Saturday, May 12, 2012


I spend a lot of my time on the blog complaining about life and work here in Saudi Arabia but recently I actually had a lovely time out. A colleague and I recently attended a Quiz Night organized monthly by a group of expats here in Jeddah. It was held on a compound next to the pool, there was a decent little sound system, and everyone brought some snacks a drinks. As we were on a compound free from the prying eyes of the Kingdom's religious police some homemade, adult beverages were passed around.
My friend and I were paired with an older couple who have somehow managed to live here in Saudi for 19 years. He has good job working for a white goods company and she was able to be a stay-at-home mom. They were a bit of an odd couple but I think it's normal for most expats to be slightly off. My first impression of him was that he was perhaps in the closet and the wife had all the markings of a bonafide boozer. They were however good fun and were very active in the expat community organizing two separate drama groups and generally having something going on every weekend.
The quiz itself was fun enough we came away as champions and I would like to think I was no small part in the victory (Q: Which country has the longest coastline in the world A: Canada!) and we won the top prize of a box of chocolates each.
Afterwards we got to meet some of the others, mostly Brits but also a couple of South Africans and we generally had a good time, the homemade rum was particularly good. While we were sitting there chatting, eating, and drinking next to a pool while some lovely music played in the background I thought what a little slice of paradise I had found. Nice weather, good people, a person could build a life around that. However, as the witching hour approached and we made our exit our literal and figurative oasis was replaced with the literal and figurative desert that is the Kingdom. Oh well, there is always next month's get together.   


  1. Longest coastline? I did not know that. Yea Canada!

  2. We also have the most fresh water in the world. I am sure there are some other geographical features where we are number one but I can't think of them right now.

  3. Your blog is nice and interesting :)
    ps: I would like the flag of your beautiful country on my website :))
    thank you

  4. Good morning how are you?

    My name is Emilio, I am a Spanish boy and I live in a town near to Madrid. I am a very interested person in knowing things so different as the culture, the way of life of the inhabitants of our planet, the fauna, the flora, and the landscapes of all the countries of the world etc. in summary, I am a person that enjoys traveling, learning and respecting people's diversity from all over the world.

    I would love to travel and meet in person all the aspects above mentioned, but unfortunately as this is very expensive and my purchasing power is quite small, so I devised a way to travel with the imagination in every corner of our planet. A few years ago I started a collection of used stamps because trough them, you can see pictures about fauna, flora, monuments, landscapes etc. from all the countries. As every day is more and more difficult to get stamps, some years ago I started a new collection in order to get traditional letters addressed to me in which my goal was to get at least 1 letter from each country in the world. This modest goal is feasible to reach in the most part of countries, but unfortunately it’s impossible to achieve in other various territories for several reasons, either because they are countries at war, either because they are countries with extreme poverty or because for whatever reason the postal system is not functioning properly.

    For all this I would ask you one small favor:
    Would you be so kind as to send me a letter by traditional mail from Saudi Arabia? I understand perfectly that you think that your blog is not the appropriate place to ask this, and even, is very probably that you ignore my letter, but I would call your attention to the difficulty involved in getting a letter from that country, and also I don’t know anyone neither where to write in Saudi Arabia in order to increase my collection. a letter for me is like a little souvenir, like if I have had visited that territory with my imagination and at same time, the arrival of the letters from a country is a sign of peace and normality and an original way to promote a country in the world. My postal address is the following one:

    Emilio Fernandez Esteban
    Avenida Juan de la Cierva, 44
    28902 Getafe (Madrid)

    If you wish, you can visit my blog where you can see the pictures of all the letters that I have received from whole World.

    Finally I would like to thank the attention given to this letter, and whether you can help me or not, I send my best wishes for peace, health and happiness for you, your family and all your dear beings.

    Yours Sincerely

    Emilio Fernandez