Same as the food we eat and air we breathe, lessons make our life possible — and explore more possibilities. In the Philippines, summer had already started. After the solemnity of the Holy Week, people hurried for guilt-free vacation getaways.
Facebook posts of my friends’ travel pictures invade my waking hours. Most of the days I’m at home. Except, yesterday as I came from Dampalitan Beach in Quezon Province. My shoestring budget is enough to travel there. Yep, I’m not pretending as a person with lots of money to spare.
The time is between six and seven in the evening. As part of my routine, I have to buy food from the market.
Another night, same as the past nights. I bought food from a bearded guy. For basic conversation, I have to unload my little knowledge of broken Arabic.
Of course, I should pay the “bakala” — the way people called the local convenience store. In Filipino version, it’s “Aling Puring Suking Tindahan.” Ah okay, it’s “tindahan” for short.
I have to take out my currencies of Rials with different sizes. Same as Euros, it gets bigger depending on the value.
Then, I said it with a smile, “Shukran Sadiq” — a simple greeting in broken Arabic. It means “Thanks, my friend.”
I’m ready to go.
We all have lots of firsts in life. Flying to work abroad is a sure way to get a bunch of those. I got a tough week which is a good thing. The physical and emotional struggle makes me stronger. I confessed, though, that many times I come to think to regret all of my (with the great help of my mother and grandmother, another story) efforts just to be where I am now.
I might be quite expressive in writing. But, in real life, I’m just barely starting to learn to express myself without any means of internet connection. To be more intimate with people through personal conversation.
I missed my beloved country, the Philippines. I could not explain enough how colorful there the Christmas is. We had the longest holiday season on the planet. Many started celebrating Christmas from the first day of September up to the first Sunday of January, which is the epiphany, also known as the day of the three kings.
Every part of the country has their own ways of celebrating. Every night, some people forget just for the season to be conservative in their electrical power consumption with their Christmas lights. For some, this is the time again to take out all those Christmas decorations — Christmas balls, Christmas lanterns, beléns (usually a mini version of the birth of Jesus, with statues, the manger, and hut), Santa stuffed toys or just anything that could remind us that Christmas is coming. The air is filled with Christmas songs from choirs, local carols, TV and radio stations or maybe just from yourself who can’t help but sing as the effect of the last song syndrome.
Two days from the time that I’m typing this blog post in my electronic tablet, I and my fellows will celebrate our second month with Saudi Arabia.
Most of the unusual were now normal to me.
From the twenty-sixth day of November, I and one of my fellow Filipino engineer started to report to the office. At last, my world would be a little bit bigger now. This is another challenge for me to blog. Unlike before, my time is limited. I tried to wake-up early, but I’m too sleepy to think of what should I blog about. Then I tried after work, almost the same, I’m too tired to think.engineer started to report to the office. At last, my world would be a little bit bigger now. This is another challenge for me to blog. Unlike before, my time is limited. I tried to wake-up early, but I’m too sleepy to think of what should I blog about. Then I tried after work, almost the same, I’m too tired to think.
Last night, I lay down in my bed who is talking to me. I think he is telling me to lean my back to him and shut my eyes ’till tomorrow morning. But then, my electronic tablet is also telling me something else. He is reminding me of our daily conversations — to either write a journal in a Diaro app or write a blog post. I’m not a bed whisperer. My tablet doesn’t have any talking apps. I just imagined them longing for someone to talk to. Or maybe it’s me who is longing.
Please don’t panic on me. I don’t have a Van Gogh syndrome, as named from a famous painter. Vincent Van Gogh was also known for cutting off his ear to give to a prostitute. Creative people were bound to be misunderstood. If this is true (which probably is because of his painting “Self-Portrait With Bandaged Ear”), then I’m not creative enough to understand this act except that he has a mental illness. I suggest we should just remember him more for being an incredibly creative artist than a self-mutilating schizophrenic (yep, I checked the spelling).
Here’s a profound topic that will change the world for the better. Yes, I still had delusions. I think the first person who took a picture of himself was so bored with his friends and neighbors. People are so pleased with themselves nowadays. Self-taken pictures were uploaded to social media for others to see. For the sake of “Facebook Likes and Comments,” many people became obsessed with themselves.
Why would someone want himself so much? Are they narcissist?
As of now, I’m here again at my favorite thinking place, the rooftop. Sitting in a comfy chair while sipping a cup of tea, I can see the calmness of the sky. I’m also with someone here for a while, I guessed he is an Indian. The clouds above is like this guy, smiling after I greeted him good morning. The breeze is telling me how great this day would be again.
Yep, I’m a weird guy who needs to feed his introversion. Isolation is a necessity to me. I’m not anti-social though I got some tendencies sometimes. This is the only way that I can think of to bring myself the most of my relationships.
Being a Catholic, Jesus Christ is my best model. He always has time to pray. I believe everyone needs to ponder. We need to stop from time-to-time and appreciate the divine beauty of our surroundings that we don’t usually recognize.
I have some financial problems that I had left in my country. If not, I’m not here in Saudi Arabia typing these words in the first place.
I and many overseas workers have to endure the sadness of not being physically present with our loved ones. The truth, some families didn’t survive the long-distance relationship even in this digital age. With social media sites and video-chatting, still, nothing beats personal human interaction. Nothing would. Nothing should.
Since I got here, not once did I video-chat my family. For the record, I just called my mother on her mobile phone thrice and all of them last not more than ten minutes. From time-to-time, I send private messages to her to make her at peace.
It is already cold outside at past ten in the evening. Musing at the rooftop is not that effective anymore. In just a span of a week, the temperature suddenly drops from scorching desert to almost winter cold.
I also found out that the mobile phone that I’m using for years has wi-fi hotspot. That was just six days ago. Maybe I’m noticing it but ignorant of its uses. Now, my tablet can get an internet connection from my mobile phone’s wi-fi source.
This is enough breakthrough for me. It’s no joke to publish a blog using my mobile phone. Even though I have small fingers, still it’s challenging.