Saturday, October 16, 2004

My Life in Flashback

1. I made my grand entrance into this world after my mother was in labor for 12 hours.

2. I was named after Daphne du Maurier, my mother's favorite author and Saint Laura who was the patron saint of that day.

3. I have 1 sister who is 3 years younger than me but she is the true "ate" in this family.

4. I was barely 5 years old when we first got posted overseas - New Delhi, India.

5. I started my schooling at a Catholic school, the Holy Child Auxillium under the hospices of a very strict Mother Superior.

6. I started wearing glasses at the age of 8.

7. I have a grade of 700 in my left eye and 750 in my right eye. With a case of slight astigmatism. Thank God for contact lenses.

8. We moved to Brussels, Belgium in 1979.

9. There I studied at L'Enfant Jesus Institute (The Infant Jesus Institute) and Ecole de Saint Joseph (St Joseph School) for my elementary education.

10. I was an active participant in events which showcased the Philippines. I danced the itik itik (duck dance) together with the kids of the embassy staff at an Asian fair.

11. I was very fluent in French back then because it was the medium of instruction. Now I stutter whenever I try to speak the language and only use French when I talk with my sister about other people behind their back!

12. Growing up in Brussels, I've come to love winters. I thrive in cold climates because I tend to sweat profusely and melt during summers.

13. On weekends, we went on road trips to neighboring countries like France, Switzerland, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg, Holland. Armed with our passports and "Tercie", our first car. A silver metallic liftback Toyota Tercel.

14. The longest time I ever lived in a country was 10 years (1982-1992). Here in Manila during our "freezer" years. Despite my father's valiant efforts to get reassigned, we were 'stuck' here for some unknown reason.

15. I studied at St John's Academy for my high school education. I didn't speak a single word of Tagalog only English with a French accent. I was utterly miserable in high school.

16. University days were a breeze. I graduated from UST (University of Santo Tomas) with a Bachelor of Science in Commerce degree majoring in Business Administration.

17. My prayers were answered because right after my graduation, dad finally got assigned. This time to Singapore.

18. My first job was a consular clerk assistant at the Philippine Embassy in Singapore. But I wasn't paid. I volunteered while waiting for firms to reply to my numerous job applications. So if your passport was issued from the Philippine Embassy, Singapore sometime in 1992 - 1993, I was the one who 'scripted' it.

19. I landed a job as secretary of a trading firm owned by a Filipino. The pay was good and I worked my butt off to save for my future. No social life just work work work!

20. In 1995, we moved to Dubai, United Arab Emirates. A very modern Arab city, our last foreign posting stint.

21. Here I discovered booze, sex, guys of various nationalities and rekindled my wanderlust tendencies.

22. 6 years aka as my 'debauchery years' - days of drunken stupor, one night stands, pregnancy tests and recklessness. Living it up like there was no tomorrow. Being every inch a 'diplobrat'.

23. I traveled with my friends and/or my sister. We went to Athens, Cyprus, Istanbul, The Maldives, Israel, Jordan, London, Bahrain and Bali, Indonesia.

24. The most solemn was a 5 day pilgrimage to the Holy Land in March 2000 with the whole family. Just in time for the Pope's visit and before the Intifada uprising.

25. I met the ONLY guy I ever wanted to marry. We wanted 2 kids, Daniella Marie & Carlo Yousef. Our plan was to live in Dubai for a few years then relocate either to the US or to his beloved Palestine.

Wajdi Yousef Nazzall

26. But I didn't marry him. It's rather complicated. No, it had nothing to do with his race.

27. My longest trip was an entire month. My sister and I availed of an Eurail pass and hopped across Europe. We went to Berlin, Munich, Cologne, Vienna, Salzburg, Venice, Rome, Pisa, Assissi, Florence, Milan and our last stop was Brussels. To revisit our childhood haunts.

28. Alas, "some good things never last"! On August 22, 2001, my father had to retire at the mandatory age of 65. After 40 years of service to the government as a commercial/trade attache.

29. We arrived back home 'for good' September 8, 2001.

30. I bought and paid for in full this condo unit in February 2002.

31. I took up a 6 month course in web design/webmaster at the Web Academy.

32. I now work on a freelance basis.

33. And have turned into a domestic goddess and a homebody. Shopping for household items makes me giddy with excitement. It is very unfortunate there is no Ikea in this country.

34. I am single by choice. Perhaps I've set too high standards. But let's face it. Guys are like parking slots, the good ones are taken. The ones left are handicapped.

35. I have been celibate for over a year now. I might as well enter a convent!

36. I am turning 36 years old in a few days.
I look 23. I feel 28. I act 35.
My waistline is ... oh never mind that.
I am comfortable in my own skin, with warts, sagging breasts and curly wavy hair to boot.
I love the life I've experienced and I have no regrets.
Except maybe for not visiting the pyramids when I had the chance.
I live each day as it comes and I constantly tell myself

"There is a tomorrow and the best is yet to be. And somewhere in the world, I know there is a place for me".

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