My Day in Kish- An experience of people’s lives.

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Middle East » Iran » South » Kish Island
June 21st 2011
Published: October 9th 2012EDIT THIS ENTRY

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My Day in Kish- An experience of people’s lives.

I am quite nervous when I learned that I will exit in Kish Island of Iran. I have heard so many stories about the place mostly negative. I had a night flight so when I arrived at the airport I befriended a Filipina named Liza. Liza is a cashier at El Piero Restaurant at IBN Batuta Mall in Dubai. Mico and Dan-Dan who are both new in UAE also are with Liza those guys were very funny and nice. I also met three other cooks all of them Kapampangans. As we waited for our flight at 9pm we shared stories of our different experiences.

When we arrived around 11:30pm in the airport the ladies were greeted by a changing area, in Kish they are very strict in the women’s way of clothing. A woman should wear an “Abaya” a long dress with long sleeves and a veil that should cover your hair, elbows and behind. In the airport they provided these dresses, in the immigration they will check the way you dress and also check your passport after which you go out and a hotel service representative will ask if you would like to stay in a hotel. They will automatically get your passport, escort you to the coaster and drop you off in the hotel. Per Liza Farabi Hotel is a good hotel to stay in, so we checked-in. Farabi charges 35Dhs per night, your first night is free, we are required to deposit 100Dhs refundable upon check-out and a room card with your passport details and room number. Liza and I took room 320, we entered the room and 10 ladies greeted us all of which have different facial reactions in our arrival. We settled in our own single beds with clean comforters, bed sheet and a pillow. The men unfortunately were booked in another hotel, Venus hotel a block from Farabi hotel, we decided to meet up and have our late dinner at an outdoor restaurant behind Farabi hotel. We had cup noodles, cupcakes, chips and bread with ladies choice sandwich spread and the guys bought an apple flavored “shisha”. For the cup noodles the restaurant charged us with 2Dhs per cup for the hot water. Liza, Mico and I arranged the cup noodles and this Iranian restaurant owner started talking weird, he invited me to stand beside him because the A/C is cold and pointed out that his room was in the hallway. I was so thankful that Liza pulled Mico beside me that he immediately said “no, why do that she is my wife” and the Iranian was shocked and did not believe us, because as we go out he followed us and looked if Mico is seated beside me and if we are really together or not. It was really nerve rocking but crazy experienced. We enjoyed the night talking, sharing our experiences, joking and laughing, trying the “shisha” until 3am. We invited some of the ladies that we saw in the airport to join us. After that we went back to our hotel. I arranged my bed put on my alarm and cover my whole body with the blanket and sleep. I woke up around 6am, all are still asleep, got my ipod and listened to some music until 7am, texted Eldiar of the contact details of the hotel and got up. I woke up Liza and I took a warm shower, it was really hard to take a bath with not much of my stuff but at least I was able to. Liza got ready and we went to the internet shop, meet the guys and have brunch at Maryam Restaurant, a Filipino-Chinese resto run by a Filipino. They serve Filipino dishes with promos like, 1order-10mins free internet and 1order-1videoke song. The food tastes good and is very cheap a complete meal of 1cup of rice, 1viand and a glass of soda only cost 10Dhs. It was almost 11am when I was informed that my Visa was ready after lunch I hurriedly printed my Visa and booked a flight back to Dubai. After doing so, the guys go back to their hotel while Liza and I went to the Souk, there you can buy all sorts of clothing, bags, shoes etc... We just looked around, I saw a couple of bags but as I held it I know immediately that it was fake. We just decided to go to Nanay a manicurist and have my nails done, got my French Tips. Then off to the reception for the coaster trip to the airport. Am actually sad to leave the El Peiro crew specially Liza, they have been very nice to me, I just said to myself that I will get in touch with Liza back here in the UAE. On my way to the airport I befriended Abigail, we bought some souvenirs in the Kish airport (a small picture frame ref magnet with a boat) and stayed together the whole flight until we reached Dubai. In Dubai airport I received my Employment Visa. I went to Duty Free to buy some chocolates and contacted Jayamohan. I felt so tired already when I reached the camp, tired, sleepy and hungry. I got some food Tinola from the mess and took a very long sleep.


My trip to Kish was not actually about the place, not about the scenery but mainly about the people that I have met and the stories of their lives.

Liza – a 32 year old lady who works as a Cashier in El Peiro Restaurant at IBN Batuta Mall in Dubai. She’s been in the UAE for almost 5 years now. She has a husband who works in Dubai and two children. She already been to Kish last month, spent 14 days. She is quite a fighter already knows the ins and outs of the place. She doesn’t smoke but does drink. She is a total Girl Scout, she has everything in her paper bag, food from cup noodles, breads, Tang powder orange juice, coffee, tumbler, utensils etc., she even have spare slippers, clothes for 5 days, really a girl on the go. In our time together I find her very friendly, helpful, decisive, a happy but still strong lady and a loving wife. Every hour she will call her husband and update him for her status in Kish, tells him to eat, to rest and not to worry. I went shopping with her and she is very at ease with other nationalities, she talks to them straight and with conviction. A very adorable lady that, I will later pay my gratitude for taking time to guide and stayed with me in my exit to Kish.

Dan-Dan – only 2 weeks here in the UAE, was very fortunate to find a job as a Kitchen Helper in El Piero Restaurant. His sister a Secretary works in Dubai for almost 10 years now and he lives with her. He already has 2 children but separated from the mother of the children and he now has a girlfriend who works in Japan. He is a very funny, very talkative, strong personality but very friendly. He loves to sing but does not have the voice for it. He thinks am a good girl and was wondering why I don’t have a husband yet I told him men were afraid of me back in Manila. He said he is not really good in speaking in English and really had a hard time finding a job because he just cannot converse well and now he was very thankful that he was able to find one before his Visit Visa expires. He admits that when he arrived here he gained a few pounds and his belly speaks for it. He is really a very funny guy.

Mico – 2 months working in El Piero Restaurant. Soft spoken guy but also funny when he give his punch lines. Married also in Dubai, quite shy but as they all say a very hard working guy. He is very keen in the way he counts his money because he was saving it. I asked him save for what? He said to buy a souvenir for his wife. They don’t have any children yet because they are both working abroad and cannot afford living with a child and all the expenses that goes along with it. The time that he answered back to the Iranian guy was really nice of him and I am very thankful. It shows how some Filipinos are still willing to help each other if needed to.

Jupert – he came from a rich family in the Philippines but he has been influenced by bad people in Manila that his family decided to send him abroad to change. He has a strong personality simply because he was rich, he treats me and Liza for lunch. He sings well in the videoke, paid for the “shisha” I can really see that he has money to spend. For sure in Manila he has been all over the bars and gimik places. His clothes were all branded from head to toe. Here I can see how a family is helping each other to make a relative a better person I really hope that Jupert will learn some lesson most especially about money since he has to work for it in order for him to spend for his personal wants.

2 senior cooks – too bad I forgot their names but never their faces, they already have their own families and knows the hardships of working and living here in the Middle East. I wasn’t able to talk to them that much because of the age gap although they have been very nice to me also.

Gene – a very fashionista lady who recently resigned from her work in Dubai to transfer to Abu Dhabi and find work there because her Lebanese boyfriend lives in Abu Dhabi. She has a dog stuff toy with her in the trip, wears 3inches heels, skinny jeans, a razor back, black blazer and large hoop earrings. She formerly worked at a hotel as a hostess. In the plane she was very talkative but when we arrived at the airport and obliged to wear “abayas” she was nervous and can’t get hold of herself. I don’t know what was happening to her, I tried to help her out but she just kept silent, smoked her cigarette and just walked away to her room. I really don’t understand what was wrong with her. Never saw her again, I hope she got her Visa already.

Abigail – a 29 year old lady who works in a hospital in Khalidiya, Abu Dhabi. She looks like my cousin that’s why on my way back to Dubai I befriended her. She is quite an opinionated lady but soft spoken. Her boss is very nice to her always calling her and texting her of her status in the airport, she told me that her boss is a nice Doctor and very dependent on her and the other Filipinos who works there. She’s been working in UAE for 2 years now as a nurse and I can see that she is very calm and collected even though the flight was delayed. We exchanged numbers since my brother’s house is in Khalidiya maybe we can spend time together when am in the city.

Reda – a very fat lady but she has a beautiful face. She is quite noisy but really funny, it was her first time to exit in Kish although she’s been in the UAE for 6 years now. Her husband works in Dubai, she shares a lot of stories of her life like spending time in the streets because they were thrown out of their accommodation and it was blazing hot. She has children but all are in the Philippines because they cannot afford to be with the children here. Now she will spend 30days in Kish as told by her employer because they are still renewing their license.

Nanay the Manicurist – I wasn’t able to get her real name but as she cleaned my nails she told me that she don’t want to go back in UAE anymore she will be applying for Iranian Visa and stay there because in Kish she is doing well because she charges 20Dhs per manicure and 20Dhs per pedicure per person and the line in her room door was long and for Nanay it is enough to last her for another 45days in Kish and pay for the 100Dhs Iranian Visa. I just cannot believe how strong this old woman is, at her age she should not be working anymore, she should be resting in a quiet little house in the province feeling happy with her grandchildren but no here she is in an island in the Middle East taking her chances.

Mama – as they call this big lady as the head of the room where we stayed. She was the one booking Filipina women to foreigners for some “thing”. She was loud and demanding as she strides back and forth the room that night. She likes to play cards “tong-its and pusoy”, she eats without poise, talks when her mouth was full and have thick make-up. She’s been there for years now and would just stay there because she was earning money for booking girls for sex. I just cannot believe there are Filipinas like that. She should be caring for other women not using them. God help her.

Joy and the other ladies in room 320 – Joy is the only name I remembered because it was short and she was the only one sober when Liza and I arrived at the room. The ladies look young around 20-23years old and been in Kish for several months now. I asked them when are they going back the reply was blank they don’t know when. There is no definite time and they look hopeless, maybe that is why they just follow what Mama would tell them. These ladies choose very poorly of the things that are happening in their lives, they are still young, pretty, they can even be smart but they are using it in a very bad way. Choice, a thing given to us that we can control and use wisely.

These are the people I met in my overnight stay in Kish, people with different experiences in the search for a better future. Some may have been lucky enough to be in a good place and create a brighter future for their families but some were not fortunate to have the same faith. This trip made me realized how the Lord blessed me, which I am very grateful. I am also thankful to all the people who had helped me to survive and be strong in My Day in Kish.


29th December 2012

---nice sharing story and hoping that other kababayan can read this also so that they can have idea's when exiting to kish, I exit also before only once but in Buraimi, Oman.

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