640 – my k.s.a diaries

In the mood today to share my story, just wanted to open up, might as well be helpful on freeing heavy weight in my heart and motivate at least one human being, reading this. As of the moment, I’m typing in note app on my phone, lying on our shared king-sized bed, covered up again with my thick blanket because it’s cold in our room and I don’t want to be seen by my roommate and I don’t want to be distracted. Just me, and my thoughts. My real story.
Reasons why I’ve decided to work in KSA:

  • I’m tired of working hard with a small salary in a stressful environment. I wanted to have growth in my nursing career. I wanted to challenge myself even if I only have my two years clinical experience and months of volunteering. I took risk and step out of my comfort zone. 
  • I wanted to follow my sister in KSA. I don’t know if she knew that even if I have my best friends, I’m always attached with my sister. As much as possible, I never wanted to be separated with her. But she’s always the mature, strong but soft-hearted, and independent woman that I’ve known. She always wanted to leave out in our house because of her work distance from our house. That’s an excuse also for my sister to enjoy her youth, the fact of being away from the sight of our strict dad, so I understand her. But you know, I’m always sad whenever she’s leaving.. she’s like my second mom, most esp. when our mom is not always around. 
  • Of course.. to earn more money. I didn’t came to a poor family, only in middle-class as they called it. My mom is the bread winner, she’s working as nurse at Kuwait ever since she was in her twenty something until now; while my dad is just at home for the longest time I’ve known since we’re a baby with no interest to work again ever, his main role at home is to take care os us, me and my siblings. I’m a frugal type of person, but if I’m with my favorite human, I can spend like a princess. I’m not a fan of credit card and debts. I value money that’s why I saved a lot, at times.. Among my siblings, I have a lot of savings compare to them when we were studying.. my siblings always spend a lot on stuff that’s not important using our mom’s hard-earned money. I study hard to make my parents proud at me esp. my mom who’s very hardworking. We’re not poor as I told you, but I even applied for grant-in scholarship when I was in college. Money is the devil to most families, also to us. Money is always an issue in our household. I always cry like a baby. I hate it. I hate myself for the fact that because of money, responsibilities at home, the sight of my dad and brother fighting and disrespecting each other, and my dad who’s having self-pity almost every day, I ran out, I escape, and pushed myself to work here alone, all by myself through application, registration, flying here, going to my assigned hospital and room, until I resigned, I will still go home alone. But I appreciated now the art of being alone. There’s a good thing I learned and discovered about myself while being alone. 

My silent struggles in KSA:

  • A lot!!!! Like language barrier #1, being and living independently, wearing a tarha/hijab, can’t access my Spotify, eating my fave foods, controlling my wanderlust peg to travel, adapting alone for three months, adapting with my flatmates, sharing stuff with my flatmates, walking or doing errand outside alone day/night, not so good accommodation – food allowance/mess money/budget and transportation, unfair treatment of doctors to nurses, toxic duties, mental health, physical health, spiritual practice, social skills, creepy Saudi men, even teenagers!!! And homesickness maybe 10%.. in addition, it’s also a struggle to be a fangirl here, maybe 30%!!! And manyyyy more to mention.. Everyday I struggle but I will not tackle in every detail.. maybe someday if I can able to share it without any hesitation or doubt.. coz we all do struggle, it’s part of life and it’s part of our growth. No pain, no gain.

Reasons why I will not renew my contract and decided to quit my secured job:

  • I’m not genuinely happy.
  • I do not deserve this.
  • Safety is a must priority, *females!!
  • I am more than deserving for better growth and opportunities out there.
  • I decided to enjoy my youth by giving myself an early birthday gift, to choose joy and follow my dreams. I’m still confused and frustrated right now, but I hope I can figure it out and be fully ready on what I really want to do for the next years to come. 
  • I am not a slave for money and for the fact that they refused to give my employment certificate if I didn’t serve here for three years minimum. WTH. Imagine working in a month with only six days off, I heard some MOH with only four days off in a month, as in whaaaat!!!!!?? OMG. Luckily, I have a privilege for extra offs from my kind head nurse. That extra off was the accumulated extra hours of work. For example, in a week you have a total of eight hours overtime, so it will be one day extra off. Coz overtime pay here is zero SR. Charity for some areas. 
  • I’m not quitting because I can’t do this job anymore being a premature charge nurse and because of toxicity or what, coz we all know it’s part of the course.. *sometimes I can just sit on my duty doing nothing, and watching k-dramas, that’s our benign days goes. I just don’t want to be ignorant anymore of the language barrier among my patients and health team. I learned only basic Arabic, yes I survived but I still can’t properly teach proper education on my patients for example.

Of course there’s something I loved here in KSA, Southern region to be specific:

  • I really love the nice and cool weather here. I think I am born during cold season that’s why I was able to adapt really well. I didn’t got sick like common colds and cough, tonsillitis, diarrhea-like, fever and the ill-symptoms when you’re stressed. NEVER. Thank you God!!! Actually, I gained fat. I’m that kinda hiyang talaga here. 
  • Internet access – STC. Sometimes it’s craaaappyyyy but it’s way better than our connection in PH.. kdrama pa more!!!!!! Fangirl pa more!! Stream pa more!!! *I always got a message that I consumed my data faster than expected or usual. Hehe oh! serry. 
  • The abaya dress, because I can wear my PJs all day and night when going OUT even I didn’t took a bath. Haha! But I don’t like wearing tarha/hijab!!! My face is very different if I wear those. 
  • I’m happy that I’ve met and gained sisters here, our kabayan, then Indian, and Saudis. They said, we can be friends to all but only trust a few.. that’s so true.. I’m thankful that I’ve met Bessy Cheryl and Ate Grace here. I will do cherish and keep in touch the most to them when I will fly back to PH soooon 💖

~ Before I end this sharing, I also want to tell that right now, I’m experiencing God’s delays, coz supposed to be I must be on my home country before this month ends.. but still I haven’t booked my return ticket, my passport’s not with me, not applied yet for bank clearance needed for my exit visa. All in hold because of this holiday’s celebration. Wow lang, diba? But I MUST HOLD ON TO GOD, HAVE FAITH IN HIM THAT IN EVERY THING I AM EXPERIENCING AS OF THIS MOMENT HAS A PURPOSE!!!!! Kakapit lang me, at makakauwi rin naman tayo, self

Thanks for reading!

Always be grateful 🌷

Love,

Nj

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(Reminiscing101: Here’s a throwback photo from our SG trip 2016, where I am pretending to play this 🎹)
I was in High school when I learned to play and read notes. I wanted to learn more so I watched more videos on Youtube. First song I played was Ni Yao De Ai, song from Meteor Garden. I’m a fan of that Taiwanese Drama Series by the way. When Ber Months came, I’m playing Christmas Songs because of its season. Silent Night, Joy to the World, and I forgot what else. Then after, I learned to play Your Heart will Go On, Love is all that Matters, and I Just Called to Say I Love You. When my father saw that I’m playing a piano, he was happy to sit there in our living room and watch me. Even if I’m not good at playing, he’s my number one fan. He believes that I can play more. When that Ondoy Typhoon devasted our house and properties, he didn’t just throw our electronic piano and its stand, instead he fix it all for me. After that event, He urge me to practice everyday and play for him but due to my laziness and busy-busyhan activities, I didn’t play it anymore. 😞

I remember how I put smile to my father whenever he hears me play this thing. It’s always nice to know that there’s someone who believes in you even if you think you’re not that good at playing piano. Sorry dearest self, and father for neglecting to play again for years. I do really hope that this year, I can enroll myself to learn and play a piano. Please, I don’t want to have regrets in my youth on not fulfilling my dream to perform songs that I wanted to play, specially now that I have funds and time to improve myself. No more excuses, please. 
Bucketlist of songs to learn this year:

  • Canon D
  • Menuet Ba
  • Etude 11 and 13
  • It might be You
  • Forevermore
  • Goblin Osts, The Beautiful Life, etc!
  • Spring Day by BTS 

Let’s push this self, don’t ever forget and neglect again.

Love,

Nj