The Kish Island Experience 3

Part 1 here.
Part 2 here.


The most popular spot in the camp site was the internet cubicle-reception. Kishemons go there almost every hour to check if a fax of their visa arrived already. The “hotel” staff neither provided a P.A. system nor had the decency to dutifully inform their guests about incoming visas. They would prolong your stay as much as they can – logical for their business. Thus, it was everyone’s responsibility to peek every now and then on the fax papers scattered on the table.

The happiest day for a Kishemon is when the visa arrives. I almost cried when I received the text from my officemate informing me that it was ready. God is merciful, I got the fax of my employment visa on the evening of my second day. Many others have been waiting for weeks already.

Early the next day, I booked my ticket home. Sad for Kuya Melvin, he still had to stay for a few more days.

My farewell gift from bedmates, ate Nini and Elise, was a free going-home-make-over. They are such sweet people.

Even though I was so exhilarated to go home, I had to hide my excitement. I was leaving behind people and no matter how happy they seem for me, the sadness and longing in their eyes cannot be missed. “When is my turn?” is the unspoken question of everyone else.


I had never been this happy in leaving a country.

The last instruction said to us was: please do not remove your covering until it is safe (Or something like that).

As I step out the sliding doors of the airport, I hastily removed my abaya, tossed it in the big laundry box and soared out like a free bird.

When I got to my seat on the plane, I rapidly removed my head shawl and let my new haircut tumble down freely. I heard my scalp breathing relief. I felt my skin sucking in air. It was a different kind of freedom, one I will never take for granted again.

Even the sight of my pathetic airplane food did nothing to dampen my mood.

Goodbye, Kish Island. Thank you for the stories.


My tragic airport fate did not fail me again. I was so happy to step foot on Abu Dhabi, but my happiness was short lived.

The fax we were holding was just a copy of our visa. The first thing to do before passing through immigration was exchanging your fax copy with the real one. It was my company’s obligation to bring the original visa to the airport. However, no one advised them of the process.

So there I was seeing all of my friends go, one by one. It was already dark and I was left alone, wondering where my visa was. The airport management called our PRO who called our accountant who called one of our staff to bring me my visa. Good thing he was still in the office or else I would have spend the night in the airport.

For almost 3 hours I stayed in the empty immigration hall sensing pity in the eyes of the security guards and cleaners passing by. It was chilly cold and I badly missed the comfort of my bed. When my original visa finally came, the immigration officer was more than happy to stamp my passport. I heard claps of cheer as I passed through.

My bag was faithfully waiting for me, not on the baggage machine but on the cold tiles. I stood there and watched it for a moment. My poor bag. I wonder what journey he took ending up desolately in the middle of the floor

Outside, kuya Jerome, who brought to the airport my original visa, waited like a kind brother. Thank you for saving me from a possible overnight in the airport.

When I got home, my wrinkled bed was the most delightful sight ever.


5 thoughts on “The Kish Island Experience 3

  1. I’m going to exit this coming saturday april 26,2014.I’m quietly nervous but,I believe in God..He will guide me..Wla nman tlaga syang bnibgAY n trials n hndi natin mlampasan,.tanx for sharing your experience vio,It will guide me also.It would help me how not being stranger on that place..


What Do You Think?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s