Last night, after my husband and I stuffed ourselves with sushis, teriyaki, and udon, we finally decided to go home. At the lobby of our building, we saw this Pakistani vendor holding a cart full of fruits and vegetables struggling to balance the boxes so it won’t fall off. Here in UAE, if you’re too lazy to go to the store or market to buy something, you can call someone to deliver it for you free of charge. When we entered the elevator, this vendor looked hesitant and too shy to share the elevator with us and patiently waited for the next elevator. So I called out to him and asked him if he wanted to use the elevator with us. He gestured something I understood as, “Really? You don’t mind?”

Inside the elevator, I asked the vendor if somebody asked him to deliver all those fruits and vegetables because it’s a lot. He smiled and told me, “Maloum Arabi?” (Can you understand Arabic). I said, “Aahh…shueya.” (a bit). Then he started talking in fast Arabic and I was trying to catch each word that he said so my face was all contorted like that. Then I said, ” Aahhh…for cooking?” even if I didn’t understand a thing. When he reached his floor, he was still talking in fast Arabic and said, “Shukran!” (thank you). And I answered, “afwan!” (not at all).

My husband was so amazed. He told me he didn’t know I could understand Arabic. Then I was like, what? I didn’t even understand a word he said. I just pretended I did. Then he burst out laughing. He said I looked too convincing. He could’t believe that I didn’t know what the vendor was saying because my face looks like I understood every word he said. He was laughing hysterically that I had to signal him to lower down his voice because we might disturb the tenants. He was trying so hard to suppress his laughter that I couldn’t help but laugh also. We looked like two drunken couple who couldn’t walk straight because of our suppressed laughter.

Well, that’s what I do at work. Almost all patients are talking in Arabic. I just let them talk nonstop then I will just answer, “aaaahhhh….” Works all the time. See, I even fooled my husband.😁


The Wonders of Vick’s Vaporub

I can’t tolerate bad smell. That’s a fact. When taking a taxi, I don’t have any idea which driver has a strong body odor, so it’s like taking chances, really.

One time, I rode a taxi and before my butt could even rest on the back seat, the driver’s smell nearly knocked me out. And I couldn’t back out. It would be rude.

Luckily, I brought my Vick’s vaporub with me which I quickly rummaged through my bag while holding my breath. At last when I found it, I inhaled it like an addict. The menthol in Vick’s temporarily blocked the driver’s strong odor. But then, the driver decided to rest both of his arms behind his head while waiting for the traffic light and my nose suddenly made a quick dive in to my Vick’s vaporub. I was practically inhaling the glob of Vicks. The driver must think I’m crazy or something. I feel like vomiting anytime so applied some Vick’s inside my nose then continued inhaling my pot of Vick’s. I don’t care how I looked or how shiny my nose is as long as I can breathe properly without the bad odor.

When I reached my destination, I almost fell down while trying to literally escape from the taxi.

It was one hell of a taxi ride.

I Left My Ears in my Pocket

I had another attack of deafness while endorsing a patient from ward to ICU and answering the Doctor’s questions. In between ambubagging while shifting the patient, my mind tried to focus on what the Doctor was asking.

ICU Doctor: Does he have any “EXCRETIONS?’

Me: Excretions doctor? Secretions? Yes doctor, too much secretions in the mouth.

The other nurses and healthcare team laughed.

Nurse 1: He said XRAY!

Me: Oh! Xray! Yes doctor, of course. It’s in the file.

ICU Doctor: Did he take any “ANTIEPILEPTIC” medication?

Me: EPIleptic? EPInephrine doctor! (Then I realized my mistake) No! Epinephrine is not for epilepsy doctor. We used it as stat epinephrine nebulizer doctor.

(I still haven’t answered the doctor’s question, have I?)

Then my colleague who went with me to ICU said, “No, Doctor! We didn’t give any ANAPHYLACTIC medication.”

Me: (whispered to colleague) Oh…ANAPHYLACTIC, is it? I really can’t understand his accent!

Oh, well.

Say What?

I have a terrible hearing. Well I’m not deaf. But most of the time, I hear wrong. And sometimes my ears just hear what it wants to hear. Hence, selective listening. But see, my hearing is so terrible, it puts me into trouble.

Indian Patient: My son is in the ER. How can I go home?

Me: Oh, really? Well, I’ll have to ask your Doctor about that.

So I went back to the Nurses’ Station and dialed the number of the admission office to ask for the approval of my patient’s insurance before calling the Doctor. I mentioned to my colleague about it and she said the Doctor will come by later.

So I went back to my patient and told her about her insurance approval and the time the Doctor will come see her.

Patient: How about my son in the ER?

Me: Well, isn’t there anyone else to see your son?

Patient: (Looking confused)

Me: I understand you have to see your son but you’re still admitted so there’s no reason for you to be discharged right away.

Patient: Yes I know. But how can I go home without my SANDALS? I left it at the ER before I was transferred here. Did you call the ER and asked about my SANDALS?

I just stood there realizing the miscommunication that transpired. I just smiled.

Me: I’ll be back.

When I went back to the Nurses’ Station I told my colleagues about the miscommunication.

I thought she said: “My son is in the ER. How can I go home?”

But what she really said was this: “My sandal’s in the ER. How can I go home?”

Everybody laughed.

Well, at least the patient didn’t realize I heard her wrong. Unlike my other colleague wherein a patient asked for 2 CHAI (tea) and she brought the patient 2 CHAIRS.


Pasta (English)-n. noodles/Pasta (Tagalog)- n. dental filling

My flatmate was cooking pasta and it looked yummy so I wasn’t able to prevent my thoughts from coming out.

“It looks delicious,” I said.

Then I realized I sounded like I’m asking for a taste and confirmed I did when she said, “I’ll let you try some.”

“No,no! I didn’t mean it that way! It just looks delicious,” I said.

I think she got offended by it when she said,“It just looks delicious?”

“I’m sure it’s delicious, really,” I said.

Moments have passed. I was in the kitchen washing dishes when she approached me again peering at my face.

Flatmate: “Asan ang ngipin mo? Lalagyan ko ng pasta.” (Where’s your teeth? I’ll put some dental filling.)

Me: “Ha?”

Flatmate: “Yang ngipin mo, lagyan ko ng pasta.” (Your teeth, I’ll put dental filling.)

My face was all contorted and I was thinking if I ever asked her if she knew some Dentist…

Then I realized my mistake. She said PASTA, didn’t she?

Oh my gosh…ahahahaha! This was the actual question:

Flatmate: “Asan pinggan mo? Lalagyan ko ng pasta.” (Where’s your plate? I’ll put some pasta.)

Me: (My thoughts) Ahahahaha! Tanga! (Stupid!)

To regain my composure, I made another mistake by quickly pulling out a plate from my cupboard and gave it to her, just so she wouldn’t realize I didn’t hear her right. But then I realized I looked like I’ve been waiting for her to share the pasta with me. So I made another stupid statement.

Me: “Uy, di ako nanghihingi ah! Baka sabihin mo nanghihingi ako…” (Hey, I didn’t ask you to give ha! Maybe you’re thinking that I’m asking…) Pardon the translation.

Flatmate: Okey lang, marami pa naman.” (It’s okay, there’s plenty of it.)

Seriously, I wasn’t really asking…

My thoughts just turned into words and my ears heard wrong.

But she did peer at my face and I thought she wanted to have a look at my teeth if it needed some dental filling…

I even forgot she cooked pasta.

Then why the hell did I hear her wrong?

Pasta…I don’t need pasta! My teeth are perfectly fine. But you can put it on my plate, thank you.



I always get “electrified” whenever I accidentally rubbed someone’s elbow, or when my arm touched the rails of a crib. One time, my colleague and I both felt a sudden jolt when we touched the side of a crib. I was looking for some bare electrical wire that might have been touching the crib but there was none.

Colleague: I remember what my professor said about this energy inside our body. Sometimes you cannot unleash that energy that when you accidentally rub elbows with someone or touch a steel/metal, it feels like you’ve been electrified. Then my professor said, sometimes when a person don’t get sex that often, the energy mounts up.

Me: Oh…so that explains why we got electrified, haha!

Then I saw the material girls (cleaners).

Me: Hey W, can you touch this crib for a while? G and I felt a jolt when we touched it.

W: (Touching the crib with her hands and arms.) What do you mean? There’s nothing here. See? See?

I was laughing so hard that I finally told her what my colleague told me.

W: Oh…(she then touched the crib again.) Oh! It is grounded!


The Slimy Noodles

After walking at Corniche beach with Ryan yesterday, he treated me to dinner at Subway. Then we met up with Noel (who also went jogging) and treated us to this Indian Restaurant to try out this veggie noodles. I guess I’m not the only one turning into a health buff. 🙂

Noel said there’s this noodles that resembles and tastes like “Lomi,” a kind of noodles in the Philippines which is famous in Batangas. It’s a thick, flat noodles in a clear, kind of sticky, slimy white soup. He forgot the name of that noodles on the menu so he asked the Indian waiter which noodles it is as he described it.

Noel: Brother, which noodles here has thick noodles with white sauce? I can’t remember if it’s the Hakka or the Szechuan noodles.

Indian waiter: Hakka is blah, blah, blah, a little bit spicy, blah, blah. Szechuan noodles is red, a little bit spicy, blah, blah, blah.

Noel: No, that’s not it. (Thinking long and hard.) You know, in the Philippines it’s called Lomi.

Me: E di lalong di nya naintindihan...(The more he wouldn’t understand…)

Ryan: Brother, you know, it’s slimy.

Indian waiter: (Blank stare.)

Noel: Masyadong malalim ang English mo, simplehan mo lang. (You’re English is too deep, make it simple.)

I was trying to think of a much simpler term than slimy. Sticky? Gooey? Viscous? The more that the waiter wouldn’t understand me.

Me: Don’t you have pictures of the dishes in your menu so we can show you which one it is?

Indian waiter: No, we don’t have. No problem, order what you want and if you don’t like, you can return. No problem.

Noel: Okay, we’ll just try. We’ll have the Szechuan and instead of Hakka, make it Singaporean noodles.

He then turned to us and said, “Baka yung Singaporean noodles yun.” (It must be the Singaporean noodles.)

Alas, when our order came, nothing resembled our famous Lomi. Nonetheless, we enjoyed the noodles even if it’s not “slimy.” 😉