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Funny moments during the Holidays


After 3 years of working in Israel, it was my first time to spend the high holidays in the company of other Filipinos. I was always tied to my work. Sometimes a neighbor or two will organize and we will have our own little party but it’s different when you are free from the responsibilities of work. I remember New Year ’s Eve of 2012, some of my neighbors who are also tied to their work organized a midnight New Year party. For us, it was a case of “eat, drink the toast for a happy prosperous New Year and ran back to work” scenario. Something might happen to our patient. Old people are very, very unpredictable. They unexpectedly get hungry or thirsty in the middle of the night, they fall out of bed going to the toilet, or worst case scenario, they might just forgot to breathe... while the metapelet is out shaking her booty celebrating. Jeezzz!

It was an unhappy event that my last employer peacefully passed away in her sleep a week before Christmas but it gave me also the chance to experience the holidays in the company of compatriots eating traditional Christmas food in our flat. I’m a lazy lousy cook so I'm all smiles as I devour the delicacies prepared by some industrious soul. I know I’ve gained weight just by looking at the shape of my cheeks in the mirror :(

I had some fun just looking around feeling like a tourist without the burden of thought of going back to work. Since it was Christmas, there is the traditional Catholic Misa De Gallo and here in Jerusalem, it was held at 9 in the evening so Caregiver’s would have the time to come when their patients when to bed. One of my flat mates is determined to complete the 9 days of mass so I dutifully accompanied her. One time, we were early and were able to sit at the front pews. My mind was floating while the priest was delivering his sermon when suddenly beside me I heard a very audible “ngorrrrkkkkkk zzzz” beside me. Thank God I was able to choke back an instantaneous peal of laughter. Later on, my companion admitted her own snore woke her. All the other women who share our pew were shaking in silent giggles. Good thing I have long hair to cover my face while I tried to control my giggles and force my face assume a solemn expression by gritting my teeth. I am inside hallowed ground after all! My lips were passive but my nostrils were twitching and my shoulders still shakes from the silent laughter. The laughter and ribbing went uncheck outside the church and we can barely walk from laughing so hard. We were like drunken lunatics, walking home laughing so hard.

I was also half-heartedly looking for another job so I was travelling around the city by bus meeting prospective employers. One time inside the bus, a big fat middle aged woman was coughing hard and farting at the same time: Cough, poottt; Cough pooottt; cough pooootttt. I know it’s impolite (my hands is up in the air) and one is not supposed to smile at another person’s distress but it’s an incident that you can’t help but smile or laugh. Best of all, the said lady was good-natured about the smiles and laughter.

Yehey! It’s Christmas. Where’s my gift? After the Christmas Mass, we have a small gift exchanging program. One of the older women got a surprised gift. She was very, very happy to receive it and was excitedly opening it. She was all smiles and she was dancing with joy waving the gift in the air. After a few moments, we were all shrieking in laughter when she realized it was her own pair of undies which was given as a funny gift. BTW, she got another real gift.

Some of us were available to join a one day trip to Eilat. We all enjoyed the scenery although I feel cheated because I would so love to go diving and look at the beautiful corals. All in all, it was a fruitful day. The downside? We contacted the flu virus. It might be due to the stress of no sleep, our immune systems were down. New year's eve, we were all flat on the bed with high fever and dry cough!

One of my enterprising flat mates, who believes the fresh onions prevents flu virus from spreading cut up onions and spread it in strategic places around the flat. Everyone got burning eyes. The stink was horrible but better that than contacting the flu. She insisted I put some freshly cut onions inside my socks especially that I was the first one with a high fever. So I went to bed with onions tucked inside my socks. In the very early morning, I woke up sweating and thirsty. I silently went to the kitchen to drink and to the bathroom for a brief sponge bath, changed my pj’s. Then I went back again to bed.

The next morning, they were amazed that the onion looks like it was cooked. With a straight face, I said “yes it worked. Look, I have no more fever”. While they babbled in amazement, I weakly lie down and giggled into my pillow. I keep the knowledge to myself that during the night, I walked and stood on my feet with the onions crushed under my feet.

Hey, the onions might be an old wives tale but I do believe there is some truth to it or else our great grannies wouldn’t have used it. There are no concrete evidence of scientific studies but I think it did help broke my fever.

(Sigh...)

Now, it’s back to the real world. I need to look for a job. I believe 2013 is a lucky year regardless that it's a snake year. Snakes are tricky, treacherous animals but I would rather prefer to think of snakes as tasty morsels in a Chinese soup. Way to go for the Chinese!

A prosperous and happy New Year to all of us!


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