My best friend of 28 years and her family left Jeddah for good so I took the Eid holiday with them in Lebanon. I arrived in the afternoon of June 12, 2018. There was no big fuss at the airport. It was like coming home to my own family. His sister, mom and brother were very accommodating. On landing Beirut,I noticed immediately the beautiful houses on the mountain, the narrow road with up and down hills and yet the cars were all double parked on the streets.You must be a very good driver to reach your home alive 🙂
After 15 year-long civil war,It’s amazing to see the houses that withstand the time, along the newer buildings. The house in front of my friends’ house was built 100 years ago. Wow! Bullet holed building near the newer modern building.I was not able to take photos of the downtown center.
The mosque and churches were also standing side by side. Veiled ladies along side women with crop top. This is just awesome multicultural differences in reality.
Our first destination is Raouché rock (pigeon rock) as tourist, you never been in Beirut if you don’t have the mandatory photo of the rock 🙂
This is a natural landmark which is also known as Sabah Nassar’s rock.
On June 8, 2014, Michael Haddad, paralyzed from chest down climbed the pigeon rock and planted the Lebanese flag on top, as a part “defying disability to the top” raising awareness on water pollution and marine life threats. If you like to read more about him, pls click here
It’s a beautiful sunset for the first day minus the mosquitoes bites that I got from going down to the place 🙂
The third episode of “The Vin and Noira Show” is here
Are you a OFW? Expatriates? born in KSA? back in Philippines? you should listen to vin oh! and noira too, she is from Indonesia but studied in Australia.
Where are you from?
I usually say, from Philippines to make the story short, because I was born in Davao and was raised in Bicol, my father is from Cabanatuan City and my mother is from Taytay ,Rizal and you can find these places in the Philippines.
What about if you are born in another country like Saudi Arabia with Filipino parents and was raised in Saudi Arabia and never had the chance to actually live in Philippines?
What about.. if you are born in Saudi Arabia and never had the opportunity to really live in Philippines but your parents are both Filipino and you immigrated to United Kingdom or Canada?
What about..if your mother is Filipina and your father is American and you are born and raised in Saudi Arabia?
Where are you from?
As my youngest always say ” WE ARE NOMAD” 🙂
GLOBAL nomad – one who grows up in a country other than their passport country.
EXpatriate – one who lives outside of his/her own home culture.
I got interested with the topic of “Third Culture Kids” since the first episode of the show and it’s relatable to all expatriates alike, not only for the kids but for the adult and parents as well.
What is TCK? Third Culture Kids is a term they used for kids who were raised in a culture other than their parents country and a combination of both. A good example is my son , who has both Filipino parents (first culture) but was born and raised in Saudi Arabia(second culture) and being exposed on both cultures (third culture). He studied in a multicultural environment and later on went to Europe and USA to finish his Bachelors degree.
It gives me a goose bump, remembering the day I organized a club named KFC (Kids Fun Club) and TFCK ( Teens Fun Club with Kids). My main goal is for him to be exposed in a Filipino culture while in Saudi Arabia at the same time teaching children to enhance their creativity in arts,reading and our culture.
So whats the big deal?
Is there more advantages than disadvantages?
Well, it’s a matter of perspective, I can’t speak for himself so listen to his show here hahahaha, kidding aside, but what I observed TCK has more adaptability and capability than those who has mono cultural exposure. Mostly of the studies done for TCK are American children living abroad, so let’s narrowed down the topic to Filipino kids who were raised in Saudi Arabia because of their parents employment.
They speak fluent english and have difficulty in Tagalog (Filipino language), unless all their friends speaks Tagalog or they are studying in Philippine School, then there’s no tagalog difficulties but definitely they don’t speak their parent’s dialect. Yes! one of the advantage of being TCK is the fluency in the English Language, they learned different languages too, but sad to say they are not well versed in Tagalog. Is this the fault of a parent? Well, in my case, I choose to speak one language to them, so they will not be confused in their accent and pronunciation. I was raised in Bicol, speaks taglish (tagalog-English) with a Philippine accent, I was afraid they gonna pick up my accent and other students will make fun of them. You see, living in Saudi Arabia is not easy, unfortunately,bullying is rampant at school and at work as well. And being in American School, Filipino subject is not included in the curriculum, it’s either French or Spanish, and of course the Arabic language of host country. I just wish, I insisted on learning them Tagalog and Arabic more fluently.
Even for us, as OFW, we tend to speak comfortably in English than in Tagalog, As for me, I still speak taglish (tagalog-English) but can speak English well if needed and can conversed in Arabic with my patients 🙂
One of the privilege of being TCK is traveling. It gives them a broader view of the world, a better understanding of different culture but at the same time, they tend to wonder, the need to see other places and at times lost their interest to go back home.Even in food, they acquired the taste of arabic cuisine. Who doesn’t? Oh ! I love it too! kabsa, shawerma,sambusak and broast 🙂 hmmm I’m getting hungry 🙂
Another advantage of being TCK is education, not only having the chance to study abroad but the ability to adjust, experience and learn to live in a multicultural environment. This is a real education to see how people live, interact, socialize in different places. This give you a broader perspective and independence.
What about emotionally?
I remembered my son, on one of his low point of being a Nomad, he uttered in a depressed tone of “just give me a home” to which I answered, your home is ME! Home is where your family! But at that time we were all in a different continent. It was a realization for me, yeah, home is everywhere and nowhere!
Saudi Arabia is my comfort zone, we live in a big house with free car, air ticket , free education and this is where my career started and bloom. But we al knew, this is temporary, and time will come we are all going home…where?
No one was prepared to go back home to Philippines, we were all fascinated and taken away by the comfort of living abroad, having friends all over the world,going to places.. though at times we feel we don’t belong anywhere, still living abroad has its own aura. Like what is expensive in Philippines, its just a normal affordable thing abroad. Communication is easier too, though we don’t speak arabic fluently, a lot of people here tried to speak English or even tagalog to us.(this is just me, ok?) I know, I am working in a private clinic with a good position so what I meet everyday are professionals, VIPs, but I think mostly of expatriate would have the same opinion. Am I wrong or right?
Sad to say, back home, speaking English with american accent and an Asian look, sometimes doesn’t create a good start without being perceived to be showing off.
the feeling of..
you don’t fit in… reverse culture shock… out of place
Vin and noira will surely tackle these feelings of being a tourist on your own home country. As for me, I am not yet there, but I am anticipating my retirement soon and I knew, I would feel the same way but hey! life is what we make it, if we were able to survived in the Middle East, we will surely survive in Asia!
Did I say ? TCK includes adult and parents?
Accept reality, face our own fear and sooner than we think, we can say, it’s not bad as we expected it too be 🙂
Ladies, I think Vin and Noira did express their take on TCK better than I did here 🙂
I haven’t completed my house renovation yet but needed some furniture for my covered lanai at the back of my house. I searched where to order rattan but what I found was either far from metro manila or the design were mostly the same anywhere.
While searching I came across a Facebook page “RATTAN ANJELIE FURNITURE” at first I was hesitant to send a message but looking at the photos of their finished product, I became curious and sent Amor a message. She responded immediately and while chatting with her, my guts told me she is a trustworthy person. I am aware of the presence of scammer on social media, so I asked a lot of questions and she seemed very polite and answered my questions with all honesty.
She was very particular about the design I was asking and their capacity to copy it. She told me what they can and can not do. She sent me a lot of photos and materials. So what I did is just to choose and agreed. I overestimated the size of the sofa and she over estimated the size of the pillows 🙂 The payment was also easy, its thru bank transfer. She asked for downpayment before proceeding and the balance is either cash on delivery or bank transfer.
This was on the day it was delivered, I found that the small pillows were too many, and the whole set will not accomodate on my lanai. Nevertheless, the finished product was beautiful!
She also made extra 20×20 pillows for my bay window and sofa. The sewing is neat.
Ladies, if you need to contact her, please feel free to go to their FB page.
From Jeddah to AL Ula (Madain Saleh) to Tabuk, a long four days road trip, 3 hotels, adobo, al baik, lamb mandi to pizza and ice cream, that was awesome!
Maqna or Magna is located in Tabuk province. It was known that “Bir Al Saidni” is the well from which Moses rolled away the stone to draw water for the flocks of Jewish settlers.
Fast forward, before we reached the area, we passed a small area of water along the way.And I was thinking how difficult it was for Moses and the Israelites coming from Egypt, passing through the Gulf of Aqaba to Mt. Sinai, a vast desert, hills of rocks and suddenly the rock was split open to provide water. Wow! I am fascinated by the history of the place.
The sight to the coastal area was like a “gasp on the air”.
Imagine you are lost in a desert and found this well, I think you will be shouting and jumping of joy!
Thank you to Gabriel Fam, Alji fam and Pino fam for this trip. I had a wonderful Eid holiday 🙂
and to the boys who drove us for four days just to see those wonderful places.
I guess the photo says it all 🙂 are we going ahead with this trip? hahahaha Who can say no to madame Rhea! clap your hand and raise your feet 🙂 o la la …
Along the way, we have seen a lot of beautiful sceneries that no photos can justify our feelings at that moment. Ladies, you should do wonders to drag your husband to this trip, it is worth a try, trust me!
After a long travel to reach Mt Sinai, the road has ended with a barricade. Oh yeah, there was no sign what so ever that we can get through. So, we just took in the scenery with a sigh and relief that at last we have seen how difficult the survival was.
For a little trivia, Mt Sinai is the mountain at which the Ten commandments were given to Moses by God. It was found in Egypt but contested later on by historian that the actual location is in Saudi Arabia. Whichever is right, this road trip is worth a try, having seen the red sand dunes, the archaeological arts of rocks, oasis,gulf of aqaba and the tip of Mt. Sinai, indeed, this is the most memorable road trip ever.
Another contested trivia is the Red sea crossing of Israelites at the gulf of Aqaba. We headed to see the coastal view of Gulf of Aqaba, which could be seen or divided between four countries namely:Saudi Arabia,Jordan,Israel and Egypt.
A half sunken ship can be seen 55 km south from Haql city in Tabuk province. The water is crystal clear, which is good for swimming, unfortunately we were not ready for this 🙁 The place is known as “Al mashee well”, I would call it as Haql Shipwreck beach 🙂 because literally the half sunken vessel is just along the shore and with the mountain backdrop and the crystal blue water, one can imagine that you’re in a movie set.
I can’t say it was a good night sleep but we woke up early to have a sunrise view at the elephant rock.
This photo was taken after a car driven by crazy “young adult” circled around , I guess they were showing off and created a big sand dust around us. However, it didn’t get into our nerves, we still went on 🙂 the mandatory jump shot!
Back to road and we just found out there is a better accommodation than the furnished apartment we have rented. The place is “Shaden Resort” hmmm we will come back for sure.
I don’t know how we were able to… but here we are alive and kicking 🙂 My friend Rhea came from a two months holiday and a day after they arrived, we joined another groups of family to a road trip which we thought will just be an overnight thing, like two days and one night OMG!
DAY 1 Friday Sept. 1,2017
We left Jeddah at 4:30 am. not wasting time huh 🙂 considering I worked a day before, rhea just arrived and here we are, traveling early in the morning. Yep! you got it right..we are the “lakwatsera” wanderlust of Jeddah. Beautybeyondfifty is all smile 🙂
Anyhow, we stopped in Yanbu and had our breakfast .Yep! your guess is right again 🙂 we had “adobo and rice”.
Arrived in Al Ula around 12:30 noon, unfortunately, Arac Hotel was closed and we headed to find a furnished apartment. We had ” adobo and rice” again for lunch :-). At 3:30 pm we moved to see Madain Saleh. We’ve been here before but we were still excited to see the ancient Nabatean caravan city which is filled with desert tombs.
Oh by the way, You only need Iqama to get in, there’s no permit anymore and it is open until 6pm.
At the entrance is a replica of the old train and Al Hijaz railway station.
The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog.
Here’s an excerpt:
The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 12,000 times in 2013. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 4 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.