My Indonesian Friend Joins The Marathon

Charity Run On Multiple Sclerosis Awareness

It was a wonderful Saturday afternoon in Al-Khobar corniche, the venue of the “charity run” organized by our company. The weather was great, perfect for the marathon, at first – I have registered myself to experience this fun event; however, I backed out at the last minute and decided to be an expectator.

My Indonesian friend Muhamad, showing off his medal after the marathon event.

I have stopped jogging for almost 5 months ago, thus joining the event would be quite exhausting, I thought. There were hundreds of participants of different ages and nationalities including my good Indonesian friend Muhamad. Like me, he also works here in Saudi Arabia in a big international engineering and machinery company.

He lives in Dammam City, not too far away from my residence in Dhahran, here in the Kingdom you will find and meet people from different nationalities in this oil-rich country.

Hundreds of participants joined the event including children and adults.

During our first meeting, I thought he’s a Filipino because of his looks and physical appearance. After all, we, South Asians are very similar to each one another. In fact, the first ancestors of the Filipinos were the Indonesians followed by Malay and other Austronesian people.

Saudi Arabia is Composed of Many Different Nationalities Working Together

Here in Saudi Arabia, some people could hardly tell my nationality others thought I’m Indonesian, Thai or Nepali. Sometimes out of mischief, I faked my nationality by saying I’m from Indonesia and people believed it though (lol). I remember a couple of instances that Indonesian people approaching me and started talking to me in the Indonesian language because they’ve thought I’m Indonesian.

A Saudi guy biting his medal while posing for a photo.

Back in my previous office, I have one Saudi colleague who called me “Indonesi” all the time, for him, I don’t look like Filipino, but Indonesian national. Indonesian people are very friendly and accommodating just like Filipinos.

Winter in KSA!

After the marathon, we strolled around the corniche enjoying the chilly (It was winter that time) weather in Al-Khobar City. During the month of November, the temperature starts to cool down as the winter season is approaching. When I was new here, I thought, Saudi Arabia is warm and hot throughout the year, I was oblivious they do have winter here too.

An Indian man posed with a smile, here in Saudi Arabia you will meet and see people from different nationalities.

Being in a tropical country, we don’t really experience winter in the Philippines, our climate is mostly warm and rainy all year round. I loved here in Saudi because it doesn’t rain a lot, rain here is very minimal and only comes during the winter season. Other than that, it is mostly sunny throughout the year.

Have you ever worked in Saudi Arabia? Do you ever have foreigner friends too? Let me know in the comment box below!

Author: montergv

The author is currently based in Saudi Arabia, the holiest land of Islam. He’s a full-time employee of the largest energy company in the world. He’s a graduate of Communication Management, loves to write and travel.