Sunday, April 29, 2012

Women 2 Drive

Saudi Arabia does not allow women to drive, by law women are not allowed medical treatment without the permission of her father, husband, or adult son. Manal Al-Sherif discusses the issue with Christian Amanpour on CNN.

If you want to stay up date with her campaign feel free to use favorite social media to do so.

Facebook or on Twitter.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

How many people does it take to plug in a printer?

Well if you are in Saudi Arabia the answer may be four or more based on your experience. Recently we purchased commercial all in one printer from a well-known distributor in the Kingdom. This is how the receiving and installation process went.

Day 1- We received our printers in the new office. A Bangladeshi guy delivered the all in one unit.
Day 2- Another representative came by to make sure the boxes were delivered. This time a Saudi he looks at three boxes and says Masha-Allah you have the printers and left.
Day 3- First a gentleman from Philippines comes to un-box the printers. Hour later another Saudi comes in to plug it in the wall and say Masha-Allah your printers have power and left.
Day 4- Indian technician comes in to setup the printer as it is a network printer.
Day 5- The Saudi gentleman from Day 3 comes in to take a short survey and says Masha-Allah everything is great.

There is a reason why I mentioned the nationalities of all the people involved here. In the Kingdom you can only hire Saudis or individuals from North America or Europe for high level positions. Saudis, other Arabs, and perhaps Indo –Pak nationals for IT related job. But no Saudi is to be assigned an IT job, which includes excessive work or field work. Delivery work, janitorial work, or any other work that requires one to sweat have to be from 3rd world countries like Bangladesh, Pakistan, India, Srilanka, Philippines, or part of Africa.

I understand it was a printer and not a light bulb and the Saudis were the blonds but you get the point.   

Monday, April 23, 2012

Andrea's Top 20

Top 5 things that I will not miss (from the United States)

1. Rated "R" commercials, that come on before dark
2. The News, which I can't watch around my kids, because it is inappropriate.
3. The price of gas
4. Taxes
5. The cost of medical and dental insurance and the price of prescriptions

The top 5 things that I will miss:

1. My family, friends and co-workers
2. My place of worship
3. Weather below 90 degrees
4. Rain
5. The green grass, trees and flowers

The top 5 things that I do not look forward to in Saudi Arabia:

1. Dust storms
2. Wearing the black abaya out in public, as mandated by the law
3. The constant 100 degree weather, with norms of 110 and lows in the 90's
4. Not having a place of worship, like here in the US
5. Still having to pay back my student loans

The top 5 things that I do look forward to in Saudi Arabia

1. My new job as Curriculum Specialist at the soon to be largest Kindergarten/Early Childhood School in the country
2. Great pay, tax-free!
3. Being able to travel to nearby countries, like Dubai and Egypt
4. Having a driver
5. Having a house maid

Mini update from Houston

Wow-it will be six weeks until our scheduled flight to Saudi Arabia! We still have no VISA's yet, but all is looking positive towards us receiving them soon. My boss though, received her Visa just two days before her flight, back in January. I am supposed to be there before June 5th, but it is out of my all there is to do is wait and be patient, clean the house, take stuff to goodwill and sale furniture. My house is getting very empty. Malik's room has no furniture in it. We sold his bunkbeds today. Tomorrow I have a buyer coming over to look at the couch. I just can't wait to get to Saudi Arabia to see my husband. I miss him so much!

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Another Apartment in Jeddah

It's been very tough trying to find an apartment without a Realtor or Online listing system. To find an apartment in Saudi Arabia most people will drive around and stop in front of the building they like. They will then ask the maintenance guy if there is an apartment available. If you are lucky he will respond or else then just wave his hand almost like saying please do not waste my time. Here is a video of another apartment I liked but it did not fulfill all my needs.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Apartment Searching in Jeddah

Here is the first of many apartments that I visited. Finding the perfect apartment in Jeddah is a bit tricky. I had many tactics of how to find available ones. Just let me know if you need advice.

*Update* I did not get this was gone the next day!

The second video is of another apartment that I visited. It was on the 5th floor, on a main street and there was not much parking available. *update* We did not get this apartment. It was gone the next day. Tip to Jeddah apartment shoppers. Bring lots of money with you and be prepared to pay a down payment AS SOON as you find a place you like. If you wait a day, like I did, it will most likely be gone!