Ten Things I Love & Ten Things I Hate About Saudia

I'll go back and forth so as to not provide uppers or downers :) LOVE: 1. I can cover my face and NO ONE cares.

I can cover it at work.  At the mall.  In public.  And never once has anyone said "go back where you came from!"  Ironically, this is not where I came from and America is :)

HATE: 1. People think I'm Saudi.

I can get along in Arabic pretty well.  Full conversations, even.  But when someone asks me something really specific, I can't get it.  I've also been yelled at no less than ten times for going with the international workers instead of the Saudis.  I constantly have to yell "HEY! I'm WHITE!"

LOVE: 2. The FOOD!

OMG it's so gooooooood! Everything is halal!! And yet still, MIRACULOUSLY, I lost 10 more pounds.

HATE: 2. The drama of getting food

Call a driver, take the driver to a restaurant, get the food, come home with the food, eat the food.  No thank you.

LOVE: 3. A majority of the people

Never met nicer people in my entire life.  Everyone is happy to help me.

HATE: 3. A minority of the people

They make the *tsk tsk* noise at me sometimes.  Maybe too much of my eyes show? Maybe the top of my foot peeked out? Sorry people, but I'm doing my best.  And some of you *tsk tsk*ers aren't as holy as you think. Also, in one meeting a man absolutely REFUSED to look at me the entire time or speak to me EVENTHOUGH I was the person he should have been speaking to.  I hated him.  He had an evil twinkle.  The boys at work defended me.

LOVE: 4. Not driving

Woah, it's really nice to not have to drive in this city where the driving is PSYCHOTIC.

HATE: 4. Getting nauseous in the backseat

If I don't take an SUV, there is no doubt I will puke within 3 minutes.

LOVE: 5. The houses

I've only visited a few of my friends at their particular houses, but woah! They were gorgeous mashaAllah!

HATE: 5. Having outfits with no where to go

The social scene here for me is still very slowly improving - I wish I had tons of friends here that we have stuff to do all day, but I just don't.

LOVE: 6. Work

The people I work with are HILARIOUS and we're all a gang like we knew each other for years. (Inside jokes GALORE! To the point we bust out laughing during the meetings).  They literally keep me sane when Hate #6 happens.


So, I guess we can say I did this to myself by accepting a government job, but OMG it's like pulling teeth to do ANYTHING.  I just now got a bank account today.  It took a whole month.  I lived on $700.  I've never lived on $700 in my entire life for a whole month.  Alhamdulilah I made it through, but I couldn't transfer money! It was tragic.  My iqama took forever to come.  My housing is still a messed up situation. UGH! Thank God for Love #6.

LOVE: 7. Improving my Arabic

It's gotten a legit 10% better since I've been here - and it's been just one month.  Imagine after a year, inshaAllah!

HATE: 7. I kinda miss English

Today I spoke Arabic for 82% of my day.  Just spoke English to the Subway guy.  I want to speak English people.  I miss my language :(

LOVE: 8. The humor

I get it soooooo much better than I get white people jokes.  Hate to say it.

HATE: 8. How rude workers are

For example, at the bank, they needed to see my iqama.  Instead of doing the American style, "How may I help you? May I please see your iqama?" the guy just said "Gimme that"  I wanted to cry.  I miss the nice way.

LOVE: 9. Making new friends

HATE: 9. Gahwa Arabi

I realllllly am ashamed to tell you this, but I HATE Arabic coffee, astaghfirAllah.  It does not taste good AT ALL.  I don't know how you guys drink this stuff.  And, I am constantly being offered it as if it is the supply of life.  BLAH.  Turkish coffee, please! P.S. I miss Starbucks.

LOVE: 10. A new culture

I thought I knew Saudi culture before I came.  I was pretty well prepared for an American, but still the culture continues to surprise me every day.   It makes me laugh, it makes me cry.  Just like American culture.

HATE: 10. Other foreigners

I can't stand how they walk.  Please, if you're moving, keep moving.  If you're stopping, move to the side and stop.  Also, don't eat spaghetti at 7 am.  Also, good for you that you can do arts and crafts but if you can't make a graph, I will hit you.  Not trying to be racist, but they drive me a little nuts.

I once read a quote that said, "I often wondered why birds could go anywhere in the world and yet they stay close to home.  I asked myself the same thing."  Life is short and this world is huge.