I would like to share this peculiar event which happened when I was a kid.
Since I grew up in Saudi Arabia, I was lucky to live in a compound. I remembered when I was around 9 or 10 years old, our compound which is situated inside our compound (so it’s like a compound inside a compound) has two buildings adjacent to each other and all of the rooms are occupied by the employees of the company (where my dad works of course). The land where these two buildings were situated is very wide that maybe two other buildings can be built. So anyway, since we got a wide land, the guy (let’s call him Mr. B since I cannot really remember his name) living across our room tried to raise a farm not quite far from our building. He planted some tomatoes, eggplants and even some green vegetables. It was pretty cool actually. His farm became bigger and bigger that it was a total success. Sometimes, we help him harvest some of the tomatoes and eggplants and sometimes, we try to visit his house of birds. Yep! He is raising chickens and pigeons but mostly the chickens are on the loose while the pigeons are the ones tucked inside the house of birds.
One day, I was just walking around thinking what to do so I came up with the idea of visiting the farm. Mr. B was watering the plants and feeding the birds and when he saw me coming, he smiled and greeted me. We had this little chit-chat and then he mentioned that the chickens sometimes chase after someone. I laughed so hard and told him it’s rubbish since as far as I know chickens are harmless. He was smiling and told me that he’s not joking at all and I was like: “Really huh?!” and I continued laughing then suddenly a chicken came near me and it seems that it was getting ready to run. Mr. B suddenly said, “RUN!!!” and suddenly the chicken ran and my impulsiveness kicked in that I just ran too. I tried to look back to check if it stopped but unfortunately it didn’t! My mind was racing that I can’t decide where to go and how to stop the chicken. I ran at the back of our building and even at the back of the other building trying to divert the attention of the chicken but no it did not stop. Not even once. I passed by the farm and got a glimpse of Mr. B, who is laughing so hard! I was screaming at him asking him how to stop the chicken and he shouted that he has no idea. I was running out of breath and I’ve got an idea which I think was my only hope in stopping the chicken. I remembered that the door in our building was sometimes open and so I prayed that the door is wide open waiting for me. I ran and ran and when I got to the doorway, I wasn’t able to close the door but when I got to the first 10 steps (I think) of the stairs, I looked back to check if the chicken tried to fly and follow me but thank God it stopped. It was staring at me like it’s gonna eat me! God! It totally freaked me out so I continued going up to our apartment and never look back. I guess, I still got more brain cells than the chicken. Whenever I think back about it, I just laugh it off.
Pounding heart. Sweaty feet. Sweaty palms. Cold atmosphere. It was my first day to my first job and all I can feel was nervousness. What made it worse was, I woke up late (since my very concerned mom woke me up 10 minutes before 8:00 AM and my time- in was 8:00 AM). Good thing they’re not very particular with punctuality. They made me read lots and lots of policies and agreements and made me sign lots and lots of papers. After all those things, I could not think anymore. It seems that my brain, after a year of uselessness, was used again and got tired without any warm-ups.
My co-workers are very friendly and they oriented me very well (may be not so well :D). I am just having a hard time understanding one of my colleagues since he’s more fluent on his Arabic, but I can keep up. Since I am working as a receptionist in the laboratory, all I did was receive the specimens (I was amazed since all of it were barcoded and computerized) and deliver it to the designated sections. That’s it! There are additional responsibilities but not as heavy as someone working inside the lab (though I am dying to work already in the main lab and handle those huge machines!). Ohhhh I wanna hug them! It’s not really a tiring job and I think it’s the easiest but one of the most critical since there still problems arising every now and then. I am dying to learn something here! I just hope I could bear this job for 3 months since all the work are just the same.
I just used a picture from Google images, just an overview, since I can’t find my folder with our pictures of Ta’if. It was really old.
Taif, Saudi Arabia- Known for its elevated slopes and low temperature. It was our first road trip and I was about 7 or 8 years old then so I can hardly remember the things we did there.
What I can recall was the cool weather since it is in the mountains. We usually compare it with Baguio in the Philippines. I really like it there since it is cold unlike in Jeddah and Riyadh (its temperature doubles with Jeddah) which are very hot places.
The most anticipated site in Taif is the baboons which are found in the cliffs of the mountains near the highway. A lot of people stop by, near the cliff to give food to the baboons. Since I was a kid, I was so amused and all I wanted to do was to touch them but my mom told me they are harmful and wild, so I never got a chance to go near it. They have prodigious and crimson butt and some female baboons are carrying their baby at their backs. It was amazing as well as entertaining! I can’t produce a picture since the cameras then are manual and it uses film.
I can’t remember the main reason we went there but we didn’t stay there for long, as far as I can remember, we just roamed around the city and explored some streets. We found people selling fruits and plants (which are grown only in cold places).
Another unforgettable moment for me was when we were going back home already and my father was driving, we were still in the mountains and then suddenly a stone (not a big stone but a very tiny stone) was thrown in our windshield. We thought it was from the car in front of us, which ran over the stone and just flew in our windshield. Then suddenly, it was pouring and raining of stones! I was stupefied! I started screaming and crying, but then my mom, my dad and even my brother were all laughing and clapping. They were so amazed and excited. On the other hand, I was confused all of a sudden. They were all laughing at me and asked me why I am crying. I told them, I was scared since I thought something bad would happened like, what if our windshield would break or our tire would explode. Ha! I was so naive! Since it was my first time to witness a hail it never occurred to me as such an entertainment. In my guess, it lasted for a good 3 minutes. I hope I could experience another one when we go back there.