Im a twenty something city dweller from Manila, Philippines. Now im working in Saudi Arabia as a store manager in one of the localcoffee shops.   

It’s my first time to be out of the country man. And of all places i could have gone to I had to end up in this place. It’s one of those accidents that hurts like a mother. I applied for the position not knowing its an overseas job. (The ad was misleading) It was on the final interview,when the head honcho asked me “what makes you think you could adjust to Riyadh culture?” that i finally realized where the job would take me. My eyes widened, as if a cars’ headlights was going straight at me. And in the middle of this episode i still managed to BS a good answer. Good enough to get hired.

Why did i have to be such a why not person? So now im here. Logging in the hours, trying to get a semblance of a life in a place that couldn’t get anymore foreign than if it was from another planet. Saudi Arabia -sheesh. 

Im such an expat. This sacrifice has got to pay of. Im missing my family, my friends for this. I knew going here that it was going to be tough. But not this tough dude. The loneliness and the routine can really get to you. The dessert is such perfect imagery for the emptiness you feel when you’re here. Don’t believe it when they say the dessert is beautiful. Its huge and its barren. Its just plain space. I feel like im crossing a dessert, as i move through the hours and days and months till the end of my contract. Such a long journey. How could i, knowing my tendencies, could possibly survive this hell?

But the thought that im not alone in this journey gives me a little bit of condolence. Millions are crossing the same dessert of expatriate life. Heck my old man once did it. And if they did it then so could i. All i need to do… all i need to do is…

 Make it interesting;)  

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I was WRONG

August 12, 2006

Of course I had an idea of what im getting into. But man was i wrong on a couple of things about saudi.

#1 I have yet too see much less ride a friggin camel. I got to admit i was looking forward to seeing that ugly horse thing. I imagined there’d be a couple of camel riding dudes along the dessert. With the caravans and shit. Speaking of dessert…

#2  I’ve only seen the dessert once and it wasn’t that huge. I’ve seen more sand in beaches really. And its not plain at all. There were rocks and bushes. There weren’t sand dunes or anything. No cactuses ( or is it cacti?) either. I packed band aids for that. I always taught whenever i looked out a window i’d gaze at a wide expanse of dessert. All I see outside is a friggin wall. Its because im in the heart of the city i guess.

#3 You do not get raped everytime you go outside alone. Most saudis are pretty decent people. Sure when you try to hail a taxi maybe one or two private cars will stop and try to pick you up but hey. If you give them the angry face and say no, they always leave you alone. It can get pretty fuckin annoying also. but i’ll tell you about that some other time.

#4 90% of Saudis speak English. That’s what they said in the orientation in manila. Hell no. its more like 90% DON’T speak english. And arabic is such a hard language to understand. its very fast and has a lot of throat articulations. But its fun also that they don’t know the language. You can ask a customer “sir, you want me to add piss on your coffee?”. “Aiwa! (yes)” he’ll always answer. That’s because…

#5 Saudis are pretty stupid people. Most of them anyway. The educated ones are ok but the rest, man i swear, are dumb shits. There was this one guy who ordered an extra tea bag for his cappuccino. what can i say, he wanted to taste it all. Young people here get poisoned for drinking perfumes. Why? Because the perfume bottles say it has an alcohol content and the idiots want to get drunk. Also their speed limit is 120kph all around, even it the streets man. that’s why they hold the world record every year for car accidents. ok here’s another one. their stock markets fluctuate very sharply everyday because all of them play the stock market without understanding it. its like gambling for them. Its in the international newspapers man. So what happened. the thing just crashed really badly. i’ve got 3 saudi staff that lost quite a bit of money in the crash. He didn’t even know what the stock market is. he described it as bank transactions when your money goes up or down. And he was part of the educated folk. sheesh.

#6 There are no oil wells in every home. The government owns it all. That’s why their so goddamn rich. Especially nowadays when the price of oil is sky rocketing. So what does the government do with all that money? A lot of pretty creative things man. Liket paying each student 1500sr (roughly 18,000php) every month just to go to school. They say it’s allowance. I say it’s bribery.

#7 A liter of petrol costs 8php here (converted of course). I knew it was cheap, but not THAT cheap. Bottled water is more expensive than oil.

#8 there IS booze here. the black market sells em really expensive though. also people brew their own shit. its no johnny black but hell i’ll take it

#9 Dude saudi girls are one of the hottest women on earth. underneath their black veils are volumptious, perfect assed, fair skinned, model material drop dead gorgeous women. I kid you not. that’s why they wear the abayas. Because their husbands and families know how hot their women are. they don’t want people staring at them like that. First saudi girl I ever saw.. i swear she was a better version of bianca araneta. if you could imagine that, that was her. and girls like that are normal here.

#10 Saudis do not stink by having terrible BO. They stink by covering it all up with strong perfumes and musks. Also the general stench is caused by the Bangalis (bangladeshis), idians, and most of the black people here in general. I hate to say it but it’s true. You know the smell is worse in the winter than in the summer. Because in the winter it’s too godamn cold for them to take showers. Sometimes it’s so bad… my eyes tear up. Its painful man.

Only pinoys smell good here consistently. Thats why Pinoys are the ones getting raped all the time. The stinky non deodorant wearing nationalities, they don’t touch. Because they think good hygiene makes you gay thus qualifying you for a good ass pumping…See i told you they were stupid.

Boy Expat

August 12, 2006

ok it has finally sunk in. im stuck in the middle east for 2 years. I don’t know it seemed exciting at first. The thought of leaving it all and establishing yourself in another land completely on your own. I’ve been aching for a chance to do that my whole goddamn life. but now that its here i find out its not all what it’s cracked up to be.

I blame this country for that. Saudi Arabia. Sheesh what a boring place. Really you have to bend over backwards to get some kicks here. Imagine no bars, no clubs, no booze, no sex. Translation: no life. That’s not even a tiny bit of what’s illegal here. Its absurd man.

Really, i feel like im back to the spanish era. Here we’ve got moral police who makes sure everyone’s being properly moral. You talk to a girl a you’re not married to, you’re dead. You take someone’s picture without consent, you’re fucked. i mean literally you will get fucked. They fuck grown men in their asses in prison. That’s what they tell me at least. I don’t want to find out myself. Anyway these guys are like friars man. They are the law. THey confiscate stuff. Mobile phones particularly. they can inspect your phone anytime. if it has a pic of a girl with just her shoulder showing , good bye nokia. just like that. They’re very mean and scary looking. Plus they’re rich and have numerous wives. No wonder people hate em. and its not just the expats. even the saudis hate them. cause nobody likes a killjoy nor a bully (especially assfucking bullies- a very dangerous combination). i mean i get the no alcohol policy but no talking to members of the opposite sex? that’s just plain stupid. its ironic how modern this place is and how barbaric their laws are.

BUT

its just like me to bitch about all the wrong things. there are some good things in this place. The work is good, challenging to say the least. the money’s not too shabby either.Can’t complain much about that.

Bottom line. i went here for the work and nothing else. And while its true that there are ways of going around a few rules, it really isn’t worth it to break em in this place. the risks are just way too high. not unless you’re gay (which means you don’t mind getting fucked in the ass). But im not, so really i better follow the rules for once. ive got something good going for me here. its not much but its something.

And im too old to screw this up.

well that’s it for me. ciao.

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August 12, 2006

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