Sunday, January 31, 2010

Broken Bonds Can Still Be Mended

In life, it is often inevitable that you meet people who leave marks that would be remembered for a lifetime. Sometimes, these meetings lead to relationships, some good, some awful and some changes during the period. Similarities and compatibility often lead to friendships as hostility between two people arises due to some differences.

Friendship most likely results when two people find ways to enjoy each other’s company. From there, they begin to open up and discover each other’s life. Trust and respect are built on this process. Bonds are strengthened from shared effort.

True friends are actually angels in disguise for they help you in time of need and trouble. They serve as your conscience when you’re doing something that is not already right. Friends are actually essential ingredients in molding one’s personality.

Most likely, it is because of these why a broken and lost friendship really hurts. Actions that are either unintentional or deliberate such as betrayal, deception and dishonesty may actually lead two individuals to become sworn and best enemies. It is in this time that forgiveness is almost impossible. This is maybe due to the fact that pain and hurt are equally intense as the friendship itself.

But like any other processes in life, I believe all wounds are healed in time. Although scars will still be there, lost friendships can still be renewed. Two estranged individuals can still be friends and can still make up for the lost times.

What makes me an authority to tell these? I have also my share of broken and renewed relationships. In the end, these experiences made me more mature and taught me the realities of life. I believe that what is most important is when wounds are already healed, both parties are willing to forgive and forget.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

A Different World

My husband and I arrived here in Riyadh last August, and now we are just few months ahead before we go home. I even hardly noticed that we are approaching almost half of my husband's one year working period. Indeed, time flies so fast. And I can still vividly remember my experiences when I first got here.

I have already worn my "abaya" or Muslim veil the moment we stepped out of the plane, as I'm told to do so. I also remember how anxious I am the first time I saw their intimidating crowd and felt their hostile environment. There were a number of people of different nationalities falling out of line in the immigration area of the airport. They were brusquely approached by an airport personnel to stay in line. I also noticed that there were no female employees unlike in the Philippine and Hongkong airports.

We finished the necessary procedures on the immigration almost nine in the evening of Saudi time. I was struck by a mass of very warm and dry air the first time I stepped out of King Khalid International Airport. It was as if my face was stretched and burned. When I told my husband about the weather, he just told me, welcome to Riyadh.

It's good to look back on these incidents because it became one of my firsts. It was my first actual knowledge of life in a foreign country. My first adherence to a culture that is very different from what I was born with. It was actually a good experience.

Celebrating Holidays

Holiday season here in Riyadh is just like any ordinary day. You won't see any lanterns hanging on street posts, regular Christmas melodies won't be heard on the radio, the air is devoid of Christmas spirit. For expats like us, it made the holiday season more lonesome. It made us missed home very much.

It's a good thing that we were able to find ways to celebrate the holiday season despite of being forbidden here. Here in our villa, we cooked foods for Christmas, gathered together and even had exchanged gifts. The children got thrilled with special gifts from uncle Santa.

Even though nothing is more fun and satisfying than celebrating the holiday season with families at home, it's good that we have made the event still unforgettable. I'm glad I have experienced my first Christmas and New Year with my husband and new found friends.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Missing Them

Nothing is constant except change. That's so true and is applicable to almost everything. And change can be good too. But sometimes, I can't avoid to wish for some things to stay as they are. I wish people not to grow old and die, for us to stay with our love ones forever. I wish we can always stay with our family, just be near them even though we already have families of our own. But I know it can never be true for we have to undergo the very basic process life obliges us - change.

I miss my family, my parents and siblings. I wish things were different from what we are today, scattered in the different parts of the globe. But somehow, I'm happy to know that we are all happy being with our very own families. I just wish time and circumstances would allow us to be together once again even for just a brief time.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

The Hidden Wonders of Dry Land

I was lucky along with my housemates to travel outside Riyadh and reach one of the very famous tourist destinations in the city. We traveled almost 1 hour, sightseeing at the same time.

We have reached our destination almost time for lunch. I was really struck by its rare beauty. Red sand, as the name implies, is known for its reddish, very fine sand. It was a common place of leisure for expats like us often visited during the cold season here in Riyadh. The main activity people enjoy is biking on the rocky hills and reddish sand using a four-wheeled motorcycle. My husband and I biked like kids, really enjoyed despite of the sun. Luckily, the wind was very cold so that we didn't feel like burning under the Saudi sun.

It was really a great and unforgettable experience that i would cherish so as long as I live. I wish we could go back there before we go home this year. But it wouldn't really be a good idea since summer is approaching. We won't be able to stand the very hot and dry weather by that time.

My First Travel Abroad

It has been months ago when i came here in Riyadh with my husband. The trip was ok, everything was in place. We had our departure at Cebu-Mactan International Airport in the Philippines last August 25, 2009. Being anxious to be in time for the flight, we have arrived in the airport almost 4 hours before the departure time.We were even the first one to fall in line for the baggage check-in.

We had our stop over and connecting flight in Hongkong International Airport where i had my first actual experience on racial discrimination, we as the subjects. We were falling in line to the transfer desk with other nationalities, mostly chinese, american and middle east citizens, when we were stopped by a woman in uniform. I assumed she was an airport personnel. She then signaled those white people behind us to be at the line first, overtaking us. Naturally, we were taken aback, and we then realized that the airport personnel was just giving them the utmost priority. Well, what can we do? We just stayed behind, waited for our turn even though we are about to be left by our plane to Riyadh.

I observed that most people in the plane are Filipinos, which I believe are also OFW's as my husband. I was saddened by the fact that many families in the Philippines are left without a husband, a wife, a son or daughter who spend lonely and tiring hours abroad working to alleviate their lives.

Despite of our not-so-good experience, it was a good thing we were able to catch the flight to Riyadh just in time and reached our destination safely. I just have an important realization: racial discrimination especially for people of third world countries like the Philippines is an inevitable fact. Despite of this, it is important to do what is right and live with integrity so that others may know, that Filipinos are respectable, honest and family-loving creatures.

I just wish it won't happen again to our trip back to the Philippines this coming August. Though, I'm sure i can bear it again, i intend to avoid the delay and rush. It's just so tiring and jumpy.