A tale of roundabouts

Driving to work each day is an ordeal, to say the least. I enjoy driving- leisurely driving is as relaxing as floating in a swimming pool and fast driving helps curb my adrenaline rushes when I want them but driving to work is so taxing that I would rather use public transport, should such have been available for me.

My work place is about 15 kms away from home and with the vast options of roads to get there, you would think I should be able to do it in less than 15 minutes. You would guess wrong then- on an average, I take about 45 minutes to one hour to get there.

The roads to the Educational town comes in sets – you can use one set or the other or the third. IF you choose to mix and match the sets of roads, you’ve had it.

For example, one set of roads, leads almost directly from my house, to a large roundabout, one of those remnants of British legacy  in this country, with three lanes. Each of those lanes is created.  to take you in one particular direction- the lateral most lane is for you to turn right or the first turn at the roundabout, the middle lane leads you to the second turn at the roundabout and the medial most leads you to the third turn from your starting point on the roundabout.

roundabout.jpg

If you were not confused before, you would surely be, by now. To negotiate these three lanes would have been a breeze, had all drivers’ chosen to follow their pre-determined lanes and kept on them. But no, all too often, you find people crossing over from one lane to the next, mid-roundabout- if you get my meaning. This can occur with or without signalling. So once you have decided to venture into a roundabout, you need to have both your eyes, your ears, your lateral vision, your lateral mirrors, and your reflexes plus your imagination working overtime to anticipate what your next-lane driver is planning to do. And he could do anything. It is like they are out to break one of the Ten Commandments- do not covet your neighbour’s property- they would want to get into your lane and covet your driving space, because they find it suits them better. Day after day, negotiating roundabouts, not one, at least 5, depending on the set of roads you choose to take, has taken its toll on me. After about 9 months’ of using this set of roads with its 5 roundabouts- I decide to find alternate routes to get to my Educational location.

roundabout 2

And once the first roundabout is crossed, there is a short lane of three lanes on one side( meaning a six-laned section of road of a 3/4th of a kilometer in distance, which has to be crossed till a signal is reached. This short distance is so crowded with cars, moving from one lane to the next with no regard for rules or the next driver. It is only by a stroke of luck or because of the prayers of people who wish me well, that I am able to make it to the next two signals. Crossing the second signal after the roundabout is a story of its own.

My own rules that I follow :

  1. Pray and enter the roundabout.
  2. Open eyes, ears, mirrors and neck.
  3. Engage in dance moves like twisting, bending forward and backward at waist, head to left and right and even sometimes eyeball rolling.
  4. Use all the signals you have available on hand to indicate to other drivers, which your lane is which lane you intend to keep to.
  5. If after all this, you manage to come through the roundabout unscathed, now is the time to pray a prayer of thanks- because without heavenly help, it is almost impossible to pass through a roundabout with heavy traffic. 11954221821138511001Gerald_G_Girl_Driving_Car_Cartoon.svg.med.png

 

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‘Discover’ Me Not, nor Press Me Freshly.

A very good poem with a serious message.

Magnanimous Word

P1060652 Aboriginal artist at our community fair: He plays it but not for fame or commerce.

A Path To Self-Discovery

You’re no Columbus
And I’m no India, waiting
To be discovered by one and all
Hey! Come and certify my riches, my worth.
But in case you are indeed Columbus
You’ll never reach me anyway…
You’ll lose your way to some la la land

Have I lost myself that you wanna find me?
Something, that did not happen
While I was here all along.
But how could you? You were not color-blind
I too was not colorless, only tactless.
The tricks of the trade
I just could not learn.

It didn’t happen then
So how will you ‘discover’ me now?
After all, I squeezed out some raw talent
The ink now getting dried, my pen leaking blood.
My insides now aching…to be Freshly Aired!

Will I cry if I die undiscovered?

View original post 278 more words

Of movements, migrations and equality

Wanting a better life someplace else, migrants leave their mother/father countries and move to other places. Sometimes it is hope for safety and a better future for themselves and their children and other times, it is to ensure financial security for themselves. Whatever their aspirations, I am forced to think if the life of migrants is really as good as portrayed.

I know workers from South Eastern countries come to the Middle East trying to earn some extra money to send home to their families. Working from dawn to dusk, often in life-risking occupations, would their life have been better had they stayed on in their own countries and tried to continue on with their traditional occupations like farming or to have taken up jobs suited for their temperament and education or skill levels in their own country.

As an emigrant worker in another country myself, I have been pondering about these.  What brought on these musings ? The earnings of people from low income countries in “richer” countries, is different from what their counterparts from other countries would make. I guess it comes back to work place bullying and discrimination in the workplace.

From first-hand experience I know that salaries in my own organization were fixed on different scales based on where we came from. And I am surprised to read that even recruits into various new organizations in the Middle East are stratified based on where they come from. Benefits, wages, packages are reported different based on place of origin. At airports, one is forced to stand in long queues to get an exit or entry into our country of work, based on where we come from.

In the end, is it all worth it ? There is really nothing that unifies the world. Not language( even English has different categories of users- Native speakers Vs ESLs or EFLs), not ethnicity( Mongoloids, Caucasians, African or anything else), not even religion ( Christians from different countries are differently treated within countries and even outside and perhaps other religions have similar stories to tell). Would it be better for people to remain where they were born and try to make that country livable rather than work in another country and hope that country will make their life livable ? I don’t know.

I mean, is there hope for humanity- can human kind ever be one or think like one ? Man can only run from place to place, but where can he find true equality or dignity or respect or love- is there really a safe haven anywhere on earth ?

Will a woman’s self-questioning ever end ?

I have passed the exam I wrote in September, – unexpectedly- because I fully expected to fail miserably, after assessing my performance in the test. Surprisingly I got confirmation recently that I passed.

For a few days after this I was in a state of shock and disbelief- at times, I even thought that perhaps the results were not mine. Now that it has sunk in, I realize that somehow, I have managed to get re-certified in research ethics- for a period of 3 years’, I am in the clear. Perhaps after three years, I will not need to be doing this anymore.

After this phase passed, I enrolled myself to give the IELTS exam, which is an English Language exam for people whose first language is not English. It cost me a pretty penny but now I am set to write the exam on December 12. My husband is questioning me constantly and wanting to know why I want to give this exam- he asks me if this is an obsession. I have no answer to give him but my secret is I am applying to an online Masters’ course in Science Writing for which a basic proficiency certificate in English is a must.

But the issue is I am constantly battling with myself to prove to myself, more than anyone else that I am good- I am worth it, I can pass any exam within reasonable limits. Why ? Why do I have to do this ? I would like to develop myself as a writer and since I am a doctor, I would love if my writings came out in scientific publications. So far, the few publications I have are ones’ I have co-authored with others. I would like to have my own writing and see myself in print, for my own sake.

Battles.jpg

But above all, it seems to be a remnant of my days’ of being bullied and thrown around at my previous work place. I was told constantly that I was not good enough for promotions, my degrees were not from reputed universities and basically that I was no-good.

Will we women ever stop battering ourselves ? Why can’t we be ever satisfied where we are ? Do we always have to prove ourselves. In the family, do we have to prove to be a better cook, a better house-keeper, a better person even ? Is constant competition with one-self good or is it self-destroying in the long run ? As children we have been taught to excel in everything and to do our best but as adults sometimes we are made to feel that perhaps our best isn’t really enough.

competition

Travels and more

After my incident with the steaming hot water, where I lost skin from both thighs and my period of enforced rest, I felt I needed a break from work, cooking and everything.

So my husband and I,we went off for a few days to Singapore. What a change of weather from a very hot climate to a wet and rainy one.
Was so glad I had packed an umbrella. We stayed at a hotel next door to the Ikea. I was surprised to see how popular Ikea was in Singapore. People couldn’t identify our hotel but they knew Ikea indeed, so we found out it was a popular landmark. I attended the conference for a day with my husband but took off on my own the next day, to see and experience the Singaporean sights.

This time I didn’t use the hop-on, hop-off option and decided to explore the city on foot as much as I could. I believe in experiencing the sights and sounds of a city first-hand. Using the hotel’s shuttle bus, I went to various stops it made and walked on foot around those stops. Coming from a hot climate, the weather did not dampen my spirits at all.

Singapore is an expensive city to live in but if you know where to look and are willing to explore, it has its own affordable options for food and clothing and that’s what I found. Bargains can be found everywhere-for clothes, food and even transport.

I kept away from popular destinations like the Merlion and Santosa island or even the night safari, which are ever so in-demand. But I still managed to have fun- it wasn’t that I was on a budget but I am not in favor of throwing good money away. And I found a bookshop in the basement of the Anchorage Mall- and it had all of my favourite books. Needless to say, I was a frequent visitor and managed to buy some old favourites and a gift for my daughter, who we had left behind with friends.

November is good to visit Singapore and especially if one has good footwear and the motivation to wander around with time on one’s hands, it is a relaxing city, in its own way.