Saturday, April 11, 2009

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Welcome to Doha, Qatar



It never crossed my mind that I would be visiting at the same time working with this Middle Eastern Kingdom in the Persian/Arabian Gulf. The rumours I've solicited from my friends, that fair-skinned guys like me with a hairless body would be chased and tantamount to some form of rape etc. etc. They were wrong.

My Departure

My Mama was aware that I would be leaving the country soon anytime. She knew that at any cost. Being an only child reputed by friends and neighbors as much pampered by her and my two single Aunts from London. I can't help but remember Jose Rizal when he was itching to leave the country for personal and professional reasons.I am no Rizal. Yet, the difference between us two is that, I have no brother nor a father to support my financial needs. I was on my own. I wasn't a luxurious traveler like Rizal, I am no ilustrado, but I've had with me my Armani clothes intact in my luggages in case of special functions to attend.

Mama cried loudly when I bade goodbye. I told her not to send me to the airport but instead took with me my two cousins to carry my luggages and just took a taxi. We were okay before I left the house but when I embraced her to bid adieu she broke down in tears. I hate to remember that scene. I am a strong boy but everytime I see my Mama cries that makes me weak. I told her not to worry and I can take good care of myself. I left immediately by not looking at her.


The Flight to My Own Hegira

Eight hours of long overhauled flight. I flew with Qatar Àirways slowly consuming my P30,000 of airfare. I looked back at Manila hoping that when I return the view of Pasay and Paranaque would be much better. I searched for our house in Las Pinas while in the air but to no avail. I was excited for my new teaching job this time with an International School.

Marhaba... Welcome to Doha! said the security officers to me. I left Manila by 4 pm and arrived by 8 pm in Qatar. The Philippines is 5 hours advanced with Qatar. It was a small airport but in tip top shape and squeaky clean. I can't help but compare again. I am now in one of the richest countries of the world. Maintaining the world's second largest GDP (Gross Domestic Product) income.

I intended to wear an orange shirt so my friends could easily identify me with a gray blazer and jeans. I was just hoping that no placards would be waving or I will be ashamed much. I have noticed that Qataris looked somewhat like some Europeans. The male security officer could be an instant movie star in my country. I took my things from the conveyor and went out of the building. WTF! It was sooooo hotttttttttt. 45 degrees Celsius they told me minus the humidity. And that was a night time indeed take note. So there... experiencing my very first desert climate. I felt I was a roasting chicken while walking. But there was one thing amazing I've noticed I wasn't perspiring.

I hurriedly went inside the van to escape from being broiled by the hot weather.