And it is raining in Dammam once again this night. And I am alone now in our apartment. My room-mate is on the night shift so I am solo in our little world. So earlier I get myself on my feet and head to the downtown a few steps from our building and when the rain stops I go to the nearest mall which is the Al-Danah Center. There are so few people go there and there are so little merchandise too inside. I go to my favorite spot in the second floor which is a fastfood center and I order to my delight a beef mami. Yes at last a deviation to my almost everyday chicken meal. I have spot some Filipino around and they are gathering around a billiard hall where some are busy playing killing time. And I just roam around. And I go on the next journey. I go to the Damman Shopping Center and just look around because I do not have intention of buying since my money is not that many nowadays hahaha!!Roaming around the city at night is like a pasyal pasyal in the Philipines or just window shopping so to speak. I think before that Dammam is just like a small town but to my surprise it is a megapolis with all the amenities and facilities of a modern metropolis.
Upon walking on my way home I just stop sometimes and reflect on my one month stay here. Still sometimes I cannot see myself that I am here now. Just do not sinking yet but little by little my mind and system is accepting the reality that this is my New Home away from home!
Transferring and living away from the comfort of our own home just give me the essentials of not forgetting some experience of mine and I want to share it to the world. Some essentials are necessary to survive in the new environment coupled with different culture and mostly harsh weather condition in which our body is not yet accustomed to.
Weather. Yes weather is extremely very different from the Philippines. So my advice as of this time please bring lots of jackets before you head to the airport. And bring some bonnets and some gloves and whatever clothing that will protect you from the cold weather especially in the morning.
Currency. Thanks to my family who advice me to have some pocket money on my way here. And thanks to Ate Arlyn for giving that 200 USD but eventually I will pay her hahaha! (duty free na lang daw or perfume or bag na pasalubong hehehe). I have peso bills too and please know the nearest money changer around so that when you need some cash you can have the Saudi Riyal immediately. And please have that Riyal too before stepping here in the Kingdom to survive for a few days before the company's financial assistance will come to ourselves.
Language. Well that is the one I will never learn maybe. Just like when I have this seven years of working with some Korean expatriates I never learn some decent lines of language. I just speak in English and that's it. But here it is definitely different. Thanks to some of my fellows here that that understand and speak a little of Arabic so in everyday transactions especially in the street we can survive and understand. But still I am lost in translation. In the office well I am very thankful that most of the staffs and managers are very English literate.
Communication. Thanks to Ate Arlyn again for giving me her Ipod that I am able to communicate them in Philippines via facebook and skype and kakao talk. And I have a new laptop so in that way I am very much connected to them despite the distance and time difference just like earlier this day I have some group call session with Tintin and Bambz and Dey via kakao talk. It is also very advisable here in Saudi that you must have a sim card and cellphone at the very first week or first day so that whatever happens you can call for help.
What else? Well just have those Faith as the most essential ingredient of staying focus and alive in this country so far from the comfort of our own lives and life that we used to have for most years of our existence. Just have so big faith that eventually we will be used to live in this place where harmony and peace converge despite that very misconceptions that we have about this country.
Photos below are some of my nuisance but still essential or maybe I am just missing those beer hahaha. Yes alcoholic drinks are prohibited here but you can buy malt liquor just like what I have bought below. And it tastes like an ordinary beer but it will never make you as drunk as you wanted to be because it is non-alcoholic.
And I buy a chocolate to give my brain a little boost it needs!