Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Preparing for Saudi

My very first blog! I'm losing my blog virginity! My bloginity!!

To be fair - I'm not in Saudi yet, but I am feeling optimistic today. I'm so optimistic that I am starting this blog to keep my family and friends filled in on my life in Riyadh. I figured, why not start at the very beginning?

The beginning of this trip is the visa. Getting a Saudi residency visa is one big stinking migraine. Actually a more accurate comparison would be an extended scavenger hunt, where you end up at locations like photo shops, the doctor's office (2-5 times), the pharmacy, the police station, the medical lab, an embarrassing position in your bathroom, Ottawa, Fed Ex, the photocopy shop, notary public, the college of physicians of ontario.....the list goes on. Everything costs a little money here and there and then you realize you have spent hundreds of dollars accumulating a collection of official looking papers, some of them containing pictures of you resembling a terrorist. Part of you wants to cry to the heavens and burn them, especially the ones with the pictures. And the other part of you says, "try not to be insane, ok?" But then the first part of you asks the question, "do they really think I could have worms, cholera, a hernia, or worst of all - varicose veins?" The sane part of you assumes this is a rhetorical question and does not answer.

Anyways, while that's all getting sorted out, I'm also figuring out how to get a job in Saudi. Do women work in Saudi? Yes, apparently they do. If you are a nurse, you can get on a plane today and start working at a pristine hospital tomorrow, where they shower you with gold and candyyyy!! And if you have my job? Heh! no gold. no candy. Just long confused pauses on the telephone, or the ultimate in phone fun - an arabic greeting followed by a dialtone. I'll let you know how the cold calling works out.

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