Read Me/Disclaimer

Read Me/Disclaimer: This is a non-political/socio-political blog. It's a running tale of my Saudi Arabian adventure, great, good, bad, and ugly. It is uncensored, and I don't really care what you think of it, read it or don't. I don't care. I did not decide to do this as a means to an end, but rather to document the means with which I occupied my time while waiting for my end... All that being said, I'm an American Expat in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The opportunity to help build this system and the salary that accompanied it were to good to pass up.-Geoff

"The views presented here are just the views of some asshole named Geoff, they are not necessarily the views of my employer, my co-workers, my family or anybody else. First hand knowledge and second hand accounts were used to compile the information. These are not scientific facts and figures. These views are not necessarily supported, endorsed or even appreciated by the KSA the USA or any other country for that matter and the author makes absolutely no claim that they are."**

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Why hasn't anybody paid the ransom yet????

So here's the 3 month proof of life photo.  You guys suck, still no ransom payments despite hearing that the check is in the mail many times. I thought I'd take my third month anniversary to do some 'splainin.  You see whatever the blog's original purpose, and regardless of what its become, I know that when somebody is considering taking the plunge and coming over here to work, they do a lot of soul searching, and a lot of internet searching beforehand to try and figure things out.  I did, and I got a lot of ideas about the country from firsthand accounts, some that held to be true, others that didn't.  So let me say these things in summary about coming here to work.  First of all, three months ain't nothing, my friend  Dave and his family said that after 2 weeks on the ground in Riyadh, I'd only been here for 10 minutes.  So by that scale, now I've been here about an hour.  An hour isn't very long, but its long enough to know if you want to stay until last call or not.  If last call comes for me, I sure as hell hope it ain't here!  Then again, things change quickly in this life.  So here's the summary (unless you're going to work for Aramco which is like working in a really cool part of Iowa--Hey! it could happen!):

You're potential employer is probably telling you the truth about the salary and living conditions, for the most part they're pretty darn nice.  Don't expect to find a whole lot of info about you're employer on line, the internet here is for facebook, skype and gaming.  They're probably not white slavers (hint: this is the racially insensitive term used prior to human trafficker).  You really can find any and all types of food, just no pork and believe me, I don't care how much you ignored it at home, 3 months without bacon, sausage, a hotdog or a BBQ pulled pork sandwich is something very close to hell for an American, after a year I'll be ready to shank a fool for some bacon.  My in-laws would have already laid down and died.  You can find booze, but you're going to have to be pretty careful about that, it could easily land you in jail, and customs will find it!  It's all homemade except at the embassy, and some of it is pretty close to freakin' incredible (or so I've heard...).  The people are...well they're people...try and accurately sum up all the people in your state or region of the US in one sentence, can't do it can you?  It's the same here, some people here not only speak great English (probably better than you do), but have been to the states and are very open minded, others here think that we all have a beach in our backyard and that life in the states is something akin to a pornographic version of the O.C., some are not only willing to talk to you, but more than happy to do so and invite you into their homes, others give you looks that could kill from a mile and aim their cars at you.  Some folks understand what changed in America on Sept. 11th and will actually go out of their way to apologize and even clarify that Islam is not terror, and will tell you the men that did "that thing" are in hell.  Some folks understand what changed in America on Sept. 11th and danced a jig celebrating, and then there are those who think that we did it to ourselves, and some who think that the "Jews" (not Israelis) did it to us.  And just like many of our kids their are kids who don't really know what happened.  It's weird.  I've been told to shut up and get out for speaking English, I've had a total stranger bring his kids up to practice their English with me, the place definitely has its moments.  The driving is insane, you tube doesn't even begin to cover the stupidity on the road here... mainly though, I think its about you, I'm here for the money and the adventure, so I'm a little bit of both worlds.  So far the Money's good and the adventure is, well without a car...lacking.  I have a much different life than many westerners because I don't live in a compound, I don't walk in my shorts and my t-shirt down to the pool, where the women sit, I don't watch the girls jog by dressed in their summer clothes (10 points for that one), I don't always eat American food served by a Pakistani or Indian waiter who calls me sir, I live the life of a Saudi for the most part, I wear suits or conservative clothes, eat and shop local and even watch Saudi TV, I don't have a driver, I haggle with cabbies or take SAPTCO (the shame train) most of all though I just miss my family and my little comforts, it would be better if we were all here, but that's not an option.  So if you're thinking about coming, prepare yourself for the mental strain you'll be under, trying to work at your normal productivity levels (which is why you'll be making that salary) when you have none of your creature comforts or relaxing rituals is tougher than you think, and as I've said before if you haven't lived in the middle east, you don't know the middle east, and you don't know shit until you've lived in Saudi.  It's a different world folks, practically alien even when things are good, unfortunately you're family probably doesn't get that, they think you're just someplace else...hence, my ransom hasn't been paid yet!  You'll be laughing when those signs say 24 months!  I hope I still am!

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