The year 2013 is coming to an end and here comes another dilemma: what to write for the all-important year-end entry? My brain is not properly functioning right now because of the booze and lechon (cholesterol mehhhn) I consumed during the holiday so I had to resort to Google for year-ender ideas. Of course there’s always the new year resolutions but we Pink Tarhas are really not known for keeping up with ours so how can we advice you to do so? Then there’s the best entries of the year but we’ve done that. Year-ender/opened messages? We’ve done that too! We even wrote individual entries. While we did that for the end of 2012 and the beginning of 2013, the messages are still applicable now so you may want to read them again here: Sampaguita Pride, Shoegarfreeruby, Eyecandy, and Sundrenched.
Anyway, I decided to pick the top 5 Pink Tarha experiences we’ve had for 2013. I was reading a magazine a while ago and I stumbled upon this phrase, “People who spend money on experience instead of new things are happier over all.” I couldn’t help but agree. The Pink Tarha ladies have a lot of experiences in 2013 that we will never exchange for any gadget or any amount of clothes and shoes (well, we might have to ask Shoegarfreeruby again about this, hehe). Here are the best of what we had in 2013:
Hands down the best travel experience we’ve had this year is going to the Maldives. It’s a dream travel come true. First, because it’s the first time our group of friends went on a trip together all at the same time to the same place. Second, because it’s Maldives!!! C’mon, if you have one country in your bucket list, it would have to be this paradise. There were countless friends who approached and asked us about our trip to Maldives and they can’t help but be inspired to save up and go there too. The fact that the islands of Maldives is said to be sinking might also double your efforts to go… hurry!
When we staged the Pink Tarha Mornings in Jeddah, one thing became very apparent: Men Loves The Pink Tarha. Okay, let me explain that (for the fear of a tough conservative might be reading this and misinterpret it). Unlike the TPTM Riyadh, the one in Jeddah was co-ed because Jeddah is more relaxed on their gender mixing rules (we’re not abusing it though) and most of our participants were men (thanks to the PEBA officers who have been supportive since the beginning) and we love how active and eager they were. It actually inspired me to write an entry on why men should read The Pink Tarha. Another experience we value during our Jeddah tour is the chance to go to the Tent City and meet wonderful people who, despite of their hard circumstances, were still hopeful. We feel grateful for the opportunity to reach out and help in our own little ways.
Realization and Lesson: A City in Gridlock
When we started this blog, we hardly get invites from events. It wasn’t only because the blog was just a newbie; it was because events are rare, almost non-existent. But 2013 saw the boom of these events in the city, be it in fashion, beauty, bazaars, newly-opened restaurants, and coffee mornings. And we love attending these events because we get to meet interesting people and get to know their products and services. In a way, we saw how the event landscape in Riyadh has opened up to more people and has changed throughout the months. In turn, these are shaping Riyadh to be a cosmopolitan city with its traditions and values intact. To be a part of this burgeoning trend is priceless.
Events We Love: GAP Be Bright, New Look AW2013, Creative Japan Fashion Flair, Best Of Britain Fashion Show, Riyadh Fashion Days
The restaurant scene in Riyadh leaves more to be desired. There are many world cuisines that are not yet represented but we’re willing to wait. After all, some of the most interesting restaurants are already here; they’re just waiting to be discovered. Take for example the hamburger that is being lined up for hours, the bubble tea that I drank day after day after day (it’s already embarrassing), the most-talked about bread store, the restaurant that serves mostly chicken dishes, the Japanese restaurant that takes the cuisine up a notch, the steak house that renovated itself, the psychedelic Chinese restaurant that owns a building, etc etc! Readers often ask if we eat in these restos for free. Why, wouldn’t it be AWESOME?! But no, we pay for our food just like you do most of the time and that’s quite awesome too because we enjoy the food and the companionship of the friends we’re with without thinking of the consequences. Of course, we do get invited by restaurants once in a blue moon and that’s a pretty awesome blogger perk too.
5. MEETING YOU
The experience of meeting readers all over Riyadh is priceless! Sometimes, we don’t even meet you personally. Most of you just comment and message and we’re still very much grateful. Sometimes, friends of friends bring up The Pink Tarha in conversations and meet ups. It’s funny and awesome how we’re all connected in more ways than one. I remember when I got back from Maldives and it was the first time my brother saw me, his first words weren’t “How was your Maldives trip?” His first question was “Can I have one of your Pink Tarha mugs?” I asked him why and he said that his friend’s wife reads the blog and he plans on giving the mug as a birthday gift. Haha! Or how the doctor of Shoegarfreruby’s aunt actually asked her, “Do you know The Pink Tarha? They’re Filipinos and they blog.” Or how we just recently received an appreciation email from a reader just before the new year ushers in! Here’s an excerpt of her email to us:
Hi there girls! I just want to let you know that I am an avid reader of your blog. Since I first set foot on Saudi, I searched for an informative blog and found The Pink Tarha. I just want to commend everyone of you because you have helped a lot of people especially fellow Filipinos who are trying to adopt to the Saudi lifestyle. I first came across your blog in 2011 and have been following everything until now. I also recommend your blog to visitors and first-timers, and to almost everyone that I know of. I know how appreciation works a long way. And in this simple way, I hope I have extended it to all of you. Well, gusto ko lang malaman nyo na marami kayong natutulungan at napapasaya. Keep up the good work! God bless you all.
Lovelots, Joyce Ann
Thank you, Joyce Ann! This is a nice gift for the new year. What a morale booster! What an inspiring message. 🙂
THANK YOU, THANK YOU DEAR READERS FOR EVERY THING! You don’t know how much you make us go ‘awwww’ every time you send us your comments and feedback. We will continue writing to the best of our abilities. We will continue to help, guide, and inspire! YOU ARE ALL AWESOME!!! WE LOVE YOU!!!
HAPPY NEW YEAR!!! Cheers to a more fabulous 2014, Riyadhizens!!! – Sundrenched