travel & lifestyle blog by ruth dela cruz

What I Received in the Mail the Other Day?

January 12, 2012

I didn’t receive a death threat or a bomb. The courier and Mailroom (Department) of our office informed me that I have a package from Australia and I know for sure that it is from the partner travel agency assisting us in completing our travel documents.

To tell you honestly, I am getting more scared and nervous each day. I cannot feel any hint of excitement in my system regarding the assignment. First, it is not even a vacation and second, I got tons of things to accomplish before I leave.

I forgot to blog about what happened during our weekly call last week (I am that busy!!). First, we were surprised with an announcement that one team member is no longer joining the assignment. He is the IT Guy of the group and his skills is really needed. I was saddened, even though I only get to see his profile in our directory.

Anyway, unlike the previous calls, we are more talkative – which I think shows sign of engagement. What made us talk? Roman (our facilitator) invited Michelle (she was assigned in Indonesia in the previous year), and she was on the call to answer questions.

So what questions were asked?! Well, basically more about lodging and living. I don’t want to go into details of the call but sharing some bits and realities:

*We might probably stay in an apartment and we will share room with each other – think of Big Brother House without the cameras. Yay. I am so used to sleeping in the comforts of my bed, with air conditioner, WIFI access, a phone, and stuff toys sleeping with me on my bed. I didn’t even stay in a dormitory when I was in College, or live in a Condo which is few steps from my office because I feel more comfortable sleeping at home. We always try to get the best deals in hotels whenever we travel. I don’t want to sound so demanding, but I am only human – and I think it is normal to feel this way.

*Staying in an apartment means no laundry service – how am I going to do the laundry? I can do my laundry and wash my clothes, but I know some states and countries don’t allow such. Plus, I wonder if I would still have time to do that on weekends. I can pack clothes good for 4 weeks, but the load will eat my baggage allowance.

*Speaking of laundry, I need to plan my clothes. I do plan the type of clothes I wear whenever we travel just to make sure I wear clothes suitable to the weather, itinerary and of course, my style. Now I need to prepare stuff that is fit to the culture. What do you wear in a Muslim Country? We were advised we need to wear something that should cover our arms and legs (that’s so not me!), but we also need to consider the weather (Michelle said it was extremely hot there).

*My clothes should also go well with my shoes! My former boss told me I should buy Crocs to protect my feet because we might do alot of walking. But I don’t want to look like a Volunteer Chef! Michelle shared that she did buy and wear Crocs then. I am thinking of buying more flats from Payless. Michelle shared that they always took off their shoes when visiting houses, institutions and offices. There was even one time when they visited a mosque that they have to cover their hair too (btw, since I need some fashion inspiration, I finally signed up in pinterest. Please add me up –

*As usual we will have our weekends off – I asked what they usually do in weekends, and she said that there would be one sponsored trip for the team. She also recommended that we go to Bali, Indonesia in group. This makes me a bit excited!

Looking at the pictures in Google Search Result for Bali, Indonesia – the pictures remind me so much 
of Philippines. This one stands out!
Art Center in Indonesia

*Regarding food – well we have per diem but she said that the apartelle where they stayed in has a kitchen, but it really depends per assignment. Who knows we might just stay in a shanty little house. She advised not to cook and eat American food but try the Indonesia cuisine (I will sure do!).

Looks like a typical Filipino Dining Table!

Indonesian Cuisine (pic from Wikipedia)

 *For some reason we talked about mosquitos. I always bring the Citronella Oil (yes, from Human Nature) everytime we go out of town BUT Michelle, and even Roman said that it is best to buy mosquito spray in the country because the concentration might be different and ours might not be as effective.

To be honest, the whole thing makes me nervous. I may sound immature, but I am just being honest with myself. I guess it is part of the whole learning process. If there is one thing that I am learning and developing at this stage, it is setting priorities and time management. I chose not to attend blog events, with my normal routine of home – office – home since the year started. I try not to tire myself too much with irrelevant things. Although I enjoy attending events, I do prioritize the things which are more important at this time.

Those are just updates. Will blog about what happened during the call last Wednesday.

Do you have suggestions on what to wear and what to pack?

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