Are you a Filipino who grew up in the Middle East? If your answer is yes, what do you think of shawarma here in the Philippines?

As someone who grew up in the United Arab Emirates, I could tell you one thing: Meshwe is the only acceptable restaurant when it comes to shawarma. Turks, Shawarma Shack, Khaleb? Honestly, they aren’t even close to the authentic shawarma taste that I am used to.

It may sound elitist in a way, but for us kids who grew up in the Middle East, it is honestly just frustrating. We are not stopping people from enjoying the sweet taste of shawarma here, but we ourselves prefer the OG shawarma.

This shawarma dilemma is just a frustration that we face. If you could relate to me, check out the other things below.

Here are 3 more things that kids who grew up in the Middle East struggle with:

Facing culture shock

As someone who grew up in the United Arab Emirates until I graduated from high school, I was really shocked by a lot of stuff here in the Philippines. I am a Filipino, yes, but there are certain things here that we don’t just do in the other country.

For example, going down from public transportation in the middle of the highway? You can’t do that in the U.A.E.!

Moreover, it took a while before I became used to paying fare in jeepneys. At first, I was really embarrassed to talk out loud and declare my destination. Because in Dubai, you just tap your transportation card (kinda like Beep) on the bus and then tap it again when you arrive. So yeah, it’s a little funny to admit that I used to turn tomato red inside public transportation.

Keeping personal things in check

Abroad, I was used to just laying my things around. It is because there, thieves are VERY rare. So eventually, I brought that habit even here in the Philippines. As a result, my friends would always scold me to keep my wallet in my bag and not just leave it anywhere. It was hard to change because I was really keen on trusting people, but hey, it’s hard to lose valuable things!

Always comparing Philippines and the other

Whether you lived in Saudi Arabia, the U.A.E., Qatar or any Middle Eastern country, you can’t deny that you would always compare things there with things here in the Philippines. The rules, the peacefulness, the traffic – as someone who grew up in Dubai where traffic is smooth, I was super frustrated with the public transportation here.

Yes, every Filipino is frustrated with the traffic, especially with the way everything is super bad right now. However, when we have something to compare it to, it just makes it worse. In my head I keep going, “there should be like this” and “there should be like that”.

Eventually though, I realized that things are a lot more complicated than that.

Do you relate to the things that I have mentioned above? Are there any struggles that I haven’t included? Let us know your thoughts by commenting down below! Or simply hit us up on our Facebook and Twitter accounts.