Today I tried: Driving Test!

Imaging taking 3 hours to drive 10 miles, having to be on the road before 6am to get to work before 9am, losing precious sleep cos you need to start your commute really early, and missing the rest of your night cos you’re stuck in traffic for 2 hours. That’s how it was for me in Manila, Philippines. Growing up in a city where traffic defines your daily schedule kinda influenced my desire to drive. I would rather walk than sit in traffic, or live real close to work and shopping- I did the latter.

However due to travel requirements for my previous work, I HAD TO LEARN HOW TO DRIVE. Still, driving is the least appealing thing for me to do. So here I am in the USA where everything is so spread out that driving is a convenience and sort of a must. It took me almost 3 years to muster up the courage to take my driving test. Unfortunately for me, Maryland is more strict when it comes to getting your license versus other states. I could have just had my PH license swapped out for a USA one but would still have to take the test and actually pass it LOL; and since I have not driven much at all since I got here, I decided to do it the right way and do the entire process all over again. I enrolled myself in some driving class- 10-day classroom session with teenagers + 6 hours behind the wheel course. Luckily my classmates were all nice kids and didn’t care that there’s a 30-year old Asian trying to ace every question in the quiz- yes there was a quiz every single day. Because of this class I have discovered that some of my driving knowledge is “old school”, that is according to our first day teacher.

Anyway fast forward to 3 months and I finally finally decided to take the road test. Long story short, I passed. Even though I accidentally stepped on the gas instead of the brakes at a stop sign (oops, I know), I still passed. I took note and followed the signs, got the meanest looking tester, tried my best to stay calm, and just drove. Everything worked out and now America has yet another female Asian driver on the road!

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Unlocked: Stitch Fix!

I have been seeing TV commercials for Stitch Fix for a while now so I finally decided to give it a try. The curios me is excited to be styled  although it’s online. Two hours after I signed up, my husband sent me an email to “check this out”. Guess what, it’s a link to Stitch Fix’s website! Creepy coincidence or meant to be? I think it’s meant to be! Naturally I told him to sign up, too!

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Two of the items in my bag. Isn’t that yellow bag cute??

Within a week I got a notification that my box had been delivered!! We’re actually in the middle of moving houses and I had my box sent to the new address so it sat there for around 18 hours (thank god it’s a safe community). Continue reading “Unlocked: Stitch Fix!”

Meet Tocino

Have you heard of Tocino? No it’s not the hottest celebrity of this generation. Tocino is good, of course. I mean what else am I going to talk about here if not food? Maybe my still delayed USCIS application, but that’s for tomorrow.

Anyway, Tocino is probably one of my mostest most favorite Filipino food. It’s pork marinated in loads of sugar and salt. It sounds gross but the finish product is soooo good. I am not as much fan of rice as most Asians (mostly Filipinos) are, but if there’s Tocino..mmm. I eat it with loads of steamed rice, vinegar, and tomatoes.

I’m pretty sure you can tell which on me is Tocino in that photo. I fried up a batch yesterday for lunch. I was so lucky to find a legit, no frills Filipino eatery when we went to Suffolk, VA. I ordered two big tubs of uncooked Tocino to take home with me. The lady who runs the place is just so mega extra super friendly. She even gave me her recipe!! I can’t share it with you though. It’s her business recipe and she entrusted me with it 🙂 so happy!!

Okay that’s my Filipino entry for today. I’m trying my best to write more. Ugh. Such a task.

I cut my hair!!

After moving to the great ‘Murica, I quickly realized how much more expensive services cost here are (well, if you convert all the time like I do). Back home a good full body massage will cost you around $5 before tip; here it’s around $1 per hour, before tip. A simple haircut is easily at least $15. Back home, it’s like a dollar 😀

So after several Youtube videos and words of wisdom from my mother, I finally chopped of my hair. Not by a lot and it’s not a stylish cut. Just a straight no-nonsense chop! *cries* I now have to enlist the help of my husband to fix the ends cos of course, it’s a crap job.

 

oh damn, what did i do…gasp!

One year in the USA!

May is my birth month and also the month I moved here in the US from the Philippines. It’s been a full year although it doesn’t feel anything like it at all! What has happened since I first moved here?

  1. I got married.
  2. Experienced  my first winter (SNOW!) And all the other seasons.
  3. Moved to Maryland from Georgia.
  4. Turned a year older.
  5. Finally got a Kitchen Aid mixer! (Thanks, hubs!)
  6. Finally perfected chocolate chip cookies!!!
  7. Missed my family a lot.
  8. Became a volunteer for SPCA
  9. America has a new president.
  10. Got my permit to work.

There’s definitely a lot more things that happened, but what has not happened yet is for me to finally get my temporary green card. It’s been 9 months since we filed it and for whatever reason, USCIS still doesn’t want to properly handle cases. I am sure we are at no fault, they probably just want us to spend more money on a lawyer or just take their sweet time because they know we can’t do stuff about it anyway…or so they think. It’s not fun anymore, they’re messing with people’s lives.

Oh well, it’s been a year in this country. I guess I’m somehow settled and it’s now time to get off my ass and start looking for work!! It’s like being 21 again- don’t know what to do after graduating. Should I try corporate or something simpler? Where do I start??

 

Uprooted and confused.

 

Filipinos = FUN.

Let me tell you the ~GOOD~ feedback I get every time someone identifies me as a Filipino. To be honest I don’t know how they can tell; it amazes me! Yes I am Asian and I make jokes about it. You can, too. It’s’ fine.

So I was eating a Harris Teeter and I guy asked if I can look after his cart of goodies cos he forgot to buy one thing. I guess he didn’t want to put his groceries to the car and run back inside to get that one thing he forgot. He’s efficient. Doing small favors for random people is really not a big deal. However, depending on the situation we shouldn’t always say yes to strangers asking if they can leave their stuff with us for safekeeping. Tell yo kids! Anyway, when Mister Shopper came back he asked me if I’m from the Philippines. As usual I was surprised. He then proceeded to tell me about the Filipinos in his life and a Filipina his relative married and how her family is so nice to them, the kids are so polite, and all that feel good stuff. It made me proud.

Another guy at Harris Teeter, Mister Shopper 2, talked to me while I was waiting for my uBer ride on Valentine’s Day *hearts*. He asked me the weirdest ‘Are you Asian’ question. He said, “Are you a Filipina or just a general Asian?”

*What is a general Asian?*

Apparently Mister Shopper 2 has a thing for Filipinas because “You have fuller lips and you guys just have a pretty face.” Well I am very flattered. He wanted to take me out on a V Day date but then I’m married 🙂

Next up is Korean Bestie. She is so cute. Korean Bestie is an older lady who runs a dry cleaning business. Friendly Koreans are cute and I find it amusing that she adores Filipinas. Apparently she’s got some Filipina friends and she likes our eyes cos it’s round and “looks happy”. Hmmm, I visit her soon. I need some good vibes.

My favorite one is Mister uBer. He picked me up at a local SSA office. uBer put me in a weird location for pick up and I told Mister uBer that I can jsut walk to where he is so he won’t have to go around. In the car I can see him looking at me in the rear view mirror. After confirming that I am Filipina, he then said, “You people are so polite! You don’t want to be a hassle and even offered to walk!” Mister uBer once dated a Filipina. He adored her so much. No idea what happened but sounds like she is his “the one who got away”. He was all praise for this lady. She managed her money well, he took care of him, she cared for him, and he misses her. You can sense the regret in his voice but he’s also so happy recalling his memories of her. It was sweet!

I hope more people would have a positive experience with Filipinos. I know we are not doing so well in the news recently and that there are bad apples no matter what race or country it is.  Bottomline is we just have to respect each other as human beings and do our best to be kind even during times when it’s difficult to do so. At the end of the day, all we got in this world  is each other.

The struggle is real: Chocolate Chip Cookies!

 

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I found it! I’ve figured out the chocolate cookie recipe that works for me, and it is OH SO EASY TO MAKE. I’m still finding it difficult to accept that these babies have a ton of sugar. Sometimes it helps a lot to try to make a favorite food from scratch to know what’s in it. Sadly in my case it’s sugar. Anyhoo, cookies are for comfort so I try no to feel so bad.

I got this recipe from Anna Olson’s Youtube video but I reduced the sugar just by a bit. I wasn’t able to make 24 cookies like she did in the video but I think it’s probably because I used a cookie scoop. Interestingly enough this recipe includes cornstarch! Anna said it helps create the crunchy outside-chewy inside finish, and judging by the finish product, it does help. Continue reading “The struggle is real: Chocolate Chip Cookies!”