Saturday, February 26, 2011

Experiencing Riyadh (little by little)



Here’s a random list of my experiences during my first week in my new work and my observations of my new environment here in Riyadh:
  • My mom went to see me off to my new workplace which I find very sweet.  I wasn’t bother by it at all. I was like a kindergarten on her 1st day of school being ushered by her mom and telling her that she would do just fine only this time I am way too past my teens! I guess the fact that my mom was away with me most of my growing years, makes me embrace her being a stage mom today. She’d been working as a nurse here in Riyadh for almost 22 years! Imagine that.
  • The general orientation at work went on smoothly. Different people from different nations came to work here in Riyadh. There were those from the USA, France, Czech Republic, Australia, Malaysia, South Africa, India, UK and two of us from the Philippines. It was a really diverse group with different reasons of why choosing the Middle East for work. Some of us were there for financial stability, others for change in environment, for adventure, and for professional growth. Whatever the reason is, it is a big change and challenge everybody was facing.
  • There is a transportation service for all employees going to and from work 24/7. You just need to know the bus schedule. There is also a bus schedule for SHOPPING trips! How cool is that?!
  • During my morning bus rides, the exquisite sunrise never fails to amaze me. Big, round and orangey is my best way to describe it.
  • I’ve experienced my first suuuper minor sandstorm. They say it gets very nasty sometimes…
  • Starbucks Coffee in the Philippines tastes better than here (at least for the caramel macchiato and café mocha). Is it just me? I don’t know…
  • You have to be very careful when crossing the street. Saudi men are very fast drivers. We were also warned by a local, just so you know.
  • If we have Saturday and Sunday as weekend in the Philippines and for most part of the world, here we held our weekend on Thursday and Friday. We say: “Thank God it’s Wednesday!” instead.
  • For the ladies (kikay or not!), it is advisable to bring with you these MUST-HAVES always: Lip balm, Body lotion, Facial moisturizer (with a minimum of SPF 15), Hair conditioner. The season here is relatively dry (dry cold and dry hot), so if you don't want to look older than your age, you will trust me on this one. Chugging enough water would also help you hydrate yourself. ( I'll be making a separate blog about this later. So, watch out for it! =D)
  •  I would be able to continue my RUNNING! My housing complex has a 1 kilometer walking/jogging path! Imagine my delight when I saw it. In fact, I already run last Thursday. I only ran 5 kilometers before calling it quits. Sorry guys, I haven't yet taken a picture of it but I will! I promise. Besides having a walking path, there is also a tennis court, basketball court, a gym and a swimming pool. No excuse for me not to stay physically fit! =D
That's it! That's all I can write for now. Watch out for my future blogs on my mis/adventures in the kingdom!

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