Uber or Easy taxi in Jeddah, my choice?

 

My recent trip to Los Angeles had introduced me to Uber app. My son said,” you have to learn how to use google map and use Uber to take a ride mom!” ย Yes my dear, I will! With his busy schedule, he tried hard to take me anywhere but I have to take a few trips here and there with Uber. I found it very easy and dependable. When I came back from holiday, to my amusement I found the apps working in Jeddah too!

Huh? since when? through my research Uber had become operational last April 2014 in Riyadh and expanded recently to Jeddah and Dammam. It attracts many woman passengers the most.Why? Women are not allowed to drive in the Kingdom. We are dependent to company driver, taxi and relatives to take us to work and to other places. In addition, women are not allowed to travel alone with a male driver who is not closely related, like he should be your husband,brother or close relatives. Imagine the difficulties expatriates ,women in particular are facing everyday!

photo taken from my iPhone screen shot
photo taken from my iPhone screen shot

 

My brother used to take me to work everyday and now that he is on holiday , I have to take a taxi to go to work and shopping.:-) My co-worker at first recommends “Easy Taxi”, I tried and I found nothing special about it. It’s the same taxi you find on the street, you’re lucky to find a clean car but as usual there’s a bonus of smell..yes! I’ve been in the Kingdom for so long (29 yrs) and there’s only a few rides (a lucky day, i guess) that the driver has no smell. My first experience was not really good, the driver charged me 15SR which usually a 10SR trip. I rated him with a one star for dishonesty because I got my Easy Taxi receipt for only 10SR. He called me after the ride and why should I take the call? I don’t want to hear what he gonna say. Why should I use an Easy Taxi if I can find a lot of taxi on the road? Probably a bit cheaper and you can haggle with the fare? Maybe!

 

And so, I tried Uber!

photo credit: iPhone screen shot from the web
photo credit: iPhone screen shot from the web

My first trip: I wrote my address in the app , but the research didn’t turn out well, so I used a different spelling and wallah it works! huh! arabic names is so confusing. I can see from the map that the driver is only a minute away but I can’t see him or can’t contact him so I waited and after 5 minutes, he cancelled my trip! What?

Suddenly, the car (Hyundai Tucson) was right infront of me, the driver was waving his hand, I look at the car and plate number, oh this is it! So I went in..so neat and no smell, good ๐Ÿ™‚

Uber driver :”Es hada madame? ana tassel marah, mafi kalam” (What happened madame, I called you many times and you’re not answering)

Me: huh? really? The phone is in my hand.

Uber Driver: mafi kalam English.

Me: (to makeย my story short, I will translate the conversation in English ๐Ÿ™‚ ) Just take me please to Thalia, I can’t find the address on the map.

I reached my work place in 18 minutes and I was charged twice 15SR and 17SR, what?? you are a thief ! more than Easy Taxi. So I was murmuring, I gonna write an email to the company and before I can do it, I received an email from Uber with a subj: Receipt for cancelled trip ๐Ÿ™‚

“When a trip is cancelled more than five minutes after a driver accepts, or if the driver has to cancel after waiting more than five minutes at the pick up location, a Sr15 cancellation fee is charged.”

OMG! so it’s my mistake that the driver can’t find me?

” If you think this was mistake, please visit help.uber.com or tap HELP in the menu panel of the Uber app and we’ll make it right.”

and so when I tapped the menu, suddenly I remembered what the driver said .. I called many times..OMG ! I didn’t change my phone number, It’s my USA number ๐Ÿ™‚ my mistake!

2nd trip: after changing my USA number to KSA number.

again, Hyundai, Santa Fe, clean car and driver (speaking English) with water and tissue at the back ๐Ÿ™‚ This time I was charged 11Sr.

After riding 5 more trips, I choose Uber than Easy taxi. Though it’s a bit expensive than a normal taxi, I am happy I can sit quietly in the car without covering my nose and mouth ๐Ÿ™‚

Ladies, this is not the only available rides connecting you to a driver on app, there are more i.e.. Mondo ride, Careem and Taxi Pixi. I haven’t tried yet, maybe soon. For now, I am satisfied with the Uber service. I choose to pay by credit card, although there are three choices: cash,master card and visa card.

TIPS:

  • better drop a pin on location, copy the address and save it!
  • check ย the correct spelling of the street before searching
  • use “estimate the fare”
  • Uber does not mandate a tip and driver do not drive expecting a tip, but you can ๐Ÿ™‚

Good luck! Have a safe and happy ride.

Cheers,

Jamilamimi

 

My Lady no. 7 – Sophie Defensor- Victoria

so3aI lost two kilo in ten days and when my best friend came for a short holiday, I regained it in two days hahaha. That’s how we bond! We find happiness in food! Who cares we’re the beauties beyond fifties ๐Ÿ™‚

My lucky lady at no 7 is a BSN (Bachelor of Science in Nursing) graduate of University of San Agustin, Iloilo City, born September 18, 1962.

Wow blooming at 53!

so6a

She lives in London, UK . She comes to Jeddah, every six months to visit her husband and her friends, she has only one very handsome son, who is currently studying Chemical Engineering in UK.

Sophie is a very devoted mother, her dreams revolves around her only son..

Do you have any other dream for yourself?

– of course I do! I like to travel around the world.

You travel a lot!ย isn’t it? how long you’ve worked as expatriates?

– I’ve been in Jeddah for 26 yrs, I travelled around the world but it’s like a working holiday. I would like to explore the world without thinking about work. I have worked hard and I would like to retire while I still have energy and can enjoy the scenery.

What is your motto in life?

“Dream big, work hard. Stay focused and surround yourself with good friends “

so7a

My friend Sophie is a very energetic woman, she exudes a happy-go-lucky attitude but beware when she is not in the mood, her tongue is like a sword that cut deep ๐Ÿ™‚

We didn’t have enough time to do all the chitchat, I still have to go back to work after we did the impronto photo shoot. Hopefully , I will do another photo shoot when I have the chance to visit her in London.

Cheers,

jamilamimi

My Lady no.6 : Nanay Aurea

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Lopezena Fernando De Castro – age 65 years old.

Long name ๐Ÿ™‚ we fondly call her “Nanay Aurea” , a mother of four and one of her daughter is my friend. The first time I met her was three months ago.., time passes by quickly and on Tuesday she will be going back to Philippines.

Me: Nanay Aurea How do you like your stay in Jeddah?

Nanay Aurea: (masaya naman pero nakakalungkot din, lahat sila nasa trabaho at school, nasanay akong kasama palagi ang aking asawa. Napakahirap mag -isa). ย happy but sad at the same time. It is hard to be alone.ย 

Nanay Aurea husband had passed away recently (less than a year).

(Hindi ko akalain naganito pala rito sa Jeddah, maganda at tahimik naman)I didn’t expect Jeddah is a nice and quiet City.

She told me, she is worried about her daughter condition in Saudi Arabia but now she have seen Jeddah, her mind will be at peace for a while.

Nanay Aurea is a retired teacher and a dancer. She loves to teach her students and pushed them hard to attained perfection in their dancing stint. She has a charming smile and boast that if it wasn’t for her beauty and charm, her daughter will not look beautiful.

Kung ano ang puno iyun din ang bunga! ๐Ÿ™‚ Trees bear the same fruit hahaha is this the right translation? I guess so! A coconut tree won’t bear a mango fruit! ๐Ÿ™‚ right?

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That goes to my mom too! Like mother like daughter, though I also would like to look like my handsome papa ๐Ÿ™‚

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Nanay Aurea is a well travelled lady too. She said ” Kahit pala walang pera may nararating din” Though I don’t have money I was able to travel. She has been to Europe and now Middle East, hopefully she can also go to USA ! One of her daughter is in Germany and she also has relatives in USA.

That I may quote..”Kung anu ang tinanim siya rin ang bunga” in short, Good deeds begets good deeds ๐Ÿ™‚

I asked her, what advice she can give to us?

Save for the future, oh Nanay Aurea, you’re my idol, you can travel anywhere without spending any centavo, so why should I save? hahahaha joke!

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Certainly! For young people , SAVE is the key word, no matter how great your situation at the moment, no matter how healthy you are, we will never know what the future will bring. If you save a little while enjoying the moment, when the hard times comes, you won’t be begging for others’help.

Nanay Aurea, thank you for the moment, though it was a short visit it was worth every penny ๐Ÿ™‚ worth every moment,I miss my parents, your short visit filled up the missing puzzle in our life as an overseas worker.

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Thank you Nanay Aurea and Happy trip!

Cheers,

Jamilamimi

 

Serenata “Opus 10” one word – Spectacular!

 

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Challenging..blessed..grateful.. were the words to described the Serenata journey to 10th year according to Ms. Charo Hipos the chairperson and executive producer of Opus 10.

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SERENATA is a non- stock,non-profit, cause oriented organisation in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia founded in 2005 through the pioneering efforts of Ms. Sylvia de los Santos, Ms. Desil Manapat and Mr. Louis Bautista. Serenata hold annual benefit concert and to date, they have produced 29 scholars and 7 college graduates.

 

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I have attended seven of their concerts and I was so eager to attend the eight concert but it didn’t coincide with my tight schedule and I was not lucky to find a ticket on the ninth and so when Ms. Lolit Cua invited me, I was jumping with joy (literally ๐Ÿ™‚ ) and immediately blocked my schedule , for once, let me attend please!

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http://jamilamimi.com/2012/03/02/serenata-shines-at-seven/

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And to echo the words of Ms. Charo, my attendance was also “Challenging” I have to make sure my patient’s schedule were all specially booked well in advance though dental treatment will always be challenging to finished on time ๐Ÿ™‚ nevertheless, I did it! Unfortunately another mishap happened, my bank card was retained at the ATM machine and to talk to customer service was a menace at times (rolling my eyes..at all time!..this is KSA) Anyhow, I went home and hurriedly changed my clothes ,took a taxi and alas! I reached the alma mater of my chef Kevin, AISJ (American International School of Jeddah, hosted the event for the eight times).As I was waiting for my change, the blue guard came and reprimanded the taxi driver not to park ย (taxi cab was on the side before the gate entrance) , waving his hand on me to get into the car and let the taxi move OMG! don’t bark! only dogs do that!

Anyhow, after checking my ID and ticket, the receptions was like attending the ย Oscars! ,not that I attended it ๐Ÿ™‚ but I like the photo shoot, the little poses hahaha. I was ushered to a special seat and I felt so “blessed” that actually I am in the “Opus 10″ concert. I will always be”ย grateful” to Ms. Lolit for the invitation. ๐Ÿ™‚

Yes! SERENATA..I have only one word to describe the concert..SPECTACULAR!

And last but not the least, the special participation of Ms. Precy Ann Cua was stunning! not to mention she had undergone Oral Surgery twice before the concert ๐Ÿ™‚ ย This soft-spoken lady holds a BS degree in Music (major in voice,minor in piano) at St. Scholastica’s College in Manila, Philippines. Bravo! (hats off)

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And while I was enjoying the show, suddenly I can’t remember If I unplug my flat iron ๐Ÿ™ I was in a hurry so I was not sure and later it became so obvious that I didn’t..OMG! concert or fire? yeah you’re right, I’m on fire so I left the concert without seeing the String Orchestra. Grrrrr.

Beautybeyondfifty was so frustrated. ahh blame it to the age! hahaha

To the members and participants, parents, siblings, committees ,sponsors and guest a big THANK YOU and Congratulations!

 

2015-02-28 at 23-42-08Cheers!

Jamilamimiย 

Weekly Photo Challenge: Room

I have a 72 years old male patient came in for consultation. His main concern..”spaces in front of the two front teeth”.

Him: Can you do something?

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Me: Yes, I can.. but your teeth will look a bit wider and longer .

Him: would it look nice? will it improve my appearance?

Me: (looking at the other adjacent teeth, considering his oral hygiene) If only to close the space at the middle, maybe 20%! but lets start first in cleaning your teeth so I can get the real shade of the teeth. He agreed and I proceeded to remove the old composite filling and restored the teeth with direct composite veneer.(E.max ย direct).

Central incisors restored with direct composite veneer
Central incisors restored with direct composite veneer

His eyes beamed at the prospect of having 20% improvement. However, when I handed him the mirror, he was so pleased to look at his front teeth and proceeded to do the rest of his teeth. the rest is history, ๐Ÿ™‚ It feels good to see him very happy.

before
before
after
after

Ladies, there’s always room for smile improvement ,no matter how old and whether you are man or woman ๐Ÿ™‚

beauty shines beyond fifty!

Cheers!

Jamilamimi

2013 in review: Happy New Year to ALL!

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 12,000 times in 2013. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 4 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

ย 

Our Santa is made from China!

Christmas day in Jeddah is just like an ordinary working day. As an expatriates we tried to make the best we can to celebrate the occasion. My friends and I decided to have some get together last night. Each one of us brought a gift and a dish to share with everyone.

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My first attempt to make a cheese cake was a success! (I believed so ๐Ÿ™‚ ).

Our little angels sang a carol for us and even did some fun dress up and posed with our very own sir chief! ๐Ÿ™‚ My friend looks like Chinese and so the night was full of fun with our very own Santa (made in China).

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And so there goes another Christmas in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. God blessed.

I also wish everyone to have a Prosperous New Year!!!

Jamilamimi

What we do on weekend to earn extra?

My friends professionally speaking are all successful in their career, but what are they doing on off days? You might find this surprising but please keep on reading till the end.

Did you think they earned a lot of extra income working at fish market? I doubt it! but I know, even if they didn’t , certainly, ย they don’t mind doing it again ๐Ÿ™‚

You know why? Because what they earned here is… Friendship…Fun…free smile…free laugh and stress free!

” Friends and good manners will carry you where money won’t go “- Margaret Walkerย 

We walked for an hour (4.57 miles) along the corniche, cool breezy morning, then we decided to have breakfast together continued to chat what happened for the last week,ย followed by more exercises, time passes by quickly, so we decided to go to fish market, cleaned the fishes, grilled and made tamarind soup, ate lunch/dinner and wallah before we knew it, it was time to go home again. Satisfied and heavy after devouring all the dish… tummy said goodbye!

We are all in the middle-aged, soon we will be senior citizens and retired, I wonder if “home for the aged” is a good business to think about, hmm what do you think?

jamilamimi