Chicago is my kinda town…

Isn’t Chicago amazingly beautiful?

It’s almost time for my world tour!!  As in life, I’ve walked into a few awkward situations regarding this trip:

Report Inappropriate Facebook
I liked 2 pages (Singapore Tourism, Sarawak, Malaysia) to check out the scene and get my questions answered.  I then posted on both pages about currency exchanges and cabs’ accepted forms of payment.

Singapore response (from an individual not the official page):
Shah Rumal Shah Rumal i am a boy, please you add me
friend, my friend request block

Sarawak – Private Message I received (again, PM).
dear Kiran,
If u happen to come to Kuala Lumpur Malaysia, drop me message, ill be happy to show u around 
Regards,
Wan.
[please note a link to a Bed and Breakfast was included.]

A Muslim, a Hindu and a Jew
Okay, in all honesty, I don’t know if the doc from Nepal is Muslim – For this conference, my boss has been fielding a request from the VP of the Nepalese pediatric society.  While my Jewish boss has encouraged the (maybe) Muslim doc to include his (Hindu girl) staff on e-mails – the doc hasn’t.  Mind you, he wrote me separately.  Okay, fine, I thought nothing of it.  Until my boss sent me an saying “He really doesn’t want to have to talk to you, does he….Perhaps conservative muslim?”  Ha, why am I blogging about this?  I don’t know, just thought it was interesting exchange.  More interesting?  I am often referred to as Mr (and sometimes Dr!!!) Patel since Kiran is a unisex name.  Anyhoo, again, it just made me realize how my communications have changed so dramatically since I’ve taken on this new role.  The nuances in who sends e-mails to who, being sensitive to China’s views on Taiwan and Hong Kong, the politics of financial support.  And I am really enjoying it all :).  Well, maybe not the Sarawak tourism response part.
I accidentally cursed at my boss in an e-mail recently.  Yeah, I don’t have much more to say to that besides I am still employed!  Also, I had to leave a happy hour early the other day to field a call with a doctor from Singapore.  Yeah, that’s gonna take some getting used to!
Another year wiser
I celebrated by 28th birthday last week.  It was delightful.  Amazing, actually.  Why?  Because I spent the day and the days leading up to my birthday with some of my favorite people – Emory besties, parents, cousins, my ladoo niece, my Ba (Mimi/Nana?), uncle/aunt, sister/brother, co-workers…Just a delight.  It involved treats, love, flowers, pizza, more treats, and a brand new phone!  I think it’s safe to say, best birthday to date :).  As I get older (NOT OLD, JUST OLDER), I am really starting to appreciate the simple things in life.  Dinner with my sister and brother – something we do often (but with our schedules, not often enough), lunch with my co-workers, a Google+ hangout with my Chicken Wing where we discover the available “props” in the chat like a freaking BIRTHDAY HAT, enjoying the city from a new view, and just taking some time for myself (to clean!)…I realized that birthdays are just another day to appreciate what you have, who you have in your life.  Some people (and experiences) come and go, but some are there for keeps.  And as for those who go, let them go.   Actually, sometimes run away from them and don’t look back (after you’ve gotten all the necessary lessons out of the ordeals).   This anniversary’s takeaway – love those around y0u, and thank them often.  Move on from the past b/c sometimes you (and by you, I mean me) you finally realize that your past is not holding you back.  It’s your (sometimes credible, other times irrational) fear that it will.  Okay, I am done.  HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ME.
My Fake Baby
Listen I don’t mean to harp on my trip upcoming trip to Malaysia, but I gotta take a dang fake baby with me.  NOW – the program itself is amazing.  Helping Babies Breathe (google it!) is an amazing Academy initiative that saves babies’ lives in the first 60 seconds of life.  Fabulous.  The demo baby to teach men and women across the globe to implement the program?  CREEPSTER CENTRAL.  They call her NeoNatalie.  She’s literally a Cabbage Patch filled with water or air.  I am calling my little baby JR Cletus.  She is adorable.  Okay, no, no she’s not.  JR is secured in her box, but here’s a quick look at her sister.
 I sincerely hope you enjoyed that image.
You may also notice I have a new header on my blog – compliments of Polish Princess for my cube birthday decor.  She also posted several young pictures of me when I look all sorts of awkward.  I am slightly less grateful for those.
I recently shared a post on FB of a picture that was making the rounds on social media – an Episcopal church wishing its Muslim brothers and sisters a Happy Eid.  Words cannot describe how much it touched me.  Such a gesture.  It’s been such a rough last few weeks with these recent hate crimes of mosques and temples and theaters.  It’s sometimes beyond comprehension.  And then gestures like these come along and remind me, we’re not all bad.  There’s still some love.  I am really hoping to make my first trip to a mosque in Malaysia, a country of many Muslims.  It’s odd I’ve never been to a mosque given my absolute love of seeing the congregation of other faiths (Christain, Catholic, Hindu, Jewish, Baha’i)…
 I’ll see you all when I return from the land of Cats!  Feline photos forthcoming!
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