Saturday, April 26, 2008

This is what I've been doing for the last week or so (which I will continue to do for the next month... YAY!)

Wake up. Brush Teeth, check email while brushing. Check again to make sure no emails were received. Tell yourself it's ok, a lot of people don't get emails everyday. Continue to repeat that till you believe it. Then wash face and take a shower. After that get dressed, which suddenly awakens the wild side of you and with that side of you awaken, you simply let loose and... Go to the library to study for 9 hours straight. Get back to an empty flat starving only to realise you've got so much more work ahead of you which blocks your appetite. So you instead write a blog post. Hello!

Anyway, I thought you guys might enjoy seeing my revision technique. It is suppose to make remembering things simpler and supposedly makes things clearer too. It's called Mind Maps. And I am currently using the iMindMap software which isn't cheap (i.e. it's not free) but does the job better than the other programs I've used (at least in my opinion, it does).

Here is the mind map which shows this topic, from one of my law modules, in it's "clearest" and "simplest" form. Make sure to click on the pic then zoom in to the middle cloud and branch out from there.

It is the "Three Certainties" topic from my Trusts & Equity course which, by the way, is grrrrrrrreat!

I need your best wishes as I am going to do my last exams in 3 weeks and as you can tell from the mind map above... I need all the wishes I can get!

Saturday, April 19, 2008

The best thing about YouTube videos is the people's comments

They are very insightful and so eloquent that I am simply mesmerised by their true simplicity and depth of meaning. A classic example is highlighted in this wonderful video:



The sad thing is, this is not a wholly uncommon thing amongst youtube commenters. The good thing though, is that these provide invaluable means of entertainment for everyone else.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

A Work of Fiction.

This is a story about a young boy who comes from an upper-class family in a conservative society. His family is considered quite large by normative means but isn't very rare by conservative society standards. He has five siblings in total and he is bang on in the middle. He is the youngest of four boys but also a middle child. He has two younger sisters; the youngest of whom is a 'person with special needs'. Her eyes are Asian-like, her tongue is a little bigger than normal, she is the ray of light in a home that would otherwise be pitch-black; she breathes life into a home that would otherwise suffocate; she brings peace to a house over-ridden with war; she looks like every other person with this condition, she is a Down syndrome child...

The young boy had quite a normal childhood considering he was the youngest of three boys. He played, he got bullied, he laughed, he loved, he got hurt, but he always managed to project a sense of naive optimism... that is until he was abused. He didn't know at the time... but his child inner siren went off and he made a stop to it - whatever it was. Little did he know that 'whatever it was' was in fact, a moment that would haunt him for the rest of his life; a moment that defines everything about him- every action, every personality trait, every touch, and every emotion; a moment which has caused him to withdraw from the world for several years; a moment which has brought darkness in the eyes of the young boy; darkness to a home that seems like a workshop for crushing souls because it was there... it is still there.

Then his baby sister was born. "There were complications, she has a small hole in her heart" that's what they told him when he inquired about why it was taking so long for his mommy to get back from the hospital. He could recall it did not take that long for a baby to come out of mom's tummy last time, he was leaning with his elbow on the evidence, he was leaning with his elbow on his other sister's head.

A week later, his mom holding his new little sister appeared through the front door. The little thing in his mom's arms looked like the cutest little person he had ever seen. She was fast asleep, pale, and extremely kissable. He ran and hugged his mom first, but it felt strange... there was something wrong. This was not the mom he knew before. She looked like her, she sounded like her, but she seemed... different, almost ... broken. He brushed those thoughts away as a symptom of the "whatever it was" experience, and plus, he thought, his little sister did have a hole in her heart which from what he has seen in cartoons, is something easily fixable with a little band-aid and a hug, but deduced it can still cause a mom to be worrisome and distant for awhile.

A few months with the new baby made the young boy get accustomed to her. Her hair grew straight and she seemed very energetic, even when she couldn't see anyone around. His mom, however, was still as distant as ever. He would notice her going to the bathroom quite a lot when he and his siblings were around their new little sister. But he didn’t think anything of it. He loved hanging out with his baby sister everyday and nothing seemed to convince him to leave her alone. However, he eventually forced himself to find the time away from his little sister to hang out with his cousin one day. This cousin wasn't the most pleasant kid in the world, his idea of having fun is bullying smaller sized kids (which pretty much included everyone in his school since he was huge) and eating tooth-paste (he seemed particularly fond of ‘Signal 2’ brand of toothpaste). The young boy caught the cousin eating toothpaste once, he never told him he knew his secret. But he was the young boy’s cousin so he had to entertain him since he was nevertheless a guest at his home. Everything was going as typical as a day with that cousin could go; it was boring, annoying, and occasionally funny. The young boy heard a lot of hurtful words from the cousin over the years but he always managed to brush them off as immature tooth-paste eating blabber. But this day there were words that simply stuck to this young boy’s head; "I heard your sis is a mongoloid".

The young boy kept thinking about what that word meant and sought to find a definition in his 'childrens dictionary' but with no avail. So after exhausting all other feasible options he decided it was time to ask his mom about it. He went into her room and found his little sister lying on her baby mat sleeping, and his mom sitting on the couch reading a newspaper. After finding the right timing, which took him about 10 minutes after sitting down next to his mom pretending to read a magazine, the young boy asked:

"Mom..."
"yes?"
"What is a mongoloid?"
It was like the question was a flamed arrow that struck her heart.
"Where did you hear that word!?" his mom snapped back
"My cousin told me, that she was a mongoloid…" The young boy said whilst pointing at his baby sister.
"..."

Tears started rolling off of mommy’s eyes... she was crying and he didn't know what he did wrong. He started crying as well and leaped off of the chair and hugged her real tight. The tears were rolling off her eyes and falling on the young boy's shoulder. He was never the same after that. It was only later that day that his oldest brother explained to him that that 'Mongoloid' term was used, in that instance, as a derogatory name for people with their sister's condition; people with Down Syndrome.

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Notes about this story:

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Thursday, April 10, 2008

Where is the love?

I am ashamed of each and everyone of you so called "Arab bloggers" or "bloggers residing in an Arab country". Non of you blogged about this most momentous of all weeks. I am of course referring to the "Mazayen Al-Ibl" week-long competition, where all the fair camels in the Arab world gather in Saudia Arabia this week to be pit against one another in a pure battle of... not stamina, not speed... but beauty.


(Pic source Wikipedia)

The camel voted most beautiful can reportedly fetch as high as 1,000,000+ Saudi Riyals. But how does one distinguish between an attractive camel and a not so attractive one? well, I will let Sultan Al-Qahtani, one of the organisers of the event (as reported here), answer.
When asked about this he said: "the nose should be long and droop down, that's more beautiful". But that's not all, "the ears should stand back and the neck should be long. The hump should be high but slightly to the back."

It's weird because those are the exact features I look for in a woman...

Some female camels in the competition are reportedly forced to wear harnesses around their "privates" in order to counter the many attempts from male camels to mount them. To be fair, those male camels were probably used to months of lonely travel in the deserts and thus never saw female camels (because they were back home cooking stuff and cleaning, of course) before, let alone a high concentration of 'beautiful' ones in such a small space at the same time, so I am afraid they couldn't keep it in... they couldn't help but go with their instincts which all point to... you guessed it, mounting them all. This problem compelled the organizers of the event to create a "two strikes and you're out" mounting rule. In other words, if the same camel tries to mount another camel twice then he will be escorted away and disqualified; and lets just say, it's the humiliation that really gets to those offending male camels.

(Source)

Sunday, April 06, 2008

Text message extravaganza!

The title and aim of this blog is to provide "My Perspective on Life, Law, and Everything Else". I am going to be ambitious and state that, this post right here, will encapsulate the essence of what I am trying to provide in this blog as a whole. I know what you are thinking, I have just inflated the expectations of all my reader(s) so high, to the point where, arguably, this post will never be able to reach nor meet. I beg to differ, but in the end it will all be up to you, the reader(s) to decide whether I have reached those high expectations I have imposed on this post or not.

I think that my blog has been lacking some of my personality that my friends in real life have experienced. My last two posts have been a little more personal, which I think explains why my visitor statistics have improved 100% (from 1 visitor each day to a big whopping 2 visitors each day) and for that, I want to thank myself (the first visitor) and my good friend Blue-Chi (my second visitor) I could not have done this without you guys!

Therefore, I thought long and hard about how I can make the visitors increase by another 100% (in other words, I thought, how can I let my personality shine through more clearly in my blog?) and then I got it. I found just the right way to let this happen naturally. And that is by typing in the most notable TXT messages that I have sent out to a variety of people I know and then publish it in this blog to let people get to know the real me. And hence, possibly gain an extra two visitors... or perhaps lose two....

So here are the most notable txt messages I have sent out recently. I would just like to note that my phone has a QWERTY keyboard so some of the messages are long because of that (plus, I love txting!). Also, I have completely taken out any personal information like the names of friends I have sent these txt messages to or any other private info for obvious reasons.


My perspective on Life (Txt message #1):


After a realisation I recently made, I thought I'd share it with my friend...

From: Me

To: A good friend of mine

Dude...
U know u don't have a life if the only thing that gets you down on a Saturday, is your highlighter pens running out.




My perspective on Law ( Txt message #2):

After receiving an Arabic message, that was in essence, equivalent to a chain-mail, and was essentially an announcement that, roughly translated, states that a Muslim group decided to protest the film "fitna" (Which I have already discussed here) from being published by claiming that it is all Muslim's duty to boycott Dutch products from 10th of April to the 25th of April and stated that it is only 15 days so adhere to the boycott loyally THIS TIME [emphasis added]. Then they added that I should apply this msg to myself first then send it to all the people I know to get "ajir" or religious virtue. Here is my reply to the relative that sent me this:

From: Me

To: A relative of mine

The Unity of brain and conciseness has decided that the boycotting of dutch food products goes against our very humanity and ideals as muslim human beings. The Dutch government did everything they could reasonably do to prohibit the movie entitled "Fitna" from being published, yet the lone MP that backed that film decided to publish it through the internet where there are no laws for prohibiting such a thing nor any "real" ways of policing the upload of such things by individuals.
Dear brothers & sisters, there are hooligans in every race, ethnicity or country. Do not seal the fate of a whole country's economic stability on the basis of one hooligan's work. It is not right.

Please apply this msg to yourself and imagine how you'd feel if the whole fate of your country's economy is based on the actions of one hooligan who happens to have a government job and shares your nationality. Share this with people you know and I hope, your brain and conscience will shine thru.

Lets just say my relative wasn't impressed with that txt message I sent.

My perspective on everything else (Txt message # 3):

From: Me

To: My landlord

Hello [landlord's name] this is [me],

Firstly, I want to thank u for fulfilling your landlord duties promptly when it came to fixing that leaky pipe, I really appreciate it.

However, I would appreciate it even more if u at the very least, let me have a say when u decide on making renovations to the flat (i had no problems with the floor in kitchen, the water was drying). In the last week or so i've had no privacy. The people u sent knock on my door at 4, 5pm and sometimes at 8, 9am whenever they felt like it, until i told them they cant do that.
2day, one of the guys fixing the supposedly broken floor in the kitchen literally came into the flat while im in bed
[since they work for the company that deals with the maintenance of this building, the concierge gave them the key to my flat, hence he was able to get in], opened the door to my room without knocking... it was clearly a mistake by his part but i am very uncomfortable these last few days and very unhappy with the way things have been handled.

I am sorry for the long msg but i just got to get this off of my chest.



And there you have it; my post; my blog; my self.

(if you enjoyed this please comment, I'd love to hear your opinions!)



Saturday, April 05, 2008

Customer service comparison: Arab vs Western way to customer satisfaction

I recently had an experience with the customer service department in a company I have bought a product from (Bose) which evoked strong feelings from within me. But before I go on, I'd like for people to first examine the Arab way of dealing with customers and for that, I will refer you to three excellent posts from three blogs (that I really enjoy) which illustrate the Arab way perfectly.

Arab way to customer service:

First of all, I want you to click and read this short but vividly described experience between Kishor Cariappa and a waiter.

Secondly, look at BlueChi's eloquently described experience with a company called Emax.

Thirdly, Suburban wrote a harrowingly funny experience about the same aforementioned company Emax but then decided to edit her post once they fixed her product AND I am sure, after Emax realised that her blog is read by many people who actually started to link to her, it seems she got a little bit of respect (see the power of bloggers?).

Finally, I think it is fair to say, that those experiences are not confined to Oman only, but are very evident in Qatar (as well as other Arab countries I've visited) to the point where this is what I, and most people I know, expect from companies generally. I am not going to mention any specific incident I had in Qatar because frankly, I had a lot of them to the point where it just became one of those day-to-day living problems that is just "normal" and expected by people.


Western way to customer service:

For the "alternative" way to customer service I will simply state my most recent experience with a company's customer service here in the UK. That company is Bose, and I was contacting them through email so here is what happened:

From: Me

To: Bose's Customer Service dept.

Date: 4th of March

Hello, I bought one of your
Bose Ipod Sound docks (white) when they first came out [Which was in 2005!] to compliment my (then) new ipod mini but then I bought a nano and now an ipod touch and I had to simply put up with this extra space when plugging my new thinner ipods.

Can you please send me the new docks for the ipod touch and ipod nano (not ipod nano phat but the 2nd generation thinner one)?

Thanks in any case,
Kind Regards,

Me

I honestly wrote this due to boredom, not expecting any reply. It is clearly rushed as you can tell. A day later I get this:

From: Bose Customer Service Dept.

To: Me

Date: 5th of March


Dear Mr [Me]

Thank you for your recent e-mail to BOSE®.

All post 3rd generation iPod#s with an integrated docking connection are compatible with the SoundDock digital music system, the required docking insert adaptor, to enable you to utilise the insert supplied by Apple with your iPod, is now included with the system on all new purchases.

However, I have arranged to send you one, please allow 5-7 days for delivery.

Please contact us on 0800 614 293 (Mon. - Fri. 8.30am - 8.30pm; Sat. & Sun. 9.00am - 8.00pm). One of our representatives will be happy to assist you with any further questions you may have. Alternatively, visit our website at <www.bose.co.uk>.

Yours sincerely,

Tony Wijaszko

Customer Service

Bose Ltd



I read this and remember the strong feelings that were invoked from within me that I mentioned in the beginning of the post? Those feelings were feelings of utter shock and confusion. "Is that it?" I thought out loud. Aren't they going to make me go talk to someone in London or something? or perhaps pay the postage costs even? Or even prove that I do have their product that I claim I have by sending a picture of it perhaps? More importantly, I thought, aren't they going to insult me?
Nope, they want nothing from me but my satisfaction. It took them a month to actually ship it and for me to receive it. But the part I wanted for the product was actually sent for free and without any strings attached.



Conclusion:


I am quite homesick these days so a part of me kind of wished Bose would screw me over so that I can get a feeling of nostalgia and thus ease my homesickness but oh well! I guess you can't always get what you want. And to Bose, you have just gained a loyal customer!