Monday, June 24, 2013

Interview Madness!!

Here I am again! Barely eleven am and I am with my AC on high! Is H.O.T. in Egypt! Today's broadcast said it was going to be 36 C (97 F)  so with that I think I am better staying here today. I decided to recap some of my interviews here in Egypt and to give you a general idea of how things go sometimes. 

This is my experience only and believe it or not here there are no labor laws or discrimination law whatsoever! So take your "that is not right by law" hat and welcome to Egypt! First off, I said before that I am from Puerto Rico. I am going to give a little history here so we understand we are not a US state but since a treaty made in the 1900 we are American citizens.  So that being said I am American. Gasp! I know you are surprised! 

Believe me here your nationality is important. Here unfortunately is not your Education that matters is up to the fact if they like you or not. There is no salary scale anywhere and you can get paid less or more depending on your negotiating skills and on your ability to be like by the one who is hiring you. So as you see is a totally different play here in Egypt. 

My advice to you is to be strong if you are applying for a job and you have the experience and qualifications for it do not be shy to be heard. First off sometimes they do not specify the salary which can be really annoying! I mean I remember back home you made an ad about a job and you put how much was the position offering! Here you basically have to fight with them to see how much the salary is. 

Why? Because they want the best and they want you for less money! So beware and always ask! I always answer my phone and my first question is; What is the salary? 
Answer: "Well it depends on your qualifications and you have to speak to the owner." 
Me:" What if I have no experience. What is the starting salary then?"
Answer: " I am sorry I don't have that information" 
Me: "Look I need to know how much it is to see if is what I am looking for"  
Answer: " What is your expected salary?" 

Basically that is how it goes! Hard and maybe pushy if I am trying to find a job? Yes, but believe me is necessary! You don't want to pay for transportation make a demo and then they tell you that the salary is 2,500 pounds! Which if we convert it to US dollars is $356.68 a month! Definitely not what I am looking for. The thing is foreigners get paid way more than Egyptians our Education is different and if you are looking for a teaching job your native tongue means pretty money. So do not be afraid to ask and push as much as necessary. Parents pay a lot of money on school tuition for native speakers to teach their children. 

After the Revolution things here job wise are not good. So everyone is looking for the best piece of the cake and some expats are leaving the country due to the following protest coming on June 30. Which I will explain in a later post. One of my frustrations in finding a job is that my native tongue is Spanish I am American but in Puerto Rico the language is Spanish. Try to explain that here! My English thank God is very good and I barely have an accent believe it or not! So is not so hard for me to get jobs. The fact is when I am looking for a Spanish Job they don't believe me! hahahha They think only Spaniards speak Spanish! 

Anyways also another advice always ask how much time you are going to be in the interview and tell them once I was eight hours in a school because can with their bus and they talk to me for 20 minutes being in those 20 minutes the buses were leaving so I had to wait eight hours to get back home for only a few minutes for a meeting!!!!!!! Not my best day believe me! 

My advice to you if you are planning to come to Egypt try to find something before being here is better. Second if you are already here do not despair and try to find the best for you. 

Thank you for reading and following me until next post! 

Monday, June 17, 2013

The Job struggle

Recently I have a hard time figuring out what is a normal day. I have not been working for two months now and honestly time has gone by too quick! I mean I have went to interviews and everything but still things are not as I want them to be.  It's been like two years of constant change in my life.

I started with the journey of losing weight and then after that the falling in love again after a very messed up relationship, moving out of my apartment, selling my car, selling everything I owned and moving to another continent! Not much right? Don't get me wrong I am super happy about all these changes but suddenly I am met with the struggle of What do I really want?!

Before moving here I was working as an office administrator in a marketing agency for five years so before coming my Habibi told me that I could not do the same work here which was fine with me honestly I learned a lot from that job and it did not fulfilled  me at all. The part I love about my job was the challenge of marketing campaigns and the new clients and stuff but being in the management part I was working more with payroll, HR and Accounting! BORING!!!!

I am too creative for that shit!  Anyway I started on a new career path... Teaching English.... Yeah worlds apart! Now is a great job honestly and you have to be so dedicated to do it that I am impressed and I found new appreciation for teachers everywhere. Is hard work and well here in Egypt is a total mess. The schools are not worried about Education at all they just want money from the students and no matter what you have to pass the students because if you don't they will take the student away and they lose the money.

So its been a challenge to find something that I truly enjoy. My days are fill with basically me finding my right place in the world. I pray every day for guidance because definitely with out God I would not be who I am and where I am today. In all my frustration with this job  situation I have somehow found peace. I know that I will find my true place and that God will guide me in the right direction.

Everything that I do in my life I take it as a learning experience. The more you are exposed to things the more you learn. So I am enjoying the time with God and focusing on learning more from him. Talking to my family, reading, cooking for habibi and my cats. Looking for jobs and decided to learn a new language by the end of summer.

I guess there are a lot of people in jobs they hate. Knowing that they need the money to support their family and to put up with bad bosses and circumstances all because they needed it in a bad way. For those of you do not despair I was in your shoes and I seen a lot  but God will bring new things and blessings for you. As I pray for my new path I will also pray for those in situations like this I wish that God will help you find your true passion and a better job.

I am feeling confident in my future and I know something great will come out of it. I love blogging also so that is a plus! I have ideas in my head that are coming together too so is about timing! Anyways I leave you with my thoughts I have a few ramblings about past interviews that I know will make a great post! You won't believe the things that happen to me! LOL Anyways until next post!

Are you happy with your job?

Thank you for reading and following me. 

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Sharm Sheik: Resort Critique

All of you know of my recent vacation in Sharm Sheik, while there I stayed in a supposedly five star hotel! The name of the place is Shores Amphora and honestly it has some good things and some bad ones too. First off this is a resort and is huge! The entrance of the hotel is not that majestic or impressing but believe me when I tell you the grounds of the place are amazing.

It has five or six pools of which I only saw two, and of course it has a beach. The most incredible thing is that we have a Coral reef just in the beach is one of Sharm favorite diving spots and honestly is beautiful! You just go to the beach and at the end of the pier boom! Is like more than 60 feet deep and the most amazing reefs and corals are there to your display. 

A part from those things everything else sucks! The food is bad! I mean they made a lasagna one of the nights and it was so bad and tasted nothing like lasagna! The staff is so used to having Russians as guest that most of them are not that good in English! The cleaning of our room was not good. When we first arrived at the room there was a mosquito dead on the mirror and another one on a wall. After they came to clean still there! You are only aloud to have one towel a day for the beach and pool. 

Only good thing was the food on the bar, pizza and french fries :D So the place is good but the service and food are just plain horrible me and habibi got food poisoning. Thank God we brought medicine with us and it helps that my habibi is a doctor otherwise our vacation would have been ruined completely! 

Is not nice to wake up with nausea and with diarrhea or pain in your stomach because the food was bad! We survive it because we went and bought chips and well basically ate safe stuff like bread and grill meat. Anyways I would not be staying there again! Oh, and let's not forget! Do not wear formal clothes in this place EVER! We were going to dinner and we saw this Italian couple going and he was so formal! Wearing a suit and she had such a nice dress but honestly the place was not up to their attire. Guess they thought it  was five starts too!   Here are some pictures of the place so you see how it is. 

Any wacky things happen to you on vacation? 

Thank you for reading and following me! 

Friday, June 7, 2013

Food! Basmati Rice

Well here I am again writing today's post. I was thinking if writing about Basmati rice or writing a review and critique of the Hotel I stayed in Sharm. Anyways I will do this one first and then I will share with you the experience I had in this so called five star hotel. When I was first introduce to this rice I was speechless! The combinations of flavors is so exotic and perfect there is no doubt in my mind that you will love it!

Basmati rice is a long grain rice which is traditionally from India and Pakistan. Here in Egypt the way they showed me to do it is a mix between salt, sweet and crunchy. You can make it just plain white rice or in India they make it with curry of course and they are different recipes out there that are quite delicious. 

In my case I have tried the recipe I am going to share and believe me is b-e-a-utiful! You can serve this with any type of chicken or meat. It really is up to you and what you like. In my case I made lemon chicken in the oven with some carrots and potatoes. Here is the recipe for the basmati rice. 

Basmati Rice 

3 cups of Basmati rice (after washing in water at least three times. Yes this is necessary!) 
1 tablespoon of butter
1 onion diced 
3 Bay leaves
1 cup of raisins (you can use half cup) 
1 cup of peanuts 
1/2 cup of cinnamon sticks
1 tablespoon of powder cinnamon 
4 cups of water 

First wash the rice three times or more this is very important this rice I do not now why needs to be wash this way. After you wash it set it aside and fill  a pan with the 4 cups of water. In it boil the peanuts and cinnamon sticks. While the water is heating up to a boil in another pan cover the bottom with oil,  not much just enough to saute the following onion, raisins, bay leaves and butter. Throw all of it inside at the same time and keep steering until onion is translucent. All in medium heat. 

After the onion is ready add the cinnamon powder and mix for a few seconds with the rest of the ingredients by now the smell should be enough to tell you this is good! Sorry moving on put in the rice in the medium heat and keep moving until all the ingredients and the rice are mixed together. Keep moving until the water with the peanuts and cinnamon sticks is boiling. Add the boiling water to the rice and move it should be covering the rice not much but above it. Add salt to your taste and then cover rice and put in low. 

When the water is absorbed move the rice and close the lid again. The rice should be done in about 20-30 minutes. The thing about this rice is that it should be very moist and lose so if is dry you can add a little bit of boiling water while is still cooking. Check it occasionally and if you see that is too dry add a little water. The way I did it it didn't need any water so just in case that is my advice for you. I hope the instructions are clear enough if not please comment and I will help you any way I can! Good cooking! 

After is done serve in a plate and enjoy! Here is a picture of my result and how I served it to my guests! 

Thank you for following and reading me, until next post! 

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