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living in saui arabia

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The Week Starts On Sunday!

A couple of weeks ago, I was posting on my Facebook how strange it is to get up for school on a Sunday. Thereupon, one of my friends seemed to be totally surprised, if not shocked, that I have to attend school on Sunday. If you are planing to go to Saudi for whatever reason, you should get ready for some slight changes in your working schedule. There are not only the…

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How Do Women Eat Or Drink When Covered Up?

While taking a break from my catch up studies for school, I thought I could take the time and answer a question that several people have asked me before I left for Riyadh. Women in Saudi Arabia must wear an abaya, burqa or niqab when leaving the house. When wearing the burqa or niqab, the woman’s face is covered either entirely or it leaves a little room for the eyes. So how…

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Saudi Phone Calls

About an hour ago I received a phone call. I don’t know what I expected but when I picked up to answer, I was greeted by a female voice speaking Arabic, while somewhere in the background I could hear a child cry. As I tried to explain to the lady in English that I did not understand Arabic and that she probably had the wrong number, she just kept talking in Arabic,…

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Days Like This One

Today was a rather stressful day. I mean I really do enjoy the new school, the people and the cultural diversity here but sometimes I just come home from school and have a really hard time understanding how some people manage to handle a 35 to 40 hours week and still find time for other things. I guess this is just the way you feel when you get used to something new…

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Where the Flowers Grow

It is 19.25 as I am typing this and there are + 29 degrees Celsius outside.  So I assume that you can guess how hot it gets here during the day. It so hot here that the walk from my house to the pool and back seems like a true hurdle to me with the sun shining from the sky like there is no tomorrow. When I take a seat outside and…

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Shopping in Riyadh is Not For the Weak

In Riyadh, there are shopping malls every few meters. Not only do those have all kinds of (expensive) things but the buildings themselves are tremendously large. If I would take the Alexa shopping center in Berlin, for example, then I would (and I actually did) immediately realize that the mall in Riyadh is five times as big as that one. If you live on a compound and do not have an own…

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My First Day as a Senior

One of the hardest things in the morning, after being on vacation for almost three months, is getting up early. But it is even harder to get up at 5.30 in the morning because the schoolbus is leaving at 6.30, while according to your inner rythm it is 4.30 in the morning when you have to get up. With these thoughts in my head, I somehow managed to get up, put on…

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The Abaya- A Comfortable Thing Indeed

Many people believe that having to wear the abaya, the long, black cloak that women in Saudi Arabia are obligated to wear, is some sort of a punishment. This is just my 4th day here in Riyadh and maybe I will change my mind at some point, but as of now I have to say that I disagree with the majority of the friends and family members that dislike that type of…

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Saudis in Audis

What is there plenty of in Riyadh except for sand, American junkfood and oil? You are absolutely right! CARS! As of now, there is no public transport in Riyadh, which means that everyone has at least one car. People who have ever been to Kosova or Albania will know what I am talking about. Believe it or not, but compared to the chaos on the streets here, Kosova, Albania and Turkey are…

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The Luxury Ghetto aka Compound

In all the other countries that I have lived in so far, I stayed in an appartment in town. Basically like every other person. Be it a local or not. If you are living in Riyadh however, the term “normal” becomes a rather relative one. So in Riyadh, I live on a compound, which is something like a small “village” surrounded by tall, thick walls, behind which all the expats live, which…

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