Life as I know it...

Posted: Sunday, December 19, 2010 by Stained in Labels: ,

8,851 is the number of days I've lived in the United Arab Emirates; the country I was born in, possibly one-third of my life according to some statisticians *points at World Bank*. Today, if I plan to carry on living in this country and chase my dream, I have to spend roughly AED19,000 per annum. This may not seem like a large amount to many, but that's the amount of money I've earned since my last birthday. The next 30days will shatter, relocate or give the dream one last life line. The stress is so awesome that I’ve aged a few years over the past few weeks.

Talking about aging, my 1 year and 20 days old camera has conveniently bailed on me and I’m looking forward to a hefty bill from the rip-off of a service centre which shall obliterate whatever photography budget I had left after I managed to lose (more like left it at an event and someone decided to borrow it, permanently) my costliest/favorite lens. On the other hand, my car (more like the car my sister bought that I maintain) is dying on me as well and it’s just 10 months old (should have bought a Camry.. *yawn*). The electronics are going round the bend while the brakes are a squeak and the incompetent service centre is well useless. I should ask for a replacement since I do have consumer rights. *coughmiragecough*

At least all is not gloomy (I think), the mobile that I managed to buy with the help of my brother and some vouchers is perfect for my needs though it does seem a little pricy now with the other costs sprouting like a bean stalk.

Talking about stalk-ers, there is a specific gentleman (read: pervert) who needs to be introduced to my hand though the angry face keeps telling me to control my emoticons. Listen I shall…

Oh and for the record, I’ve been alive for 8948days. I feel old… *grabs anti ageing cream*


  1. hemlock says:

    stained... that young? jeZuZ!

    ive been financially screwed over this year. not one month, not two months, the entire f*ckin year. to the point where im now hysterically laughing it off. like, hysterically.

    i mean it's "little" things like dropping my D450 on the pavement - which was hooked to a friend's L 24-70mm f/2.8... needless to say, his lens doesnt focus anymore.

    ive bought him a 70-200mm f/2.8 L IS as replacement (his request, he was like, if you're gonna dish out that dough, make it this one)... but i was wondering, is there anywhere i can get the broken one fixed?

  1. Stained says: old did you think I was..??
    I hope you knew that the 70-200mm is a lot costlier then the 24-70mm...
    The only place in the UAE would be National stores even though they're useless. I don't know where you're from but you could try your luck in India or the US...

  1. stranger says:

    why are you talking like a grand pa????

    and why you are not finding yourself a job and a career and do something useful and have your value and input in this world??? its better than complaining.

    its clearly you live from your parents money.. and on this age you should have started your career.. should soon getting married and opening a house.

    you need to take yourself more seriously

  1. Stained says:

    @stranger...I suppose being a freelance photographer isn't something useful or a career..? ;)
    And would love to get married though need to find the right girl first... :D
    And yep, living with parents in their rented house but using my money for everything else...I'm not that useless you know!! :)

  1. Anonymous says:

    I really have to wonder if this "stranger" who seems to be imparting knowledge to you Stained, has a job, married and living a good life. I mean, who is Stranger to tell you all that? Have you been living under a rock, Stranger? The world went into recession- jobs aren't easy to find and money isn't easy to make- it's not like we all have a minting machine at home. Im sure Stained has been applying for jobs- not everyone is as lucky as you are, you know. If he doesn't have a job where do you expect the money to come from? Oh wait, let me guess- the magician's hat right? He wouldn't be living off on his parents money if he were employed. And as for marriage and "opening" a house- you need a job for that. You need a job to provide for your wife and children. It's very easy to say "You should've had a job by now, you should've gotten married by now" etc etc. You should know Stained is a talented photographer. At least, he's doing what he likes- that is photography and EARNING. It may not be what you get but at least that's a start. So before you go on accusing people of not being serious in life, try to comprehend the back story. Peace out.

  1. Anonymous says:

    well, stranger is more of a grandpa here. stranger can get lost and open a house for him/herself, don't really care... stained is still only an uncle .... *will gift u more anti age-ing creams on your next birthday* ... may your camera get replaced with a brand new one at no cost ...*fingers crossed* and this is only the beginning, you are doing just fine, keep at it, don't give up and you will live that dream, don't want to sound like those self help books, but its all about doing what you love and are best at .... you can't go wrong, You will always stumble across obstacles whatever you do, so might as well, challenge yourself in doing something you want to and good at rather than following stereotypes ....

  1. Stained says:

    @Anonymous gang... *hugs* :)
    Though I know I can do better and work harder... :)

  1. Stranger says:


    I am an IT professional, department head, and only 28years old... why I said this to stained... because I started working my ass when I am 18.. worked and paid for my bachelor degree when my parents couldn't afford pay rent.. graduated and was the youngest manager in a fortune 100 company when I am 25 years old.

    I dont like see people complain about life... because I found that when you chase your dreams and fight for it... god will reward you.

    I love reading Stained blog because he express a side of me the days I had issues in my life in the past...

    but stop complaining about your bad luck in life and stop writing negative posts and publishing sad songs.... those are affecting you.. you can be better.


  1. Stained says:

    I know I can do so much more to achieve my dream. But I am hampered every single time due to my skin color, nationality, age or religious values. I am ready to work my ass off if I am given an opportunity. Every client I have worked with has given me a positive feedback. But those opportunities are so far and few that I struggle. But I am trying to survive.

    I am a pessimist person who tends to exaggerate the negatives of my life a little too often which reflects on my blog posts. And I do rant a lot but that's why I have a blog cause better out then in... :)

  1. stranger says:

    i will give you a pro tip... maybe you know about it.. maybe you did try it... but I will tell you how we got there so early..

    I always says it to new graduates and pre-graduates... this age is the best time to find jobs.. dont get into the illusion that you need experience to start in a big company.

    this is from someone who myself, my younger brother, my two close friends did and it worked for us.. and its working for anyone who doesn't lack karisma, passion and smartness. and I believe Stained have them all.

    I am sure you heard of internships? in this age, being supported by family and no financial commitments.. you love photography??? go wear your best smart formal clothes... print your portfolio... take your smile, passion and "nothing to lose" attitude... and go to the biggest journalist companies (like CNN, BBC, Gulfnews etc) and speak to HR and tell them you want to sign for internship program (aka work for free) tell them how much you love photography. tell them you want to learn and work in the corporate world... and trust me... you might fail few of them.. but really most (if not all) big fortune 100 companies have internship programs.. they dont look at your experience they value you by your karisma and skills...

    also, while you are speaking to HR. some of them are very friendly that you can ask them their advice on what to do to get into journalism etc.

    I and my two best friends, at the age of 19 while we were in our 1st year in college gone to all the biggest companies we dreamed to work for trying to apply for intern program... three of us found jobs each in his area as interns and worked for free... each in a different company...

    long story short... by the time we graduated... we were working full time in bug multinational companies.. while most of our other friends the fresh grads are jobless looking for jobs or doing administrative jobs and complaining about low salaries...

    now we are young managers.. earning the fruits of working hard in the early days...

    my younger brother is now 21 years old.. 3rd year in college and he is working as a ground staff team leader at Emirates airlines earning above 10k monthly just because he started with them by the age of 18 as internship and soon he proved himself and is now fulltime job and got promoted twice.

    another pro tip... read bio books and read how small people became so successful in life... they never started a blog and complained about why life sucked...

    You are very talented in photography.. as a passion photographer myself you are very talented young man... and you should chase this dream...

    FYI, I have a friend who is photographer at the National news paper earning above 20k with freelancing and he is only 28years old... so photography is a very high paid area if you point yourself to the right direction

  1. Stained says:

    Working for free, I've been doing that for the past 3 years. Even though I have charges now for my photography services, I do plenty of free work on the side. I also do plenty of work that pays peanuts. I assist at workshops to earn some more peanuts just to make new contacts. I assist other photographers as well, to learn their trade, even for free.

    The problem with working full time with any publishing house or events company is the work I'll have to do. Unless I haven't look carefully, most jobs entail me to sometime or another shoot parties (read: alcohol) or fashion (read: possible partially naked people). Both things I don't prefer doing. I am in photography by choice, and if I have to end up shooting things I don't approve of, what choice is this then to make. I could have just joined a bank during the boom and earned a 10K plus salary by now just like all my friends for college. I know beggars can't be choosers, but why go cheap on a dream...

    I know ranting is not going to get me anywhere, but these are minor issues I want to voice out to stop myself from exploding from the real issues that I don't blog about.

    Btw what's your friends nationality?? Just curious...

  1. stranger says:

    work for free for the big corporates.. not peanut companies...

    those jobs you did are useless... and they all fall under your freelancing... you need to invest your time in big names... and never tell me that people with same skin color like you never work in big corporates...

    I am in IT... so I went to the IT companies every IT graduate would dream to work for...

    and please stop thinking that your nationality and skin color is what stopping you!!!! are you serious???? most of my professional successful friends are asians... but yes, discrimination exists and it exists even in USA...

    but dont let this thought let you down ever... the fact you think like this I will assume you go having it in your head before interview so it reflects on your personality

    FYI, i finished high school from an Indian school doing CBSE levels... and finished my college from an Indian university in sharjah this is because my parents couldn't afford the fees of fancy colleges or the never could afford any fees at all.. so it gave me some difficulty working for some, and thanks god i didn't work for someone who will judge me even from where i finished my studies... I am arab and white

  1. Stained says:

    There are no big companies in photography apart from publishing companies that I’ve stated already why I can’t work for. I also can’t work for some big shot photographer because of the very same reason. I am in photography not to earn big money. I can do that any time I want by agreeing to do all the photography assignments I’ve been offered i.e. from shooting drunken idiots to making out naked couples. I am a freelancer to give me a ‘choice’ to stay away from these kinds of jobs. Every time I take up an assignment, I make sure it is something I can share with my ‘old school’ parents. Work I will never be embarrassed about. And if that choice results in a slightly whining extremely frustrated blogger, I’ll take that.

    And for the record my friend who works for one of the biggest publishing companies in the UAE/Middle East gets discriminated (and harassed) on a daily basis due to her gender and nationality. I personally have had to go through the same so often that I’ve lost count. Photography in the UAE is all about who you know and what passport you hold. I fail on both counts. Plus the fact that I don’t suck up to anyone doesn’t help my cause.

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