The accommodation was at the third floor of the DXN building. I forgot the exact location, street, road, and etc. I sucked at remembering places during that time. All I could ever recall was my lightheadedness. Everything felt like inception. "Am I really here already? Am I really going for it? Is this for real?" Those were only few questions in my head.
The accommodation was a very old building and only had one room available to use for the applicants. (Sucks all my photos were deleted when I got here in Kuwait. My male boss had my old phone checked for Kuwaiti simcard to work in it. The repairman rebooted my phone but to no avail. One reason why the male boss got me a new phone to the female's disgust. I didn't say no for I needed the means to communicate.)
Anyway, there were actually two rooms in that accommodation but the other one was occupied by the manager, sort of, and his niece. The room can fit up to six people only and wouldn't accommodate the growing numbers of recruits taken there everyday.
Bedtime D5 este Dilemma. It is funny that this had to be my first challenge. I am a type of a person who can easily adapt to any situation but at that time, I truly was challenged. 😄
Truth is, I can't sleep when pressed between strangers (I have no problem when it is any of my sisters) but I knew I was not in a position to be choosy. I knew I needed to get used to it, which I eventually did, although I had to endure during the first few days. I held my self in. I managed to insert my then biggie self in the room on my first night. It felt like sleeping inside a box. I felt so deprived of a much-needed relaxation and a good-night sleep. Of course, I didn't fall into a deep slumber but in a shallow nightmare.
On the second night, I decided to lay a mat in the living room along with the few applicants. I liked the wider space! I was able to stretch into whichever sleeping position I so desired without feeling awkward but I needed to endure being in the open, with no electric fan to counter mosquito bites. It was all good. I didn't even miss my soft, cozy bed back home. That thin mat, that sarong that I used as blanket and a folded towel as a pillow was already a set of luxury.
The Bathroom Competition.
Falling into a line to use the bathroom for taking a bath and taking a shit is one of the major challenges in the accommodation. There was one toilet and one plain bathroom designed only for taking a bath, which means no toilet bowl. So, imagine having the urge to "poo" and you have to fall in line first. You can either hold your shit as much as you can or pray for a considerate mate to let you go first. Well, it never happened. Taking a bath was a bit easier to deal with. You just need to wake up early...and waking up early was quite a challenge on my part.
Back home, my usual wake up time is 11 in the morning. I usually skip breakfast, unintentionally. You can't eat breakfast when your butt is snoring. Waking up late was normal for me because I often slept late like 3 to 5 in the morning. With my application abroad, my sleeping schedule had to change and it was never easy.
Get your butt up as early in the morning as possible. Self - discipline! You are not a princess to sleep in anytime you want. Your co-applicants will not wait for your ass to wake up so you can use the bathroom. The bathroom is not yours in the first place. Wake up at 3 in the morning so you can use the bathroom or toilet at 4.
Fitting in to any situation used to be my specialty. Family and friends call me back home "walay libog". I can easily fit in to any situation and with any kind of people. But at the accommodation, I had to think again. Those simple people whose dreams were to only fly safely, work peacefully and come back home to reunite with their family made me feel so little. And for the first time I realized I did lose myself. You see, before my marriage and the statuesque turned Me into a complicated person, I was once like them; a simple-minded person with simple dreams but a huge heart that love and appreciate simple things in life.
Fitting myself in to that strange world never happened right away because I needed to open myself up first.
Opening My "self" Up. I thought I was the most open person in the whole world but again, those poeple made me doubt. I used to easily open myself up to anyone, telling about my life including my crazy little secrets, which is one reason why people often take advantage on me. I became cautious on things I shared. I let my guard on, and kept my life as private as it can be. One big secret I hid from my co-applicants and a few friends was the fact that I am married to an American man. I kept it to avoid questions and in order to get along with everyone. I then made quite a number of friends.
Enduring the Hardship.It's not that I am a precious princess who haven't experienced hardship in life. Darn, I experienced almost everything, beyond hard! I experienced having only a handful of grated stolen coconut for lunch. What's harder and heartbreaking was that I experienced it with my siblings. It was when we were left alone in our almost broken home. But that was all in the past now and it had already served its lesson. The Hardship I mentioned here are (1) Budgeting allowance or financial management - Work application abroad cost a freaking lot than what I expected. (2) Early stage of homesickness - I felt it lots of time even before flying. To some, this caused them to back-out. (3) Laziness and Loss of Determination - There was a time that I felt extremely lazy to the extent of losing the drive to go on but at the end of the day I got to realize also that I was already there. Many had wish they were in my position so why give in to laziness? Go on, fight!
My Zamboanga experience was hard for a first-timer. It was a "survival of the fittest" thing and unfortunately, it was only the beginning. There were far more challenges awaiting us applicants in Manila such as medical examination, interview, training and work demonstration. And I thought it was easy to work ABROAD? LMAO! Hell not!!!😭😭😭