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How not to go nuts in KSA?
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scot47



Joined: 10 Jan 2003
Posts: 12305
Location: Ultima Thule

PostPosted: Fri Feb 01, 2013 10:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

1. Minimise driving
2. Avoid the demon drink
3. Ditto dope
4. Cultivate a hobby that occupies the mind wiothout polluting the soul

Driving is bad eveywhere in KSA. I spend my last two years there in a small tgown in the middle of nowhere,(Hafr Al Batin) The driving there was scarier than Riyaydh or Jeddah. There is no escape from this unless you are RIGOROUS about Rule 1 above.
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al-Californian



Joined: 27 Jan 2008
Posts: 95

PostPosted: Sat Feb 02, 2013 10:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

cmp45 wrote:
Joking aside...As John says...there is no secret formula. ...it is hard for most expats, no matter where you are in KSA...if it wasn't...then you really would be nuts.


Wow, that's real heavy. So if life's easy here, it means I've crossed over to the twilight zone? Yikes
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al-Californian



Joined: 27 Jan 2008
Posts: 95

PostPosted: Sat Feb 02, 2013 10:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

johnslat wrote:
Dear al-Californian,

I'd say. Hey, you've got it easy (or easier, anyway) for my first 12 years in Saudi, there was no Internet and no dish TV, just two channels, one all in Arabic, the other in English but mostly religion, football (soccer), and (go figure) American "wrestling. And the "news" on that channel consisted mostly of people lining up for audiences with the king.

It not only could be worse - it WAS.

Regards,
John


YIKES! Did you suffer all of that alone or with family?
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al-Californian



Joined: 27 Jan 2008
Posts: 95

PostPosted: Sat Feb 02, 2013 10:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

scot47 wrote:
1. Minimise driving
2. Avoid the demon drink
3. Ditto dope
4. Cultivate a hobby that occupies the mind wiothout polluting the soul


1 is a doozy, especially now that I've learned the driving sucks all over this place.

2&3 don't apply since my now (Amriki)inflated ego is my fix.

4. Think I can find model airplane kits here?
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Geronimo



Joined: 11 Apr 2007
Posts: 417

PostPosted: Sat Feb 02, 2013 11:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

With respect to your point 4 - al-Californian,
there is a vibrant radio-controlled model aircraft
scene in Riyadh...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YUvKDGv6NRY

and, as for building one yourself, here is
an instructional video posted by a resident of Riyadh.
It shows you how to build
a model airplane using a kit.
This model plane crashed into pieces...
but, hey, you have to start somewhere...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=grHA3xRiTxQ

Geronimo
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Hatcher



Joined: 20 Mar 2008
Posts: 282

PostPosted: Sat Feb 02, 2013 11:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I knew it was slow here before I came. I try hard to keep busy including a lot of time in the gym. Not easy at all!

I would suggest KFUPM as they give multiple re entry visas. That way, you can get out when needed.
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johnslat



Joined: 21 Jan 2003
Posts: 12751
Location: Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA

PostPosted: Sat Feb 02, 2013 4:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dear al-Californian,

"YIKES! Did you suffer all of that alone or with family?"

Both - mostly alone (10 years) but two with my 2nd wife. It wasn't so bad - you couldn't miss what you hadn't had there. Plus, I like to read, so I got a LOT of that done.

Moreover, for part of of that time, I was the coordinator of the English Language Center - which more or less meant I didn't have much a non-working life anyway.

Regards,
John
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scot47



Joined: 10 Jan 2003
Posts: 12305
Location: Ultima Thule

PostPosted: Sat Feb 02, 2013 4:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nowadays with new technology it is easy. 1970-1972 I relied on books (taken with me) and shortwavre reception of BBC and VOA (Willis Conover is King !).

The books went with me because then there wre none available in KSA and shipping them was not practical.

The uspide then was that comparative incomes were much higher than now. I earned 4 or 5 times what i would have had as a teacher back home in Scotia !
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johnslat



Joined: 21 Jan 2003
Posts: 12751
Location: Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA

PostPosted: Sat Feb 02, 2013 4:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dear scot47,

I used to use what the US post office called "M bags," duffel bags that the post office supplied (they've since been discontinued) for shipping. On holidays, I'd visit all the used books stores I could find, stuff the bag with the books I bought (I could usually get over a hundred in one) and get them shipped out in late June/early July. They'd usually arrive in late October/ early November.

Nowadays, of course, with e-readers and the Internet, it's SO much easier.

Regards,
John


Last edited by johnslat on Sat Feb 02, 2013 9:11 pm; edited 2 times in total
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al-Californian



Joined: 27 Jan 2008
Posts: 95

PostPosted: Sat Feb 02, 2013 9:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I knew I should have bought a Kindle at home!
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Sheik Yerbuti



Joined: 02 Dec 2012
Posts: 67
Location: dusty outpost way down south

PostPosted: Sat Feb 02, 2013 9:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Pretty sure Amazon will ship you one. Well worth it. If OP really
is here , he /she can afford, down to about 150 bucks shipping
included.
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johnslat



Joined: 21 Jan 2003
Posts: 12751
Location: Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA

PostPosted: Sat Feb 02, 2013 10:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dear al-Californian,


http://www.amazon.com/gp/help/customer/display.html/ref=hp_rel_topic?ie=UTF8&nodeId=596204

Regards,
John
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it'snotmyfault



Joined: 14 May 2012
Posts: 527

PostPosted: Sun Feb 03, 2013 1:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

This thread is like the joke about the French Legionnaires stationed in the desert.

As some camels pass by their station they all run outside to grab them. "Why such a rush?" says one of the new recruits.

One of the old-timers says "Well, you don't want to end up with an ugly one".
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cmp45



Joined: 17 Aug 2004
Posts: 1377
Location: KSA

PostPosted: Sun Feb 03, 2013 4:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

it'snotmyfault wrote:
This thread is like the joke about the French Legionnaires stationed in the desert.

As some camels pass by their station they all run outside to grab them. "Why such a rush?" says one of the new recruits.

One of the old-timers says "Well, you don't want to end up with an ugly one".


Laughing Laughing Laughing Thanks for the laugh...

...over here we have beauty pageants...oo la la! Embarassed
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litterascriptor



Joined: 17 Jan 2013
Posts: 155

PostPosted: Mon Feb 04, 2013 7:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I understand that women are not allowed to drive in Saudi Arabia? How can the locals be so awful at driving if this is the case?



please don't kill me, please don't kill me.


Laughing

(MOD edit for format foolishness)
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