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I got tested positive for dengue fever and it was THE WORST thing ever

I've been through the lowest point of my life this year when I got tested positive for dengue fever just a week ago. I really thought it was only a bad cold, but I had it for 4 days and it was TERRIBLE. In my mind I had this idea of dying because in the Philippines dengue is a really serious case and in some instances, the patient can die. So imagine my fear when I saw the result of my blood test.

Starting to have rashes
It started with a headache when I woke up on Saturday morning. I shrugged it off because it's "just" a headache from sleeping late last night. Saturday afternoon, an hour before I leave for work, I went to bed because I was feeling weak and sleepy. I started to feel hot and cold at the same time; hot temperature but cold inside my body. During the class my headache wouldn't leave me. Every time I slightly press my eyes I felt pain. I also started to feel dizzy. I was sitting down the whole time in class (which is unusual of me) because I felt like I'm going to fall. Before the 3rd class I totally gave up. I asked one of the staff if I can skip the last class because my whole body was burning. I went to the clinic beside the language center I work at for the check-up. I also had a blood test and argh! Injection is one of the worst things that could happen when you're sick (at least for me). The doctor said I have a very bad sore throat and that I need rest. I felt okay that night but started to feel ill again on Sunday morning. I was able to go to work on Sunday afternoon and even went to the airport to pick my sister up from the Philippines.

The picture doesn't do it justice but my arms and legs were red and itchy to the point where I barely slept because it's TOOO itchy :<
Come Monday morning - I woke up with a headache and high temperature. I skipped my morning classes, but was able to attend the afternoon classes. On Monday night around 11pm I felt really, REALLY cold. I wore a thick jacket to sleep because I was shaking and freezing. The next day I felt weak again. I checked Google for symptoms and the results showed "dengue". In my mind I was like, "this can't be. This can't be. I can't be sick. Not right now." I forced my ass to get out of bed and shower and went to the clinic for another blood test. And the rest is history.

Got bruise from my 4th and last blood step. The nurse had a hard time looking for a vein to inject. I was so scared and worried she might inject it wrongly XD I remember asking, "you need to find it first" while crying HAHAHA

If you are diagnosed with dengue fever, drink a lot of water. You need to increase your blood platelet count so water + rest + healthy foods will make you feel better. I also had 4 freaking blood tests in a span of 6 days to monitor the blood platelet count so prepare for that if you're scared of injections like me.

For people who are curious, I started having fever on Saturday. I didn't work for 5 days (Mon-Fri). My fever went down on Wednesday. I started working again next Saturday. I still have rashes (no more itchiness) at the time, but feeling normal.

[EDIT: This post is long overdue. Sorry for the delay]

Til my next blog post,
Kattie ♡

I'm going to Brazil!

Photo: http://images.huffingtonpost.com/2016-05-22-1463949471-6072763-BrazilFlagMap.png

I haven't booked for the flight tickets yet, but I'm already claiming it :)

Traveling, traveling, traveling... Just the idea of me on the plane, listening to music, looking at the clouds, and people watching at the airport excite me. There’s something about traveling that makes my heart race. And I know I won’t get to feel it in the next 8 months, but I am looking forward to flying again next year.

A month ago I had this idea in mind: I want to work in another country. A country where English is not the first language. And so I thought of South America and voila! Brazil popped up on my computer screen. After minutes of researching I found out that Filipinos don’t need visa to enter Brazil. Yay! But the airfare is quite expensive. I can use that amount of money to fund my trip to Japan or South Korea or other neighbouring countries. But why am I still into Brazil?? 

1. It’s in South America. Come on! Who doesn’t want to visit Latin American countries?! Imagine flying to the other side of the world and meet wonderful (or more like gorgeous) people there :)

2. Portuguese has got to be one of the sexiest accents. Especially when a good-looking guy speaks it. *wink*

3. I would really love to volunteer as an English teacher. I know I can volunteer in other countries, but it’s Brazil we are talking about. To be honest, if I would get a high paying teaching job there I would leave my life in Vietnam and settle down in Brazil. But actually the main reason boils down to number 4.

4. I met this amazing Brazilian guy on Reddit and ever since then my love for Brazil (and him) grew bigger.

I’m currently saving so I can book a round trip ticket in December. The money that I have right now is enough, but obviously I’m an adult and the ‘responsibility’ calls out my name during payday. I plan to leave in June 2018 since it’s the school’s summer vacation so I have 8 more months to plan and save for my trip. 

For number 4, I am willing to pursue whatever relationship I have with this amazing Brazilian guy and I will do what it takes to get my feet to Brazil. If you think I sound in love or cray cray for this guy, then you’re probably right. It’s so weird meeting those guys here in Vietnam who didn’t want to commit and finding a totally different guy who lives on the other side of the world and knows how to define a relationship. If I knew this would happen I would not waste my time, money, and energy on Tinder.

But then again, visiting Brazil and meeting the man of my dreams is like hitting two birds with one stone. I’m lucky and blessed. These are the words that best describe me at this moment :)

Til my next blog post,
Kattie ♡

(162): HOW TO: Obtain a Vietnam work visa in Phnom Penh, Cambodia

Just to give you some background, I've been working (legally) in HCMC, Vietnam for more than 2 years and the school sponsors our work permit. It means to say that we just submit the necessary documents (medical certificate, photos, and notarized copy of passports) needed to renew our WP.

In my previous post I mentioned that I stayed in Phnom Penh, Cambodia for a week while waiting for my working visa. Work permit and work visa are two completely different things BUT as long as you have either of the two, you're safe :)

Disclaimer: This is solely based on my own experience.

1. In order to get a work permit, you MUST have a business (DN) visa.
2. If you have a work permit, you can either have a business visa or a work visa but the latter is optional. (Business visa is more expensive because I had to renew it every 3 or 6 months. You can get a 1 year BV but it's going to cost you an arm and a leg. My work visa is valid for a year.)

But lets get to the main topic of this post. Just read on for more details.

July 28th - I left for Phnom Penh, Cambodia at 8 in the morning. In order to get a work visa, the rule is that I must be out of Vietnam for at least 7 days and PP is the "nearest" and/or the cheapest country to visit. I paid $18 for the bus ticket.

August 4th - My manager sent me a sponsorship letter that I need to show to the Vietnam embassy in PP. It's 3-pages long and is written in Vietnamese. I'm not sure but I think the letter says that, "the school wants to hire this person, therefore you need to grant her a working visa" LOL I had to wait 1 hour to retrieve my passport.

Advantages of having a WV:
1. No need to renew your visa every 3 or 6 months. 
2. WV is a multiple entry visa. It means that you can exit and enter Vietnam anytime you want (for a year).


My manager said it should only be $135, but the guy at the embassy claimed that if the visa is rush they add 15% (not sure) from the original price. He also said that I can pay $135, BUT I need to wait 3-4 business days. There's no way I'm going to extend my stay in PP. 

By the way for others who were asking, I don't know if the price of WV is the same in other countries. I heard that it's more expensive to get a WV in the Philippines. So if you're already in Vietnam, your best bet can be Cambodia or Thailand. :)

So there you go! Those are the things I did to obtain a Vietnam working visa in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. It's as easy as 123, but the waiting game can be a pain in the ass especially if you're running out of moohlas.

Til my next blog post,
Kattie ♡

(161): Back in my shell

Hi guys! I know I’ve been MIA for the past weeks (or month). I’ve been busy with so many things. I was broke (and still am) for weeks – I spent a lot of money in Phnom Penh, Cambodia (details after this). How have you been? If you ask me, I’m grand. Broke but grand. I will get paid tomorrow and Thursday next week so looking forward to receiving more ka-ching!

So what the hell happened to me over the past weeks? Read below:

1.    I went to Phnom Penh, Cambodia on the last week of July for my working visa. So many things had happened at the time and I don’t really want to go into details because of reasons. I stayed there for a week – imagine going out of the country for a week! (hence I’m broke) I had to pay $196 for my working visa plus accommodation ($34) plus food and transportation. Glad I went through with it! Here are some photos I took during my visit:

2.    School year 2017-2018 had officially started on the 7th of August so yep I’m back to work! I work the whole day every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday and half day (in the afternoon) every Tuesday and Thursday. Not bad, right? The language centre I work at also gave me more teaching hours so starting in September I will work 6-7 hours during the weekends. I have to work 7 days a week again lol

3.    I’m seeing a French guy. I don’t really want to say “I'm dating a French guy” because dating does not exist in France (based on my research). And I don’t want to say he’s my boyfriend because there’s “no talk” about it – it just happened. I meant the kiss. I first met him on Tinder and we met in person during his 2nd day here in Vietnam. I was not expecting that our friendship will take us to the “next level”. On our third dinner together we had Filipino foods and then went to Bui Vien for drinks. I think each of us had 4 glasses of craft beer so you can say we’re kinda tipsy after that. We headed to Donkey (a famous bar in BV) and the famous French kiss happened. I have no idea how many times or how long we kissed; all I know is that we both enjoyed our time together. Three days later we met again for dinner and when I arrived he kissed me on the lips. I was like, “wait what?” I pretended I was not surprised but at the back of my head I was screaming for happiness (???????) I mean I am physically attracted with him the moment I saw him because he looks very handsome and manly (well Europeans are good looking! No doubt about it) We still see each other until now and it has now become our tradition to kiss on the lips when we arrive and leave at our meeting place. There are just two things that bother me:

a.    I don’t know if we are a couple because there’s really no talk about it but we kiss so…. I don’t know what I’m blabbing about but for me it’s not official cus we don’t talk about labels. I’m one of those people who still need to label relationships (BEEN THERE DONE THAT). I don’t know about him but whenever we go home he kisses me three times on the lips and I think that’s very romantic. BUT WHAT DOES THAT MEAN? JUST DEFINE THE RELATIONSHIP! One of these days I will have the guts to ask him the infamous question: What are we?

b.    He’s leaving for Canada then France on the last week of September and I am not sure if he’s coming back. If God hears my prayers then I’ll be lucky. If not then better luck next guy, Kattie.

It's weird and sweet at the same time how French people make a big deal about the kiss. I read that if you kiss him or vice versa, then congratulations! You are now exclusive and in a relationship. Of course that does not work for every French people, but it's kinda applicable to my situation. (What do you think?) Don't worry I'll make a separate blog post about this.

4.    Recently I’ve been watching a lot of French movies and out of 4 or 5 I have watched, there’s only 1 I liked the most. I like watching romantic comedy movies but there’s always, ALWAYS, ALWAYS (I don’t know how much more I should emphasize this) cheating/infidelity involved in the story and some of the characters SEEM ok about it. I know it’s just a movie but somehow it reflects the culture of a country (talk about the French previous presidents lol). I talked to Adrien about it and he asked me to choose between: accept it and move on or be single at 45? My answer: be single at 45. I don’t want to be a martyr for love. If you’re not happy, leave. Avoid abuse; accept annoyance. Who cares if you’re single/single mother? That’s why you work to earn money. Seriously though. Again. CULTURAL DIFFERENCES. Can’t argue with that. But I’m going to argue with the fact that cheating/infidelity is UNACCEPTABLE and I won’t tolerate it.

5.    Going back to the previous topic, I already deleted my Tinder app. My account is still there but my profile is hidden so for sure no guys will be able to check it. If you’re asking why I deleted the app, well the answer is obvious. I don’t need to meet other guys if I’m already seeing this French guy a.k.a Adrien.

6.    When it comes to being punctual, I am proud to say that I have improved. When I meet Adrien or friends, I make sure I arrive ahead of time. Also, I’ve never been late in class except the time when it was raining heavily and the Grab driver took 48 years to pick me up.

So many things had happened/have been happening around me and I’m telling you this is just a gist of my story. I really need to get my shit together and get back into writing. You have no idea how much I missed blogging. I was stressed when I came back to Vietnam because I had little money left and had to wait 3 weeks before I get paid. I still check my blog from time to time to see what’s up but I was not in the mood to blog. Now the long wait is over because I’m getting paid soon and I can spend my hard-earned money on clothes and food and whatnot (but I owe people a lot of money so….)!!

I’m guessing this has got to be one of the longest blog posts I’ve ever written. Sorry not sorry. It’s understandable since I didn’t blog for more than a month. To end this, I’m still here. Still alive and kicking! Looking forward to getting more work and $$. The future is bright and so am I :)

Til my next blog post,
Kattie ♡