Bookshop Review: The Bookworm in Dhaka, Bangladesh

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Recently I flew to Dhaka, Bangladesh and had a 26-hour layover there. Most crew when flying to Dhaka told me that they just remain at the hotel, not going out as it is considered dangerous for ladies to go outside unaccompanied. But I was curious about this hustling city that hosts a lot of ready-made garment factories for fashion brands from all over the world.

I was googling about places to go in Dhaka. There are several local tourist attractions that look interesting, but unfortunately none of the crew wanted to go out with me. Since I’m going out by myself, there are only two places that I’d likely go to; either a cinema or a bookstore. Unfortunately, I was there on Tuesday and every Tuesday a lot of places in Dhaka are closed.

“Government decision, Madam,” said an uber driver named Saiful Islam when I asked him why Jamuna Future Park, the biggest mall in Bangladesh, was closed. He also said that not only the malls that were closed, but a lot of other tourism attractions, too. His English was so limited that he had to explain the rest in his native language, which of course I didn’t understand.

I remembered that before the flight I was browsing about local bookstores in the city, so I opened my browsing history and there I found The Bookworm. Continue reading →

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When You’re Too Excited To Go For A Flight

This morning I woke up with full energy, believing that I would go for a smooth roundtrip flight to Beirut. It was supposed to be a long day today, but I felt okay because when I checked the crew list a couple days before, I knew some names and I flew with them before. And for the remaining of this month, I only have three more flights to go: Beirut, Kochin, and Cairo. So everything should be fine and I’d welcome April with quite a good roster 🙂

I went to the check hostess to sign out before heading to the flight operations. To my surprise, I couldn’t find my name on the operating crew list today. I immediately checked my crew system, wondering whether there was a schedule change and I somehow I missed it. Oh, no, I don’t want to lose another flying hours after my recent New York flight was cancelled due to snowstorm!!

“My dear, what happened?” asked one of the check hostesses upon seeing me confused.

“Ma’am, I didn’t see my name on the list today. I’ll check whether or not they have changed my schedule suddenly.” Continue reading →

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A Visit To Khalil Gibran’s Hometown

Who doesn’t know Gibran Khalil Gibran? He was one of the most famous poets in the Arab world and known as the third best-selling poets after Shakespeare and Lao-tzu. My first encounter with his poems was when I was still a high school student, in May 2004, one of my classmates gave me “The Prophet” by Khalil Gibran as a birthday present. At that time I was into beautiful words by Shakespeare and Emily Dickinson. Getting a book by Khalil Gibran was a turning point in my life that would later drive me to study literature in university.

The Lebanese-American artist was born in Bcharreh, Mount Lebanon on January 6, 1883. Gibran and his sisters, Mariana and Sultana, were brought to United States by his mother in 1895 for a better living. During his lifetime Gibran studied in Boston and Paris and he was known for his poems and paintings. But in his last days, Gibran requested to be buried in his birthplace in Bcharreh. I was wondering why didn’t he want to be buried in the states, where he spent most of his lifetime… So I went to Gibran Museum, which also serves as his final resting place, during my trip to Lebanon. Continue reading →

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Visiting Aviation Museum in Riyadh

On one of my days off recently, I went to Saqr Al Jazeera Aviation Museum which is located in East Ring Road, Riyadh, around 19 km from the compound where I’m living in. After two years living in the capital city, this was my first time ever going out not for flight duty or mall-hopping, so I was really excited!

At the front gate which is visible from the streets outside, people can see the L-1011 Tristar aircraft with the old Saudia livery on its body. I used to wonder what’s inside this museum, but never really got a chance to visit it. And now that I actually went there, I got to see how civil and military aviation in Saudi Arabia has developed during the past five decades. Continue reading →

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Regrets


Regrets are regrets. Sometimes it can be prevented from happening, other times it’s just inevitable and there’s no way back. Although we often say to ourselves to live life to the fullest with no regrets, there must be some things in life that we wish we did or did not do. I don’t know about you, but my regrets mostly were things that I didn’t do.

 

Things that I did not have the courage to do, people that I didn’t appreciate enough when they were still with me, and beautiful moments uncaptured that became bittersweet memories.

 

If I could turn back time… I didn’t wish to do things differently. I just wish that I said what I needed to say. For whatever happened after that was something that I couldn’t change or control. But at least, they would know that I did not mean any harm to our friendship or relationship. That I loved them. Unfortunately that love was long gone, undeclared. And we carried on living.

 

Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

March 13, 2017

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Athena Books: The Beginning of Bookselling

I have been an avid reader since I was in the elementary school. At that time I only read comic books or short graphic novels. To me, those books are easy to understand and will only occupy a little bit of my spare time. But my family’s financial state when I was little was not really good; buying books was something that we couldn’t afford. So I was a regular visitor to my school’s library. I’d even spend most of the lunch break time sitting down and reading a book. Before the break ended, I’d be borrowing two or three books for one week’s amusement.

Now that I work and make money, I can buy any books that I want. But I have to be careful with my expense, so every month I have to limit the budget for book shopping. I am blessed with this job because it enables me to visit a lot of very interesting bookstores all around the world and browse for international bestselling books. There are so many books that I’d love to have but I don’t think my bookshelf can accommodate all of them for now. For the past five years, I have been reading mostly non-fiction books. The book genres vary from biography, history, travel, to self development and business management. I am lucky to have access to these books that are mainly sold in the United States and United Kingdom. But not every book lover is as lucky as I am, right? Continue reading →

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Are We Materialistically Jealous of Other’s Life?

What is a perfect life?

We often depict it from the eyes of someone else’s. From their updates on Facebook, Instagram or other social media accounts. They seem so happy, so fit, so lucky.. Without a single care in the world. As if they don’t have any baggages to carry on their shoulders. Partying from one club to another, squatting their asses off at the gym to have a sweet, round, spank-able butts like the Kardashian’s, enjoying sunset with their loved ones in an exclusive resort, happy family gathering pictures, stylish and luxurious outfits of the day with the famous brands hash-tagged and mentioned.

Do we really think that they’re the happiest people in the world? Or are we just materialistically jealous of their lives?

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Dammam, Saudi Arabia.
February 16, 2017

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