Posted by: Leap of Faith | April 9, 2007

Bad Apples

A year and two months after I stepped on Saudi soil, I have finally experienced my first legit Saudi Horror story…. ooops, I guess this would be the second one after the Barber-Muttawa incident with the boys in September of last year.

Before I proceed though, I would just like to share that everything turned out fine in the end. So there is no need to worry – Mom, Mama and Papa and all our other loyal followers out there.

It was 5pm yesterday when, like all other days, I decided to pack-up my things (the ones I scattered on my desk to make it look like I am busy ) and hit the road. The flat where we are living is about a 5 minute drive away from the office, I’m sure you all know this by now. Anyway, my drive was uneventful until I was a few hundred meters away from our building.

There was this very old blue Chevy Caprice (i.e. circa 1970’s) that was ahead of me . Surprisingly, despite the very rich disposition of most of the locals, these type of cars (read: the ones that should be ignited by a matchstick) can always be seen roaming and owning the streets of the Kingdom. Although an eyesore, I personally think that these cars should be considered as one of the things that you should see when you are here in Saudi, much like our very own Jeepneys.

Anyway, going back, the old blue Chevy was driving so slowly . I was actually getting so p**s*d at how slow the vehicle was moving but I really didn’t mind it anymore since I was now just a stones throw away from the house. We reached an intersection and the car ahead of me suddenly couldn’t decide where he was going. He almost blocked the whole intersection and caused a minor commotion with the other vehicles. I was more fortunate to avoid the whole incident.

After my turn, I was directly in front of my building and was ready to park when I suddenly noticed that the old Chevy was tailgating me. Hmmm, I knew something was wrong. Instead of parking, I decided to drive again around the block. But the car was still there behind me .

I decided to park the car in one of the apartments in the area. There were lots of children playing in front of my car when I noticed the blue vehicle park behind me. I was still calm until I made a major boo-boo – I shifted my gear to Park (“P”). It was then that my heart started to skip a beat .

Our Chevy Trailblazer has this distinct feature of automatically opening the locks when the gear is shifted to Park. Normally, I found this feature very useful. But given my circumstances at that point, I was hoping that my locks would actually malfunction at that moment (i.e. not open at all).

I saw two young men (around early 20s) go down from the parked blue Chevy. They were skinny and tall, dark in complexion and wearing casual-shabby clothing. I was thinking of a plan how to get out of this situation when “click,” my door locks opened . “S**t!” the men were just a few steps away from me. The first man went to the front driver side while the other man in the front passenger side door. I scrambled to look for the door lock, which was just beside me. However, I could’t find it . Instead, I instinctively shifted the gear back to “reverse” mode and heard another “click.” My doors suddenly locked again. Whew! Close call .

The two men were now peeping through my untinted windows signalling as if they wanted to ask me something. I, of course, knew better. I decided to shout back at them and try to scare them a bit. That didn’t work. They were persitent but I wouldn’t budge. In the end, I decided to create my own commotion . I pressed my horn continously and that finally made the men go away.

I really have no idea what those men wanted. I am assuming they wanted to exchange their old Chevy with my new one. However, Pinky thinks they were attracted with my flawless fair skin (wow, totoo kaya yon?) . Hmmm, I think she has a point.

Whatever it was, everything turned out to be okay in the end. God was definitely covering me with His mantle of protection .

I am hoping that this incident will be my last “real” Saudi experience. It is sad to think how a few people can easily taint the good image that other people have worked so hard to build. Until yesterday, my experience here in the Kingdom have all been pleasant.

Anyway, I guess it is the same anywhere in the world – you just have to be careful since there will always be bad apples lurking around.



  1. I think the more appropriate title for your post should be “Bad-u” (short for Bedouin) Apples… whatchathink? 🙂 Anyway, thank God that you were protected from their “malicious advances”. Sabi ko na ngang wag ka nang mag-Ponds e! Hahaha! Take care! Love you!

  2. Keith, my heart was pounding as I went through your post! Grabe ka! Pano pa ‘ko matutulog ngayon nyan? 🙂 God and His angels were with you. Pinky is right, wag ka na mag-Ponds! O, baka mag Oil of Olay ka naman! 😉

  3. Oh what the crap is this with you and your fair skin. Hay nako, I’ve been chased by so many people in the streets cursing me, I don’t even think about it anymore. I’ve had men chase me around with bicycles on parking lots. HAHAHA, I can’t wait to run over one. So anyway, is it true that Ponds makes your skin whiter??? I use it and it don’t seem to work for me. WATS Up WiT Dat?? Please share your whitening tips. Thank you.

  4. Bro, what have you been up to lately that you have been attracting the studs of KSA? hehe. Quick thinking on your part in making a scene and that you had them scared away. Truly, God has you under his protection. Take care!

  5. Guys, I really have no idea why I made such an impact on those people. Pang-Ponds commercial talaga!

    By the way, Pinky made a mistake with my “guwaping” regimen. It’s Nivea, not Ponds, hon!

  6. Dong,you are such an expert on being chased. Men in bikes… and cheap ng crowd mo! At least mine were using an old Chevy!

    Ponds…do you seriously think that I am that vain and need whitening cream! Come on, this is all natural. Just wash with water and your good to go!

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