Site Search:
 
Get TEFL Certified & Start Your Adventure Today!
Teach English Abroad and Get Paid to see the World!
Job Discussion Forums Forum Index Job Discussion Forums
"The Internet's Meeting Place for ESL/EFL Students and Teachers from Around the World!"
 
 FAQFAQ   SearchSearch   MemberlistMemberlist   UsergroupsUsergroups   RegisterRegister 
 ProfileProfile   Log in to check your private messagesLog in to check your private messages   Log inLog in 

A wife's life in the ME
Goto page 1, 2  Next
 
Post new topic   Reply to topic    Job Discussion Forums Forum Index -> General Middle East Forum
View previous topic :: View next topic  
Author Message
guest of Japan



Joined: 28 Feb 2003
Posts: 1601
Location: Japan

PostPosted: Sat Feb 07, 2004 1:07 am    Post subject: A wife's life in the ME Reply with quote

I'm thinking about teaching in the Mid. East in the distant future. I don't expect it to happen for at least three years. I'm currently teaching in Japan and my next step is to get a masters.

What I'm concerned about is the state of mind of my Japanese wife if and when I do go there. Overall she's pretty easy to please, but as she will be unable to work, I'm concerned about exactly how much her freedoms of movement will be curtailed.

I realize that her quality of life will be different in different countries. I'd just like to hear realistic appraisals or recommendations.

I apologize if this is a bit vague, but I'm a bit vague myself on this.
Thanks.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Cleopatra



Joined: 28 Jun 2003
Posts: 3657
Location: Tuamago Archipelago

PostPosted: Sat Feb 07, 2004 9:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I can only speak about KSA, which is, as you know, quite different from the other Gulf countries. However, as it's also by far the biggest, you will need to know about life there.

For a single or even a married woman without a job (or kids??), KSA can be a challenge. There is nothing by way of entertainment in the sense we know it, and your wife will have to depend on other "compound wives" for her social life,which will probably consist of coffee mornings,shopping trips and sedate dinner parties. Even if she likes this sort of thing (and it's not for everyone!) the chances of finding compatible people are limited these days because the "Western" ex-pat community hasdwindled in recent years. As far as I know, there are not many Japanese ex-pats in KSA,though I could be wrong.

That said, some "trailing wives" do like KSA. It depends on your personality. If your wife is the type of woman who enjoys her own company, or has interests which can easily be persued in a domestic sphere, she may find that the environment in KSA suits her fine. However, if I wre you, I'd give serious thought to the problems which might await you in KSA.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
veiledsentiments



Joined: 20 Feb 2003
Posts: 17632
Location: USA

PostPosted: Sat Feb 07, 2004 3:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hello guest,

Cleo covered the KSA situation. If I were you, I would put KSA at the bottom of your list as related to quality of life issues for your wife.

One thing that you didn't mention was whether she speaks English. If she can cope well with living in a new and very different culture any of the other ME countries would be fine for her, but if she only speaks Japanese, she may feel isolated. She can go out freely and safely to shop, meet friends, go for a walk or whatever.

The only country where I encountered more than a few Japanese was in Egypt. There used to be a large diplomatic presence and quite a few students of Arabic at the American University in Cairo. I used a number of these students as subjects for some language research and they (all men) said that their biggest problem was coping with how dusty and dirty the Cairo is. Smile

So, I guess in summary I would say that her freedom of movement would only be curtailed in KSA. The key is how well she can cope with the cultural change.

VS
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
guest of Japan



Joined: 28 Feb 2003
Posts: 1601
Location: Japan

PostPosted: Sat Feb 07, 2004 11:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you both for your responses.

Yes, she does speak English although not perfectly yet. I'm planning to do my masters in the US, so she will have at least two years to truly hone her skills.

I'd imagined life would be pretty tough for her in SA. Unfortunately, SA seems to be where the most jobs are located. Certainly a lot can change within a couple of years.

It is nice to learn that life is much more liveable in other areas of the ME.

Again, thank you for your responses.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
manonatrain



Joined: 06 May 2003
Posts: 88

PostPosted: Sun Feb 08, 2004 1:06 pm    Post subject: try Oman Reply with quote

for the gulf...i say OMAN is number one for men and women.
clean easy living.
But, and yes there is a but, if you need to be around modern THINGS...
like theatres, hair salons, shopping, and other Westerners...you will best off if you stick to MUSCAT and the surrounding areas.

If you choose the outer regions of Oman, which are more than two hours etc...from the capital..you will be more isolated, but depending on who you are you might be happier or less happy.

Oman is nicer and physcially far more interesting than the Emirates.
I hear Kuwait is quite dirty...possibly suffering from a lot of post war psychology over the years. Qatar ummm well if you love silence this is the place for you...

and Saudi... my Omani students wouldn´t even live there...both male and female. So that tells you something.

We (Westeneres do it for money)...they (Arabs) would just rather not go there unless it is for HAIJ..Mecca.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
johnslat



Joined: 21 Jan 2003
Posts: 13859
Location: Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA

PostPosted: Sun Feb 08, 2004 1:37 pm    Post subject: Making and saving Reply with quote

Dear manonatrain,
Yes - to all you wrote about Oman. However, the "law of inversion" applies there as well. In other words, the more pleasant the living/working enviroment, the less the salary - and vice versa. If one is going to the Gulf with the primary purpose of making AND saving money,
Saudi Arabia's really the best place for that.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Gordon



Joined: 28 Jan 2003
Posts: 5309
Location: Japan

PostPosted: Sun Feb 08, 2004 1:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

John, do you think you can make and save more in SA than in UAE? I thought the salaries were better in UAE? Is it because of the higher cost of living?
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
johnslat



Joined: 21 Jan 2003
Posts: 13859
Location: Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA

PostPosted: Sun Feb 08, 2004 2:04 pm    Post subject: No temptations Reply with quote

Dear Gordon,
Well, for me there'd simply be more "temptations" to spend money on in the UAE. In Saudi Arabia, once the supermarket and the bookstore had been visited, there wasn't anything else to get me to open my wallet.
Regards,
John
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Cleopatra



Joined: 28 Jun 2003
Posts: 3657
Location: Tuamago Archipelago

PostPosted: Sun Feb 08, 2004 8:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Let me repeat that it is not ALL bad news for women in KSA! As I've said, some women actually like - even love - it! Strange but true.

From a material point of view, teachers can have a standard of living in KSA that they could never dream of elsewhere. You and your wife will probably live in a spacious villa with the use of swimming pool, etc. and you may well be able to afford a maid and driver. You will probably have a light workload and, IF you get a decent employer, a very laid back working environment. Could you say the same about a teacher's life in Japan - or anywhere else?

Obviously, there's a price to pay for all this easy lifestyle. I've alluded to the downside - and there most certainly IS a downside - for women in my previous post. But don't write off KSA entirely. though I agree with VS that it probably shouldn't be top of your list.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
manonatrain



Joined: 06 May 2003
Posts: 88

PostPosted: Mon Feb 09, 2004 3:56 pm    Post subject: For JOHN SLAT Reply with quote

Hey John.

Well, you are right I have never worked in Saudi, but am considering it if I can find the right contract and conditions.

I would rather make one thousand dollars less a month and have a good life...

True Oman salaries are not the highest in the Gulf. But Oman is really great.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Mark100



Joined: 05 Feb 2003
Posts: 441

PostPosted: Tue Feb 10, 2004 9:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Saudi is the place to save.
UAE has far more in the way of temptations and any extra you may gain in salary can very easily evaporate on these temptations.
The problem with Saudi is that you almost postpone your life to save.
Is that a sensible way to live?
I dunno!
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
johnslat



Joined: 21 Jan 2003
Posts: 13859
Location: Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA

PostPosted: Tue Feb 10, 2004 1:48 pm    Post subject: Life in the slow lane Reply with quote

Dear Mark100,
I guess it all depends on how one defines a "life". I recall once talking with another teacher in Riyadh about the feeling you can get in the Kingdom that life is passing you by. But you know, it's possible - even fairly common, I'd say - to have that feeling anywhere. Is life being able to go to bars, movies, plays, etc? Is life having a "full dance card", ongoing romantic relationships? Well, it's possible to do/have all those even in Saudi Arabia; it just takes a more active pursuit of them. But I'd say that most people who tend to last in the Kingdom - and who don't regret the time they spend there - tend to be the ones more able to draw upon their inner resources, those who have little difficulty entertaining themselves through such activities as reading, writing, surfing the Net - in short, those who are more self-sufficient individuals. If outside diversions are a prime requirement for you, then odds are you'll probably feel that your life is on hold in the Kingdom. But if you'd rather read a good book than attend a party, if you're comfortable spending a lot of your off-time on your own, then "life" in Saudi Arabia can be just as satisfying as it would be anywhere else.
Regards,
John
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
guest of Japan



Joined: 28 Feb 2003
Posts: 1601
Location: Japan

PostPosted: Thu Feb 12, 2004 10:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you all for your continued postings.

I guess what is really eating away at my mind is the issue of loneliness. In my current position in Japan I and my wife are truly feeling completely isolated. I don't know any foreigners within a 60km radius and the Japanese people here are far from friendly. I have a few shallow friendships in my school with some of the Japanese teachers, but outside of school I have absolutely no life. Ironically I usually make friends very easily. So now we are awaiting the end of my contract at this school and making plans to move closer to Tokyo where we hope to have more social opportunities.

I enjoy reading and the internet and music, but I also enjoy having interesting conversation with people over beers every now and then. I'd hate to drag my wife half way around the world to only to experience a miserable loneliness. She's able to bear the current situation better than me because she gets to function in her native language and she's not working a job she despises. She's also more efficient than me at idleing away time.

To make a long story short, is life in the ME too lonely?
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
veiledsentiments



Joined: 20 Feb 2003
Posts: 17632
Location: USA

PostPosted: Thu Feb 12, 2004 3:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Guest of Japan,

There is certainly more isolation in Saudi than in the rest of the Gulf. It sounds to me as though you would be fine. And since your wife speaks English, I think she too would be fine - assuming that you help her to make the adjustment from her own culture to the 'expat culture.'

I do think that both of you would be happier in a country other than Saudi - where you have to put more effort into avoiding isolation. It would just add another adjustment problem. In the Emirates, Oman or Qatar, you can go out for a beer in the evening and sometimes even find someone interesting. Also, there are many expat couples with the partners from different countries. It does make for the possibility of interesting social functions.

Go for it! I think you will be much happier and with some effort on your part, she should also be happy. Smile

VS
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Cleopatra



Joined: 28 Jun 2003
Posts: 3657
Location: Tuamago Archipelago

PostPosted: Fri Feb 13, 2004 12:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dear G of J,

If lonlieness is an issue for you, i would advise you tho think very carefully before going to KSA. Personally, I learned to live with all the restrictions - and I'm a single woman - but in the end the isolation and lonlieness of life there got me down.

KSA is not what it used to be - 100% of people agree on that. In some ways it's better because now there is satellite TV, the Internet and more stuff in shops. Also, in the last few months, the government has finally cracked down on the exceses of the Religious Police (not that they were ever that big an issue for most people).

However, most agree that quality of life for ex-pats in KSA is much worse than it used to be only 10 or 15 years ago. "Security issues" mean that social life has been curtailed and there is a general atmosphere of paranoia. More than that, however, the sheer drop in ex-pat numbers mean that there are far fewer people to hang out with, and those that remain are generally very money motivated and keep to themselves. Also, the Gulf is not a place where you can readily strike up friendhsips with locals: Saudis are nice people but very reserved in public and very family oriented.

What all this means is that your opportunites for friendship are limited in KSA. With enough hard work, you can establish a circle of friends but the high rate of turnover in the ex-pat community means that frienships are often short lived.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Display posts from previous:   
Post new topic   Reply to topic    Job Discussion Forums Forum Index -> General Middle East Forum All times are GMT
Goto page 1, 2  Next
Page 1 of 2

 
Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum


This page is maintained by the one and only Dave Sperling.
Contact Dave's ESL Cafe
Copyright © 2018 Dave Sperling. All Rights Reserved.

Powered by phpBB © 2001, 2002 phpBB Group

Teaching Jobs in China
Teaching Jobs in China