It was that hot summer night of September 2006 when I first stepped into this foreign land. Far from my family and friends, far from the world I know.
I was 20 years old back then and everything to me was as fresh as the bright blue sky (yes Sweet Child O’ Mine! and I was literally “still” a child that time :)).
First and Foremost
Everything was my first.
First job. I was a fresh grad. I never had a chance to work in my homeland. Everything to me was still theoretical. I wanted to apply the things that I’ve learned from the university. But it wasn’t as easy as that. Sometimes a theory will just remain a theory when you are the only one who believes in it. Well since no one understands my university theories, then I kept it inside my head in a place called ” Storage space for stock knowledge” and I started creating my own theories for myself then. 🙂 My first theory was the Law of Silence. The more you speak, the more you make mistakes. The louder your “brilliant” thoughts are, the more you are prone to discrimination and separation from humankind. The more you chat with friends, the more blood will drip from your back. My second theory was the Law of Ignorance. Sometimes we have to pretend that we really don’t know anything in order to please people (although- who do they think they are, why should I please them? Are they Pharaohs? Ha!Ha!) . How can staff be more knowledgeable than their superior? How can some newbie be better than the oldies? Try the luck! My third theory was the Law of Patience. Yes! Patience is a virtue. And my theory works all the time. We can’t always bang our heads to a brick wall. If the wall is too hard, pour water and it will soften in time. Trust me. 🙂 My fourth theory was the Law of Non Existence. You have to know when, where and why do you have to be slightly visible or completely invisible. (You are right D. It’s really good to be invisible.)
First Love (?) I really call it my first stupidity 🙂
First Time to be Million Miles Away From Home.Well, when I was about to depart, my luggage was like a grocery. There were canned goods, instant noodles, crackers and the best one – 1kg rice 🙂 Was scared to be hungry. My mom’s not there to cook for me. Didn’t know anyone, didn’t have friends or relatives, didn’t have money either. How can an inexperienced kid leave the country without even pocket money or anything? Ha!Ha! What if the job was a fraud or anything else, and what if they threw me out in the desert or somewhere else? Never thought of this earlier. I could have starved to death or died of heat or became frozen like a fish. All I know is that I am brave enough back then.
It was difficult to be away from home. I then realized that it was really a luxury to wake up in the morning with the breakfast ready on the table. To eat dinner every night without even being bothered on what should I cook again the next day for lunch and for dinner. To sleep for more than 12 hours a day, wake up and watch TV while eating lunch. Although there are chores to be done, being at home is still a luxury.
First Time to be Insulted. I admit that I am very poor with numbers, but aside from that I know what I can do and no one has ever insulted my capabilities to such a level that I felt I was the most stupid person in the world. On those times, I can’t cry in front of everyone, so I needed to save all the tears and pour it in the night before going to sleep. Oh yeah, those were the days when I tried sitting beside the window looking at the sky where I can see the moon and its few stars wondering why can’t I see as much stars here as I can see at home. I thought shooting stars might help as well and that I can wish that my Arabian Nights and Days would be like Princess Jasmine’s, but I never saw one.
First Time to Go to the Beach. Philippines is composed of thousand islands and more, which means it is surrounded by fresh and salty water all over but I have never been to any beach. I’ve never seen any of the beautiful white sandy beaches in my homeland (shame on me) but I never had a chance 😦 My hometown is near the mountains and from it, springs natural and sweet water (it was clean and sweet few years ago). We don’t even have faucet before because we have a deep well. And we even take our drinking water from it.
Eat Drink and Get Married 🙂
It was also my first time to enter a club. It’s dark, cold and smoky. They drink, they dance and they laugh. And a lot of them got married after a month or so 🙂 If you know what I mean. Luckily I’m still single.
From “Waiting for Tips” to “Giving Tips”
I used to wait for guests to give me tips. And I was happy whenever I receive any amount. I will go and buy burger meal in BK whenever I receive anything above 50 bucks. I will also buy chocolate bars as consolation to my hard work for the day. But then, as I said earlier my third theory worked out very well for me.I feel happy now, to give tips whenever I dine out and I won’t hesitate to give because I know how it feels.
If you watched Mission Impossible (the latest one) which was filmed in Dubai, I’m telling you that Tom Cruise really did something impossible ( or the director thought of something that was not really possible). I’ve never seen such sandstorm in my life here. 🙂
6 years ago, the tallest building was just a flat desert. Bricks were still laid and dusts scattered in the air. There was no metro yet and the only means of transportation is the RTA bus which takes you for a “Tour of Dubai” before you reach your destination, and the “Elite” RTA taxis with snob drivers. Taxi drivers can choose their passengers by race, by age by clothing and by the area that they want to go. Just, what the hell! Right? Thank goodness they thought of building the metro.
I am now in the midst of the hot summer of September 2012 and yet I’m still here in this foreign land. Far from my family, but this is now the world that I know.
(Just getting emotional whenever I hear Wake Me Up When September Ends. Thanks Billy Joe!)