It has been 3 years that this land has adopted me. It provided me shelter, food, clothes, money, water and mostly all of my basic needs for survival. When I recollected those times I first sat foot on this deserted land, I was nervous and skeptical of what could my life be. When I rode my first car going to my accommodation, I was just literally shocked and my jaw dropped for I didn’t see any buildings around the airport or even the road going to the place where I am going to stay. I felt like it was just yesterday but time flew so fast that this month, I will be leaving this country that nurtured me to become independent and made me see the real life of an expatriate.
For other individuals, 3 years is like a lifetime. Yes, for me it is also a lifetime but it didn’t happen like that. In fact, it was not dragging at all because my stay here had been a little fun along with the people who made it special. I may not miss this country and its very strict laws and practices but I will surely miss the people who I met here. I met a community which is biodiverse. A community mixed with different races from the east to the west. It was definitely challenging to blend in and interact with these people due to the fact that they also have their own cultures. Even though, we differ in cultures but we have the same goal in life and that is to have a better future.
Way back when I was still in the Philippines, I considered myself a racist. I often called and labeled people by their looks and appearance. But here in Saudi Arabia, I have totally changed. I embraced other nationalities as if they were my brothers and sisters. It didn’t take long time for me to blend in since most of the people were friendly. It only took me few weeks and months to get along with them. Others even have the same interests while some others just want to be acquainted. Here are the pictures I have captured for 3 long years with the people I met and get acquainted with and others have become my friends. These people, whom I called friends, will leave a big space in my heart. They have shared their life stories with me, as well.
As I looked on those pictures, it is effin’ hard to say your goodbyes and depart ways. But even though I will leave, the memories I had with these people will always be in my heart and in my mind til the day of my demise.
I will treasure each day I spent with them. I will tell the stories and experiences I had here to my families and my own family. It was a hell of a ride for me. Many first times I have done that will leave me giggling, crying and smiling. As time passes by, I can say that I am grateful to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia that even though she has a very stringent implementation of the laws and regulations on her land but it was for the good. I felt safe for my whole stay here. I may not step on this land again but I am proud to shout to the world that I have lived and survived for 3 years in Saudi Arabia which is a truly enriching experience.
To all my friends here, I just want to say, ‘Even though we will not see each other again, I just hope that our friendship will flourish through time. That everyone will keep in touch and will always be in pink of health. I love you all.’