Wednesday, 14 July 2010

Time Drags in Saudi


Time drags in Saudi as an unemployed expat woman if you do not make yourself get out and about.
Or enroll in some form of online study.
Or read.
Or do something.

Saudi Arabia is renowned for its boredom.  There is nothing to do here.  Nothing meaning no movies, no pubs and clubs, no sport (if you're a girl) - not much fun at all.  Unless you know where to look, and new arrivals rarely have that info on hand.  If you don't work in Saudi doing nothing can really get depressing.

To give myself something to do I'm learning Arabic....thought I might as well while I was here.  I figured it would come in handy to know a few sentences plus it would wile away the time which numerous women can tell you, including Saudi ladies, starts to drag after a while.

I find it interesting that, each time I have met new Saudi's, male and female, they say something along the lines of "Do you like it here?  It's boring isn't it?"  I haven't yet figured out an appropriate answer.

Yes, it's very boring - seems rude and isn't really hitting the nail on the head.  It's slow but if you look hard enough there is 'stuff' to do.  It's not necessarily meaningful, but it is something.

It's OK - seems to demean the place which, if you get into its history and culture, is actually an interesting study.  And 'It's OK' definitely doesn't do the people justice.  The people, so far, are really lovely.

No, it's an awesome place.  I'm really enjoying it - will not be believed.  People here are not stupid.  Plus they will just say 'Wait 6 months, you'll change your mind'.

I've been here six months.....time is starting to drag.  I know it is because I'm considering getting more regular employment.  For someone who thinks work is an interruption to real life that is really saying something.  Tutoring English to ladies is fun, but not really regular because they go on holiday (they're on holiday now), they have parties to prepare for so can't make it each day, they get sick, I get sick...let's just say regularity fluctuates.

A friend has given me the number of an international school that wants native English speakers to teach English to primary aged children once the summer is over.

My dilemma (not huge on a global scale I know) is do I want this job?

Friend -The hours are good Gae, from 7 am to around midday - 1pm. 
Me - 7 am.....crikeys, been a while since I had to wake up at that hour, much less be at work by then.
Friend - It's five days a week, Gae, so you'll have something to do every day.
Me - 5 days a week.....crikeys that's full time.  I was born with full time work allergy.
Friend - And you'll be teaching children.  It's easier than teaching adults, but they might drive you crazy.
Me - Do I really want to teach kids 5 days a week?  Ummmm, No. 

Another friend told us the other day that one of the Embassy's has a vacancy for a PA.  Hubster declined that role for me.  Why?  That requires me being organised.  Me and organised needs a 'dis' attached.  I don't think he means 'Wifey organised dis'.  More 'Wifey disorganised' is where he was heading.

When I first moved here I didn't' actually want to do anything, which is exactly what I'm doing, and it's starting to get on my nerves.  What do they say, Be careful what you wish for or you just might get it.  Obviously my goal of total chill 'axing while in Saudi has run its course.  Time to get jiggy with something else - the question is What?

Of course the middle of summer, with Ramadan just around the corner, is not a good time to start feeling like doing something. (Read my post on Summer Heat for more that).  Most people leave town.  Including the locals.  The majority of my Saudi friends are heading to cooler regions.  Abha is the locally preferred destination.  The heat can get to you here after a while and we aren't in the top temps yet.  The wind blowing the other day felt like standing in a giant hair dryer complete with flying dust.  Except, once the wind died down the heat stuck around and it's a very enveloping heat.

With most of the expats gone and coffee mornings put off till after the summer, time is dragging.  It's making me think about heading home too.
********

The month of Ramadan starts mid August.  I'm going home mid August.  I have to.  Our eldest daughter gets married early September and I know she's going to need a bit of help with the final details - that's why I have to go early.  Hubster might not have bought that rational, but he has bought me a ticket.  So count down is on.  Yay.

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