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."**

Friday, November 2, 2012

Settling in

WooHoo!!!!!  I've been adopted!!!!  That's right folks, I'm off the foster list and in a home!
If you're thinking about coming to work in Saudi, this is something your going to want to pay attention too.  3 weeks ago, this was a place I had to be to make good money.  Today its a place that I have the chance at a life while I make really good money.  See the difference?  You will if you come here.

Saudi Arabia is a hard land.  It's hot, it's filled with sand, and the wind can blow something fierce.  When the sky opens up with rain, cities flood, wadi's fill with swift moving deadly waters and sand pits can "quickly" turn into quicksand.  But this isn't the half of it.  You get paid well here because its also a hard land to adapt to.  Its a closed and conservative culture.  You will spend the majority of time alone and at work.  I read 14 books my first 10 months here.  I watched seasons 1-6 of a bunch of shows I never bothered to watch in the states. I spent 5 1/2 months not knowing a single person whose native language was English.  I also spent 5 1/2 months without a sip of beer or wine.  I spent 2 months missing my family, 4 months preparing for the divorce and another 3 basically just waiting to go home. Be prepared my friends, this could very likely be you too. 

When I finally did meet people, I loved it!  People to hang with, people to legally drink with at the consulate or embassy, women to talk to (LOL, you should have seen that disaster...there I was, drunk, depressed, recently divorced...yeah none of those meetings panned out!).  I still like doing these things but it's not life.  It's some kind of piss poor, watered down version of life.  You wanted Cheerios but got rolled oats, you wanted a Ferrari but got a Pontiac, you wanted James Bond 007, but got Maxwell Smart.  Its just not quite what you were looking for, you know?  For me, I wanted a family and friends.  What I got were heavy drinkers who didn't keep a girlfriend longer than a month and women that cared more about your looks and your wallet because they had no intention of being around longer than a month anyway.  (Now I must say honestly that there is a little of that in me too.) I'd be lying if I tried to say that pretty girls and cold beers didn't just trip my trigger...but all the time?  C'mon guys, that's not life, that's a low budget 80 minute movie.  I want my life to be more like a Saga!  Maybe think Star Wars, Indiana Jones, Lonesome Dove, The Godfather...Something better than American Pie or Porky's! 

Now it seems that my prayers have been answered.  I have a family that cares for me.  They feed me, entertain me and maybe most importantly are open to me.  I tell them things and they listen, they tell me things and I listen.  We laugh, joke, and have fun together.  Did I mention that they FEED ME!  I love being fed.  But the most important part is that they do it because they like me, and I do it because I like them.  It's a refreshing change in a land that has very little opportunity or desire to be social outside the family, especially with foreigners.  

How I met my new found family is a funny story, one that maybe I'll tell you some day, but not today.  As of now, you need to know that I read aloud with their Grandson.  He reads, then I read and so on and so forth until were done for the evening.  Then I get to eat dinner and drink tea.  It sounds simple, but try not doing it for a year and see what you think then.  You never thought you'd miss playing X-Box with a 10 y/o did you?  You never thought you'd miss the sound of a mothers voice and a fathers quiet contemplation.  Maybe it's just me, maybe your're different, we'll see.  

So if this interests you here's a couple of tips.  Be yourself.  Be the disaster that you are if that's what you are.  Tell the truth, nobody likes a liar and nobody trusts you once they figured out you lied.  Figure out some stuff that you might have to offer or want to learn.  If you can teach, offer around to teach or tutor.  If you can play music, offer around to play or teach.  If you want to learn something, ask everybody you meet where you can learn to play music, speak Arabic, dance etc...eventually someone will pass your name along, and eventually you'll meet a greater diversity of people.  One day, you might get adopted too.  Otherwise you'll live an empty shell of a life until you burn out and go home, where you might find that it wasn't the place so much as it was you. 


  1. So happy for you :).

    Loved the last para . So damn true. If people have to like you they will like you no mater what. No need to play up just for the sake of impressing people or making friend.

    1. Nope, I agree but I think were some of the few that do. Everybody wants you to "put your best foot forward". My response is "why? That's not the foot I use half the time!"

      As always, thanks for reading and referring me to others! Keep it up!


  2. So glad for you. So many expats get stuck in the 'piss poor watered down version of life' here in Saudi and, as you say, blame it on the place without taking a good look in the mirror. Here's to your ongoing saga :)

    1. Thanks, it's going well! Thanks for the read and the comment also!