Sunday, September 12, 2010


Riyadh is undoubtedly a place of transition for most Westerners. It's generally not a place where people end up staying forever because essentially people run out of patience for the restrictive way of life or they go batty or they get depressed or their marriages collapse or their wild/outrageous secrets are aired and they get fired dramatically. Fortunately, my reasons for leaving are mainly tied to number one. Yes, you've read me right - my time in Saudi is officially over, though I will still be visiting occasionally. I knew one day that the light at the end of the tunnel would finally be within reach, and now that I am basking in the glow of freedom again, I can confirm beyond a shred of doubt, that freedom tastes like bacon covered brandy filled chocolates fed to you by a lesbian bikini-clad couple to the singing stylings of Journey.

Whether it's two years or twenty, everyone reaches a tipping point in Riyadh when they just know their time is up. There's a common saying that circulates in different forms in the expat community - that you come to Saudi with two suitcases: one for money and the other for "crap" (there are many variations on how to describe the contents of this second suitcase), and when one of them fills up that's when you know it's time to leave. Somehow our suitcase for money seems to have a hole in it, and our suitcase with the other stuff...well we've filled about five of them. But a double dip recession threatens to leave us with no suitcases at all if we leave without a plan in place. So basically hubster is staying, while I prepare the nest ahead of him. If we weren't so disgustingly in love, I would be worried...

I feel very flattered that some of you are still checking in here and there for updates from me, and so I must apologize for the long delay. Gee this is where I suppose I should write something articulate expressing my gratitude to all you faithful readers out there, but I just can't seem to come up with something wry and witty. So let me just say thanks for reading, thanks for the comments, and thanks for giving me a reason to get out of bed in the mornings (ok it was afternoons) and to sneak pictures at malls. Thrill of a lifetime, I tell ya, sneaking around with that camera.

So this is my sayonara for now. I'm sure I'll be back with other observations next time I'm local again, so hopefully I'll hear from you all again sometime soon.


alluringjosh said...

i pm-ed my comment.

Anonymous said...

wow! that sounds like great news, so I'm really, really happy for you!

Will continue looking for you as A Canadian in ......???

Have sent a pm as well.

Mike said...

You left as soon as I finally arrived! Dang. A changing of the guards I suppose. Well goodluck to you and your blog was a pleasure to keep up on. Also thanks so much for all the great information on here which has helped me a lot so far.
Feel free to keep viewing my blog from time to time if your curious about whats cracking in Riyadh.

- Mike

Dentographer said...

gonna miss the wit and sarcasm.

Om Lujain© said...

Take care... and best of luck in wherever life takes you next :) Perhaps we'll meet one day back home in Toronto :)

coolred38 said...

"I can confirm beyond a shred of doubt, that freedom tastes like bacon covered brandy filled chocolates fed to you by a lesbian bikini-clad couple to the singing stylings of Journey."

I seriously need to have that printed on a Tshirt or something. Hilarious. Good luck.

humhumhum said...

OMG. As an american in Riyadh who's "hubby" slaves away all day while I roam the internet, I so looked forward to your blog updates. YOU ARE NATURALLY FUNNY, CLEVER AND PERCEPTIVE and I'll miss you. No kidding. Please write a book or something. At least....keep a Canadian blog. Honey, ya gotta gift. Oh....and I'm sure I speak for many anonymous readers. Enjoy your new found freedom.

Orchidthief said...

wow thank you all so much for the wonderful comments and messages. I can't believe my little blog led to such a support network. Can't let these nice messages go without responding to everyone, so here goes:

Mike - I'm glad you finally made it to the holy land and I'll definitely keep checking in with your blog here and there. I suppose I never really knew the true terror of the roads of riyadh without being in the shoes of a paramedic! Best of luck to you, I'm sure you'll make the most of it.

Dentographer - I never ended up eating red dates, but thanks for that date + laban recommendation. I was eating it every day until I left. In fact...I am missing those delectable dates right now. And yet not enough to wish I was back there lol

Om Lujain - I know I was so bad about not making plans with you in Riyadh, so I apologize for that, but definitely one day back in Toronto, or perhaps on my next visit I'll try to get in touch with you. Thanks for being an early reader on my blog, you are the best!

Coolred - if anything I've written ends up on a T-shirt it will be my greatest triumph in life. Next to eating a foot long subway sandwich in 3 minutes. ha ha...thanks for the comments

humhumhum-I'm soooo flattered! thanks for the encouragement, and I will definitely be back on the blog in the future to update people on my visits.

ahmetanildindar said...

Wish the best for you.
Take care.

Carola said...

I am happy for you, and sad for me. Now that I have finally arrived...Well, life is like this and I wish you all the best in your next destination.
(yes, I am a quiet reader)
Good luck, Take care,

Proud Hyderabadi said...

Its going to be sad not reading your blog.. really sad :)
None the less I'm happy you're moving for something better and I wish you all the best for the future.

أحمد said...

I wish you are happy wherever you are now ..
I'm sure you will remember your experience forever ..
take care and good luck

Stacy said...

Hey. Its sad to hear you're out of the magical Kingdom but good to know you get to go home.

I wanted to let you know that I gave a copy of your very witty Deira Souk map to the American security personnel at the Army base for their upcoming trip there before they go home. I thought they'd get a bit of a laugh out of it and its not a bad representation of the place :).

Just adding a bit more fame to your repertoire. It'll be a shame to not have your posts anymore but I guess we'll all survive :). Good luck with the future!

Mahmoud said...

Believe me it is a transition to every foreigner western or eastern
Congratulations that you've successfully made it and escaped the big prison here.

سعد صديقي said...

hi im a canadian student studying in king saud university, im currently enrolled in the arabic language program i would like to know how I can bring my wife here to riyadh, any help/advice/tips would be really beneficial.

with regards,
Saad -

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