Monday, 3 January 2011

One Year In Saudi And Treading Water

Happy New Year!  It is Jan 1st 2011. Exactly one year ago today I arrived in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
What do I think?  How do I feel about my life here after one year?  Oh, how many adjectives are there in the dictionary...I don't actually need all of them.  In truth how I'm feeling after one year in Saudi is simple, yet sad.  I feel like I am treading water.

There is a surreal feeling to my life in Saudi.  It's almost as if I'm in this pretend life and I'm just waiting for when I'm going to wake up.

Well isn't that a downer! 

Gees Kiwi we were hoping for so much more, like How you've settled in and finding your feet and doin all sorts of weird and wonderful stuff....


I watched a movie the other night, where the girl comes to buy a lottery ticket with a sour lemon face and and guy selling the ticket says, 'You just want to bring people down with a face like that don't you?'

The last thing I want is to bring anyone down, but life is what life is.  If I was to look at why I'm here, the answer is simple.  I am here as The Husbands wife.  My sole purpose is to keep him company while he works in this challenging environment.  To stop him feeling lonely.  And to be his tax break.  That's it.
(I suggest that all Kiwi' before they move overseas take a real good look at your tax situation.  NZ tax criteria for non-residence sucks).

After one year I can tell you, I think I need a more meaty purpose. 

It's hard being an expat woman in Saudi without a real purpose.  It's easy to not move from your home till after 4pm when the shops open, or worse still, when The Husband gets home from work after 6pm.  It's easy to hire a cleaner to do all your housework.  It's easy to eat out every day so you never have to visit your kitchen.  It's easy to pointlessly traipse through malls.  It's very easy to be a nobody, wrapped in black.  It's also easy to lie around in your compound and do nothing.  It's far too easy.

On those days I feel my brain is drying up into this prune state.  Wrinkled and pointless with not much by way of zapping synapses going on at all. 

There are days when I have to kick myself into action.  It's time to visit the gym.  It's time to write something in your blog, It's time to thumb through my list of expat phone friends and find some place to go.  It's time to jump in the car and drive.....No Kiwi, you cant' do that - Ahh, what a bitch! 

It's been one year since my arrival in Riyadh and I guess it is fair to say I've settled in.  I know how things operate and can get myself around although, apparently, I'm still classed as a 'newby'.  (I wonder when one becomes 'seasoned' as a Riyadh expat).  In the great summing up of Living in Saudi, I have to say, it ain't that bad.   It's not home, but it's not the hell on earth other people try to tell you it is.  Different yes.  Hell, no.  Soul destroying.  Occassionally.

I have decided that I can do one more year in this bizarre dream-like life.  The Husband is talking three to five.  Let's hope he learns how to handle the jandal on his own over the next year, cos after that, he's on his own.  Unless I find my meaty purpose and can stop treading water.  Then, we'll see.

Ka Kite,

1 comment:

  1. feel the same one year ago was last nov...nice blog btw :)


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