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Internations interview, an excerpt

Photograph by Rel David

Photograph by Rel David

Just to share some of the highlights of my interview as an expatriates in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, I am not sure when it will come out or will it ever be published! Probably never 🙂

However, some questions never occur  in my mind, so i decided to share a few, maybe you will also be interested to ask yourself and wonder …why ?

Tell us about your new life in Saudi Arabia differs from that back home. Did you have trouble getting used to the new circumstances? Did you experience culture shock?

I was hired 1987, I came alone without my family, It was the most difficult and complicated time of my life, not only culture shock but family shock as well. Being away from my family was an ordeal to take. My husband and my first son came one year after another. I only have two years experienced in my profession and a newly mom as well. Looking back, I am so grateful that i came, this is where I grew up professionally and be successful in my career.

I thought for a while that wearing black is only for those in mourning, so i refused to wear black “abaya”  i tailored made a blue abaya instead.

After the Gulf war, rules getting more stricter , expatriates women were asked to cover their hair as well. So, not only I have to wear the black abaya but also wear a black head cover (Tarha). But now a days, a lot of fashionable abaya are  available in the stores, different styles and colours, I would say, I feel safe wearing it in public and enjoy the fashion.

Every expat knows that expat life comes with some hilarious anecdotes and funny experiences. Care to share one with us?

Oh well, most unforgettable was always the first..so the first time we met our employers’ wife, She keeps repeating..Hi am Mrs_______ Dr. _____ wife. Shaking her hand as I nod my head repeatedly as a sign of acknowledgement. We did it three times, she probably thought I don’t understand English. 🙂

I got the lesson, ” nod your head and talk at the same time”,.. gesture with new acquaintance certainly doesn’t work!

Which three tips would you like to give future expats before they embark on their new life in Saudi Arabia?

Don’t take a lot of luggage, rather take a lot of sense of humour, trust me, you need it!

If you signed a two years contract, be ready to save and get out of the Kingdom as fast as you can!

How would you summarise your expat life in Saudi Arabia in a single, catchy sentence?

INCREDIBLE 25 years of HARD work and perseverance!

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