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Update on Living in Saudi Arabia

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Joined: 21 Jul 2008
Posts: 185
Location: Central Saudi Arabia

PostPosted: Fri Sep 18, 2015 2:06 pm    Post subject: Update on Living in Saudi Arabia Reply with quote

Here’s my update since going back to Saudi Arabia in May 2015.

I went back to the same company I left 4 years earlier. This was because only they had the copy of the exit visa I used when I left. I assumed I could return to a new company within a year and start the process just like I did with my prior company. Imagine my shock when KSA said “no” and asked for a copy of my No Objection Certificate and my exit visa. Note to self: make copies of exit visas when leaving this #@$hole.
May was a good time to arrive because the company was short-handed with teachers and I taught for about 2 weeks and proctored for about one week. Combine that with being stuck in a transient personnel dept. for one week and that gave me a month’s pay for not doing much.
I volunteered to teach the summer school session and got reacquainted with the joys of Ramadan. 8 am starting times got pushed back to 9:30 and classes got shortened from 100 min. to 80 min.
Shopping was changed from a 4 pm start time to 9:30 pm. The whole concept of sleeping in the afternoons and waiting for night time for shopping was totally alien to me. The upside is that I was making money while waiting for my iqama & bank accounts to be ready. The downside is that the company has consistently paid late due to system errors between the company and its bank. Also, not much work gets done during Ramadan, so there were a variety of mistakes occurring. As of Sept. I still have not been paid on time. We’ll see if mistakes continue.
The students play a game of “I’ll be gone on this date, please mark me present.” Or “Even though I was 50 min. late, we agreed earlier that you would mark me present.” One little weasel played this game too often and he wanted to see all my records on the last day of class. I had enough and told him, “Too late, I turned in all my records yesterday,” That was one of the few times I lied thru my teeth and really enjoyed it. Even with 17 absences he was allowed to take the final exam. So much for academic excellence.
So this place has gotten on my nerves and I planned a vacation in Dubai. Basically, it’s the same place it always was. Quite a few teachers have left in a few months. I count four teachers. My new assignment is in a rural college of public health. The area where I teach is rural and conservative. It makes Jedda look like a hotbed of hedonism.
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St. George

Joined: 06 Oct 2004
Posts: 110
Location: Ex Libya

PostPosted: Fri Sep 18, 2015 9:33 pm    Post subject: Dubai Reply with quote


Mmmm yes, it sounds much the same.

Your trip to Dubai reminds me of an American colleague of mine who went to Egypt from Saudi for a holiday and couldn't get back to Saudi quick enough. He confessed to how much better Saudi was than Egypt. I've been to Egypt and I agree with him. It just shows how bad Egypt is. I hope Dubai turns out better. You need to stay in 5* hotels in Arab countries. I can recommend the Al Qasa in Dubai. Don't stay in cheap accommodation; that was the mistake my American friend made.

Stick it out my friend and you'll beat the lot of them, Insh'allah

St. G.
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Joined: 21 Jul 2008
Posts: 185
Location: Central Saudi Arabia

PostPosted: Fri Dec 09, 2016 7:09 pm    Post subject: Still in Saudi Arabia Reply with quote

Hey: an update of sorts.
This place *cough* Qassim *cough* is the most conservative of the conservative Wahabi places. I'm still here and I witnessed a few personnel changes. Our dept. chair from Egypt left to go back. His replacement is a hard*ass from (I'm guessing Afghanistan) judging by his beard and dress.
He goes around the halls checking to see if students get let out early from class. He thinks that's in his job description.

The students couldn't care less if they learn English. They are all recipients of welfare in the form of $$ from the king. It's based on attendance and they all check their attendance records. When I want to continue a class (especially after an interruption) they want to see their marks. It's like they have no concept of appropriate behavior.

One teacher kept coming back from vacation late and a couple of months ago, he never came back at all. Teachers had to cover for his sorry @ss. A useless black from South Africa. I keep thinking there has to be more than money keeping me here and I think about the nice weather in winter. Other than that, not much.

I'm getting better at moving my money via internet and I can set up an online bank account in less than 60 seconds (or so it seems). Not much else to report. I have occasional trips outside KSA but I have to limit them to save $$$
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