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What do you miss about the ME?
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dmb



Joined: 12 Feb 2003
Posts: 8397

PostPosted: Mon Mar 29, 2004 8:02 pm    Post subject: What do you miss about the ME? Reply with quote

I'm leaving in a couple of weeks and was wondering this.I'll miss (obviously) the salary, people I"ve met(colleagues mainly), sports facilities, supermarkets and the weather in the winter. Can anyone add to this list. ( I hate to say it but students and job satisfaction don't appear on my list)
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veiledsentiments



Joined: 20 Feb 2003
Posts: 17623
Location: USA

PostPosted: Tue Mar 30, 2004 3:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

DMB

On the top of my list of what I miss is definitely my students. So, apparently my experience was very different from yours.

Of course, there was that nice fat paycheck, the 5 months of beautiful weather, and an always interesting, often eccentric set of colleagues Smile and those long summer leaves with a paid ticket in one's hand.

Can't say that I was all that impressed with the supermarkets, but they did always have a varied and constant supply of fresh veggies.

And I miss the call to prayer that so nicely broke up the day. (assuming one did not live too close to the speakers). I once lived in a neighborhood in Cairo where the closest mosque was a tiny garage area - with no speakers - and the muezzin had a wonderful voice. One of my fondest memories is sitting on the balcony drinking a cup of tea after dinner with a stack of essays on my lap - with his marvelous voice reminding me that it would soon be too dark to read any more..........

VS
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scot47



Joined: 10 Jan 2003
Posts: 15329

PostPosted: Tue Mar 30, 2004 4:05 am    Post subject: close shave Reply with quote

Barbers who not only cut your hair but give you a wet shave. In more benighted parts of the world, barbers no longer do this.

And of course those nice paycheques. My times in KSA have been the only time in my 50+ years when I have had enough money !

But then I have no intention of leaving in the immediate future - unless I have to.
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Cleopatra



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

PostPosted: Tue Mar 30, 2004 8:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I echo most of the above - esp. the call to prayer - I like the way it punctuated the day, even though in KSA it also menas that everything shuts down for half an hour so the employees can have a smoke, sorry, go to prayer.

I also miss the comparatively low cost of living, the smell of incense (yes, VS!), the laid-back lifestyle,the chance to meet people from places I've never been to, the cheap (and excellent) Indian food, and -most of all - hte opportunity to observe a unique and developing society.
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desert flower



Joined: 09 Mar 2004
Posts: 6
Location: Qatar

PostPosted: Tue Mar 30, 2004 8:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Whenever I go back to Canada for a short visit, the first thing I miss from the Middle East is definitely the "Prayer to Call". I live close to a mosque and have gotten used to it, puts me in a state of peace and serenity. Love to sit outside on the weekends, reading a book and listening to it. It puts my mind to rest. I MISS THAT THE MOST.

I also miss the daily cultural experiences I face every day........the cheap and good Indian/Arabic restaurants as mentioned on another post and the laid back attitude of people in general. Dont want to forget the great people I work with (mostly Jordanians/Palestinians ), it makes it all worth to live and work in the GULF.
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Boy Wonder



Joined: 29 Mar 2004
Posts: 453
Location: Clacton on sea

PostPosted: Wed Apr 14, 2004 1:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I shall miss....NOTHING.....NOTHING......NOTHING...! Evil or Very Mad

not the accomodation,
not the people who can't drive
not the disorganisation of the whole continent
not the sexism
not the racism
not the pollution
not the bureaucracy
not the hypocrisy
not the 50 degrees heat
not the bars full of perverts
not the lazy locals
not the cinemas showing 6 month old movies
not the censored media
not the censored movies
not the indisciplined spoilt children
not the indisciplined spoilt adults
not the characterless shopping malls
not the litter strewn streets
not the pot holed roads
not the slavery
not the bizarre,sociopathic,dysfunctional western expats
not the overpriced monopolised air fares
not the exit letters to leave the country
not the complete lack of public transport
not the sleaze
not the arrogant employers
not the arrogant students
not the complete lack of professional development
not the lack of live entertainment
not the stinginess displayed by some teachers
not the subjugation of women
not the narrow mindedness
not the lack of wildlife and nature
not the desolate landscape
not the belief that all western women are prostitutes
not the belief that western fashion is dirty
not the segregation of men and women
not the students telling you all music is evil
not the lack of battenburg cakes
.......want any more reasons.....????????
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veiledsentiments



Joined: 20 Feb 2003
Posts: 17623
Location: USA

PostPosted: Wed Apr 14, 2004 1:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well Boy,

Don't know why you stayed so long, but I must warn you that there are few things on that list that you won't encounter in the supposedly wonderful democratic west. Try Washington DC - all that is missing is the 50 degree temps and the exit visas----

May you find happiness somewhere

VS
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Cleopatra



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

PostPosted: Wed Apr 14, 2004 2:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't suppose he'll miss the money either?
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johnslat



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

PostPosted: Wed Apr 14, 2004 2:20 pm    Post subject: Money matters Reply with quote

Dear Cleopatra,
Money? Do you mean to imply that some people go to the Middle East just for the money and not for the wild and crazy social life?
Regards,
John
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Cleopatra



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

PostPosted: Wed Apr 14, 2004 5:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

What I'm saying is that presumably the poster made a considerable amount of money in the ME, money that he could not have made elsewhere. If he could why would he have gone to this truly awful place?

What I'm also saying is that there is aprice to be paid for everything, and if you're not prepared to accept that price, don't pay it.
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Boy Wonder



Joined: 29 Mar 2004
Posts: 453
Location: Clacton on sea

PostPosted: Thu Apr 15, 2004 6:00 am    Post subject: what do you miss about the ME? Reply with quote

Veiled Sentiments... Why did I stay so long?.....Well I met a local girl...and have stayed for her sake...otherwise I'd have gone to Japan, Korea or one of the other Far Eastern countries that now offer the same salary as the Middle East...and much better living and working conditions!!!

Regarding your twinning of Washington DC and The Middle East..sorry I wasn't aware they had no public transport or live entertainment. in Wash D.C....(did your nasty Mr.Bush screw that up as well)....or that men can't shop on the same days as ladies in shopping malls...or study in the same classroom!
But never having set foot on US soil I'll just have to take your word for it....!
And mucho thanks for your concern re my happiness....but its ok coz pretty soon on a jet plane departing this continent!!..I shall be so ecstatic I will most probably pass out.!..that for me ,at this moment in time, is my true definition of happiness!

In reply to Cleopatra...shall i miss the money?....well at present i am earning approx 1350 sterling a month....you know what..my father gets more than that as a postman in the UK....and unless i get a job flipping burgers in Mcdonalds back home...i think i will be capable of earning more than my current salary here.!!

The Middle East gravy train departed from platform easyville a long, long time ago....

If either of you think that I'm just a bitter and twisted pro Democracy and pro liberation for everybody and everything ,who has lived in a part of the world he'd rather have left a long long time ago ..then you're right...I AM!!!!But that is the nature of relationships and committment...you stick around!!!

Please bear in mind that 2/3rds of the list compiled in my previous posting was dictated to me by my ARABIC, MUSLIM girlfriend whilst sat opposite me on the couch putting her make-up on yesterday evening...
She has spent 2/3 rds of her life in the Gulf.. experienced life in the West for over 8 years and unlike either of you probably knows what she is talking about!!!!!

p.s I'll be leaving here with approx $60,000...so have to thank the Japanese for all the Oil and Gas they purchase from this part of the world...but hell...I paid the price!!!


Last edited by Boy Wonder on Thu Apr 15, 2004 7:00 am; edited 1 time in total
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Mark100



Joined: 05 Feb 2003
Posts: 441

PostPosted: Thu Apr 15, 2004 6:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I miss nothing as i am still here.
If it wasn't for the money no one would come here and that for me says it all.
Heck have you seen how many Saudis pack the causeway to Bahrain to get outta the place.
They are not too fond of their own country!
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scot47



Joined: 10 Jan 2003
Posts: 15329

PostPosted: Thu Apr 15, 2004 6:34 am    Post subject: Hacking it in the Middle East Reply with quote

"In reply to Cleopatra...shall i miss the money?....well at present i am earning approx 1350 sterling a month....you know what..my father gets more than that as a postman in the UK....and unless i get a job flipping burgers in Mcdonalds back home...i think i will be capable of earning more than my current salary here.!! "

How much of that 1350 quid is DISPOSABLE INCOME ?

That is the question. How much can he save out of that ?

Later in your post you tell us about your savings in your spell in the ME. The reality of working "back home" is that most people save nothing becasue they have no surplus income. It ALL goes for housing, utility bills, food and clothing.
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Boy Wonder



Joined: 29 Mar 2004
Posts: 453
Location: Clacton on sea

PostPosted: Thu Apr 15, 2004 7:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oh come on scot47..
anybody who chooses to live in their own country has to pay for housing..utilities..bills..clothing..etc...That's the way it is!
Whether you are Indian,German.British or from Swaziland.. !!
Yes i do have a high disposable income...and quite right too..in my view for the harshness of the environment round here!!!
You don't get big bucks in Spain coz it's fun..and enjoyable....you do here to a certain extent coz the ME is not somewhere on most peoples list of ideal locations.
I am quite happily going to pay for all that i must fork out for to live in the UK....60 million others manage it...and they can have a pint or two in a pub garden..sounds alright to me...or are you one of those tight fisted tefl teachers that only seem to inhabit the ME....too mean to live in the UK and kidding yourself that a life in the ME is some kind of paradise!!!
I'd love to know???
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scot47



Joined: 10 Jan 2003
Posts: 15329

PostPosted: Thu Apr 15, 2004 7:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

No I am not one of those "tight-fisted TEFL teachers".

If you have saved so much over the years maybe you were though !

Life in the UKofGB&NI fills me with horror and loathing. Does not mean that I think KSA is ideal either, but i know I would sooner teach here than in some drug-infested comprehensive or snobbery-ridden public school in Albion.

Another year or two and I will retire somewhere civilised - and it will not be in Her Majesty's Realms either !
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