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."**

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Time to move forward

When I started this blog, I wanted some kind of record of my time and my experience in Saudi Arabia. I wanted to write, as I've always like to write, and I wanted to share the human experience with someone,!

I wanted you to laugh and cry and smile with me.

The name of the blog came easily, My first week here, Justin and I had a silly conversation in which I asked "But the sun still sets in the west right"?

The blog has haphazardly followed me through the awkward adjustment process, the painful divorce and a little bit of the incredibly exciting and humbling process of rebuilding.

I used to give you pictures every month, that's how I lived then. Now sometimes I remember to give you pictures every six months or maybe every year. Sometimes I just choose not to.

Well I want to write again, and despite having a busy schedule, I can do it, but every time I say I'm going to do it, I don't. It took me a while, but I finally figured out why that is. This blog, witty title and all, is of a time and of a place and both are no longer.

So it's time to say farewell, for good. The sun does still set in the west, and what can I say other than "It has finally set". Goodbye guys, It's been a lot of fun, but this side of me is done.

If you'd like, you can follow my new project here I'd love to see some of you on the other side, no promises though as to what I post, or what's it about.

Nov 2011-July 2014-"Khalas"-It is finished

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Still here

I saw the tab on the browser..."Blogger: Blogger Dashboard....It was like it was calling out to me all honesty, it's called out to me many days and I've simply ignored it. Not because I don't love writing the blog, not because I don't like my readers, (of whom I doubt I have any left), but because of two much more nefarious culprits. Their names? PUBH 6003 Epidemiology and PUBH 6202 Bio-statistics. All of grad school at a major university is "hard", the term "academically rigorous" is the term the University uses, but it can be stated simply as HARD and convey the appropriate emotion. These two jems however, are a little on the tougher side of HARD, and for the past 20 weeks or so, they've kept  me busy. Hopefully one day I'll write again, hopefully one day I'll go to bed without the thought of z-scores, t-scores, p-scores, confidence intervals and morbidity/mortality rates dancing through my head. Until that day though: here's the latest.

Location: Still in Saudi!, still on the East Coast, which makes it almost three years now. (I'm wrapping up my third academic year).

Latest news: Things are good, I am well, busy, busy, busy, but quite well. I may or may not be moving to Riyadh next year, I've been traveling throughout the Kingdom this year, Jeddah, Riyadh, a week or two in each location, giving seminars for students and Instructors alike. We're working on moving my position officially back to what I was originally brought here to do, Riyadh is where that can happen. So if the Riyadh thing works out, and the schedule is right, I might have another 3-5 years in me. If Riyadh falls through, I think I'll be moving on pretty soon.

At The George Washington University Alumni Meeting in Riyadh, (Hint, I'm the one not in a thobe!)
Miscellaneous stuff: Saudization is in full swing, we could chat about it for hours, I'm of a mixed opinion on it, the reality and the concept don't always match up perfectly. However the point of mentioning it was that I don't see many opportunities for Paramedics (especially from the states) in the near future, so if you get an offer and you want to know anything about the place, feel free to email me before you take the offer, but honestly, I doubt that you'll see a whole lot of offers in the immediate future.  

Monday, January 6, 2014

Land Rover or Roverous Conquerous?

I drive an old Land Rover Discovery, a 1994 with a 96' 3.9L V8 engine and 5 speed manual transmission to be exact. For it's time, it was one heck of a vehicle...However, over the years she's been mistreated, driven hard (really hard) and subjected to the Saudi summers for the past 18 years or so. Needless to say, but worth saying anyway that sometimes the old girl has some issues. Like the mornings she doesn't want to start...for no good reason, battery is fine, starter is fine, everything comes on and works, she just needs you to pop the hood and fiddle with a coil wire for a minute before she'll start. Then there's the back door lock that locks when it wants to and unlocks when it wants to, and don't forget the time that the drivers side window carriage rusted out and the window fell into the door...or the refusing to start after a stall, or the fact that the A/C barely works and the heat and the defrost are non-existent these days. And the fact that a new radio with a new antenna can still only barely pick up one station. In fact she went through a period of such trouble for about a month a while ago that she got herself nicknamed the "parking lot rover"...and "garage grazer" by my fiance.


When it rains all night in Saudi, and the water builds up 10 inches deep on the streets in certain places, traffic signals stop working and storm debris litters the road...there is nothing like a "King Off The Road" Land Rover Disco', This morning, I literally said/thought the command "Land Rover-Attack"!

She fired right up and off we went! 

Blazing by the little Hyundai's and zooming by the Toyota's, decimating the drivers who are scared to get their tires wet, making fools out of Land Cruisers who are mainly driven for their size and status!

But it gets better! You see, I didn't just drive her to work, its almost hard to explain but it was something more akin to a melding of man and beast. This morning, I was not driving, I was riding, galloping, almost flying! A brave Sir Knight atop a stallion of mythic fame! My old and trusted companion. This morning we conquered the roads together, charging forward valiantly, fighting our way through congested streets, digging through puddles, barreling over sand swept streets, splashing mud and spraying water in huge jets to our sides! 

We easily accomplished our noble quest, which today was to safely and quickly travel from home to work...

Today, my Land Rover is not a Disco', not a 'Rover, and NOT a "Parking Lot Rover"/"Garage Grazer"! Today she has proven herself, and earned the most honorable of titles, today she is "Roverous Conquerous"! And as the work day comes to a close, again we prepare to ride!

Yes, I had a huge, silly grin on my face while writing this and yes I had a huge silly grin on my face while driving this morning!