A DAY IN THE LIFE (an expat's day off)

Most of you might probably know (or not) that Thursdays and Fridays are considered as the weekend here in the Middle East.

Let me share to you how my weekend turned out. It's as ordinary as it may turn out to be but I wanted to share it with you anyway. =) You might find that I may have some flight of ideas as you read this but just bear with it, okay? Or stop reading… Your choice.

I woke up very, very late, half past 10 to be exact---a product of staying up late the evening before because I watched a movie that was recommended by a colleague at work. The title: Hello Stranger.  It is a hundred and twenty minutes Thai romantic feel-good movie set up in Korea about a guy and a girl who visited the Land of Kimchi separately, and eventually bond together after coincidental encounters, sharing of rooms and confessions of heartbreaks. ***Since Saudi Arabia has no movie houses, we download movies from the net. So, feel free to suggest movies we need to watch. We would be forever thankful! =)

Anyhoo, the first thing I did upon waking up (before I even wash my face and brush my teeth) is to open my laptop, sign in to Facebook, Skype and my yahoo mail. It's not that I'm a Facebook addict (or maybe I am) but it's my way of connecting with my loved ones back at home. And indeed, I was able to chat with my lovely daughter. =)

My brunch was a reheated food from last night's dinner and some leftover takeout given by my flatmate and when I was full, I proceeded with cleaning the house. Boy, I wonder why I put so much effort from cleaning but end up as if nothing has changed from the way the house looks like when I haven't cleaned it up yet. These are the times when I surely missed having a maid around… sigh…

After that, I browsed the net aimlessly and proceeded on blogging---my one way of warding off homesickness and keeping my sanity in check. It's a nice outlet especially during stressful days---writing about anything and everything under the sun.

Then I watched another downloaded movie from the net. This time, a Korean movie: Lovers Concerto. The storyline is unique with lots of twists but it made me cry nonetheless. Just watch it and you'll see…plus, the lead actor is Tae-hyun cha from the Korean movie, My Sassy Girl.

***Other Asian movies I recommend you to watch: My Little Bride, Crazy Little Thing called Love, 100 days with Mr. Arrogant, 200 pounds Beauty, Windstruck and My Sassy Girl. The last two you may have watched a million times already and have memorized the line by heart. haha! Lately, I have penchant for Asian movies...hmmm...

Come 7 pm and I was preparing for a night run (since obviously I can't wake up early except when I have work, teehee!). It's a good thing my housing compound has a 1 kilometer  rubberized walking path that I can run into. I could still enjoy running without being restricted into wearing Abaya since when inside the compound you can wear whatever you like without being reprimanded by a Muttawa. Some nights I would find a couple of other people walking the strip, some nights I am alone. But these past few days I am glad that there are handfuls of other walkers and runners on the strip---some of them in their Abayas. Would Sport companies (calling Nike, Adidas) think of making dri-fit or climacool Abayas for our Muslim sisters who enjoyed walking and running without them breaking any Muslim law? It's just me thinking out loud.

The walking path around our housing accommodation

Anyways, I completed 10 rounds (1 round equivalent to 1 kilometer) 8 of which I ran straight and 2 kilometers I walked before and after the start of my run in 1 hour and 9 minutes. Running is my stress-buster-alternative-to-shopping-recreational sport. Before coming here, me, my brother and friends are suckers for fun runs and weekend races in the Philippines. It is where we spend half of our salaries---registering for runs, buying new running shoes, running apparels, hydration bottles, caps, sunblock, energy gels, copy of the latest runner's world magazine and excuse for dining out (carbo-loading phase). 

I intend to keep on running even if there are no running events to join here. I intend to self-train here so that when I went back to the Philippines for my annual vacation, I could still join running events (half-mary or full, let's see) and be able to finish strong.

"In running, it doesn't matter whether you come in first, in the middle of the pack, or last. You can say, 'I have finished.' There is a lot of satisfaction in that." 
-Fred Lebow, New York City Marathon co-founder

Another day had passed... It is time to sleep and get ready for the start of the week. Tomorrow's battle ground is the hospital I am working with... Tomorrow would be another day to help another human being win their battle against disease...


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