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?
- 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.
- 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?
- 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.
- 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.
- I have learned that, sometimes, there are no boundaries in The Kingdom. Uhm, “like new”?
- I have learned that no matter how many times one trains on stairs, real stairs, it never EVER gets easier.
- I have learned the time for all five prayer times (approximate, it changes by a few minutes daily.)
- 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.)
- I have learned Americans (from The States) can be so
eltistsilly 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?
- 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.