Reasons why I won’t follow you in Twitter


I’ve been using Twitter for more than a year now and I love it. In fact, I love it next to blogging and more than I would ever love Facebook. As of date I have more than 1,000 followers but only follow back a few. That way, I can keep up with my Twitter stream and engage in conversations with people whose area of interests are the same with mine or learn things I don’t know.

There are reasons why I don’t/won’t follow every one who follows me. Here are a few reason why I won’t follow you back:

1. Your Twitter avatar displays a massive boob crack or only have little clothes on you.

2. There are no @ mentions in your Twitter stream, which means you use Twitter mainly to ‘talk’ not listen and discuss.

3. The only topic you tweet about is what you had for lunch, along with Twitpic for evidence.

4. You have too much hashtags on your tweets.

5. The only topic you tweet about is your kids and how many times they vomitted over the last 5 hours.

6. You give advices like how to have as many followers as Ashton Kutcher. Your advice might be great but I don’t want to be Ashton Kutcher.

7. Your tweets almost always have external links. I get it, you want to share links you discovered but those links might be porn sites, I’ll never know.

8. You have very few/no followers but follow a thousand dudes and chicks.

9. Your tweets are suicidal in tone.

10. Your tweets mostly contain obscene language. I don’t want to deal with your potty mouth.

11. Your Twitter updates are protected and I need your permission to follow you.

12. Your tweet stream have nothing on it than inspirational quotes or God forbid, Bible verses.

13.  You are the RT (retweet) queen or king.

How about you? Any reason why you wouldn’t be following that someone on Twitter?

Expat women discussions Part II

Here’s round 2 (Round 1 here) of the local forums’ discussion, feel free to answer some of the questions if you like! 🙂

1. Hi ladies. my husband is in a crazy company

2. How do glamorous people get to look so glamorous?

3. Help me with my big belly…

4. How to make my dining table nice again?

5. Single women in Dubai – where to go?

6. What age to allow teen boys to get their ear pierced?

7. Why do women wear makeup and jewelry?

8. Weight loss without exercise?…

I’m all ears, sister!

9. How to get rid of bats.

And I thought bats can only be found in caves and Bruce Wayne’s lair…

10. Another summer in Dubai and I’m soooo bored

11. What does PRO stand for?

My question: what is Google for?

12. How can I get rid of the smell of cat pee?

13. any pharmacy opened late near the ranches*, my DH is sick and it’s 11 pm!

*ranches = Arabian Ranches, a community of posh villas in Dubai

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Expat women discussions Part I

It’s been a while since I did Thursday Thirteen – a list of thirteen things of just about anything. There’s a local forum I frequently read so I thought after seeing the recent discussion titles, I’d give a Thursday Thirteen spin again.

These are titles of actual discussions at the expat forum site:

1. How to house train hubby in 5 days?

2. Saudi Arabia living for ‘single’ guy

3. He went into my drawers!

4. Power wash my villa

5. How often should I service my car?

6. Would you leave your child alone in the car whilst you go shopping?

Hell I hope no one answered yes!

7. Help with monthly cost Pls

8. Getting kids out of the country

9. How often do you feed your kids?

Is this even a question…how about starting with 3 times a day…

10. Do you leave your kids in play areas and go shopping?

11. Are children too sensitive these days?

12. could you be a cougar

13. Desperate for Hally Hansen tan!

Who is Hally Hansen, I certainly don’t have any idea!


Part II next week!

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Things I learned after 3+ years in Dubai

Dubai creek

1. You can never be accustomed to the heat. You just develop some kind of mystic tolerance towards it but you’ll never stop dreading it when the calendar hits May.

2. At one point in your life, you stop going to the beach. Just like that.

3. The increase in petrol price almost go unnoticed (because it’s that cheap).

4. There are no ‘small’ events in Dubai. If I knew the opening of the world’s tallest building was that grand, I would’ve done everything to get a closer glimpse.

5. There’s another mall opening and you say, “Heh” and continue your normal weekend breakfast instead of jumping out and heading towards it as soon as you hear the news.

6. There’s always a sale at the stores the whole year through.

7. Your friends, daughter’s friends at school or your next door neighbor starts packing up and leave behind their transient Dubai life. (Now that you only started to get close with them, they leave…)

8. Even if the driving schools have reinforced stricter policies, there are still idiots on the road.

9. Living in Dubai has the capability to make my daughter forget her first language (Japanese).

10. There’s just too many stray cats in the streets and that the severe temperatures in summer do not stop the desert birds from procreating whenever chance they get.

[Top Photo Credit]

Reasons why you should come to Dubai in summer

  • Simply because financially, you can! – Special summer rates for 5 star hotels. Airlines and hotels lop more than a third off their normal prices so luxury is affordable.


  • You can travel light! – No need to bring so much clothes in your luggage. Yes, you can show some skin in this Muslim country and keep your head intact. Just don’t overdo it, ok?
  • You feet will thank you – Flip-flops and sandals will do, forget your socks. Time to expose your pale feet to some sun.
  • You can use the hankies at last! – Finally, you can pull those cute hankies given to you as gifts and put them to good use. Try going out and in less than 2 minutes… hankies to the rescue!
  • Mrs. Beckham will envy you! – A guaranteed FREE perfect tan in just 10 minutes!
  • You can enjoy the serene beach – the sand and the sea all to yourself!
  • You can even achieve diet success! – It’s very possible to lose one dress size in a week. But see and smell the streetside shawarmas? Just don’t even think about it.
  • You’ll know what is meant by unbroken blue skies – aside from occassional gray clouds lately, the sun is always shining and skies are always blue here.
  • A bling awaits you – I will award you with the title “Heat-seeker of the first degree”.
  • You will become ‘environment conscious’ – You will know the meaning of 50C  (110-115F) temperature and 90%+ humidity.
  • You’ll know the definition of irony – by knowing how 15C feels like in the middle of summer (inside offices and malls)
  • You’ll know the definition of superficial and denial – There you are sipping your coffee inside the temperature controlled premises called the mall a.k.a. your secondary home and then it hits you: it’s time to go home, go out to the hot reality beyond that sliding door…
  • Above all – Where else can you experience hell on earth?

Side note: Hellish Dubai is available for limited offer only. Don’t ask me what I am doing here and why we continually thrive here when I make it look like it’s unbearable because actually, it is not. When summer is over, Dubai is just perfect! Not too hot and never too cold!

This was originally posted 3 years ago – thought I’d post it again now that there are people reading.

[Top Photo Credit]

Thoughts on our recent vacation (Part 1)

Just sharing some recap/tidbits regarding our recent vacation to Japan.

japan typhoon

1. It’s dangerous to travel during Autumn season in Japan– Autumn in Japan is one of my favorite time of the year. The leaves change colors, the air is crisp and fruits abound! There is a phrase in Japan describing autumn as “shokuyoku no aki”, which roughly translates to “great Autumn appetite”. Autumn is harvest time so there’s plenty of fresh produce during this time. BUT also at this time of the year, the Pacific Ocean brews stronger typhoons during the months of September-November and there is a great chance the flights can get really nasty while passing through the thick clouds or even worse, fly through a storm, head on!

2. Going via Singapore is the long way– There’s a direct flight via Emirates Airlines to Osaka, Japan but it’s expensive and we still need to take domestic flights to Tokyo. This year, we booked our flights via Singapore Airlines, wishing to have one day transit in Singapore and see the Lion City. The downside was Singapore-Narita (Tokyo) flight is quite long, 7 hours. Last year, we took a flight to Narita via Hong Kong. It was the best bet since it’s only 2 hours from Hong Kong to Narita.

airbus 380

3. Airbus 380 rocks big time– and I’m not talking about the turbulence that rocked the double decker plane. I’m referring to the uber fascinating inflight entertainment! You can choose movies, games, music but it doesn’t stop there. You can pause, forward, rewind your preferred movie! You can also insert a USB stick and view your vacation photos on screen. The seven hour flight from Narita to Singapore wasn’t a pain at all and we almost wouldn’t want to get off the plane because of the entertainment we had on board.

4. It rains in Japan during Autumn season– frequently. It rained in Narita when we arrived and most of the days we were there. I love rain but when it rains for the whole day on three consecutive days, hmmm. Not too cool.

5. Pristine loves transparent vinyl umbrellas – since it rained a lot, we had to buy umbrellas and she chose the transparent vinyl ones over the colored or printed because she wanted to look up and see the rain falling from the sky.

transparent umbrellas

Photo from

6. Autumn travel means bigger luggages – filled with tights, wool shirts, socks and my trusted Columbia Sportswear Fleece Jacket.

7. Autumn wardrobe can get expensive– only because we live in Dubai where it’s t-shirt weather most of the year. We have since bannished thick jackets in our small closet so when we got to Japan, we had to buy things to keep us warm. That was a surprise travelling cost for us!

8. Vending machines can become an addictive habit – Pristine was overwhelmed with the vending machines in Japan that spits our cold and hot drinks at a drop of a couple of pennies.

vending machine pristine

9. I need a bigger capacity SD camera card – I have a couple of 1GB and 2GB cards but if I use the SLR or take short videos using my point and shoot cam, it’s not enough and it’s a pain to stick another card. I would love to have a Sandisk 8GB SDHC Memory Card since it’s getting cheaper or go all the way and get a 16 GB SDHC so I won’t have to worry about erasing photos or videos!

10. I need to have a hankie in my hand while on board– because I easily cry over sappy movies. Can you believe? I cried a river watching Lindsay Lohan’s first movie, The Parent Trap!

11. Traffic in Tokyo is worse than traffic in Dubai – the only reason I thought Dubai traffic was the worst was that I never travelled by car through the streets of Tokyo before. There’s no traffic when using trains. The Tokyo roads are complicated, narrow, filled with trucks, has a traffic light every few meters, dirty tunnels and bumper to bumper traffic at any time of the day, not just on rush hours.

12. My Dubai based phone automatically roams– This was a surprise. When I looked at Etisalat’s website and talked to their customer service rep, they said I need to make an application to make my phone use the roaming service outside of the UAE. And I need to deposit 2000 dhs, too (which really sucks). I almost gave up but when I arrived in Narita and turned on my phone, it rang and I got a message saying “Thank you for using Etisalat’s roaming service in Japan”. It’s still a mystery to me.

samsonite unity toploader

13. My husband really needs to get a grip and learn to travel light– I really, really, painfully envy people who, after checking their baggages, line up in the immigration area with a small shoulder bag and nothing else. I try to pack light but my big handbag is at least, always 5 kilos heavy because it contains 2 fresh sets of clothes for Pristine and I, my personal stuff, wet tissues, hand sanitizer, a water bottle (to be filled up after baggage check – I’d like to have water always ready as the plane atmosphere can get really dry and sometimes the stewardess is not always available). But my husband? He has one big backpack, one bag containing piles of paper and another bag containing his big laptop, charger and freaking mouse – with wire! I wish he would get a Samsonite Toploader with Wheels so he can put his darn bulky laptop and piles of paper in one bag and drag it away easily! Anyone who has this bag would swear by the great functionality. Now on how to convince him.

13 Conversations of the kid kind, Part II

I’ve compiled another round of kid conversations with my five year old. I’ve tweeted most of these in Twitter but here it is again, for your reading pleasure (and mine). I like to put this here so I can read it again when she’s grown up.

If you like to see the first installment, you can see it here.


1. One morning during potty.
Pristine: “Mama, come here, fast!”
Me: “What, why?”
Pristine: “Our toilet bowl is getting smaller. My feet reaches the floor now!”

2. While I was choosing what to wear.
Pristine, playing personal wardrobe assistant: “Mom, how about this?”
Me: “Oh no, that won’t fit me yet.”
Pristine: “and this? this? this?”
All the clothes she chose was a little bit tight on me since those were my pre-pregnancy clothes!
Pristine: “Ooooh-kay, let’s buy pregnant clothes!”

3. On trying to explain a very difficult subject, with only a little time available (I was on my way out to work).
Me: “Oh, sorry it’s really so difficult to explain. I’ll try harder later.”
Pristine: “Why, it’s a riddle?”

4. She grabs a flashlight and poked it in my ears.”Mama! There’s something in your ears! Giraffes!”

5. At night when I tucked her to bed.
Pristine: “Good night, mom. I love you.”
Me: “I love you too. You’re the best.”
Pristine: “Best? But what about the other children?”

6. While I was chatting with my good bloggy friend, Stacey, in Yahoo Messenger.
Pristine: “Mom, how do you do that?”
Me: “What?”
Pristine: “That – typing very fast! Can I try, promise I won’t push Enter key and do many backspace later!” (this girl is techy)
She puts all her ten fingers on the keyboard and..

hglaghauthn jautpr jaluwp abanaupwgt bnalowegapu

Pristine: “Ok, mom, read it please!”


7. On one of our favorite role plays.
Me: “You’re Snow White because you are white.”
Pristine: “and mama, you’re Sleeping Beauty because you’re SLEEPING.”
Hmm, there’s something wrong with the equation.

8. While I was over-indulged in playing Wii Tennis.
Pristine: “Stop it mom or else your eyes will get dizzy!”
(What amazes me the most? She’s using the phrase “or else” I think I didn’t use it until I was married..”marry me or else” LOL)

9. Watching Kung Fu Panda.
Pristine: “Mama, are there any other animals than can do Kung Fu?”
Uhm, any Kung Fu Doggie in the works that you know of? Anyone?

10. I stepped into the room and saw her lying face up, eyes closed.
Me: “Pristine, are you ok?” (she just woke up an hour ago so I thought she must not be sleeping)
Silence…”are you ok!?” I shook her.
Pristine (wriggling): “Mama! Please stop talking to me now. I am playing pretend that I’m dead!”
Note: She’s fond of doing monologues, makes up her own script and visual effects. LOL.


11. I wanted to watch Blood Diamond on DVD but stopped it after a few minutes.
Me: “That’s it. Too much violence!”
Pristine: “oooh, why did you stop it?”
Me: “VIOLENCE, do you know what’s that?”
Thinking…..and had a sparkly light bulb moment.
Pristine: “YES! It’s like a guitar but you use it with a bow!”

12. Disagreement with dad.
Pristine: “Papa told a lie. Father lier is not good, right?”
Me: “What happened? What did he tell you?”
Pristine (vehement): “Well, he told me that Vicks is smelly! It’s not true, right?”
*Vicks gotta pay this kid!*
13. I tied my hair in a bun for a day and once I untied it, my hair had huge waves and she gleamed with joy,

“Wow, curly! Now YOU’RE my mother!”

(Naturally, she’s curly and I’m not.)

If you have cute kiddie quotes and you’re on Twitter, send your tweets with the hashtag #plum. Plumkeeperwill retweet it for everyone to enjoy!

Happy Thursday! Enjoy your kids, if you have one or two…

What they’re talkin’ – again

Thursday Thirteen

Thursday Thirteen banner was made by my good friend, Samulli.

I live in the Deira side of Dubai where the English language I hear is the “tweaked” version. Here’ what I hear on a daily basis:

1. Up and down – Not referring to jumping of any kind.

“How much is going to Mumbai, up and down?”

“Really? You got yours for 1,000 dhs only for up and down?”

No idea what that means? Give up? It means, round trip. Don’t be too hard on yourself. I didn’t have the slightest idea the first time I heard it!!

2. Expired – food, service validity and you might NOT guess, human beings.

A colleague told me: “My uncle has expired last night. ”

3.  Do one thing – or two or three, as many as you like! You can hear this when someone is giving instructions on what to do.

“Do one thing, Ali Baba, pick up the mail at the post office and bring it here.” Oops, those were two things!

4. One Mr. xx – There is someone called Mr. xx.

“There is one Mr. Kamal in the accounts department, go meet him.”

5. Increment – “Did you have increment this year?” or “No, the company will not provide increment because of the recession.”

It means, salary increase.

6. Snaps – “Grace, can you take my snaps?”


“My snaps. I’ll come with a nice top (blouse) tomorrow so please bring your camera.”

Oh, photos!

7. Filipiniii– Pronounce, Fi-li-pi-niii, referring to Filipinos here in Dubai. I get this all the time: “Are you Filipiniii?”

8. Goggles– not the swimming gadget nor the search engine, heh. Goggles, dark ones, for the sun! Duh!

9. Pressurizing situation– I hear pressurinzing instead of “pressing” or “pressuring”.

“The client is constantly pressurizing us!” or “Please don’t keep pressurizing me, I am busy with other things!”

Oooh-kaay. Stop the pressurizing already!

10. Everything is “too much”– “Ah, summer. It’s too much hot!” or “What? 10 dirhams for this? it’s too much costly!”

Clearly. This is too much for my ears.

11. I have one doubt – doubt, question, confusion.

“Wait, I have one doubt, how to go to Karama?”

12. “Yeah”– the ultimate sentence ender in Dubai. Gotta love it. Not!

“I’ll call you tomorrow, yeah?”

“So you’ve been in Dubai for almost three years, yeah?”

13. xx Sir/xx Madam– the way the bosses or females are referred to. Here they don’t say Sir Elton John or Madam Tussauds (hehehe, can’t think of any better examples!) they say: Elton John Sir and Tussauds Madam.

This Thursday Thirteen is brought to you by Grace Madam. 🙂

If you missed the first part of What They’re Talkin, check out the post I did last year.

Things you might NOT know about Dubai

1. Dubai was known for its pearl industry until the discovery of oil in the 1960’s.

2.In the 1820s, Dubai was referred to as Al Wasl by British historians.

3. English is spoken widely, even if the official national language is Arabic because of #4.

4. Only 20% of the population are locals, the rest of the population are foreigners (expatriates) from more than 200 different countries.

5.  The man-woman ratio is 3:1.

6. There is no direct tax (no income taxes).

7. It is not hot the whole year! We actually have 7-8 months of great weather that’s not too hot and never too cold.

8. Dubai’s economy is largely based on tourism, not oil which makes up of only less than 6% of Dubai’s GDP.

9. On 2 December 1971 Dubai, together with Abu Dhabi and five other emirates, formed the United Arab Emirates

10. Religions aside from Islam are freely practiced. There is a Catholic church and churches of other Christian denominations as well

11. No matter in which part of Dubai you are in, you will hear calls to prayer at least five times a day. Even in shopping malls, the calls to prayer are put out over the speakers, to remind Muslims that it is time to pray.

12. Dubai has the largest population of all the United Arab Emirates.

13. Dubai is NOT a country! – It is one of the seven emirates of the UAE. So abroad, there’s no such establishment as “Dubai Embassy” and Dubai doesn’t have a capital. (I have been asked about this so many times)

[Top Photo Credit]

13 conversations of the kid kind

When we pay close attention to what our child/children have to say, our days will never be boring! Here are some of the short talks I had with my daughter and some of her quirky remarks about things.

Kids never fail to amaze me! 

1. After dyeing my graying hair daughter sneaks up on me and said: “Mom, your hair smells like medicine. Is it sick?”


2. 5 yo daughter: “Mom, am I an angel?”
Me: “Yes, babies and children are all angels.” She replied: “So what happens when we GROW up?

3. While helping my her with a school project:
5 yo: “Mom please hold these bird feathers.” 
Me: “Okay, anything else?”
5 yo: “DON’T breathe!”

4. 5 yo daughter with earache is praying.
5 yo: “Mom, what do I say next”?
Me: “Ask God for anything.”
5 yo: “God, please be nice to me!”

5. Fruit lesson:
5 yo: “Mom blueberries are boys coz they’re BLUE and strawberries are girls coz they’re RED, right? Riiiight?”

6. While watching Mamma Mia, 5 yo caught me teary-eyed.
5 yo: “Mom, u will cry when I get married?”
Me: “Yes, maybe.”
5 yo: “Then I’ll NOT get married!”

7. She wants brothers and sisters.
5 yo: “Mom I want 2 babies, boy & girl!”
Me: “Oh twins! So, what shall we name them?”

8. When visiting a friend with a new baby:
5 yo: “Mom, can we borrow THAT baby for 3 days? I know how to be a big sister already!”

9. When one of us is sick:
5 yo: “Don’t go to work mom! I’m sick.”
Me: “But grandma is here to take of you.”
5 yo: “Don’t go! If you are sick, I promise I won’t go to school too!”

10. Buying clothes:
Me: “Pink, again!?”
5 yo: “Because I’m a girl! And mom, you should change that black blouse to pink, too.”

11. Mamma Mia movie:
5 yo: “Why THREE possible fathers, mom?”
oops, Mamma Mia is not a child-friendly movie!

12. 5 yo singing Dancing Queen: “You can dance, you can DIVE..”
Me:  “No, it’s not DIVE but JIVE!”
5 yo: “Nope, we didn’t learn JIVE in school!”

13. Japanese-English bilingual 5 yo, starting to pray at bedtime: “Mom, what language does God speak? What will I use?”

I entered these in a contest via Twitter called “Moms tweet the darndest things about their kids“. Unfortunately, none were included in the final top ten list (you can see which kid quotes made it to the top ten by clicking that link). Nevertheless, it was fun recalling the kid quotes and tweeting them.

Do you have any funny kid talks to share?