How to Adjust in the First Five Days in Saudi Arabia?

After all the efforts and waiting, at last, I’m in Saudi Arabia. Congratulations to me! I now belonged to the statistics of the Overseas Filipino Workers, the so-called “new heroes” of our nation.

Now, I’m sitting in my bed inside my apartment, the air-conditioning is helping me to forget that I’m in the middle of the desert.

As of this very moment that I’m typing on my tablet, the time was past eight in the morning. All of us six Filipinos living together in one Arabian roof finished eating our breakfast.

What to do next?


I’ve been five days in Saudi Arabia and our two most frequent activities were these — eating and sleeping. We have a comfortable life here I started to get disturbed. Maybe because I’ve been out of work for three months and I’m almost still in the same situation, the only difference is the location.

I’m not frustrated again. Actually, I’m more hopeful that at least I’m waiting for something better. I’m just disturbed.

Photo Credit: Dheera Venkatraman via 500px cc

Photo Credit: Dheera Venkatraman via 500px cc

The Nagging Questions of Comfort

When I started writing, I felt I’m just fooling myself. But, I loved that I did start.

Now that I’m in my first five days in a foreign country, I had again that feeling of uncertainties. That gave me a hint that I’m a normal human being though some nagging questions occur to me.

Am I just fooling myself again? When will I start to work? Did I just travel thousands of miles just to eat and sleep?

Are these questions of my impatience and ungratefulness? I hope not. The best thing that I can think to do is to pray for God’s grace.

Fascinating Adventures

As of now, we are waiting for our temporary Iqama, Saudi’s residence ID. This is similar to a green card in the United States. The absence of our Iqama IDs kept us in cautious mode. We just go outside and go back to the apartment as fast as we can. Though we carry our passports, we can’t risk lowering our guards in an unfamiliar territory.

We just buy basic needs — foods and sim cards ( yep, Filipinos are family oriented, we need to call our loved ones). Our employer gave us allowances enough to keep us breathing while we are waiting.

We also had our medical check-ups as the requirement to get our Iqama IDs. Some places in this country were dominated by Filipinos in terms of numbers. Unfortunately, it seems as if the six of us are the only Filipinos (people here call us Pilipini, I don’t know why) in this city — Al Khobar. That’s why I’m happy to know that people who check my blood pressure, get a blood sample from me and do radiograph for an x-ray image of my lungs are all Filipinos.

After a medical check-up, we ate kabsa, considered the national food here. It was a combination of yellowish and orangish rice dish with so many mixes — vegetables, spices, and chicken. It’s delicious. I loved the right spiciness. It just happens that one serving of kabsa can feed the hunger of one Filipino family. A humongous amount of rice and mixes that I have just eaten half of the servings.

Most restaurants here don’t use spoons and forks. There’s just small lavatory for customers to wash their hands. It was also a great experience eating kabsa on hands. I do eat without utensils many times when I was still in the Philippines, so it feels like home somehow.

You might laugh, but I was also thrilled that I was able to ride an airplane again. My last was when I was three years old. I was fascinated to personally experience this gigantic machine fly above the sky.

Faith and Comfort

I should not delay writing,  but I got afraid again of looking like a fool. As far as I had observed, I’m the only one at least in our apartment that is crazy to write a blog.

I got plenty of time to read ebooks to learn more about this craft called writing. I got also spare time to write. Too much comfort though is bad, it’s like a cholesterol that would block the flow of blood to our hearts. The heart of an artist could be destroyed. The pumping of creativity will be blocked if I would not write. Now not later.

I believe though that God wants us to gain comforts. But, similar to money, we can share comforts to other. I hope that this post somewhat finds comforting to you. You can make some comments if you want so I can do better writing next time.

Just be faithful. God had provided a perfect timing for everything. Everything.

Even in an unknown place, God’s already covered us. Always.

The truth is all the time.


6 thoughts on “How to Adjust in the First Five Days in Saudi Arabia?

  1. tacokitten

    Hey Mikel! I stumbled on your blog by chance and really enjoyed reading your account of life in Saudi Arabia. I believe writing and reading is a window to the world for those who can’t go there personally. Keep blogging, and good luck with your adventures in Saudi! 🙂


    1. mikeldumlao Post author

      Hi Taco,

      Thank you for the appreciation. Good to know that I was able to put you on a glance of the window of my new life experiences in an Arab country. God bless you. 🙂

  2. saudiarabiaofw

    IQAMA is “Residence Permit” here in Saudi Arabia. As an OFW or expatriate, you must have this so your status will be legal. Malamang kaya hindi ka pa pinapapasok sa work kasi nag-iingat ang employer mo na magka-problema ka sa pulis. Actually you have 2 months period to get your IQAMA and in this time you can use your passport or letter from your sponsor stating that your IQAMA is under process.


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