So I left the Land Down Under for Saudi Arabia about a week ago. I did not expect that I was going to leave early. I planned to leave this country on 20 December, but after hundreds attempt calling Emirates Airline for flying on earlier dates, I managed to get empty seats on the 14th. It was really hard to book a flight due to Hajj and Christmas. And my mom has been impatience about it.
Mom didn’t enjoy living in Brisbane at all (she was there to attend my graduation). Every time we did window shopping or grocery shopping, she converted the cost (in Dollars) to Saudi Riyals… which obviously became 3x more expensive. For her, shopping in Australia was indeed a nightmare. She laughed when she found out a loaf of bread cost 2 dollars (= 6 Riyals) there. In Saudi Arabia, you can get a bread for only 1 Riyal! She was also quite surprised to find out that carrots were much cheaper in Saudi too; knowing that they’re actually imported from Australia. Stuff like clothes was crazily expensive — with poorer quality compared to those sold in Jeddah. The only thing mom likes was shopping (obviously she couldn’t enjoy doing it in Brisbane). She didn’t like the beach or watching movies, not even visiting museum or art galleries. So it’s very hard to please her. For her, nothing seemed interesting or “new” that we could find in Brisbane. Everything was so boring. Staying in this city for 14 days had “tortured” her already. That was why I wanted to leave the country earlier than was planned. I called Emirates every single day to check for seat availability. Thank God we were able to fly early.
Anyway, the farewell! Oh how much I hate that word. The hardest thing was saying goodbye to my roommate Mayu. She’s been a very supportive housemate. I can pretty much talk everything with her, whether it’s about life, politics, guys, or just stupid things. In a way, we’re similar. We don’t sweat the small stuff — often when there were three of us (Jenny, Mayu, and I), Jenny was the one who made decisions. I enjoy her company a lot. Although we live in the same room and sleep on the same bed, sometimes we have our own “private” time without talking. It’s like, we understand and communicate with each other in silence hehe. I admire her hard work and passion of wildlife animals. We’ve been living under the same roof for 3 years. It’s heartbreaking to say goodbye to her. I barely cry when it comes to farewell… but I don’t know why when it comes to Jenny and Mayu.. tears were just unstoppable.
On my way to Brisbane International Airport, I told myself that this was the conclusion of my 4 years living in Australia. Wow, 4 years. Can you believe it? This is the country where I experienced so many new things, amazing stuff, and unforgettable moments. I always love its society, so multicultural and diverse! It was the first time of my life that I actually met many people from different countries and continents and learn about their accents, cultures, and way of lives. Jeddah is quite multicultural, but people don’t mix with each other. You don’t really get a chance to befriended with these people unless you go to international schools or live in a compound where many foreigners live. Even in the States, (according to my American friends) they barely interact with people outside their ethnic groups; be it at schools, uni, or community centres. I was lucky to be able to live in Australia — perhaps the only developed country that I (or my dad) could afford to pay LOL. This is the place where for the first time in my life I saw how most people abide by every norms, rule, and law (compared to Indo? Saudi?). I’ve lived in Saudi for 12 years and there are NO rules when it comes to driving. As long as you limit your speed and never pass the red traffic light, you’ll be fine! I mean, there are rules, but who cares, really?!? And God knows how people in Indo throw trash everywhere. That’s one thing I love about Brisbane. It’s a growing but small city… and most importantly it’s clean! I have to agree with some people though, that Brisbane is quite boring. There’s nothing extraordinary or unique about it. Nevertheless, it’s a great place to study. As my plane took off, I wonder whether I’d be able to visit this city again. Auf Wiedersehen!
*I still remember the day I said goodbye to Jenny a few weeks ago. It was as painful as it was with Mayu. Jenny gave me a book titled StyleCity Berlin. On the second page of the book, she wrote:
Hey sexy [a nickname she always use for me haha], the time has come for you to once again spread your wings and embark on a brand new adventure. Thank you for the memories and the laughs we’ve shared. You’re an exceptional gal! This book and my warmest blessings are my graduation gift to you. This gift is meant to accompany you and motivate you as you begin the next chapter of your life: postgraduate studies. My most heartfelt wishes to you for your studies, career, marriage, and motherhood. Show those Arabic women what it truly means to be a real woman!
Love and miss you,
God, I wish I could spend another year with them. Hiks. Thanks for everything. Love you guys!