Saturday, August 23, 2008

Apologies for not posting as frequently as I should

I do not really have an excuse. I have been doing absolutely nothing but eat, read and sleep. I am still waiting to start my job. My physical exam was all good. My contract is being drawn up as we speak and I am just sitting home... waiting and waiting. So I dont really know why I am not blogging that much. I guess there isn't much going on to blog about. No spurts of creativity arising either. Just going through the motions.

It's quite depressing having nothing to do all day. I try to flesh out all my errands to fill up my days and thus get a sense of purpose in life but sometimes, I run out of errands and I end up doing the most peculiar things with my time. Take for example two days ago. I was going to the bookstore to get some sand paper for a project my sister was doing. On the way there, I saw a music instrument shop and I found myself walking towards it. I went in and the salesman asked me how he could help. I replied with a very confident and surprisingly purposeful, "I am looking for a piano" in a tone which surprised me more than anyone. It was a tone of a determined man in search of something very specific and certain. He nodded and showed me up stairs. 10 minutes later, I decided I was going to buy one of the pianos displayed.

Came back home that day with a bag of sand paper which I promptly handed to my sister. She casually said thank you and asked if that was all I bought from there. I said "no, I also bought a newspaper and will probably buy a piano". My mom, took her gaze off of her favourite tv show for a second then said, "you should" in a semi sarcastic tone, not sure if I was serious or not.

I've had my new piano for 2 nights now. I always wanted to learn to play the piano and now I am doing just that. It's keeping me sane these days. Also, my novel of the week has, as always, been a life-saver. I just finished reading Captain Corelli's Mandolin after a person I know recommended it to me. It's a mesmerizing, awe-inspiring masterpiece. I wish I could reach this level of sophistication in my future written works which I aspire to make one day.

Another update in my blog is the list of 'the 5 most recent books I have finished reading' which I have just insterted in my blogs layout and will continuously update as I go along.

Bored beyond belief,

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

I just couldn't pee in the cup...

Disclaimer: This post contains some very graphic language, like the words "yellow substance" & "pee". Reader discretion is advised. But if you read this far, might as well continue because those were the two most graphic words used in this post.

I had to do a complete physical check up before I started work. So I went to the medical center. Entered the building and went straight to the receptionist who quickly pointed me to a room in a manner that made it look like these instructions have become second nature to her. I followed her instructions, and got in to find a room full of people. It had two office tables - one empty (probably a guy on vacation) and the other table was occupied by a nice African woman working solitarily. Had to wait 30 min before she got to me. She finished my paperwork really quickly and told me to go to the lab to give "samples". I thanked her and proceeded to the lab. Got lost as I did not know where the lab is, so I was forced to go back to the receptionist and ask her another question. The Qatari receptionist shot me this look that expressed grave annoyance but I guess she gave me the benefit of the doubt since she told me exactly where the lab was without adding "-you ass" at the end of the sentence... at least, not out loud.

As soon as I entered the lab, I noticed the same people who were in the room I was in a few minutes ago. One of them was sitting down, apparently already dealt with the nurse behind the non-existent glass window (its like a square cut out from the wall) . The other guy was leaning on the window edge waiting for the nurse to finish entering his information into the PC. So I just queued up behind him and waited for him to finish. My mind then wandered off and next thing I know, I find an old Indian guy who apparently entered the lab and simply walked right past me to stand adjacent to the guy talking to the nurse. I got pissed but thought he was old and I just let it slide this time. So after the nurse finished with the first guy then the old indian guy whom, apparently, was also entering & providing his wifes info as well as his (taking an excruciatingly long time without any sense of remorse for cutting the line) it was my turn. I said hello to the clearly bored-out-of-her-mind Philipino nurse and she simply hummed "uhm ... uhm ... um...urgh...wh... uhm" after I gave her my information in the sequence I heard her ask the customary questions to the previous two people. Then, without uttering a single full word, she knelt down and got back up to standing position with a small red-capped cup in her hand. She placed the small cup within my reach and said "Ball". I stared at it, then back at her and heard myself say "ball?". "Yes, Ball. Bol" she replied in an agitated tone. I stared back at her and decided to just stay quite for a second... I knew what she meant but I would rather she pronounces it right or say it in English. After my cold stare and clueless look she added "Uriiine" and pointed at the cup. I took the cup and said, "thanks" with a small grin on my face.

I went and stood outside of the small occupied rest room in the lab. Looked around the room which was basically a waiting area for men. There were at least three men each sitting down with a blank expression on their face and a small newly filled cup of yellow substance inside. The door to the rest room opens and the old indian comes out with his cup grasped in his two hands like it's the holy grail and with a look of pride in his eyes for some reason. I decided not to ponder why he could possibly be proud because no rational theory would ever be pleasing to me or anyone else. I got in to the rest room and locked it up. Gave myself an imaginary pat on the back to encourage me and began to unscrew the red cap from the small cup. I tried to, you know, but unfortunately nothing would come out (Since I already went to the bathroom at home before I came to the medical center). I kept trying to think of relaxing thoughts in the hopes that they would help me finish my business. But all they managed to do was make me feel half asleep. So I just got out with the look of defeat on my face. I could see all the other guys looking at me with their acheivements stored in the small cups they were holding and I decided I needed to get out of the lab to find some water I could drink in order to help speed the process.

Looked around for a water cooler but I couldn't find any so, again, I was forced to ask the receptionist. She pointed me to a corridor and I followed it. Found a water cooler hidden away in one of the turns and I think I drank about 8 cups of water. I could honestly feel the water in my stomach churning and moving while I was walking back to the Lab. Got inside and sat in the now empty waiting room then just stared at the floor trying to think of other ways I could speed the process. Looked back up and found the nurse gazing at me. I got a little uncomfortable from that so I told her in as cool a tone as I could muster that "I couldn't go" as I rolled my eyes at the rest-room's direction. She smiled, told me to go drink more water. I did. Went back and waited. I saw man after man going in to the restroom with an empty cup and coming out a minute later triumphantly with a full cup. And that just depressed me. "How can they pee on demand?" I thought to myself silently. I went in to the rest room after that and tried but there was too much pressure. So I kept thinking of the beach to relax and it was working I was almost there. Then, just before I was ready to go, I heard this extremely loud bang on the door and it just completely messed it up. I came out to find a Qatari man in his 40s who honestly looked like a gorilla who just came out of the jungle and let himself go (beer belly and everything). I gave him a look of disgust and he just walked right passed me. I decided at that very moment that it was time for me to leave and come back tomorrow. So I queued up outside the non existent window to give back the empty cup and get back my papers. Next thing I know, the gorilla man comes out with his full cup and he simply cuts through the queue and stands right in front of me... That's when it hit me, when I realised that this is what I am going to have to deal with for the rest of my life... at work, in the streets, in the malls, everywhere. I just felt so low after that. Handed in my empty cup with the look of defeat in my eyes and said, "give me my papers. I will come tomorrow."

Drove back home, sat in the living room. Found myself with the urge to go to the bathroom... went there and I pee'd three times in a row, I kid you not. It was extremely frustrating. They wouldn't let me take the cup home with me for fear that I would use someone else's "specimen". After my marathon in the bathroom, I just fell asleep from lack of energy that was expounded on dealing with the queue-illiterate mentality that I am surrounded by.