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saudi arabia expat blog

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Wearing Hijab for a Day

Looking at foreigners’ opinions on Saudi Arabia, I noticed how the most concerning thing for women, is the idea of having to cover one’s hair. If you ever ask a western woman about why she would not accompany her husband to Saudi Arabia, the answer is very likely to be: “I do not want to cover up.”, unless she actually decides to come along. Yesterday night I saw part of an interview…

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Red Rose Contraband

Many people who decided to live in another culture and who have done research on the internet before moving to their new home, may have found that some things ended up being different than expected upon arrival. There are quite some things that appear strange about Saudi Arabia as well. A couple of months ago, I read that smart phones and (Barbie) dolls are banned in the kingdom. Once I found myself…

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Ahlan Wa Sahlan to Riyadh!

It was a chilly day in September and my alarm clock was ringing at quarter to nine. My spacious room in the basement was nearly empty. The one suitcase packed, my almost ancient backpack looking like it would explode from all the things in it and my long, black skirt, that my grandmother sewed for me just for this occasion in one day before I left Belarus, were all lined up along…

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What I Miss About the Balkans: Kosova vs. Saudi Arabia

I have now been living in Saudi Arabia for about four months now and just recently, I unconsciously reminded myself of my time in South East Europe. I originally thought of writing a post on Kosova only for my other blog but then, why not have some parallels drawn to Saudi Arabia? I mean, since I am already there, right? So here a list of things (again) that I started to miss…

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You Know You Live in Saudi When…

Just as I was on the plane from Istanbul to Riyadh at the beginning of this week, I started thinking about the things that make this place so…special. Now, I know that every place in the world is special in some way or form. However, I feel like sometimes there are some things here that are just very unique in a sense of getting to know a new culture which is the…

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Keep Calm and Hope On. It’s Just the Working Ethics

If you chose to come to Saudi Arabia because of a tempting job offer, you will most likely hear about many awesome things concerning this place from your future colleagues, or former employees that have worked there. You will hear about luxurious compounds to live on, gasoline that is cheaper than water, marvelous travel destinations and, of course, a mouth watering salary. What nobody will probably tell you however is how difficult…

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The Story of How the Watch Got Diabetes

One morning in Saudi Arabia, I woke up and decided that it is time for a new watch. To be more specific that was today. So, I got on the compound bus with several other ladies that have nothing to do all day, except for household stuff and for whom the highlight of the day, as far as for activities, is a trip to one of Riyadh’s shopping malls that make German…

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The Case of the Saudi Matryoshkas

Riyadh, the city that never sleeps. Somehow I feel like this statement would suit the capital pretty well. There is not much going on here during the day, but once the sun sets, everyone gets out of their fancy or not fancy houses, gets into their fancy or not so fancy cars and turns the streets of Riyadh into a real challenge and hell for most European drivers. But once the highway…

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A Picnic in the Middle of Nowhere

I have never been as happy about thursday coming up as I was this week. Thursday ment the end of the scholweek but also a trip to the desert on this particular day. Those who already have an idea about life in Saudi will know, that social gatherings as we know them from Western counries (or pretty much the rest of the world) do not exist here. Men and women that are…

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My Attempt On Learning “Survival” Arabic

After learning five languages during my lifetime, at some point I thought that, that should be enough. As I am spending more and more time in Saudi Arabia though, which is the place where I live now, I have realized that staying here for a year without knowing a single word of Arabic would be not only a stupid thing to do but also kind of inpolite towards all the Arabic speaking…

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