I must admit this does not happen too often in my Saudi life let alone in my wildest dream -- receive a gift from the "city of lights". Even when I was a kid, my joy comes from the smallest of thing, from trivial surprises to unwrapping Christmas gifts even wrapped in banana leaves, mind you, as long as there is an element of surprise in it, my level of excitement can compare to that of a lonely pug that is suddenly confronted by the face of its master who has just returned from a six-month tour of duty in Afghanistan. Yes, that is me being so shallow. And who will not when a dear friend, a facebook friend for that matter, goes out of her way to beat such cumbrous process to get her gift delivered to Jeddah, Saudi Arabia?
Before I lose half of my dignity (being in the same breath of a pug), yesterday certainly was not my most mundane day as I received a gift from my French friend in Bordeaux via fedex . It did arrive finally without hassle after so much praying it did not contain something that is frowned upon in Saudi Arabia -- though I was assured by my friend 'Shiny' that I wouldn't be incarcerated for it :) Truth be told, the box got traumatized courtesy of an intrusive laceration and obviously a lot of frisking inside that I only hoped not one of the thousand parts had fallen out - otherwise I wouldn't be able to solve the puzzle. Oops, did I give a clue just yet?
My curiosity got the better of me so I kept bugging her and instead she asked me to watch the French film 'Amelie' and probably I'll get a clue from it, so I took time to watch it. It's a really beautiful story of a girl named Amelie Poulain and the story revolves around the virtue of giving. Hmm, after two hours of controlled blinking still I am clueless :)
Viola, the gift is now in my hand! I wouldn't open it just yet to prolong the excitement. After I got home, prepared and had lunch, I decided to give it a ceremonial cutting worthy of its long haul flight. I had my flatmate video record the entire saga :) Lo and behold, it's a jigsaw puzzle that would probably be completed in half a decade! It's a picture of the 'Starry Night' by Vincent Van Gogh, my favorite painting of all. It happens to be her all-time favorite painting as well. I remember we always talked about Van Gogh in our facebook chats. And that is where this gift had its origin. Thank you Shiny, you don't know how much I appreciate this gift. God bless you for that! Now, my dilemma starts when my excitement ends -- forgoing long facebooking in favor of getting the puzzle completed in less than five years haha!
By the way, this was not the first time that Shiny surprised me. In May 2011 during my birthday, Shiny, Moona (my other friend from Spain) and their friend with the guitar, greeted me happy birthday in a song. They sang 'Happy Birthday' in Filipino, 'Maligayang Bati' (love their accent!). You can see and read about it from my blog entry called 'Thank You'. That blog entry is the most popular to date of all my posts.
Thank You Shiny.
God bless you (and Moona too)!