Where are you from?

This is the number one question that I get from people that I meet for the first time. When I first came to Norway, I did not mind people asking me questions. I understand that some people are just curious types. I do not talk too much to people that I just met. In short, I am a shy type person but I can be really talkative, depends on my mood and the topic. However, I did get tired of this questioning every time that I meet new people here. Why do they ask? Do I look like and alien? Is there something wrong with my Norwegian?

Aside from this question, I do get a lot of how long have I been living here in Norway. In the beginning I felt like I was being interrogated. So, as much as possible I tried avoiding eye contact with people by the bus stop, cafes and restaurants. However, there were times that it was impossible for me to avoid any conversations with strangers. Like for instance when I was waiting for the bus, a man came to me and asked for the time. When I answered him, he asked me where I came from and if I am living here in Norway for a long time now. I think he just used the time as an excuse to talk to me. I told him that I am from the Philippines and been living here for more than a decade now. Then he told me that I do not look like from the Philippines. He thought that I am from Japan or China because of the color of my skin (which is unfortunately pale or yellowish). He also thought that I am adopted because according to him I speak Norwegian fluently. I started to get uneasy and irritated because he started telling me about how lucky I am to be able to live and get an education in Norway and be able to escape poverty and terror in the Philippines. It made me want to run away from him. But I did not. In fact, I sat beside him on the bus just to educate him about the Philippines. Haha! Oh yes, I am Philippines’ newest ambassadress!

Eventually, I started to realize that when Norwegians ask me where I came from, it is because a lot of them are not used to seeing foreigners or other races in the area. Though they travel a lot, *”they can feel like a child in an unknown woods, away from their parents and grandparents. And sometimes they get a feeling that a Filipina like me or other foreigners will try to fool and rob them” (*An excerpt from Odd Børrentzen’s book: Hvordan forstå og bruke en Nordmann.). They do not mean to be rude. They only need answers and some of them only want to talk.

Death

I had a series of writer’s block lately. Some of my friends who are following my blog thought that I am taking a break from blogging because of my absence. They were wrong. It’s just that depressing thoughts were in the way and I just needed to reflect about it.

In just a span one week, I received two bad news. Deaths. The first one is my friend’s 2-year-old daughter who passed away because of severe asthma and the second news is the passing of two of my patients at work. My two patients died on the same day according to one of my colleagues. I got really sad because those two patients were close to me.

Death is inevitable. For the land of the living, it is a terrifying and depressing phenomenon. However, for those who have lost hope and for those who are in excruciating pain, death is salvation and a refuge.

May you rest in peace. I am sure that you are now in a better place.

 

Costa Adeje 2016, Part 3- Last Part

Day 3

I woke up to the sound of the pouring rain. First, I thought that I was just dreaming. Then I looked outside our balcony. Our towels and our swimming attires were soaked and the sky was grey. I thought that I’d never see the sun for the rest of the day and that we’re stuck in the hotel. I went back to sleep and when I woke up it’s already almost 11 a.m. It means that my bf and I should move our ass out of the bed right away if we want to eat breakfast in the hotel restaurant. This time the rain stopped and the sun was up. My bf and I had no plans but you know Norwegians when the sun is up there is only one thing in their mind, to get a tan. I almost forgot that the weather in Tenerife is way different from home. Rain doesn’t have to last the whole week. We spent our day at the hotel with the bf’s family and enjoyed unlimited foods and drinks by the pool. How cool is that?

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The kind of blue that keeps my blues away.
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Took a dip into the pool with this little one.

 

Day 4,5,6 and 7

Even though our hotel is almost perfect, I didn’t limit myself from just staying on the hotel’s premises. Tenerife has a lot to offer and staying at the hotel for the rest of the trip would be a waste of vacation days. Anyways, here are some of the things that I did during my stay at Costa Adeje Tenerife.

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Visited Playa Fanabe

 

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Walked by the beach alone.

 

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Drank tequila sunrise while watching the waves.

 

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Appreciate the stylish straw umbrellas.

 

Chased waves.

 

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Checked out hotels, bungalows and houses.

 

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Watched the sunset.

 

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Went hiking.

 

I also met some amazing people when I was there. I usually don’t talk to strangers or initiate a conversation with someone I don’t know but I’m quite friendly and talkative when people start talking to me. So, the first one that I met is a Chinese waiter from Taiwan. He’s working at Intercontinental restaurant at Playa La Pinta. He asked me where I’m from and I told him I’m from the Philippines residing in Norway. From there we exchanged stories. The second one is a psychologist from Berlin. I met her at the same restaurant, same evening I met the Chinese waiter. She was too sitting alone in the restaurant. She too asked me when I’m from and since we’re both alone that evening, I’ve decided to join her table.

I hope you all  enjoy my Tenerife posts. Thank you and have a nice day!

“We leave something of ourselves behind when we leave a place, we stay there, even though we go away. And there are things in us that we can find again only by going back there.”
Pascal Mercier, Night Train to Lisbon

Costa Adeje 2016, Part 2

Day 2

Our hotel is located on the right side of the motorway. Just a 2-minute walk from Gran Sur shopping mall. When we went out of the hotel on the second day, we didn’t take the cab because we wanted to take our time exploring the place. The picture below reminds me somehow of the place where I grew up in the Philippines because I grew up near a shopping mall and a motorway.

Anyways, the bf led the way since he knows where the beautiful places are as he has already been here one time before and besides he has a better sense of direction than me.

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The motorway.

Tenerife is more than its beaches. There is also shopping. Lots of it! So if you’re into shopping but at the same time wants to experience the island life then Tenerife is the right place for you. My bf knows me well so he took me to a shopping mall. After checking out the shops, I’m proud to say that I resisted the temptation from buying stuff here. Haha!

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Centro Comercial San Eugenio is one of the shopping centres in Costa Adeje

Then just around the corner, I found a fast food restaurant, Southern Fried Chicken or SFC for short. Is it me, or it’s just that it sounds like the famous American fast food chain? BF and I took a break here. I had one piece of chicken breast with fries and he had a sausage. The price is not bad considering the size of the menu. I ordered the smallest chicken meal they had. I only paid circa 3 euros. The chicken tasted good and yes SFC has satisfied my KFC cravings.

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Southern Fried Chicken.

The Beach!!!

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Palm trees

Moving on, the first beach stop is Playa la Pinta. It is a small beach but a lively one. There, we met my bf’s family, enjoyed the sun and found Restaurante El Puerto. The children got ice creams, the bf, his siblings and dad got drinks and I had a crepe with ice cream. This is one of the restaurants that I recommend here at Playa la Pinta because the service is really good and the staff are friendly and good at entertaining kids.

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Straw umbrellas and sunbeds.

What I love about the beaches in Tenerife is that using sunbeds and straw umbrellas is free of charge. All you have to do is to relax and have fun.

 

Ps. See part 3 for the continuation.

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