Friday, April 8, 2011

Off to calmer waters

September 17, 2009. My last post.

Is it a coincidence that I go back to blogging when it is again soon September two years later? I am in fact doing this earlier than I should. I was aiming to fully go back to blogging in September of this year.

I actually started blogging back in 2005 while in Kenya but on a different platform. It was a time when blogging was in its early stages and bloggers were considered to have massive time on their hands with nothing better to do but be anti-social by, yes, blogging. I do have a feeling that some who has never kept a blog still think so up to today.

How does September figure in all these? It is again time to go.

Why the silence? Two years after all is a long time. I have one simple rule in blogging that I have not as of yet broken. To not put my host country in a negative light. And with that, I effectively gagged myself. The cliche: 'If you don't have anything good to say, better not say anything at all' surely applied this time.

It pains me to break that rule but I somehow feel compelled to do so. I can probably make a half-ass attempt by merely providing links to other blogs and different publications that has already said what has to be said. Afterall, I couldn't have said it any better myself.

The state of affairs in this country is so sad, just so, so sad.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Denmark it is then

Yes, we've moved again and it's back to homebase as we call it. It is not known how long the stay will be but one thing is sure: Life will go on, we will adapt and like chameleons, change color if need be.

But first, the language will have to be mastered as best as one can as Denmark is a country fiercely proud of everything danish and not least of all its language.

So, take a deep breath and follow me through my adventures at homebase.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Food for thought: Social Networking sites

I personally find social networking sites helpful in most ways. My lifestyle, I believe, compels me to join them. One in particular enthralls me and yes, you've guessed it, FB. Of my over 200 friends (yes, they are real friends I have interacted with in various degrees) in my network at the moment, more than 20 of them have sent me an invitation to join before I decided to see what the fuss is about.

I am very lazy (what else is new) in updating friends through email: where I live now, how the family is, etc, etc. Some are even surprised that I am alive and actually kicking...still. A couple of Aunts (one from Ireland and the other from Norway) decided that for their vacation, they would meet-up half-way (kind of) in Copenhagen and visit me at the same time. Great plan, except that they did not let me in on it. So, off they went to Copenhagen delighted that I will be pleasantly surprised - which I would normally be if I was actually there to surprise. Obviously, the plan backfired as months before we have already been expatriated to Kenya.

FB has been a tool for me to update my friends and family without feeling that I am imposing the information on them. The 'what do I care what you are doing now' rarely applies. In fact, I am always happy to know what my friends are doing as it makes me feel closer to them and when I see them, we actually have something to talk about. Awkward moments reduced and I manage to ask relevant questions mostly based on their status or shout outs. I feel less guilty not having remembered their birthdays as FB puts it right out smack into my face.

I believe I have become a better friend because of FB.

Having said that, I am very much aware that the venue is still the internet. Therefore, doubly aware of the information I put out there. Of the thousands of quizzes available to fill-up downtime, I have only taken a very few mundane ones....oh okay and played poker twice or so :-)

Hubby and son are on FB where we share many friends on top of having our own too. To qualify, we have always been a 'gadget' family with me heading the pack and being the computer and internet nerd, due to the industry I worked in. Given the knowledge of security applications and breaches, I have always set internet usage rules in the house and have never been remiss in reminding them of the perils of the internet if lacking awareness. Yes, the internet has developed to be almost a 'dummy's tool' for communicating where an interface can be so easy to use (prompts and all) that we are lulled into a false sense of security.

Below is an excerpt of an article by Ron Shulkin called: 'How I'm going to use social networking to steal your identity' posted by a friend on - guess where - FB.

Some find it a tad paranoid while I find it relevant. It is always good to be reminded of things that we take for granted. Believe me, someone out there HAS the time to do this, worse, has already made it his business to do so.

I think about all my trusted advisors in real life: my attorney, my doctor and others. There are questions that if posed by my insurance agent, I’d react by getting up from the table, letting him know it’s none of his business. But in the spirit of connecting socially, I easily answer these same questions in a Facebook quiz. It’s a cathartic release, a confession. Sometimes it makes up for the close mouthed, private way I act in real life. I know it seems great to “share” with others. And social network communities are the perfect place to dive in. Somehow sitting alone at the computer gives us license to answer some very intimate questions.

So the first thing I’ll do to steal your identity is find out everything I can about you. I can take a quiz, as apparently 34 million others did and with almost 200,000 fans, for “How Well Do You Know Me”? I’ll find out your birth date, where you were born, the names of your parents, your spouse, and your children. And I’ll find out their birthdates. I’ll find out your hobbies and your interests. I’ll see who all your friends are.

I’ll read “25 things you didn’t know about me”. I’ll know what sports you like, what your middle name is. I’ll know what your favorite stores are. I’ll figure out where you live by seeing where you shop. Your grammar school and your high school will be listed. It won’t be long until I find out the name of your first pet. Oh look, you used to have a space between your two front teeth!


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Friday, April 3, 2009

With a grain of salt

On my way back to Denmark, I try really hard to be fashionably disappointed about it but I can't. What is there to like...definitely not the weather, the prices, the taxes, the rules and sometimes not even the Danes themselves depending on which time of the year.

A lot of my Filipino and expat friends in Denmark have heard me complain numerous times about how hard it is to get a foothold in Denmark. My last sojourn in the country has changed all that and have made me realize the good things about living in Denmark. The fact that I get thrown into the circle of Danes, Scandinavians and Northern Europeans in general when we are out on posts, for one, helps a lot not only in understanding and getting used to their way of thinking but most importantly to feel comfortable within it. Call it a sense of belongingness, if you will.

Though not instantaneous and mostly by luck, I can safely say that I have met the most wonderful Danes (at the risk of sounding like sucking up to a culture), not just outside Denmark but also within which of course, is an important key to a happy existence in an adoptive country. In Denmark, what you see is what you get (which may not sit well with some) but at least you know exactly what you're up against. No two ways about it.

I love how Denmark brings out my creative and resourceful side when it comes to saving money without having to give up what's important in life. I love how it forces me to be organized (about everything) including the most mundane like my grocery list, afterall, I plan our material acquisitions based on what's on 'tilbud'.

Life outside Denmark (mostly in 3rd world countries) can be easy to the point of (at times) being meaningless. You do things and spend on things because you can. In Denmark, you have to choose wisely and therefore end up prioritizing.

Most of all, I miss bantering with the Danes on how Denmark may NOT be the best at everything but definitely the best at some things. At the end of the day, it's intellectual stimulation that gets us at some point. Danes are good sports if one can defend ones theories. At the very least, they are polite enough to end a discussion with a 'skål'.

Lastly, if and when I do get to speak fluent danish, how many can say that they speak a language that only 5 million others do.

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Sunday, February 1, 2009

Is this me?

I have seen this video floating around the internet but have never really checked it out. What could a mom's song be anyway? A lullaby ala 'Rock-a-bye-baby' or something or other. I sure have heard them all or so I thought.

Now, how it reached me is a totally different story. Busy, busy bee hubby (not me - the mom (operative word ahem) - in this case) not only received this on email but surprisingly found the time to play it. It must have reminded him of something or...someone that he thought he should forward it to V, the son, instead! I imagine a lot of chuckles went on behind my back...I smell conspiracy. Finally, for unfathomable reasons, V himself forwards me the video.

I don't think of myself this regi-mental but since hubby and son seem to think so, then maybe I am. I love this video and I guess it doesn't hurt to chuckle together, afterall, the family that chuckles together....

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