Monday, October 19, 2009

Called my mom

I called my mom yesterday.
I wanted to tell her first before I blog about it and in effect, tell everyone else.
I told her I had good news and bad news.

Good news:
We've bought our flight tickets home, and our flight is on November 17th. (Lunch Ladies sila ambil perhatian).
We'll be back before raya haji, and will be spending raya haji in Kelana Jaya. I'm planning a small kenduri with sedara mara. (Honeytar sila ambil perhatian)

Bad news:
We are flying back to Saudi on December 30th.
Why are we flying back to Saudi, you ask?
Well, the thing is, there is a possibility that we might not be able to go home for good just yet. We are sure we'll be leaving Saudi though. We're just not sure where we're going next. The upper management haven't made their minds (or they have, but have not officially informed us) yet.
So we're kinda in a limbo.
That's why we decided to just book our tickets home first. Whatever happens, we would come back to Saudi end of December and pack our stuff and go wherever we're supposed to go.

I hope we get firm news before we go back home though. Coz if we could go home to Malaysia (Taufik and I are still really hoping!), I would have to make time to visit schools and register the kids and stuff.

So right now, we're just going with the flow, living day by day, see what happens.
The tiny control freak in me hates not being able to plan ahead though :P

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

What I will and will not miss

Well, it's about a month and a week and a few days away from the date we plan to leave the kingdom for good, so I guess it's about time I come up with this list.

What I will miss about Saudi
1. Not driving - believe it or not, I love being treated like a tai-tai and being chauffeured around ... tee hee.
2. Dates - the fruit. I love the crunchy half-ripe ones.. I dont know whether I can get them back home. And I love the variety and availability of the varieties.
3. Living in a compound - I love the security of living in the compound. I can just chase my kids out of the house and let them play outside without worrying that some stranger is going to grab them into an unmarked white van. We can have walks and bike rides around the compound without worrying about getting run over.
4. Speaking arabic and being spoken to in arabic - My arabic is nothing to be proud of. I find myself always having to explain to the other person "Ana kalam arabia shuey shuey" (I speak arabic only a little bit), but I like being able to speak, even though a little bit. I also like it when I learn a new word just from listening to and trying to decipher the arabic words being spoken to me. My one regret is not being able to enroll in arabic classes when I was here.
5. Being in a foreign land - where even just stepping out of the house is an adventure, an opportunity to experience new things, new cultures. :)
6. Going for umrah whenever I want - something that we really took for granted. Thinking that "we can always go later", we postponed one trip after another, and now I'm not sure whether we'll be able to go again. But, Alhamdulillah, I am thankful for the opportunity that Allah has given me, I have at least done umrah once, and have managed to perform my Hajj. Alhamdulillah.
7. Fresh fruit juices - and I mean, FRESH fruit juices. YUMS.
8. Free gifts for little kids - I am sure Izani will miss getting toys, candy (once even, a falafel!) and fruit juices from shopkeepers when we go out shopping.
9. The smell of arabian incense - in new clothes, walking down the malls and souq, from arabian ladies walking past.. I am sure the next time I smell it, it will bring on a flood of memories :)
10. The teachers in DBGS - who dont care about tests or exam results or who's smarter than who.
11. The sand dunes - how something so barren and stark can be so beautiful and the mysteries it holds under its mounds (i.e. desert roses and the singing dunes). It always amazes me how fertile the desert can be with just the right amount of water. Subhanallah. I love the sense of awe, realization and motivation that I get when I stand on top of the dune and look at the vastness of the land, feeling small, yet purposeful, so alone yet not.
12. The leisurely pace - Not worrying over traffic jams. The lull of activities between noon and 4 (when all the stores are closed).
13. Ladies/Family Sections - I just find it convenient that I am ensured a table for me and my kids, almost anywhere I go. I like it that I dont have to wrestle over places/spots in queues with men. I like it that they give priority to ladies with children over single folks :)

What I will not miss about Saudi
1. Not driving - I do miss the lack of freedom and I hate feeling dependant on my husband all the time :P
2. The way other people drive - *shivers*
3. 'Saudi Service' - which is practically non-existent if you don't pay for it.
4. Being hit on by store helpers - nuff said.
5. The sand every where every where - even up your nose and in your ears during Shamal (sandstorm) days. I will definitely not miss dusting and vacuuming up sand in every nook and cranny of my house.
6. The rather inconvenient business hours - Even after almost 5 years here, I still havent gotten used to not being able to just pop into my favourite store whenever I want during the day, without having to check if it's 5 minutes before or half an hour after the call for prayers. I still find it inconvenient to shop at night.
7. Being judged by the way you dress or look - eh, come to think of it, this happens every where. But in Saudi, more bling gets you respect and service, not mugged. No bling gets you unnecessary attention from the shop assistants. The more you cover, the more you are treated like "the ma'am". The less you cover, the more you'll get in trouble. And as a universal rule, Blondes always have more fun.

hm.. looks like I have more things I will miss than I will not.. :)