Status Post Three Months – 10 Things I’ve Learned While in Saudi Arabia

Today is the three month mark since I arrived into The Kingdom. What have I learned since?

  1. I have learned that everyone has a story. We all know this but it’s easy to forget especially when we get so wrapped up in our own stories. At first, I was only fascinated with the stories of people like me (similar background, education, career, passport.) I wanted to know how/why/when did they come to be in Saudi Arabia. But then I started listening to the stories of people not so much like me. The Filipino nurse working beside me, the Malaysian cleaning lady, the Bangladeshi taxi driver ( the taxi driver – Ay dios Mio, can take up another entire post), the South Africans, Jordanians, Palestinians, Indians, all have fascinating and interesting stories of their own. And the Saudi’s, the most interesting of all. One just needs to take the time to listen.
  2. Taxi drivers. I have learned that no matter where one goes in the world, it’s always the same laugh out load stories, issues, and shenanigans with taxi drivers. I’m most especially reminded of Kosovar and Macedonian taxi drivers. Really, what is it about taxi drivers and the “What. The. Fuck.” component? Has anyone done a reality show on taxi drivers?
  3. I have learned one can get use to anything. Anything. 110F/43C weather? Love it, and in fact, look forward to getting out in it. Even while wearing a black cloak.
  4. Stuff. I have learned I do not need all the *stuff*. While I have never been a materialist person, I do have hoarding tendencies. Stuff is so weighty, it’s burdensome, and loaded. I have learned I love my minimalistic lifestyle.
  5. I have learned that, sometimes, there are no boundaries in The Kingdom. Uhm, “like new”?
  6. I have learned that no matter how many times one trains on stairs, real stairs, it never EVER gets easier.
  7. I have learned the time for all five prayer times (approximate, it changes by a few minutes daily.)
  8. I have learned that (OK, fine, I’ve been cheating and reading up on some political news) there still has not been one Conservative or Republican to convince me with one logical, coherent, or clear idea/argument, as to why I should not give Barack Obama my vote. (And to be clear, I am NOT trying to convince anyone of anything.)
  9. I have learned Americans (from The States) can be so eltist silly sometimes. They complain they can’t understand the British English accent. Uhm, correct me if I’m wrong but aren’t Americans the ones with the accents? The British are English, after all, right?
  10. I have learned that Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes have gotten divorced!? Where was I? I have learned that I still love a good ol’ Tom Cruise action movie. Watched Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol the other night and thoroughly enjoyed every minute of Tom Cruise.




  1. I think you may have missed out on the day to day gaffs of Mitt shooting himself in the foot nearly every time he opens his mouth, but it may not matter a bit since he’s floating in so much $$$ that he’ll undoubtedly buy his way to the white house (first time in history a sitting pres, will be outspent thanks to Citizens United) and become the puppet he’s meant to be. Otherwise, it’s pretty much the same ole soap opera to keep the masses entertained. 😦

    • Gunta, surely he (Romney) can not be a serious contender? I really do miss out on the day-to-day *entertainment*. There truly are people who take him seriously? Oh wait, it must be the same people who voted for George W….. twice.

  2. Love this post. I believe Taxi Drivers need a reality TV show too. How many of them are super educated not just with PHD’s but by choice of trade. I had a very very interesting conversation with private driver in Istanbul – Honestly he could have written a book that would hit the roof.

    It is said that people flocking into Dubai are either running to something (jobs perhaps) or running away from something. That makes for an interesting mix doesn’t it?

    • I totally agree, Lesley. Very interesting mix! It’s true, taxi driver stories & experiences are always the most intriguing & interesting – And what is most interesting is that doesn’t change from country to country or region to region. That is always consistent – The taxi driver. Thanks for stopping by Lesley and thank you for the follow.

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