Posts Tagged ‘blackberry’

As a follow-up to my post, A Tale of Two Cities, I have decided to put together a list of things I’ve learned from all the time I’ve spent in Jeddah. I was supposed to publish this post earlier but then decided that since I’m going back to Beirut in a matter of days, now would be the perfect time. I hope you enjoy reading this list as much as I have putting it together. Here it goes!

Al Baik

Al Baik's Logo

  1. Food, no matter where you get it from, is always great tasting. I’m most partial to Al-Baik, a broasted chicken chain that is deeply associated with Jeddah AND is incredibly delicious.
  1. Wearing the Abayya is not as bad as it sounds. First, you wouldn’t feel like an outsider. Second, you can wear one that’s colorful so you don’t have to worry about conformity. Third, since it covers all your clothes, you don’t have to dress to the nines every time you go out.
  2. Sleeping when the sun comes up is perfectly normal even when you have work in a matter of hours. Day and night have been truly redefined.
  3. Arabic is not the official language, contrary to popular belief. Asian expats don’t speak Arabic, Arab expats have a difficult time understanding different dialects and the locals will only speak in their distinct dialect.
  4. The sheer organization of taxis in this country makes me actually miss the chaos that is Lebanese “service”s.
  5. We’re in the second decade of the 3rd millennium and women still don’t drive, and things don’t seem to be looking up. (more…)

Map of the territory and area covered by prese...

That's where I am right now

Hello Everyone! 😀

This is just a really quick post to update you readers on my whereabouts.

As you probably noticed, Tom has been taking care of TnT while I was busy finishing up my summer courses, packing, and getting safely to my other house in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.

That’s where I am now and will be for the next month. But don’t worry, I will be blogging more often (whether you like it or not :P) about all things random, music, and probably some TV shows that I will be watching in this “break.”

I had a great flight aboard Middle Eastern Airlines (MEA), even though the plane was small and my claustrophobic tendencies started to kick in. The service was absolutely great- I really had no idea flight attendants could be so nice based on my previous experiences. The movie selection was very limited and the screen that happened to be in front of me was blurry so I switched on my iPod and listened to my regular playlist. But otherwise, it as a smooth flight.

Of course, in true Lebanese fashion, the minute we were on Saudi ground, almost everyone turned on their cellphones and Blackberrys, and hence the *dings* started. Let’s just say it’s a miracle the passenger that was sitting in front of me is still alive.

Then it was time to get through passport-control and baggage claim. We had to wait for around 30 minutes for the baggage to arrive, then wait for it be scanned. I was sort of worried because I was “smuggling” in two magazines that contained beer and girl ads which are a no-no here. Its safe to say that they’re still hidden somewhere in my laptop bag.

And after half an hour in the taxi, I finally got home and the night has just begun!

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A very, very common scene

It’s early in the morning and I’m in a service, on my way to yet another exhaustive day of classes. In the front seat, a young man is sitting, clutching his phone as though it was a lifeline. But he’s not waiting for that call to rescue him, he’s just waiting for his friend to reply to his Blackberry message (BBM).
I sit in class, trying to take down notes, but my stream of thoughts is interrupted by that loud *ding* that erupts from the other side of the classroom. The professor just looks, gives that usual “put away your phone” look, before continuing with the explanation.
I go to lunch with a bunch of friends but any form of social interaction is abolished when the “Blackberrys” in their wildly colored cases come out. Talk is restricted to just asking for the napkins or the ketchup to be passed around.
It’s everywhere you go and it just won’t do. The BBM fad has taken over Lebanon in a wave that’s origins are hard to detect. One moment, we were debating if the iPhone trumps the standard Nokia phones we all have, and the next, we began to throw around words like Curve, Mini-curve, and Bold. We also upgraded from exchanging phone numbers to emails, and now to the BB Pins (also now part of the BB owner’s identity).
The true irony, however, is that this tool, for lack of better word, was invented for businessmen, not mere college students. But just like everything else, we had to take a simple item and abuse it to the extremes.

Blackberry Bold: Be Annoying

On countless occasions, the people who have no interest whatsoever in this fad have had to tell their addicted friends to cool it down, resulting in several problems.
And let’s not begin to talk about the number of accidents that happen each year on the road because of texting or talking. Do we really need this one more thing to add to our already sky-high death rates?
I say no.
A phone, contrary to popular belief, is used to call people. That’s right, the good old fashioned talk. And it should fit in the pocket of your favorite pair of jeans so that it won’t get lost amongst the many, many items you have in your purse.
But then the text messaging came, and we integrated that into our daily lives. Then, in rapid succession, cameras, mp3 players, mobile internet, and other advanced technologies were added, and we just grinned and deemed them necessary.
But they’re not. Otherwise we wouldn’t have cameras, iPods, laptops, and hard drives.
Trying to improve on the functionality is only driving us to insane addictions to a piece of technology that could not be bigger than the palm of a hand.
It’s not like our phone rates are peanuts. Lebanon, as a matter of fact, is ranked as one of the most expensive countries in terms of phone services. That is not something to boast about.
I am the proud owner of a Motoralla Razr V3i, which used to be all the rage when it came out. It’s a hand-me-down, but I don’t really mind it. It has had more knocks and bumps than what a normal phone should be subjected to, but it continues to work perfectly. Plus, the options are simple and easy to deal with.

The most resistant phone yet

I doubt that the latest limited edition Blackberry will operate in the same way. It is a bureaucratic operation all in one single phone, with the interfaces and menus requiring hours of reading the manual.
The trend, unfortunately, is at its high time now, with more people than ever buying into it. And sadly, BBM is now a verb, along the likes of Google and Facebook. For the anti-BB people, there is nothing to be done but ride out the storm.
It will be all over in 6 months tops.