like December).
Last week I was so engrossed applying for online writing jobs. I wanted to augment my income to shell out more cash hoping to increase my investment funds. Days later I started to receive feedbacks and interviews along with some requirements or trial tests.
As much as I wanted to land online gigs, I was caught up for the last few days with my office work and travel plans. There were the handovers, reports and so on in the office that I needed to complete before my leave.
And with my travel schedule next week, my spare time was consumed on shopping and attending some documents that had to be processed in our embassy. Also, as it is Ramadan most offices are open only until 2pm.
Basically everything was a rush.
Anyway, I am sad that I emailed them back today to turn down the potential online gig offers. I miscalculated the demand of my office work and the upcoming travel schedule. I am hoping that by mid of August once I am settled then I will source out again potential online gigs.
Ramadan has a significant impact not only to our fasting brothers but even to non-Muslims. It changes our daily life routine. Of course, there is our utmost respect for the local traditions here and to our fasting friends and colleagues.
Thus in the office we tend to avoid taking coffee or tea breaks however if caffeine is badly needed to boost the day’s energy, then we sneak and find some empty office area to sip a cup of coffee.
For my colleagues who smoke, the first day of Ramadan is quite a big challenge. The question I commonly heard is, “Where can we smoke?” as smoking in public areas is not allowed too during this Holy Month.
Also, not only that, the hard part too is finding an open restaurant to eat during lunch. I used to go out for lunch and eat outside. Now, all the restaurants and fast foods are open only in the evening at 7pm. Today I was starving and the restaurant where I usually eat during lunch is open only for take away but not for dine in. Eventually I had no choice but go home and cook a quick meal for lunch.
With the Ramadan too, timings from the offices to the malls are being adjusted. So at work, you rush to finish or catch up any urgent matters with your clients as their office closes at 2pm or 3pm. Though the working time in the office is shorter, you cannot also hang out in the malls as they open only in the evening either from 7pm or 8pm until late night
Anyway, it is just for the first few days. After that, we learn to adapt with the new temporary lifestyle.