After close to 3 weeks since I arrived (2009), I got the nod to move into my house in the University town. One of the benefits of living on campus is the reduction in commuting time. It drastically shorten the traveling time from home to work: from 1.5 – 2 hours (by bus, from Jeddah to campus) to just around 10 minutes (cycling within the campus) 🙂
My first abode – after arriving from Jeddah
My family was still in Singapore. I was all alone and missing them lots. I would skype with my wife and kids during the weekends or at night. Hearing their voices helped a little in reducing my loneliness over here in the initial stages. Me and my wife were never far apart for more than 1 day since we got married; the only time when we were apart was when she was giving birth to my kids. This temporary separation was very hard on her and she used to cry at night when the children were asleep. (Reason: she didn’t want the kids to see her sad and demoralize them).
One of the ways to combat loneliness was to hang out with your office mates after working hours. Sometimes we visited one another or ate at the fish restaurant located in small town just outside the campus. I remembered the first time eating at the fish restaurant, I ordered a 3 piece chicken meal while the rest ate fish and rice. That chicken meal, I bought from a ‘fast food’ joint just across the restaurant. My friends looked at me in amazement. Luckily they (restaurant) didn’t kick me out for eating food bought from elsewhere. I have to admit I’m not a big eater.
At times, I took to cycling around the campus neighborhood.
Apart from that, I spent my time reading books, journals/magazines or polish up my PS3 skills 🙂