that's my pin for work. we don't have uniforms. just a dress code and a declaration of love for shoes. well, i'd probably wear that pin even if i didn't work at payless.
yes. that's my first job here in canada. i'm a sales associate (aka: saleslady) sa Payless Shoe Source. our store is located in a mall here in Calgary, so mas fun unlike in a detached store in the middle of nowhere. before i time-in for work, i go window shopping. and minsan after work din. hihi...
you read that right. i am having fun!
it's a no-brainer work. once you've memorized the rack plan (yun yung arrangement ng shoes sa store) and some customer service protocols, you're good to go. i've been to law school so memorization is a piece-a-cake.
so what do i do there? syempre sell shoes. ehehehe. which is easy coz it's a payless store. the concept behind it is, it's a selfservice shoe store. the shoes are displayed according to size and if you want to buy a pair, you just take it from the shelf and bring it to the counter. so mas madali dito. you can just leave everyone there to find everything for themselves. unlike in the philippines na nakatago lahat ng left shoe so you have no choice but to call a saleslady.
anyway, for the past few days, i've been memorizing the rack plan. (kids, womens, men... dress, sandals, casuals, sandals, athletics... dexter, predictions, fioni, airwalk...) so incidentally, i do stocks narin, which i like to do. i clean the shoes up, meaning, take the unnecessary pieces of paper sa box (yung mga nakasuksok sa sapatos na bago...) and then i put them in their proper places in the rack. simple! you don't need a law degree to do that. ehehehe...
and just recently i've been taught how to till (aka work the cash register) i like this one too except when they pay for cash. kasi naman up to now, nalilito parin ako sa mga coins. at suklian. (dahil nabobobo ka sa math sa law school... bigla tuloy ako na-bilib sa mga jeepney drivers ah...) so fave ko when they use their debit or credit card, which is a lot more often naman than cash payments. so ok narin.
nga lang, when i do the till, i hate doing returns. dun din kasi yun tas it is a more complicated transaction. (eh diba nga ang goal nga is minimal mental activity?) and they have such a lenient return policy so sa isang araw, you can't help but do 5 returns sa 2 hours mo sa register.
anyway, what i love the most is breaking down shipments. so may dadating na boxes from the supplier, i'll open them up and arrange the shoes according to gender and size. i like it coz sa backroom ginagawa yun. it's quiet and you get a break from the customers. plus nakikita ko yung bagong dating na shoes so nagsusukat narin ako. ehehehe...
so aside from it being a no brainer job, it pays me a decent wage. interestingly, mas malaki ang sweldo ko dito sa payless kesa sa mga lawyers sa pilipinas. but syempre naman, mas malaki naman ang gastos dito. a friend in the states once said, we earn in dollars but we spend in dollars too.
so what happens to my legal profession? honestly, i don't know...
for more than four years i've been trying to become a lawyer in the Philippines. i don't want to spend another couple of years trying to become a lawyer in Canada.
parang i'm just tired of studying and trying to become...
for a change, i just want to BE someone.
right now: a sales associate in Payless.
and soon: a lawyer in the Philippines.
well, it's already been a month since we moved here.
and now, i'd like you to see our new home.
the house is owned by a filipino rin and we are just renting it for a year, or till we can afford to buy our own. anyway, when we got here, it was empty except for the stove and oven, the microwave, the fridge and the dishwasher (which we haven't used until now coz the plates we brought are not dishwasher safe.)
but as days pass by, we are able to slowly fill it up.
ay ang gulo pala.
the first furniture to arrive was the dining table. the first weekend here, we went out to a potluck party and when we got home, ayun, asa front door namin. astig...
anyway, it was lent to us nung ca-couples for christ ni mommy. they've just met when we arrived nga eh. tas yun, willing na sila magpahiram ng mga furnitures. well, they're not using it naman daw.
the dining table.
syempre ang daming nakapatong. bahay na bahay
next was the coffee tables. anthony, our landlord, visited us the day after the party. nakita nya yung dining table. so sabi nya, he has center tables and side tables na super pareho ng color ng dining table. he'll bring them over daw. so he left, and in 10 minutes, ayan na sya with all the little coffee tables. ang galing. as usual, nakatambak lang naman daw yun sa garage nya. so we might as well use it.
and then came the sofa. kakatawa pa nga eh. it was the same day the coffee tables arrived, someone went here para sunduin si daddy and glen para magbuhat ng sofa. tas napansin nya na may dining table na and coffee tables sa living room. sabi pa nga nya, terno-terno yung mga tables. so sabi ni mommy, wish nya, na yung sofa eh terno rin. sabi naman nya: sige, kung di terno yung sofa, wag na natin kunin. ehehehe...
but syempre, ang lakas magdasal ni mommy. terno sya sa lahat!
anyway, since wala kaming tv, we were bored out of our mind. Bong and Josie lent us a cd player with a radio para naman di masyado tahimik sa house. but a week after, nag garage sale nearby and they found us a 14or17-inch television for $25! astig! oh and anthony found bed frames for us $25 din.
the living room.
see... kumpleto na!
well the mattresses for the bed frames came a week after. there was this agency for new immigrants and they give out mattresses for free! and it's not just the foam manipis na matresses ha. it's the bouncy mattresses. yung two-piece na ang isa eh puro spring and yung isa eh foam. mga less than 2 feet na nga sya pagmagkapatong eh. and with the bed frame, super taas na ng kama namin!
take note of the bed. yan yung libre. yung gulong sa ilalim, yun lang yung bedframe!
so parang ang gulo ng room namin. ehehehe... faye and i share a queen size bed. tas basically, yun pa lang ang laman ng kwarto namin. but we love the walk in closet. ang saya pala. ehehehe...
anyway, last na dumating yun computer table. nung una, nakapatong yun sa isang side table lang. ok na sya naman dun, pero syempre, any act of kindness is welcome. ehehehe...
it's so cold nga lang sa basement kaya wala masyadong tumatambay dun. (btw, our room is sa basement din... so super cold...) but it's super maluwag. so dun nalang sinasampay ang mga nilabhan. (spin dry palang kasi yung washer namin which is kasama rin sa bahay pala.)
so that's our new home. at first syempre we don't feel cozy kasi sobrang luwag ang walang gamit. now, ok na. makalat na nga eh. ehehehe...
mga kapitbahay sa tapat.
mga kapit bahay sa likod
Downtown was like Calgary's Makati Business District. And 7th Avenue was it's Ayala Avenue. Yun nga lang, instead na walkway, may free train ride all along the 7th Ave.
Anyway, maganda naman.
We got our Social Security First. It was fairly easy. As usual, maraming pinoy. Parang isang group ata ng mga OFW yun.
We finished mga 11 na. at nahihilo na kami sa gutom dahil maaga kami nagbreakfast. So we walked to find a nice fast food resto. siguro naka 3 blocks na kami pero wala parin kaming nakikita. puro fine dining. and since 2nd day palang kami sa canada, we didn't want to splurge. so tipid muna.
We entered Chinatown mall. hmmm... icky sya. as in parang lumang viramall. di ko inexpect...
the chinatown mall at a distance
So lakad na naman... We were getting bugnutin na, tas si mommy ang bilis pang maglakad. Para syang energyzer bunny. lakad lang ng lakad...
Then we saw this diner. mejo shabby looking. pero sige na nga. mahihimatay na ko sa gutom eh. So nagorder na si mommy. mukang mura lang eh. less than $4 a meal. So we looked for a spot and there i realized, shet, nakakatakot sya ha. it was poorly lit and the walls are stained with i don't know what. imagine, the first stage of diner-dash, in real life. and though i didn't see any people, feeling ko somewhere behind it, may naka-higa na homeless person. and si mommy na CR person, di man lang nagattempt maghanap ng CR.
as in seryoso, mas malinis pa kumain sa mga karinderya along kalayaan. at least dun alam mo na kahit papano, winawalisan yun araw-araw. eh ito, mukang may areas na di na napupuntahan ng tao.
it was too late to backout now. so we settled by the door kung saan naiilawan ng natural daylight. and hope na walang riot na mangyari sa loob.
we totally stood out sa place na yun. family, tas ang ayos ng suot, malinis... buti nalang 2 aussies na mukang turista also walked in. so di kami totally alone sa loob.
Anyway, dumating yung food and it looked good. super laki ng burger. and ang daming fries on the side. but syempre, yung fries lasang pinirito sa lumang oil. tipong yung oil na bago 3 days ago. actually, kung sa malinis na restaurant yun, pwede pa sya. kaso, sobrang dumi dun who knows kung anong nangyayari sa oil during the night.
But the burger was pwede na. i was super gutom na di ko nalang inisip kung san galing yun at kung anong processo sya nanggaling before. i imagined burgoo...
The day after, we shared our adventure kina ate josie and kuya bong. Sabi nya, tambayan daw yun ng mga homeless and don't we dare go into that place again.
daddy enjoying downtown
Upon landing in Calgary at around 9am, I noticed how sunny it was. Nagpustahan pa nga kami ni Faye kung gaano kalamig sa labas eh. I mean, the coldest that we can think of is parang Tagaytay or Baguio. But no... para kang tumambay sa frozen section sa SouthSupermarket sa Alabang. As in 2x ng gabi sa tagaytay. Na-shock nga yung utak ko at hindi nya matanggap na this sunny can be so cold.
Sinundo kami ng new found friends ni Mommy (via connections sa CFC). We had lunch sa house ni Ate Josie (dating officemate ni mommy) and natuwa kami sa real food. kakasawa na kasi yung pagkain sa airplane eh.
Then we went to our house na. We made arrangements na to rent a house even before we left Manila. Pinoy yung landlord so pumayag sya na upon arrival nalang lahat ng formalities (contract signing, payments...) Anyway, when we got home, nag-unpack lang kami to find the blankets tas ayun, naghigaan na kami sa sahig (carpet naman so ok lang) and then tulog na. that was like 1 palang ng hapon pero antok na antok na kami.
anyway, we woke up around 7 or 8, maliwanag pa. as in parang 4pm sa manila. and they picked us up to go to the superstore para may pagkain naman kami for the night. syempre, sa grocery, in awe kami at first. almost everything was below $5. parang ang mura. eh well hindi pala. kasi magkaiba ang $5 sa P5.
so we got home from the grocery at around 10pm. shortly after, tulog na naman.
we all woke up at around 3am. grabe. so since gising na lahat, we decided to go downtown.
we went to the nearest bus station which is a block from here lang and waited for like 20 minutes. may sched pa naman. but syempre, super excited, we left mga 20 minutes before the sched. ganda ng bus. we bought bus tickets before hand coz it's cheaper daw. a ride cost $2.50 (so mga 100pesos yun...) tas kasama na dun yung train.
Fish Creek-Lacombe Station, C-Traini like riding the train. and ganda kasi ng sights. well i liked riding mrt in manila but mejo nakakadepress yung mga makikita mo especially in the guadalupe area.
anyway, sa downtown, we got our social identification number and our health insurance.
we got home ng mga 2pm. lahat kami groggy na sa antok.
woke up at 8pm to have dinner. well i did eat dinner pero di mo ko makakausap ng matino. i was half awake the whole time and very bugnutin.
again we woke up early in the morning... for oversleeping nagka migraine na ko. so we decided not to sleep in the afternoon. naglakad nalang kami sa neighborhood ni faye. we walked at our back alley tas inikot lang namin yung side namin of the block. pagdating namin, syempre nawala ang antok, but after dinner, mga 730 ng gabi, tulog na agad kami.
it was a saturday so we went to church nung hapon. then we were invited to a potluck party na puro pinoy family. okay naman. i just felt out of place, kasi kung hindi mga mommies and daddies, kids naman aged 7-12 ang mga bisita. tas lahat sila laking canada na so mejo nose bleed.
hinatid kami pauwi and pagdating namin dito sa bahay, may dining table sa harap with a note. whoa... pinahiram ng another pinoy new found friend ni mommy. ayos.
the next day, mommy decided to do the laundry. natuwa sya kasi yung labada, paglumabas, semi tuyo na. ako, natutuwa maghugas ng plato kasi warm water ang gamit.
tas late in the afternoon, may dumating na sofa and side table. kamusta naman yun? dumadating nalang bigla ang mga furnitures!
Oh! and pinahiram din pala kami ng radio w/ cd player. Para di naman daw kami ma-bore since wala kaming TV.
we went to the public library at natuwa ako ng sobra. para kang pumasok sa fully-booked tas pwede ka manghiram. you can even borrow cd's and dvd's eh. and infairness, mejo decent naman ang collection nila. may timbaland, jt... tapos 3 weeks yung due date. saya! went home with 2 books and 2 cd's
people lent us airbeds on our first night. but by now, slightly deflated na sya so nakakahilo na gamitin. and we were sleeping in the floor again.
we decided to go back to the library kasi wala kaming magawa. returned some of what i borrowed and took home some more. grabe, tuwang tuwa talaga ko sa library.
anyway, by this time mejo nakaka-adjust na kami ng tulog. we were sleeping at around 8pm and we wake up at around 7am. so pwede na. in fact, di ko na nga nakikita yung gabi eh. as it turns out, mga 1030 ng gabi lumulubog ang araw dito. bibo masyado.
STUFF I NOTICED:
Ang daming pinoy. As in never pa ko nagpunta sa isang lugar na walang pinoy. Sa bus, sa train, sa mall... we are everywhere.
Hindi ka ma-O-OP dito, kasi sa labas, mixed-races talaga. as in walang dominant race. you see white people, asians, africans, indians... you name it. as in multi colored ang world dito. anyone would fit-in perfectly.