Wednesday, 9 March 2016

10 Positive Thoughts on Living In Saudi Arabia

This post is a complete flip flop from my previous one (Of Holidays, Fragility and Visa Issues).  That was too negative apparently. I don't think people got that part of that post was me recounting in detail a hissy fit melt down.  Hissy fits, by their very nature, are somewhat negative.  And the rest of that post was extremely positive I thought.  Anyway here is some positivity - for you peeps unhappy with my melt down.

Positive thought 1

I'm loving Riyadh weather right now.  It's beautiful and cool.  I enjoy the cool freshness of the air and leave our front door open practically all day when I'm there just basking in the fresh air because I know it won't be long till its too hot to have the door open and the aircon will be blasting all day in an effort to beat the heat from our metal door. (Our front door is made of metal - tin I think. Crazy idea for a hot place like Saudi).

Positive thought 2

We have semi-adopted a cat which is big news because neither the husband or I consider ourselves cat people, mostly because cats let loose in the wild of New Zealand tend to eat our diminishing native bird population.  But cat has grown on us here in Saudi and is quite funny.  He sits rights next to me after he's come wandering into the house like he owns the place.  He never use to.  Being an adopted stray he was always quite aloof, but he's become kind of clingy since our last trip away.  I admit I quite like having cat purring next to me in the evening, though once it's time for bed, he has return to Cat Land for the night.

Positive thought 3

This is the picture of the sunset in Dubai...

Beautiful isn't it.

Hubsters work might be overly demanding but the money takes me places.  I'd probably be more grateful for the travel if there wasn't always a third wheel present (a.k.a his work computer).

Positive thought 4 - 

Gas is cheap as chips in Saudi - even with the recent 50% price hike.  That means when we rent a vehicle to travel around the country we aren't paying through the nose for petrol to get us from point A to point B.

Positive thought 5 -

This is a photo from one of our recent trips into the desert.

We met this Saudi man who could not believe we wanted to spend the night camping in the desert so invited us back to his family home for dinner, to meet the family and to sleep.  The local people we have met in Saudi are very friendly, welcoming and hospitable and some days I'm overwhelmed wondering how we can repay them for their kindness.

Positive thought 6 -

I have a role that allows me to travel and still get paid.
Love that.

Positive thought 7 - 

I have made some very good friends while living in Saudi.  People from all over the globe.  From places that, in the past, I never considered I would travel to, much less know someone from.  That idea is both mind boggling and humbling for a Maori from Aotearoa (...that would be a Native from New Zealand to you non-Kiwi peeps).

Positive thought 8 -

Because we have to rent vehicles, (we don't own a car but we do own three motorbikes and two bicycles), I have had the chance to drive GMC Yukons, Toyota Fortuna's,  a Prado, a Chev Impala,  Kia Sportages, Ford Edge's, a Yarris  (not my favourite), a GMC Sierra truck (less than impressed with that one too),  Renaults, Honda Accords and a Crown Victoria.  I also went for a spin in a Veyron (woohoo), and a Bentley Ghost (classy!!).  Renting is a good way to figure out what vehicle one might like to buy the day on might decide to buy 4 wheel transportation.  To date my fav is the Yukon (I love the pick up whenever you put your foot down and it's so easy to drive) and the Prado (quite roomy, breezy handling and great in the desert).  (Naturally, none of these vehicles was actually driven by myself here in Saudi.  Of course not!  I meant I was driving vicariously, through my husband because I'm a mere female in Saudi, totally incapable of vehicular control... @8@...*Eyes rolling right round the back of my head) 

Positive thought 9 -

They have coffee here.  Granted it can be an adventure wondering what state the coffee will be in once it arrives in my coffee craving hand's because not that many places outside the city (or inside it for that matter) have highly trained baristas.  Many times I've been very pleasantly surprised by the coffee I receive as opposed to other times when a grimace immediately follows a coffee sip.

I have also learned to enjoy qahwa and Turkish coffee especially when made by people who know what they are doing.  (And contorted when offered absolute crap by people who should never be allowed to make Arabic coffee, ever!)

Positive thought 10 -

No hotel I've dropped into has denied me access to the toilet because I'm not staying there.  Same deal with restaurants or cafes if I haven't bought anything there.  (Long may this attitude to female requirements reign).

So there you have it.
My Top 10 Positive Thoughts for tonight on Living in Saudi.


  1. 11. Fantastic NZ beef and lamb in Carrefour and Tamimi!
    12. 'Real' Marmite ;-) from the UK available... sometimes
    13. Generally cheap food in supermarkets, much of it is healthy too

  2. Yes indeed...NZ beef and lamb is here! I admit it's usually the only red meat I buy, though I will sometimes stretch to Australian or Canadian. Hubster thinks that makes me a red meat snob. Ok. So be it :)

  3. Australian only if the NZ cuts aren't good or are absent.


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