This is my first time in Riyadh, although I used to work before in Jubail and Alkhobar. Likewise, every time I travel for the first time in a place I am not yet familiar with, I still experience this knee knacking feeling. It's just like, it makes me shiver to the bones. .:-) I never cry!. Worse, if you are travelling alone and have no idea yet who will pick you up in the airport, or what if no one pick you up in the airport?. No idea where to go... And so on and so forth. Cut the crap!
Congratulations!!...You have just experienced most PinoyOFW Engineer feel in their first trip abroad. So what do you expect and what to do when you just arrived in the arrival area of the airport after successfully going through the suspicious eye of the Saudi Immigration Officer.
First, relax, keep calm and pretend like you are an old timer expat who come and go in this place. It helps if you know a little arabic, but not necessary. You can just speak plain english in filipino accent.
Second, load a big amount to your roaming mobile phone to enable you to call your contact person that you just arrived and your current location. Do not entertain bearded strangers or taxi drivers to bring you to your destination. Also do not give him your passport! Tell them you are an Engineer. Most likely, they will walk away. You will hear them saying.." aywa, you muder! Just stay in your waiting area where you see lots of placards with names in it. Most likely, you will see your name in print with welcome message. Greet him, say " salamalaykom ", introduce yourself. He will now bring you to your temporary hotel accommodation where you will stay there for days or weeks depends on your work assignments or contract. Relax, have a cold drinks, call your wife that you already arrive safe and sound, and you need a good sleep. Welcome in Riyadh!
Photo from Left: Allan Laranang, Froilan Celestino
My good friend and townmate from Bagabag, Engr. Froilan Celestino just recently arrived in Riyadh also for the first time to work in a consulting company for various infrastucture projects in the Kingdom. I visited him in his hotel as shown in this photo. We talked about everything to expect in the work place, do's and dont's in the city, pinoy destinations and among others.
I treated him to my favorite mongolian pancit in a popular pinoy marketplace in Batha. I think he like the taste of the fresh from the pan pancit with the big serving. That for sure is enough for dinner.
|Engr. Froilan Celestino|
You can suggest to the pinoy cook your choice of cooking i.e spicy, sweet, regular or sweet and spicy.
|Engr. Allan Laranang|
First time in Riyadh for a Pinoy OFW Engineer should be smooth, sweet and spicy like my hot mongolian pancit. Definitely, this is just the beginning of the soon to be many challenges and exciting event of being Pinoy OFW Engineer.
Till my next post.
Seize the Day,