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."**

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

I'm baaacccckk! and I'm re-purposing...

OK, first of all I'm back in Saudi Arabia. Second of all, I'll tell you all about vacation soon and thirdly although possibly most importantly, I'm officially re-purposing the blog. The blog is now (although it has been for some time anyway) about me: the stuff I see, the things I think, the pictures I take, the experiences I have. And yes...I know its been that way for a while anyway, but it was still mainly supposed to be about Saudi and my experiences here with teaching and learning. However, that purpose originated with a married father of two, coming to the big scary Middle East to make some money and get some crazy experience for a year or two at the most. As I start my third contract year with the College, happily divorced and seriously involved with a wonderful woman who doesn't want my money, I felt it appropriate to go ahead and just admit that I might be staying a bit longer than originally intended.

So, I had a choice, start 3 different blogs to talk about 3 different topics including my transition from complete rookie photographer to decent amateur or just re-purpose this blog. And anyway, I like the title of this blog...titles this good don't come around all that often!

Stick around you might just like what you read, share me with friends! Pass me around the office, tell your co-workers that you know some crazy American who is teaching Paramedics in Saudi and he writes like a crazy man. I mean after all I'm pretty darn likeable-except when I'm not, and for those of you who love my rants (you know who you are ;-) ) I've got some great "rants" left in me! See the basic updates below, we'll chat about them later.

Update #1: I'm back in Grad School. Leaving halfway through once wasn't good enough for me... I've been admitted to The George Washington University School of Public Health. I'll be attending via live video at all manner of weird times of the evening and night, and spending some time there during the summer.

Update #2: My favorite students are finally level 7...the guys who helped me adjust and got me through the tough times are on their final the end of this year, they'll move on to their internship and some of the best friends I have we'll be pretty much out of touch. (Maybe I'll just fail my favorites to keep 'em around an extra year!)

Update #3:  Saudization is going full steam ahead still, I'll try and hang around awhile, but I've seen a few Westerners re-tasked and some even laid off. I've been warned not to fuss, fight, argue or make waves...this worries me. If students discover this the lowest grade I'll be able to give out will be a 70%! This is also one of the reasons that I've decided to go back to grad school-I need to remain competitive in a changing market. 

Update #4: The Middle East is getting "interesting", Egypt is on the brink again, Syria is in the middle of full out civil war (although some sources say it's just terrorists attacking the government), Bahrain is still a little "conflict-y" Iran has a new president, and US policy towards Pakistan is changing...which hopefully will be good for relations, but does nothing to address the fact that their Government is either completely inept or has no desire to bring killers and bomb makers to justice themselves. Libya is still a mess, Yemen is a bigger mess, and sources seem to believe that all of the arrests around the area have failed to bring down any AQAP member higher ranking than a foot soldier. All of this stuff bothers me just a tad, mainly because of where I'm from, not who I am, what I think or what I look like. (A neighbor of mine was friends with an Englishman who was shot and dragged down the street in 2009.) It's a constant reminder that things aren't always what they appear to be, and no matter how comfortable you really "aren't in Kansas anymore". (Hey I thought using that cliche was better than saying "not in your own hood anymore".) Point being, I'm safe, but keep me in your thoughts and prayers (for those that pray) anyway. I'm a long way from home, in a very different place, and remember it's not "Saudi's" or "Arabs" that I have to worry about, it's that one "nut-bag", under the influence of another "nut-bag" and those "nut-bags" come in all different shapes, sizes, genders and nationalities. They don't wear AQAP team jerseys and from what I've read historically, you figure out who they are right about the time they kill you or take you hostage. So, long story short, remember me, remember that I'm trying to make some money and do good things, not just make money...
check out this "nutbag"

See ya soon!


  1. Love and miss you :) Thinking of you and hope the new chapter of your life is everything you want and more.

    1. Thank you sweetie. I'm pretty sure that God, fate, pure dumb luck or the Great Spaghetti Monster only gives us the bad so that we can appreciate just how good the good feels. I for one am feeling the good!

  2. Welcome back. Looking forward to the new stories, rambles and rants :)

    1. Thank you! I'll see what I can do!