New Year’s Eve is one of my favorite holiday second to Christmas. Mainly due to the stunning fireworks display you see during this time and the blaring sound from the television as we watch the exciting countdown to the New Year. Of course, such an experience happens when I’m home in the Philippines, and for 6 years now, I have not been home during the holidays.
I know… it’s sad. 😦
In my previous “L’Occitane” post, I’ve mentioned that my father will be home to celebrate Christmas and New Year with the family, leaving me all by lonesome self during the holidays. (Ok, not entirely alone since I have friends and my Beau is still here, but you get the gist of it.) Seeing as there won’t be an actual celebration at my place here in Doha, I’ve decided to have a bit of an exceptional dining experience with Beau on New Year’s Eve, and we chose to try the Italian Restaurant, Carisma.
Carisma Restaurant is an Italian restaurant located on the first floor of Warwick Doha Hotel. It is basically next to the lobby and very easy to spot.
Given that it’s New Year’s Eve, the Menu was not the usual. There is already a set of food choices prepared for a full-course meal, and all you had to do is pick between two options of appetizers, entrée, etc. The full-course meal, including drinks, is worth 199 QAR per person.
As always, I feel like clubbing myself for not taking a photo of the Menu. This must be one of the reasons why I won’t be an effective food blogger (especially one that does restaurant reviews). I simply forget to take the required pictures. Ha!
Anyway, I was looking forward to trying their pizza beforehand, but seeing that there was no pizza in the Menu, my beau and I asked if it’s possible to just order one full course meal for only one person plus one order of Pizza Carisma (even if it’s not on the night’s menu). The staff was very kind to accommodate us with the request.
So here are photos (and some appraisals) of our dinner.
The meal started with this focaccia bread. It was an excellent start to the meal and actually feels light even after finishing 3 of them.
This one I am calling the shrimp salad since I have no idea what it was called on the menu. The shrimp in itself isn’t exactly packed with flavor, but the overall dish has that slight sweetness and zesty taste to it, which makes it delicious.
I was a bit disappointed with the Risotto, we didn’t like it very much, and is the only dish we weren’t able to finish. I guess this type of risotto just wasn’t my taste.
I’m afraid to say that by the time we had the beef tenderloin we were so full we thought we’d explode. Ha! Anyway, I can’t accurately judge the taste of it, all I know is that it wasn’t as juicy as I wanted or expected it to be while I was cutting it in half.
This dessert was beautiful and festive-looking. However, I’m not jumping up and down for it. For me, it was a good enough dessert that balances out the taste of everything we’ve eaten that night. It wasn’t too sweet, which was good, but for some reason, I felt something lacking with it that I’m not sure of. Anyway, we still enjoyed it. 😀
The pizza was served together with the risotto, which we were thankful for after realizing that we didn’t like the risotto very much. The pizza was slightly thin crust and tasty without overpowering sauce or toppings.
Overall, the dinner was a 3.5 out of 5.
So that ends our New Year’s Eve dinner! Believe when I say that we were so full we ended up sleeping straight away right after the clock strikes 12.
Oh! Before I forget, the kind and very attentive staff gave us these…
Hello 2017! Years have been flying faster than a shinkansen these days, I’m not sure if I can keep up, but heck if I will allow myself to get left behind. I’m not getting any younger and enjoying all the things life will throw at me is certainly my goal and resolution for this year. Hopefully my lucky stars this 2017 won’t fail me. *fingers-crossed*
So for the start of this year, I’ve decided to finally change my blog name. A lot of thought has definitely transpired before making this decision. I know it’s not a simple task to change something you’ve had since forever, but change is the only thing constant in this world and most of the time, change is a good thing.
There are a number of blog names I can think of for my site, but I’ve decided that this is the perfect one for me.
QUINTESSENTIALLY WHIMSICAL by Purplemunchkim
I’ve always wanted a fanciful name for my blog and amazingly another name for fanciful is “whimsical”. Yes, my imagination knows no bounds. Ha!
Anyways, I first thought of using my Instagram and Twitter caption “Wanderlust and Pixie Dust”, since this is something I’ve originally coined that I feel describes the real me perfectly. However, I was disappointed when I saw another blog with almost the same name, except hers was “Pixie Dust & Wanderlust”. And here I thought I was being original. Never did I realize there’s someone out there who thinks similarly and would think of using it as a blog name as well.
Oh well, I’ve moved on from the disappointment and now I’m sticking with “Quintessentially Whimsical”.
This is no breakup post… or at least not in matters of the heart. This post is generally about my current job and some viewpoints here and there.
It was almost 5 years since I’ve been employed in a dental clinic here in Qatar (this is no publicity post so I’m not going to mention the name of our clinic). Working as a dental assistant was a total shift from my previous job in the Philippines. I was a BSN graduate and have 3 years of working experience as a nurse in different institutions in my country. It would have been easy to find a job and acquire a license as a nurse, except some of my experience were labelled as “nurse trainee” instead of “staff nurse”. This makes it doubtful if I could acquire a license as a General Scope Nurse since “nurse trainee may not be counted as employment even if my job as a trainee was no different from the staffs of the hospital I’ve worked for.
I still did try to apply as a nurse here in Qatar, preferably in a hospital, but it wasn’t easy. There were a lot of requirements I must accomplish and papers to process – and the salary offers in hospitals were too low. The only hospital paying good salary was Hamad Medical, but it was no easy task getting in. I almost want to give up and just go home, until someone offered me job as a dental assistant.
I wasn’t interested – at least not at first. In my mind I wanted to be a nurse. I wanted to continue doing what I’ve sacrificed years of studying for. I don’t want my degree to go to waste, but then I realized time was running out. My visa will expire in a month and here I was being offered a job that pays higher than the offers I’ve received thus far. Not only that, it was a new clinic, making me a pioneer if I were to accept. And I did… 5 years ago.
So everything I said above is just the preface part of this slightly long post. This is where I start telling the whole gist of this whole thing. So read on if you feel you must…
A year ago, a few changes in Qatar’s Labour Law was announced; putting emphasis in the End of the KAFALA System (sponsorship system). I won’t dive into a detailed account on the number of changes made, but I will mention what they meant when they say “End of the KAFALA System”:
“Expatriate workers with fixed job contracts can change their work and sign new contracts if they wish so at the end of the contract period. For this they don’t need approval from their current employer. However, an approval is needed from the Ministry of Interior and the Ministry of Labour and Social affairs.
If the job contract is open-ended, a worker can change job after five years with approval from both ministries”
This meant one thing – NO MORE NOC (no objection certificate) for expat workers who want to leave their current employment in exchange for a better one. Imagine the number of workers wanting to take this chance to find greener pastures. Something I myself have thought of many times after realizing there’s been no financial fulfillment in my almost 5 years of service. But no – I did not hand in my resignation. I probably won’t just yet. I’m one of those employees who have this “loyal streak” ingrained in them. Or maybe I just don’t hate my job as much as I thought I did… Or maybe I just don’t feel like it was the right time… Whatever the case was, I guess I’ll be stuck here in while.
Anyway, I’m doing a shout out to one of my colleagues and also a friend who have already taken full advantage of this law (to find greener pastures); and which she was lucky enough to have found one that she really wants. She’s probably the reason why I’m doing this rare and long reflective post. The notion of one day deciding; just like her, to finally move on…
Thanks Janelly for the years of friendship. It wasn’t perfect, but it was still a memorable one. We’ll still get to bond from time to time right? God bless you on your new job!
I welcome me back! Yes I do. It’s been quite some time since I last visited WordPress, almost 2 years to be exact, and it looks like a lot has changed since then. I probably need to re-orient myself on what’s new over here.
Anyway, I’ve been thinking of blogging again after that long hiatus, but never really had the time and the drive to do so until a workmate of mine, who I convinced of creating her own WordPress (janellyysh), forced me to do it again. Hahahaha!.
So now I’m finally back and hopefully would continue doing this until I ran out of things to say… which is unlikely at the moment since I was told I talk too much.