Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Returning Back to Dubai City #OFW32

It was in the...

Year 1988 of August 30: When I transferred from Al Ain to Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

Coming back to Dubai gave me another dimension of my life as a continuous experienced within my heart. A rapture of stillness whose motives divide the level of my conscious being to go on the life I have had in the past. Moreover, those feelings that kept on bugging inside my soul, released a beaming lights, a multicolored lights in pursuing my own destiny.

The taxi terminal in Al Ain was quite crowded compared when I arrived last January of 1988 and the weather was gloomy and windy. We purchased two tickets, seated in the terminal bench and waited for our turn to embark. A Filipino traveler with backpack approached us to ask for the scheduled time of travel.

“Kabayan, four o’clock is the scheduled time,” I answered smiling.

“Kabayan, my name is Arnold Castillano of Negros, an Ilonggo,” he said.

“Ohhh, an Ilonggo...we’re on the same place...my name is Marco Fernando from Negros too, and this is Roger Ferrer of Olongapo...going to Dubai too?”

“Yes, Marco, but I’m a TNT, transferring, you know...”

“But, it’s very dangerous to travel, there’s a check point along the road Arnold...” I said.

“No problem, I have iqama, but no passport...if there’s checking of documents, kindly absorb me as your companion, please Marco, Roger...please?” Arnold pleaded.

I looked at Roger who nodded positively.

“Okay then, but be sure to be ready always and alert.”

The passenger vehicle was an eight-person capacity automobile including at the front seat and the driver. We waited for other passengers to fill the remaining seats until five in the afternoon. I observed that besides from the three of us, all of them were talking including the driver, with other language. We were not talking to each other because of the fact, that Arnold was a TNT. We were only observing them talking on their own language.

We traveled almost two hours when the vehicle tire at the back detached suddenly that we crashed into the roadside. The driver checked the car condition and said that he will repair the damage for twenty minutes. It's almost 15 minutes past 6:00 in the afternoon and darkness kept on creeping on the surface of the desert.

I told Roger and Arnold to get their important belongings and put in a backpack. Each of us had its own backpack for traveling purposes. I used my penlight to observe the surroundings, spotted a restaurant nearby but when we came nearer, it was abandoned.

I spotted the driver and two of the passengers were repairing the tire, but I cannot see the other four passengers. The darkness of the night and the quiet environment made me feel agitated that I told Roger to come with me in the desert for a sudden bowel movement and also told Arnold to watch our belongings.

We walked through the desert within ten meters, when we heard continuous shouts of Arnold asking for help and calling our names. We hurriedly come back to the place where we left Arnold; and even in the dark, we saw two of the passengers were raping him and the other two were holding pieces of wood, that I grabbed Roger to dropped down in the sand and keep quiet.

“Roger, we have to help him now...” I whispered to Roger, and instantly move to run but he clamped my body down to the sand. We heard Arnold cried out loud unto the darkness of the night. We remained in that position for almost twenty minutes when we heard them fighting to each other, and we saw the vehicle left the highway.

We observed the surroundings for almost ten minutes while we heard Arnold crying and cursing.

“Roger, we have to come nearer to the abandoned restaurant to find out what happened.” I demanded. “Okay, come..”

We slowly approached the abandoned restaurant; we found Arnold lying in a concrete floor crying. I used my penlight to check his condition; he hugged my arms tightly and started crying miserably.

“Goddddddd, they’re animals!!” Arnold shouted with rage that he threw his backpack at the wall.

Roger and I seated beside Arnold and started to cry for him. We were like children crying for our lost mother.

“I’m so sorry Arnold….I’m sorry…,” while holding his hands. Roger too, wanted to hold him when he accidentally touched the sticky fluid on Arnold’s hand.

“Marc, give me the penlight…”

“Here, why?” I asked.

“Marco, look….there’s blood from his pants!”

I inspected it and it’s positive.

“Arnold….Arnold…you have to be brave to face this or else...treatment’s needed for you…”

“Marc, we have to move fast going to Dubai, he’s a TNT and very dangerous for his condition….”

“Okay, Roger, help me dress him….but first find out my belongings if they left behind. I have my pants inside the suitcase, go!”

After a minute, Roger was back with my suitcase and sports bag. We took off his pants and cleaned his bottom with my T-shirt through the penlight between my teeth, threw the bloodied shirt and change to a new one. We tried to put on the pants and helped him stand. We went outside to the roadside and waited for vehicle to pass by. I observed the place again; it was a remote area in the desert but along the highway. I thought that we had a chance to get a ride up to Dubai. We waited for almost half an hour when a vehicle appeared from our view. Roger held Arnold on his arms while I positioned and gave a sign to the approaching vehicle.

“Sir, we’re heading to Dubai for emergency purpose…..can you accommodate us please? I said to the Indian guy on the wheel.

“Yes of course.”

“Wait sir, I’ll help my companion at the back.”

After a minute, I went back to the front seat near the driver. He speeded up the highway and thanking the Almighty for saving us. While traveling along the Dubai-Al Ain highway, I began to talk to the driver to alleviate our situation.

“Sir, my name is Fernando, how are you today?” I asked.

“I’m fine, got my family from Al Ain to Dubai yesterday, and I settled something from our Al Ain branch.”

“Good to know about that…”

“By the way, my name is Saraffudin Kumar from Bombay.”

“Nice to know you Mr. Saraffudin.”

“Great to know you too.What’s the illness of your companion?”

“Hmmmm….intestinal problem….we have to treat him with our company doctor in Satwa.”

“Okay, we’ll drop you in Satwa Roundabout ‘cause I’ll be heading in Al Fahidi Street.”

“Okay Mr. Kumar, fine….thanks for your kindness sir.”

We’re nearing the Sheikh Sayed Road, turned left going to Satwa Roundabout, and we dropped in front of Dubai Plaza Hotel. I thanked Mr. Kumar with handshake and he gave a business card which I put inside my pocket. I helped Roger with my suitcase and helped Arnold walked towards the company accommodation.

I knocked the door of Ronnie’s room which he opened instantly.

“Ronnie, kindly lie him in bed comfortably, prepared some hot water and face towel….Roger, cook some hot food, asks Ronnie about it….I’ll buy medicine in the pharmacy…” I ordered to them.

I hurriedly left the room heading to the nearby pharmacy where my Filipina friend worked. “Susan, how are you?” I greeted her smiling.

“Fine Marco, how about you handsome?”

“Not quite okay, but I think you can help me”

“What is it?”

“I need medicine for abnormal bleeding….for my friend, you know.”

“Weehhh, we have Hemostan capsule….that’s okay for bleeding and can be taken after meals.”

“Give me ten capsules of hemostan, betadine, gauze pad, cotton, adult pamper, bandage, plaster, alcohol….how much?”

“Why on a hurry… handsome Marco?”

“Emergency….sorry…” I paid the amount, thanked Susan and hurriedly went back at Ronnie’s room. “What happened guys?” I asked them.

“We took off his shirt, pants and brief…..and gave him hot noodle soup Marco.” Roger answered.

“How’s his condition?”

“We need to check his wound so that we can apply some medicine.” Ronnie answered.

I went beside the bed and asked Arnold.

“Arnold, are you alright now to answer me?”

“Yeesss….Marco…” Arnold answered in a low voice.

“Arnold, please listen very carefully….we have to give you medicine and clean your wound….don’t be afraid….we’re trying to heal your wound…can we do that privately for you?”

“Yes Marco..only you, not anybody else...”

“Okay take this medicine first.”

I left him in the room and talked to Roger and Ronnie.

“Ronnie, please don’t say any word about this matter to anybody here in the flat and the store…..Roger, please help Ronnie around the room and wait for my signal to go inside the room…. Arnold wanted to be alone and only me who can clean his wounds….Understood?”

I went inside the room alone to clean Arnold’s behind.

“Okay, Arnold lay in bed face down and spread your legs slowly.” I ordered him. “How’s your body condition, fine?” Arnold nodded positively.

I checked his body from head to toe and back to his behind. The wound was quite huge and continuously bleeding but I knew it’ll heal for some time through careful dressing. I cleaned the wound with alcohol that made him squirmed painfully.

“Arnold, don’t move...I’m cleaning....”

I thoroughly cleaned the wound, put some betadine solution, gauze pad and assembled the adult pamper for support.

“Okay, Arnold, take a rest, I’m only here outside, if you need something, call me. Don’t be afraid I am here for you always. You know why, because you’re a TNT, the police will catch you anytime if you’ll be treated in the clinic or hospital. Say anything to me, if you feel differently, okay friend?”

We talked outside the room for Arnold’s situation.

“Roger, Ronnie, this is between the three of us….I’ll get your opinion about this case.” I started the conversation.

“Marco, as for me, it’s better to have him here until he’s okay for his condition.” Ronnie added. “I’ll help for his medicine and food.”

“Good Ronnie…and for Roger, I’ll present you to the main office in Sharjah, the day after tomorrow…..also at the same time I’ll get my new assignment.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: A freelance writer who meticulously structured and maintained blogs just for you:A LIFE SO FAR AWAYand my other business blog:SHOPPING eMALL Thank you for your valuable time. Follow my business & writings and you'll find what life's meant to be.

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  1. I would love to visit Dubai someday,heard a lot about that city.

  2. oh dubai..! would love to visit the sand dunes there.

  3. This is all getting too dramatic and a bit action packed as well.

  4. It's always nice to see kababayans especially if they belong to the same town / province or just near when you're in another country - you instantly become comrades. :)

  5. Just curious, on the case of Arnold, are TNTs not allowed to go to clinics or hospitals in Dubai?

  6. Marco is also helpful here to his officemates.

  7. It's great to have a friend like you, Sir. I know it is tough to work in other countries. You sacrifice many things just for the sake of giving your family a better life. Life is tough but with friends, it becomes bearable. :)

  8. It's great how Filipinos are always ready and willing to help other Filipinos. This story is pretty heavy and emotionally draining. I feel for Arnold.

  9. There are new characters in the story and from negros too.

  10. The story sound so sad. But it always happen to Pinoy Ofw and travelers. But good to know that many Filipinos always show sympathy to his fellow pinoy.

  11. This story. So dark. So depressing. That's a compliment by the way. I felt really sad.

  12. Someday I hope I'll be rich enough to go to Dubai as a tourist :))

  13. the story sounds like they've been to dubai as in person! the experience places and even names mentioned we're sounds like in dubai! great story

  14. This story is helping me to figure out the true life experience in Dubai.

  15. My dad is an OFW and I feel like I understand him more than I did before by reading this short story. Thanks for sharing! :)

  16. He's lucky that he found people that will help him.


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