Friday, October 31, 2014

WRITE UP | Language Barrier... and the Funny Side Of It All

Funny Conversations

English is a universal language, and although there are existing grammatical rules; the language is still modified depending on which culture English is used. I'm no nazi when it comes to grammar, and I embrace the fact that people have the right to express however and whatever they feel in the closest words they can think of. The only thing is, it sometimes become funny, but hey I'm not complaining.

All at the Same Time

The past, present and future all walked into a bar at the same time.
It was tense.


Girl 1 : I cuted my hair today?
Girl 2 : Did you mean you "cut" your hair today?
Girl 1 : No it was past tents.


Text message sent by a flirting girl-
Girl 1 : Your adorable.
Guy 1 : No, you're adorable.
Girl 1 : Aww, that's sweet.

Now the girl thought the guy likes him when he's only correcting her grammar.

The Take Away

Talking to an Egyptian waiter. I asked if he can put my food in a container so I can take it home...
Me : Can you take out my food, I'm in a hurry...
Waiter : What?
Me : Take out... 
Waiter : I don't understand...
Me : (Brain re-wires) I mean take away!
Waiter : Ok.

(Sometimes I still forget that I am not in the Philippines)

Did you walk?

Two students chatting in class-
Student 1 : How did you go to the next class? Did you walk or did you ride?
Student 2 : Of course did you ride.

What's your favorite food?

Was talking to my Korean student and asked him, "What's your favorite food?" He replied, "Chicken." I asked again, "What else?" After a long pause, he quipped "Teacher, I also like chicken wings!"

Slow Internet

While teaching English to my Korean student, the student interrupted-
"Slowly teacher, my my brain is buffering. The Internet is suffering!"

Phone Mishaps 1

So busy working on something at the office when the phone rang. My colleague picked it up and probably because of over thinking she greeted, "Hello, can you help me?"

Phone Mishaps 2

Someone called an office and this is how the line was answered-
"Hello, can you hang yourself for a while, I'm on the line"

Asking for a Wifi Booster

At a computer shop, I wanted to buy a wifi booster-
Me: Do you have this wifi booster, you know the thing that you connect at the back of the modem...
Salesman: NO
Me: (With all the hand gestures) It's like an antenna, a stick, a rod, (for a loss of a better word)- a satellite
Salesman: NO
Me: (Frustrated) Modem? Router?
Salesman: NO
Me: (Give up) Okay forget it.
Salesman: You talking about a TV?

Yes and No

Talking to a supplier-
Me : The room is not available?
Hotel : Yes
Me : So, is the room available?
Hotel : Yes
Me : Is that a yes or a no?
Hotel : Yes


While a friend was asking for direction
Friend : Could you tell me where this building is?
Bystander : Just go straight, straight... and sometimes left.


In Saudi, a colleague was making an inventory of computer stock, when he asked another staff, "(Referring to computers) Don't we have a dual boat? (should be, boot)

Still in Saudi, another colleague was talking about astral projection when he exclaimed, "I think I'm just having some associanation (should be, hallucination)

Funny Signs

Driving along the coastal region of Oman, we passed by this butcher's shop and the sign reads- "Sale of Murdered Chicken". (Poor chicken, tsk tsk tsk...)

Even at Death

In an email to one of my colleagues, a client wrote- "Today our manager has expired. But what to do, that's life!" (Okay, so we just move on.)

Restaurant Encounters

In Cambodia, without looking at the menu, I ordered from the waiter- "Can I have one Avocado juice please." When he came back, he gave me a black coffee, and I was like "what's that?" The waiter was surprised. Turns out that there's a coffee in Cambodia named "affugado"

And of course the funny Filipino expressions

"Ben, eat your hat out"
"All in a sudden"
"When it rains, it's four"
"Thanks God"
"Are you joking my leg"
"It's not my problem anymore, its yours anymore"
"Well, well, well. Look do we have here"
"For all intense and purposes"
"Sorry, we can't serve you bananas. Our bananas ran away"
"Base to base casis"
"Hello Mcdo... How much is a kidney meal?"
"But sooner and later"

It's even funnier when some foreign words are translated into English using online translators. And I must say that I don't really trust online translators because translations require understanding of the cultural essence of words. So, although online translators can give the general idea of a foreign statement, it does not really give a complete accurate meaning.

There is a brand new online translation services called Smartling that facilitates human translation and I quote, returns translated content to you quickly and easily. For more information, you may visit -

For the meantime, enjoy the dynamic nature of English and have fun with it. We only live once, so better not take life too seriously. Have some laugh, it will do you some good. Cheers.

Friday, October 24, 2014

DANCE | Learning Salsa Moves - Beginner's Combo & RHT with Threading the Needle

In addition to the salsa steps we're doing in our salsa class at Latin Dance Muscat, I decided to maximize the time by learning a few other moves which I think are executable at least to our level.

October 25, 2014
For this week, I'm featuring the salsa combinations of I Live Salsa taught by Katie and Ian.

Beginner's Combo 2

Right Hand Turn (RHT) with Threading the Needle

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

SPECIAL | Happy Diwali

Wishing all our Indian brothers and sisters who are celebrating Diwali Festival- a joyous and prosperous Diwali to you and your family. Stay blessed..

Monday, October 20, 2014

SPECIAL | The TOP Expats Destinations Are...

TRIVIA TIME! Did you know that according to the latest results of InterNations Survey (2014), Ecuador is the TOP expat destination in the world... (makes me wonder why?)

And that the PHILIPPINES (Seriously!) comes at number 8 (right after Spain) in the countdown. This is one surprising result considering that the Philippines is marred by corruption and crimes, spiced with gargantuan traffic problems every single day. But then again, I may be looking at Manila only. Could it be that places outside Manila are becoming haven for expats? If so, then Philippine Government should really be working on their ass to develop cities other than the overhyped Manila. Just my ten cent's worth of thought.

Source: Welcome to Expat Insider,

Saturday, October 18, 2014

MOVIE REVIEW | Gone Girl (2014)- Funny, Sinister and Mind Boggling

To be fair, I won't disclose anything on the narrative of the movie. One has to go and see it to actually realize how it is. What I will be writing in this review is basically how I feel about the overall treatment of the film.

Hitchcock's shower scene in "Psycho". 
There are three movies that reminds me of Gone Girl. One is "Psycho" by Alfred Hitchcock, the other "Requiem for a dream" by Darren Aronofosky and finally the 1974's "Carrie." The styling is of course distant from each other, but the way the story was presented- in a back & forth manner made it more interesting. Flashbacks were constantly utilized and provided background for the audience i.e. Day 5, followed by Day 3, followed by Day 6, etc. Truly unconventional method of building up a story. This is what makes the film strikingly similar to "Requiem" because the narrative is not linear. Whereas in the case of "Psycho", the
Carrie all drenched in blood.
audience is kept at dark who the real villain is until the end. Further, it was also reminiscent of the 1974's Stephen King's classic "Carrie" especially in the scene where Amy was all covered in blood. 

Another notable element of the film was the voice over of Amy. It gave the audience a better glimpse of how she feels and how she she thinks; how she plots and how she devises scheme. And because of that, gradually the audience learns to despise her- the Amazing Amy that America loved; the Amazing Amy that could get away with whatever she does.

Ben Affleck was effective in his acting although I felt that there was something missing. Don't get me wrong, I find Affleck portrayal of Nick as amazing. The problem was, the character seemed to resemble Affleck's normal personality and in effect, he doesn't look like he is acting. But Rosamund Pike was the girl to hate and love in the movie (this girl deserves an Oscar!). She was so convincing in her portrayal of the control freak Amy. Neil Patrick Harris was also notable but he looked so awkward knowing that he's gay and he's having sex with Rosamund's character. Just doesn't add up to me.

Ben Affleck as Nick Dunne; Rosamund Pike as "Amy Dunne"

The musical scoring was also effective. In some of the reviews I've read on Gone Girl, director David Fincher said that he wanted to create a relaxing and yet sinister mood in the film. That's why the first few minutes, the audience is confused what to feel. 

Overall, the film was spectacular and I would rate it 9/10 for the simple reason that it had a very unexpected ending- one that would leave the audience wondering what could possibly happen to Affleck's character.

A Comparison of the Mise-en-Scene of Amores Perros and Requiem for A Dream

Friday, October 17, 2014

MOVIE | Gone Girl (2014)

Saw "Gone Girl" last night at Vox Cinema in City Center Seeb. I am not a Ben Affleck fan (though I am not really a fan of many Hollywood names), but this movie directed by David Fincher, based on the book by Gillian Flynn, just left me and my colleagues last night utterly disturbed. 

Briefly, Ben Affleck as Nick Dunne
was funny, Rosamund Pike as Amy was sinister, and Carrie Coon as Margo, Nick's twin & Neil Patrick Harris as Desi (the ultra billionaire) were amazing in their performances. (Longer review to follow).

Overall, it was a mix of scary-romantic-sinister-thriller type of film. What I can gurantee you is that it'll make you think at the end of the film..

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

MISC | Articles to be Released this Week

Next articles to be released this week-

  • Backpacking Adventure Series 1 - Muscat to Dubai
  • Backpacking Adventure Series 2 - Dubai to China
  • Backpacking Adventure Series 3 - China to Korea
  • Backpacking Adventure Series 4 - Korea
  • Backpacking Adventure Series 5 - Korea to Singapore
  • Backpacking Adventure Series 6 - Singapore
  • Backpacking Adventure Series 7 - Singapore to Muscat

Note: Articles to be submitted to Tripoto (so far, only my Cambodia trip has been featured. I need to be featured again to reach more people).

EVENT | Singing the Night Away at PDO Public Beach

Last night there was a spontaneous invitation from a friend to go out, where- heaven knows?! And at the end of the story, we end up singing songs at the beach... only thing missing was a bonfire, and I am a boy scout over again.

Reaching the Beach
PDO Public Beach
Coordinates: 23°38'19"N 58°29'29"E

Originally planned to walk around Qurum Park, but I suggested PDO beach instead. I've been to PDO beach for three times and the place is teeming with locals and expats (mostly Pinoys and Indians).

Sunday, October 5, 2014

TRAVEL | FAQs on Oman

Masirah Island
Q : What's the best way to get to Masirah Island
A :

Note: Suffice to read the link of fellow blogger Andy. Soon as I find ample time then I can write my on advice. 

Q : Nizwa to Masirah?


Nizwa to Mahout - 5 hours 35 minutes (367 km)
Mahout to Masirah - 43 minutes (26.9 km)

TRAVEL | Prologue to Personal Travel Guide

When I was in high school and university, I had this habit of re-writing everything I wrote on my notebook. Back  then, laptops are not common so everything had to be done manually. So yes, it was through pen and paper that I write notes over and over again. Time consuming but makes retention of details longer. In other words, the information becomes more long term compared to works done by typing on a keyboard. 

Flash forward to 2014... It has been ages since I have done anything manual, except write occasional minutes or phone call details. As I look today, I realize that there is just not enough time to do manual writing. But this shouldn't really be the case... though I must contradict myself because I need to write in my blog details, details, details... information that needs to be shared, for others and for me as well.

So, the long and short of this is that I am going to start writing my own personal travel guide starting with Oman. What I plan to write are basically FQA's by people wanting to travel in the Sultanate. So, let me start by writing on the next entries.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

EVENTS | The Many First Times in September

And then of course there are those memorable moments with friends and random people that suddenly jolts your routinary life.

FIRST TIME : Dolphin Watching and Snorkeling

Dolphin watching and snorkeling with colleagues
Frankly this was the first time I've done dolphin watching or snorkeling. Even though I have been in Oman for 14 months, I have not done much activity (I dare say). Because there are so many things that one can do, if only there's enough will and motivation. But then again, Oman has so much to offer. PLUS, with amazing people around, nothing can go wrong.

FOOD | Grilled Fish to Sweets... the Gastro September

Rounding up my whole September- it looks like this month is all filled up with FOOD! To think that I'm a see-food diet (I eat when I see food). But come on, this is Oman, what else can you do aside from dancing?

Grilled Fish at Grand Lounge, Al Khuwair

Grilled Fish at Grand Lounge
Turkish Restaurant in Al Khuwair
My favorite so far when it comes to excellent grilled fish + turkish tea at reasonable price. Their boneless grilled fish comes with some veggies and potatoes at 3.5 RO. 

TIP: They serve free turkish tea (sky's the limit)

Visit them their website:

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