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."**

I want to come work in Saudi!

So, you've been around the block a couple of times and the buildings haven't changed much.  You've been a medic for 5 years and are starting to get a little bold, somehow and for whatever reason, you've decided you might want to get out of your comfort zone with XYZ Ambulance or St. Giagantic's Hospital, or maybe even the I'm a FIREFIGHTER-paramedic "Lego-land City Fire Department".  Maybe you were even that rarest of breeds, that paramedic of legend, the one who manages to rock out a one piece flight suit and aviator glasses at midnight"Flightus paramedicus".  Whatever you are or were, you're stretching your wings and looking out of the nest.  Well my friend, its a big world out here, and the drop from the nest isn't that far.  So grab a cup of coffee and come on.  We'll see if we can't get you oriented.

Oh, and just so I don't get myself in any trouble:

 "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 wife, my family or anybody else.  First hand knowledge and second and accounts were used to compile the information, these are not scientific facts and figures.  These views are not necessarily supported or endorsed by the KSA and the author makes absolutely no claim that they are."

Number 1: You are probably looking because you're not happy where your at, maybe you work for some old fat guy who hasn't been on the truck in 20 years, maybe you work for peanuts-literally, maybe your one of those people dragging the salary down for all of us because you volunteer and do the job for free and finally decided it was time to make some money.  Whatever the reason, if your not happy where your at, you won't be happy here.  Please turn around, get your head screwed on straight and come back later when you figure out that only you can make you happy.  Money and sand does not make a man happy.

Now then, if your decently happy where your at and you'd like a challenge--come on in.  

If you need to make some money for a year or two and your not hated or about to be fired where your at...Come on in, money we have, lots of it.  

Number 2: I now know some things about Dubai and the UAE, I know a little about Qatar and Kuwait, and I even know a little bit about Iraq and Afghanistan.  I am qualified to give you guidance on none of these places!  I am only qualified to give you a little guidance on the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, and even that is from a newcomers perspective.  But "out of the mouths of babes oft times come gems".  So here we go.

Where to work

University or College: high salary, good conditions: (65k-100k)

Institute: Low Salary, poor conditions: (40k-60k)

Ambulance: Med-High salary, poor conditions (50k-70k)

Private Flight Ambulance: high salary, good conditions(65k-100k)

Hospital: high salary, decent conditions (80k-100k)

Oil Company: (all of the above and Rig medicine):  60k-???, Varies, I have no real, tangible reports to go on here, I'm told its boring, cold or hot, and more like being a PA than a medic. 

Desirable Certifications and Experience

A criminal record can be a deal breaker,  A DWI 10 years ago won't kill you, but if you got arrested last year for domestic violence...don't even bother

Degrees and Such:





Instructor Certs (AHA/NAEMT):





Provider Certs





These are the highly recognizable certs that are valued here, that isn't to say that other certs aren't helpful, but these are the ones they want.  How many do you have?  If you can check off at least two in every category, your doing good!

I want to come work in Saudi!  II

 Throughout this blog, I've talked about the things that I've seen, things that I've done and feelings that I've felt.  I've talked about some of things that helped me and some of the things that hurt me in terms of survival.  As I approach my 6 month anniversary, I thought it high time to mention some of the other things you might want to know before you set out.  Because when you hear the voice saying "now boarding flight XYZ non stop service to Riyadh" it becomes real, real quick.  

#1.  Lets talk about Marriage...

These are my experiences, from what I've seen and heard, they are fairly indicative of what you can expect...of course you'll ignore them...these things happen to other people, not you...right?

First off you should know that I have a strong marriage, always have.  I had dated and been involved seriously before I met my wife.  I knew who I was, and was happy with it before I met my wife.  I was happy just being by myself.  When I met my wife, I just knew.  No really, I did, I just knew.

Secondly you should know that I don't get jealous, of course some things bother me now and again, but I just don't get worried about it.  If someone is going to cheat or betray your trust, they're just going to do it, being paranoid about it helps nothing and hurts everything.  Throughout my marriage, people have questioned me about leaving my wife alone for days on end while I was at work, leaving for a 24 hour shift, her doing midnight checks on clients with police officers (generally considered the horniest public servants known to man)  and how I could go through these things without worrying.  I always just laughed and said "if she's gonna cheat, she could do it anyway.  I wouldn't marry a woman I had to babysit".

So keeping those things in mind, imagine that when I came here, the last thing on my list of concerns was my marriage.  However, seclusion and loneliness along with boredom and high stress, have a way of seriously screwing with your head.

About 3 months in, I began to think my wife was acting funny, about 4 months in I KNEW she was acting funny. I was going crazy with worry, with fear, with...everything! I began checking phone records, and monitoring online activity, I checked bank accounts, verified things she said she did, in short I began getting super paranoid and a "wee bit" out of control.  Midway through month 4, I really began the fighting and the arguing and the interrogating.  Probably best actually, if I'd held it in any longer I could have gone completely off the deep end.  The really funny part is that I never really thought she was cheating, I never really got upset that she was, even if she was, which she wasn't.  What I did get upset about however was that I felt like she was disinterested in me, in us, and didn't understand how hard this place could be, didn't care really.  I felt like I was losing my wife, not to another man as much as to the world at large.  In a way I was. 

Male and Female humans are not biologically designed to be alone.  That's why were not asexual as some plants are.  In order to reproduce and therefore ensure the survival of our species, (which we are biologically programmed to do!) we must be together.  Muses, Sages, Philosophers and holy men have always extolled the virtues of being alone, of meditation, of seclusion.  They claim that it helps you to hear and become closer to the voice of God, the Universe, Nature, the Planet etc...I agree and I disagree, I think it allows for self reflection but at the same time invites a form of near schizophrenia.  The thoughts in your head become "the voices in your head"; And as we all know, voices in your head aren't usually a good thing. 

So now, approaching 6 months, I can tell you that my wife and I are fine, better than fine really, stronger than before.  Was she cheating?-NawWas she acting strange?-Nope, I was.  Was She changing and growing without me?-Yup, and its a phenomenon well documented by the US military in regards to combat deployed troopsAs soon as you leave, the "little lady" has to find ways to survive without you, knowing you might die at any moment, she learns how to turn a wrench, get her oil changed, take care of all the household and landscaping duties, take care of the bills. She finds new friends some of them men, she learns how to get out of bed without needing you, how to go to bed without crying in loneliness.  She learns how to move on with life, while on the other hand, you just try unsuccessfully to push pause on yours.  So am I good again then?-For now, and now I know the warning signs of nutty behaviorI still miss her though, and still feel like she's moving on while I'm on pause. 

These are the things you should know before you listen to the voice that says "now boarding".  Money isn't worth it, world travel is overrated, and "Freedom" is just another word for "nothing left to lose" (thanks Janis J.)  

Should you come?  That's up to you. Will your marriage suffer in the short term?  Most definitely. Will it stand the test of time?  Maybe...that all depends on you and her, it'll help though if you go into it with your eyes wide open. 

I'm open to comments, I am also available by email if you want to talk about this one before or after you get on the plane.  This is a hard subject, one that many people have strong feelings about, if I can help you or your marriage at all, please don't hesitate to contact me.  Believe me, I understand the feelings associated with this.  It doesn't get easier, it just gets "different".

1 comment:

  1. as a saudi with a reverse culture shock and different views of religion. its hard to keep suicidal thoughts out of my mind