Monday, December 23, 2002

happy new year 2003!!

i'm not sure if i'll get a chance to blog while i'm on vacation.. and really.. why would i? i'll be busy relaxing on the hammock reading white teeth by zadie smith on our ocean view balcony. if not that, then bathing in the warmth of the morning sun and the crystal clear waters of st. lucia.. hehe.. ok, sorry no more rubbing in. but i do want to wish all of you a very happy holiday season and a bright and prosperous new year! i hope to make a lot of changes in my life (for the better) this coming year, and i look forward to sharing my experiences with you all. thanks for reading and sharing. for those of you travelling, be safe!

Thursday, December 19, 2002


i am so outraged by the articles i'm about to post here, that i couldn't even come up with a title for this entry. the laws of this country are getting more and more stupid each day. not sure why i'm just now reading about this, but i am absolutely horrified by this and even more so by this.

my dad won't even come visit me here because he refuses to be humiliated by customs officials who will undoubtedly cause problems for him because of his name and the way he looks.

this is bullshit. i'm outraged. the aclu needs to get on this shit with the quickness before it gets even more out of hand than it is right now. if that's even possible...

Wednesday, December 18, 2002

i flipped the DR the bird...

the last thing i need is uncertainty over my vacation. we've been planning this trip for far too long to be worrying about it a week before the departure date. the DR embassy could give me no consolation as of this afternoon as to when or if i would get approved for my visa. he wanted me to wait until friday.


...4 days before the proposed trip...

so, after thinking it over for the last two nights with c, i decided to flip them the bird. they're sending me my passport back today.

instead, we are changing our destination to st. lucia. not only is it one of the few countries where i, as a bangladeshi citizen, can go without a visa (the no-visa thing is a result of both countries being a member of the commonwealth of nations), but it also just seems a lot more friendly than the DR. actually, anything seems more friendly than the DR right now. i am still quite annoyed by the whole thing, but console myself by visiting the hotel website every so often because i am excited that not only does it look like a nice, relaxing, quaint hotel, but it is also gay owned. gotta love it. i spoke to the owner on the phone several times today and he is quite the sweetheart.

by the way, did you all know that the "sandals" chain of resorts have a policy, an actual policy, that prohibits homosexuals from patronizing their resorts? i always knew it was for couples only, but i never knew it was restricted to heterosexual couples. what a bunch of assholes.

anyways, i now know that i will be spending my hard earned dollars wisely, in a country that will not hassle me for being muslim, and at a hotel where c and i can feel free to be ourselves.

Monday, December 16, 2002

i'm baaack... and dude, i got a dell...

well folks, i admit, it wasn't a very long hiatus.. but i found out that you can't really remove a blog manually.. it's something that gets removed after a certain period of inactivity. so with a new computer at hand, i couldn't help but get back into writing. anybody miss me? hehe.

so first things, first, i think it's gonna be a royal pain in the ass to reinvent this page with all the bells and whistles i previously had. so bear with me. in the meantime i'll post tid bits of what's been going on the past few weeks that i have been away from my blogspot:

i got a dell.. as the title implies. it's beautiful.. black, flatpanel, 8250 dimension, cd burner included.. and they were offering over $500 in rebates at the time so i just couldn't resist! and i love it. dearly. who would've thought i'd fall in love with a computer? c is jealous. hehe.. not really. though we both have been playing a LOT of 3D pinball that comes with windows xp. so far i have the highest score... over 6 million! i never thought pinball actually involved strategy.. i mean, i would just click the flippers and try to keep the ball from draining. no wonder i never really got a good score. but now i see the light and i can't get enough!

our trip to the dominican republic is kind of at a standstill until i find out whether or not they've approved my visa. costa rica denied me a visa once back in may 2001 when i wanted to go visit my friend T who lived there for a year to learn spanish. they gave me no reason, just that it was denied. i'm hoping that won't be the case with the DR. i'd be highly upset. c would be highly upset. this would be her first trip outside the US and i can't wait for that to happen for her. it would be a real shame. but we're keeping our fingers crossed and hopefully when i call them again tomorrow for a status check, they'll give me the answer i want to hear. the reason i'm apprehensive is because, simply put, i'm muslim. those of you thinking i'm overreacting, think again. as an alternative plan, in case i get rejected for a DR visa, i looked into going somewhere in mexico. i've been to puerto vallarta before and enjoyed it thoroughly. getting a visa for mexico was a cinch. i went in one day to submit my passport and all the other necessities and came back the next day with a month long visa. so, i figured mexico wouldn't be a problem. but lo and behold, as i visited the consulate website, i found out that as of september 14th, 2001, the rules have changed. certain nationals, and yes, bangladesh was on that list, are now required to submit their applications 2 months in advance if they want to visit mexico. so much for that. i never in my life thought being a muslim would place restrictions on my life besides the restrictions i chose for myself.

it's really quite sad to think that these are the days we live in. i'm horrified at the thought of how this impedes the progress of millions of people who simply want to travel, explore this great big world, immerse themselves in cultures other than their own. and all because of 9-11. all because of america's and other parts of the world's inability steer clear of stereotypes.

but i'm thinking positive. my glass is half full. tomorrow i will call the embassy and hope for the best. maybe the delay in giving me an answer is simply due to the fact that they are backlogged. or maybe it's because they do think i'm a possible threat (read: muslim terrorist) and as a result they're doing a background check on me. fine, go ahead.. do what you gotta do.. you ain't gonna find shit cuz there ain't nothin' to find. i pay my taxes, i file all my tax returns ethically and i've never been accused of a crime...

on a brighter note, we just got a memo from the big boss that we're getting new years eve off in addition to new years day. hallelujah.. that, my friends, means that i will only need to take 5 vacation days for our trip instead of 6. you have no idea how happy that makes me. time off is my biggest complaint at my job. but i'm feeling a lot better about it now because in late november i celebrated my 5th anniversary with the company which entitles me to three weeks of vacation next year instead of the usual and pitiful two weeks. plus, included in the memo was a list of holidays next year, and we were given two additional floating holidays! what a treat. if i sound sarcastic, i'm not. i can use every day, every hour that i can get. so this brings me to a grand total of 18 paid days off next year.. oooh.. the possibilities...

and once i get my greencard, or at least the "advance parole" portion which is supposed to come through in about three months (gee, they sure do make me sound like a prisoner) i'll be able to travel as a US resident alien (gee, they sure do make me sound like a creature from outer space) and i won't have to deal with visas or embassies or any of that crap. those of you that are US citizens or residents should realize how lucky you are in that the US has treaties with so many countries that allow you to travel freely almost anywhere. it really is a luxury.. take it from me.

well, it's nice to be back.. now for the hard part.. redesigning the page..