Thursday, April 7, 2011

The Power of your Password

I start each day by logging onto my computer, logging into email, onto my bank website, onto Facebook - I spend probably half an hour each day typing different passwords. With internet security, creation of passwords has become a serious topic, but in creating the perfect password we are ending up with random letters and numbers with symbols which have no meaning and become monotonous. My thought is this - why not use your password to start your day off with a smile or self esteem power words. Why can't your password be URNUMBER1? How amazing would you feel typing that every time you log into your computer or a website. Let's take this annoying task and make it something that instead of being a gray and dull task, something full of color and makes us sit up straighter in our chairs. What will your password be?!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011


Anyone who knows me, knows how much I love to share. I appreciate when others share with me and I try very hard to share, but there is a limit and that brings me to today. Lunch was brought into the office today to treat the staff who have been working very long hours. The fare was traditional middle eastern food - hummus, falafel, swarma, pita bread, and vegetables. This is all served "family style". As many people know there are two types of dining which I dispise - family style and tapas. I should not be complaining and many are thinking why did you just not join in the meal, but I don't want to offend anyone and with this being my first trip to Jordan, I am on my best behavior. As I stand around the table with the team, none of us with utensils or plates, they must have noticed a look of - sorry to say disgust - on my face. So a spoon was retreived and two plates. One for me and another for a gentleman who probably feels the same way that I do about food -don't take my food! The spoon was used, dropped on the dirty conference room floor, and put back into the hummus. No hummus for me! Now everyone is sharing the pita bread, just ripping of pieces and sticking it in the hummus, gathering shwarma, ect. I can't do that. So I stood around the table and just took it all in for a minute, deciding which had the least amount of germs/bacteria - this is my equivalent to street food. I finally garner the nerve to have a small piece of pita bread that had been left untouched, three falafel balls which were on the plate in the middle and so not been fully attacked yet and a couple of pickles, thinking that the vinegar would help ward off some germs. As I sat and munch, I starting thinking to the long hours and that one employee had been to the hospital because he was sick with cold/flu/fill in the blank. I am hoping to not get sick, and though I probably won't - it is chances like this that I take which puts me at risk for food poisoning and getting sick when I travel. I just can't afford to be careless next time, but as I didn't want to offend anyone by passing on lunch, I joined in. An appreciated lunch by the team who has been working so hard, now I am focusing all my mental power on not getting sick!

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Nothing to report in Jordan...

Jordanians work hard and protests have only been taking place on Fridays after prayer. We will see what happens tomorrow, the King, who is well liked has put up signs outlining areas for peaceful protests and is keeping the opposition outside the capitol, so I am interested as to what will happen.

I have been loving Apple technology by using FaceTime with Matt and Jennie. I love seeing Matt everyday and it makes being away easier. With Jennie I can check on her packing progress for the big move a block away.

There are no tanning beds and I am losing my tan:(. It is just horrifying, new tan plan when I get home. Also, three hours after my scheduled landing in the US, are family pictures at the Capitol. I am so excited. The photographer has amazing shots in her portfolio.

I will update on the events of tomorrow though I do not intend to leave my hotel room.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Location:Princess Basma,,Jordan

Monday, March 28, 2011

Welcome to Jordan

I somehow get wrapped up in drama, but that is never my intention. I love quiet evenings at home with my husband and actually fancy a game of scrabble in our pjs to anything else. But alas, my life is not without its share of excitement. I was told on Thursday that I would be off to Jordan on Friday. Yup, plenty of notice to get my life back in order after being on vacation for a week. I of course prioritized all the items that I wanted to take care of over the next month, including sweeping the patio and getting ready for spring! I am also very comitted to being a one bagger, and did my best to put everything into one carry-on - but thanks to my friends at Turkish Air, no can do. I was over the weight limit for carry-ons. I have never had someone weight my carry-on before. How insane! So much for not taking full size shampoo with me and not worrying the entire trip about lost luggage. Thankfully no drama. Arriving in Jordan you can get your visa at the airport, in of course the local currency. But no worries there is a money change right there for you - how convenient. How can I make that my next business model. I have a captive audience who is not concerned with exchange rates and fees. I met my new driver who is from Jordan but his family cover over from Israel in the 40's. Because of this he cannot leave Jordan. So much for birth right citizenship - seriously USA, we should re-evaluate, no other countries do this. I degress... I was excited to spend 10 nights at the Marriott hotel. Finally, I will start accumulating hotel points to go with my much coveted frequent flier miles and status. (Matt will be able to see what luxury is all about come September!) I always get settled into my rooms, unpack, iron, hang, and take over the bathroom with all of my goodies. During my first day in the office, Sunday, I was told that the embassy was highly recommending that I move from the Marriott to another hotel because of security. The protests from the weekend, that had gotten a little out of control, were anticipated to continue on Sunday and the Marriott and my dreams of hotel points there went out the window. I have moved on to another hotel with a great rewards program, only problem is that I was going to start using the Marriott in Pakistsan to continue to grow this new membership. Oh well. Oh, and because most Jordanians have jobs, there will not be any more protests until Friday and probably Friday after prayers. The setting and drivers are much like those that I have encountered in the West Bank. Though there are many rotaries here and like in the US, nobody properly teaches people how to drive around them. Seriously, there are rules to rotaries. I think that I will have to start teaching people - my next business plan, though I fear that it will not really take -off. Hit the gym while on a conference call and blogging while I wait for my seared chicken dinner, then a long night of work ahead of me. Cheers!

A Dreams Vacation

Just having come off one of the best vacations ever, I wanted to share the fabulousness of Dreams Punta Cana. Matt and I enjoyed an uneventful flight down to the Dominican Republic and were the 1st passangers off of the plane due to our excited. Immigration and customs goes by quickly - once paying the $10 per person at immigration, you can quickly start your vacation. We had booked through Cheap Caribbean and found having the prepaid transportation helpful. The drive from the airport to Dreams was a solid 45 minutes. Though slightly long, it gave us the ability to see the country. The Dreams team met us upon arrival with a washcloth for freshening up and a mimosa. Yes please! The check-in went quickly and we were off to drop off our bags and start our week of relaxation. The first night was a birthday celebration and the Dreams team did a wonderful job singing to our friend and delivering a pre-ordered cake. The dinner at Portofino was amazing. We had a LONG wait, almost 2 hours for a table, but I think that it was so worth it - amazing! We learned not to arrive at 7:30pm, as this is the big rush and larger tables for 6, especially at Portofino fill quickly. Other amazing dinners included El Patio, and Himitsu. I tried my first sushi (well California rolls and crab, so I didn't delve deep into sushi, but this is a start!) Buffet breakfast was great with tons of selections. The entire week consisted of relaxing by the pool, switching from shade to sun in order not to burn. Our group was part of the daily water vollyball, and we were undeated - naturally. The waitress service was nice, though slow at times. We could make our way down the lazy river to the swim-up bar and back before the waitress returned with our drinks. We were tipping and did seem to get better service then some - though those around us were receiving the same level of service based on our tipping. The entertainment staff worked hard all day. This included activities during the day on the beach and pool, great shows at night, and themed evenings at the disco. St. Patrick's Day was the best with green beer (slightly gross, but good effort), green mixed drinks, and a green foam party. The only negative was the lack of enforcement on both the dance club and drink service to those under 18. After an uncomfortable viewing of a lap dance competition at the disco one night we brought it up to managment and they worked hard to take care of this. They do not use bracelets, so it is all based on what an individual says and I can't blame the kids for trying to succeeding. We found that after that, kids were being id'd at the disco entrance and at the bars. Sorry for ruining the fun, but very uncomfortable to have 14 year olds grinding at the disco near me. I enjoyed a couple of runs on the beach which were nice and allowed me to get off the resort and see locals fishing in the early evenings. What an amazing vacation! I would recommend the Dominican to anyone and warn them of the Mama Juana (a shot created by locals).

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Another day in Islamabad

Each trip gets easier but I am still trying to feel my way around culture, fashion, and food. I have two outfits but I need to be much more fashion forward and maybe bring my personality to my wardrobe here. As I am here, it is getting a little easier but I am still very unfashionable, at least that is how I feel.

In regards to food, I am loving the spices. My favorite restaurant, Tirimisu has opened a Thai restaurant and I was able to attend a private sitting prior to opening night on Monday. It was amazing!

I am starting to learn the ropes on culture and have just learned that it is rude of me to extend my hand to shake. I always thought I would offer and if rejected no problem.

Still learning so much.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Location:Street 52,Islamabad,Pakistan

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Weekly Roundup

The last two weeks have been a whirlwind of travel and work. With a proposal due last week, it was long hours in Boston before submitting the proposal in Israel. Boston was amazing staying with the always fabulous Jen & Euan. We hit up new bars fir after work stress relieving drinks, pedis and tanning in preparation for Punta Cana. I love spending time with them.

Israel was a nice trip with gorgeous weather and a hotel room overlooking the Mediterranean Sea. I also was able to hold a few social/business meetings while in the country.

My return to the states was crazy with cancelled flights and delays leading to an overnight in Newark. I did however spend a fabulous weekend home with Matt running to the National Archives and Museum of Natural History and a great evening out with friends.

Now I find myself on route to Pakistan for a 10 day trip. After being inspired by "Up in the Air", I am packed in only a carry-on. Let's hope I didn't forget anything!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Location:D 89,Dubai,United Arab Emirates

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

I won!

Here is my baggage as packed with the assistance of Delta baggage specialists.

I did beat the Peapod delivery guy to Jennie's and was rewarded with a pink can!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Location:St James Ave,Boston,United States

The day I beat the battle with baggage

I try to be organized and at many times I am quite successful, but as has become the norm, when it comes to business travel, I always seem to disregard transportation to the airport. I do not know why or why I did not learn after the first chaotic effort to get to the airport but yet again I found myself lacking transportation this morning. Now as a side note, transportation has been arranged for weeks for Matt and my Punta Cana vacation.

So here I am staring at Reagan and Thatcher, frantically calling taxis, trying out my new iPhone app, taxi magic and all with no success. After an hour of failing at securing wheels, I saw the writing on the wall and with three suitcases, my work bag, and my snowboard made my way to the metro. This is an 8 block walk which on any other day, even in snow, I can walk with no complaints but today I was begging for a taxi to drive by...but not one did. I dud make it to the metro and the 12 stops to work. Upon entering the office, there was unbelief in my feat, I must say that only a person possessing super powers would attempt that trek. I must admit, that the first thing I did was schedule my taxi to the airport before removing my coat!

You would think ghat my adventure stops here, but at the airport curb baggage check they wanted to charge me $185 for my mound of luggage. With two empty pieces, I just couldn't allow this so in my dress in the sidewalk I started unpacking my one piece of luggage to try and get it down to two carry-ons and two checked pieces. Thankfully one of the employees felt sorry for the trauma of having my delicates and everything else on the sidewalk for display, so we devised a plan. When I retrieve my luggage in Boston I will share, but it is unbelievable! Let's just say that I was successful and only paid $60 for baggage and over tipped my accomplice for his efforts and out if box thinking.

So off I go to Boston having showed my luggage and Delta who's boss! If only I was flying a star alliance partner, I can check 3 bags each weighing 75lbs with no added fees. Hey, these adventures only build character, right?!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Location:Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport Access Rd,Arlington,United States