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Thread: Some thoughts about a Saudi Arabian adventure...

  1. #1

    Some thoughts about a Saudi Arabian adventure...

    Well, just got back (close to a month ago) from Saudi Arabia, finally liberated from my contractual obligations.

    I thought it would be interesting to share my views and experiences abroad, in this really different universe that is the Saudi Arabian culture.

    The salary is highly advantageous... however the leisure venues are something to consider if you ever wish to work in that part of the world. Be ready to recluse yourself if you wish to work in that country. They advise you that it is better for you to stay within the limits of the foreigner compounds, with good reason! Those of you that have worked there will understand what I mean.

    My contract paid me on an annual basis, with bonus monthly deposits geared at helping take care of some basic expenses that I might have. Rent is covered, traveling, etc... The point is that you make money, lots of it, but there is no way to spend it since your time is split between work and other social activities that the SA organizes to keep you busy. All in all, it's a very lucrative business experience.

    The company maintains facilities for foreigners across their working empire. My spot was Ras Tanura, and later Dhahran, nice family oriented environments, designed by SA to be highly satisfying for those with nothing else in mind but work and money. SA is a highly religious country that definitely is very closed on may things that we "foreigners" take for granted. Of course, there are the supermarkets, bowling alleys, theaters etc... but at each step, you feel you are out of place, like some things are definitely missing... it doesn't take long before you feel the control that is applied to support and communicate the Islamic message and the overhead eye of the Saudi royal family. From controlled imports to how and when you should do things... anyway, you get the point. I was there to fill my pockets with green, so I was ready for this.

    After a while, I really longed for female companionship. Bare in mind that in SA, alcohol or sex can get you in incredible trouble. I never discussed anything relating to sex with my coworkers, since you don't know who you can trust. And asking a local is not an option either, since whatever happens, the local will always, always, always have the upper hand and the last word on you with the authorities. This being said, there are times when you tell yourself that the excitement of something forbidden highly arouses the senses, and that you wish you could get some booty! there are the occasional flings that you can get with coworkers, but they are rare and without real substance.

    I can't say I have something wrong to mention about my experience there. Within the organized communities, life is simple and nothing goes wrong except if you look for trouble. Many coworkers had their wife with them, so they didn't really feel the difference with working there, or in their native lands. However for the wives it was a different tale, but that is another story.

    One day, a coworker and I are walking back from work, and are stopped by a woman. Presented herself: Lenka, 26 yo German, about 5'6, 120lb, green eyes and short brown hair. Said she was working in SA for the last 6 months as a translator, lonely, missing home, friends... after 15 minutes of this, she discreetly asked us if we were lonely and if we wished for some company. My coworker was married and declined, frowning to the idea. I also declined, and we walked away. Once I had parted with my colleague, I hurried back to where we had encountered the German girl. She was still there, and showed a really nice warm smile when she noticed me walking back to her. I asked her what she was really looking for and she replied that she was working. Nothing more needed to be said! I invited her to my place for tea.

    She spent the next 3 hours with me, and left in a hurry. One of the best f**** of my life... An all around the world trip, with all the side orders I could think of. I imagine the sex was great, especially since I was without any fun for such a long time. the 500 US was definitely well spent in that circumstance!

    A few weeks later, I saw her walking with her husband (or some kind of SO). I simply avoided any type of contact and decided it was better this way. Was she simply a bored wife with crazy fantasies? Was it also her way to make the Saudi experience a lucrative one for herself as well? I will never know. All I know is that I would have never tried to hook up with the local girls (that is suicide!), so her appearance at that point of my life was appreciated! I had overheard colleagues that there were some SPs on the Dhahran compound. But the thought of Saudi Aramco people finding me with one truly made my Mr. Happy feel small and shrink to oblivion, fueled with the words of the liaison people that had greeted me when I had arrived, warning me of the potential problems and dangers of sex with SPs and alcohol use in SA. It was my first and only paid experience there.

    Now, you can't imagine how happy I am to be back here in good ol' Canada eh! The day after my arrival, I was already meeting with one of my favorites. Would I go back to SA for work? Probably not. I did my time. The money might be good, but it's not worth the isolation, IMHO. Life is too short!

    Last edited by The_Gentleman; 04-13-2005 at 09:43 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Coast to Coast!
    I also went to make money in some remote areas (one of them had only 300 in pop.) for a few years and I was so happy when I got some days off on the city. At least, I was based in free and open-minded Canada and we had access to alcohol (even I was not a heavy drinker). I imagine how hard it should have been there. On my side, I don't know, if I would sign up for another long-term contract in these areas.
    Last edited by Minnesotah; 04-13-2005 at 10:30 PM.

  3. #3
    I was thinking about going there to make some money back in 2002.
    sometimes I wonder what would have happened if I did and how my life might have changed. Yes, I heard about peolpe making good money there that is why I thought about it at that time. but I didn't know anyone who did it so I could not find out how much they were able to make (of course it all depends on type of a job you get offered to go there).
    anyway, if one of you ever come to Montreal we should go for a beer and tell me about SA experience more

  4. #4
    Proudly Liberal
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Eastern Canada
    Gentleman: when you saw the german girl with that guy, could it be possible that it wasn't her husband, but maybe another client?

    Thanks for the post. I've been getting offers over the past 20 years to go and work in SA. I've given the matter a lot of thought in the past, but always chickened out. After reading your story, i have concluded that it has to be one of the crappiest places (except for Iraq) on this planet for a single guy to work in.

  5. #5
    it all depends..
    If I find out the money is good then I might have to really think it out.. money vs rest.
    for maybe 1 year and I can come back with say $100,000 saved up (and no tax to pay when I come back then it might be worth it?)

  6. #6

    Cool Lcs

    How the hell do you know the SP prices in Baghdad!!!!LMAO....

  7. #7
    proud infidel
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    from the civilized world
    Quote Originally Posted by Sir Sherbrooke
    How the hell do you know the SP prices in Baghdad!!!!LMAO....
    Exactly what i was asking myself...LOL .

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Le Cock Sportif
    Next time try going further east like Kabul, where taking a shower can be the highlight of the week!

    I guess going down there for a while is an experience and an opportunity to think about what we have in Canada and we take for granted: Freedom and human rights! After all, I haven’t seen any public beheadings around Dundas square downtown Toronto lately.

    One note, I did enjoy the time I spent in Dubai. It is way different than any other country down there. More open, more progressive and a little more civilized.

    Baghdad is open for business, free for all, no rules what so ever, a huge mess. SP-wise is doing ok. Lots of incalls mostly EE girls and a few latinas, God knows how they ended up down there. Problem is, the moment they realize that you are not a local, the rate goes up like 1000%, however at about $60/h US, well, who am I to complain!

    Mosul, Nineveh, Basrah, Fallujah… the US marines treat camels better than people! No wonder for every insurgent they kill there are 10 waiting in line. The locals on the other hand are good people. They care about how they will make money to feed their families and how to keep quiet to survive. I hope the best and wish the best for the average father and mother down there who are trying to make a living for their families.

    Nice to know you got this professional experience under your belt. Now the challenge is to use this out of the ordinary international experience to your advantage.


    I must say that this is one of your few posts that I found to be useful and helpful to us. It was informative and actually written in a more respectful manner than some of your other posts in the past that I have found to be completely useless, a waste of bandwith, and to some degree slightly disrespectful to the people you put down.

    You may not know this, but I do correspond with several hobbyists whom you correspond with as well, and they all inform me that you are indeed a swell guy in person, much different from your online persona anyway.

    Don't get me wrong. I like humor, and while it may not be all that apparent to others online, I can assure you that people who know me can attest to this fact. In fact, they may even tell you that I may say a joke or two every now and then.

    What I am trying to say is that there's a time and place for everything.

    The purpose of my post in this thread is to encourage you to write more posts similar to this one, as I am sure you have a lot to offer all of us.
    Last edited by donnyb; 04-14-2005 at 08:14 PM.

  9. #9
    Veteran of Misadventures EagerBeaver's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2003

    I am completely in agreement with your post, and it is almost a consensus opinion that LCS online is an ass but not so in person from what I have heard, though I have never met the guy so I don't know. But every now and then he will have these amazingly lucid, intelligent posts that shows that there is a brain lurking somewhere in there. I just don't know what needs to be done to get it used more often.
    Last edited by EagerBeaver; 04-14-2005 at 08:09 PM.

  10. #10

    Exclamation To Lcs!

    While i am brand new here,and down know much about the history between all the different members posting...i'm going to make a comment here as a member of the Armed Forces. I've served in 3 different theaters of war/peacekeeping and served / trained with Americains a greats number of time. Now well i to poke fun at our neighbors to the south from time to time. I'd like to know where LCS gets off bashing US servicemen. They are there doing the most dangerous job you could ever imagine even though they might not agree with being there. SO until LCS picks up a rifle and puts on a uniform ...he should just sit there and say thank-you to the servicesmen out protecting the very freedom that permits him to say/post his opinion.( All this from someone who as never been at the buisness end of a firearm)

    At this very moment i had to cancel a appt with a certain SP out there ( you know who you are ) because i'm been sent off to train in the states....Got all of 18 hrs notice. Tell me another one about people in the Armed Forces!

  11. #11
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Jul 2004

    SA is tough

    I too spent a few years in SA, it does mean a lot of sacrifices, but the $$ flexibility allows for life experiences I could not have gotten any other way. Many foreigners do get travel expense money as part of their compensation package. Most of the singles spent it going to Bangkok. To release some of those "sacrifices".

    Given another chance, I'd go back in a flash.

    Boob Jobber

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by BoobJobber
    Given another chance, I'd go back in a flash. BJ
    Go back to SA or Bangkok in a flash?

  13. #13
    I would say that if you want to do something like that skip Saudi and go to Dubai.

    The economy is booming. Tax free income, which is great for Canadians because you only pay taxes on what you earn in Canada. And it is a very modern, progressive place. Plenty of foreigners living there. There are bars, clubs, hookers etc. Just like most modern Western cities.

    There is a lot of demand right now for IT professionals. The salaries are sky high for people with US/UK education qualification.
    Last edited by MrLuvr; 05-09-2005 at 02:00 PM.

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by MrLuvr
    I would say that if you want to do something like that skip Saudi and go to Dubai.

    The economy is booming. Tax free income, which is great for Canadians because you only pay taxes on what you earn in Canada. And it is a very modern, progressive place. Plenty of foreigners living there. There are bars, clubs, hookers etc. Just like most modern Western cities.

    There is a lot of demand right now for IT professionals. The salaries are sky high for people with US/UK education qualifications.
    where do I get the information to see if I could go to Dubai and work for a year or two?

  15. #15
    Veteran of Misadventures EagerBeaver's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Other than Israel, Dubai is the only place in the entire Middle East where there is solid SP action, and it's all foreign girls that are working there.

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