Sunday, October 7, 2012

My Recent Interview with InterNations



Internations recently interviewed me about my expat life, here in Saudi Arabia. Mine and Sohail's blog is now a recommended blog, posted on the InterNations website! See the button on the home page! Read my interview below!  Enjoy! -Andrea
 
1.     Pleasetell us a little bit about yourself. Who you are, where you come from, when youmoved to Jeddah, etc.
My name is Andrea, and Iam an American. My father was in the Navy (now retired) so when I was young, Ibegan my love for traveling. I went to school in Florida, Alabama and Spain.During college, I traveled to Kazakhstan and Germany (where my mother is from).After college, I accepted my first teaching job in Taiwan. I moved to Jeddah inJune of 2012 to continue working in the educational field.
2.     Whenand why did you decide to start blogging about your experiences?
I started blogging the year prior to comingto Saudi Arabia. Mainly because my family was so interested in hearing all thedetails of preparations to come, then our journey and now our currentexperiences.
3.     Doyou have any favorite blog entries of yours? Please add the URL link as well.
Registering my kids forschool was unforgettable. Here is my entry about it:
4.     Tellus about the ways your new life in Jeddah differs from that back home. Did youhave trouble getting used to the new circumstances? Did you experience cultureshock?
No culture shock for me.But, I think that is because I have lived in other countries before. It hasdefinitely been frustrating that I have to depend on my husband or a driver ortaxi to take me to where I need to go. It was also Ramadan one month after Iarrived. Adjusting to going to bed at 3am and waking up mid-afternoon did nothelp with my jet-lag!
5.     Doyou think you were fully prepared for what awaited you in Jeddah? If you could,would you change some decisions/preparations you made?
No, I researched theculture and life here for over a year. My husband lived here for his entirechildhood. I planned and organized in so many ways, however, living here iswhat truly has taught me about the real lifestyle.
6.     Everyexpat knows that expat life comes with some hilarious anecdotes and funnyexperiences. Care to share one with us?
During Ramadan, I awoke toa goat “baaa-aaa-ing” so loudly at 4 am. This lasted until sunrise and thesound was no more. Apparently, my apartment owner bought a goat and“sacrificed” it close to sunrise. Although this does not commonly happen atresidential area, it sure did shock me!
7.     Whichthree tips would you like to give future expats before they embark on their newlife in Jeddah?         

  • Women - Bring a goodsupply of makeup and bath products, as they are available here, but close to double the price.


  •  Learn the customs of theculture by reading and researching other expat blogs. There are so many! Thisis the best way to learn about life here because it gives you the perspectiveof a “visitor” instead of a “native.”

  • Women – bring plenty ofundergarments, as there are no dressing rooms here!

8.     Howis the expat community in Jeddah? Did you have a hard time finding like-mindedpeople or fellow expats?
Facebook has been my mainway of meeting other expats. I have not embarked yet on group get-togethers andevents, because I have three children. However, my husband has gone to expatevents. I went out on a limb and arranged some play-dates with expat moms andour kids.
9.     Howwould you summarize your expat life in Jeddah in a single, catchy sentence?
My five year old sums itup better than me – “Remember in the other world when we did that?” Yes,sometimes it feels like I am living on another planet!
The Internations website is worldwide and is a great way to connect with other globe trotters! http://www.internations.org

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