Where do I start describing expat life in Riyadh? For starters, I was separated from Gill mid-week since we were not married at the time (which means she was not allowed in the country) so this made it depressing, plus travelling back and forward from Dubai every weekend was a chore, plus there's F-all to do in Riyadh compared to most other global cities (no bars obviously, but no cinemas which really is confusing), and it was pretty hot in the summer with temperatures reaching 50 degrees Celsius.
As a working place, I enjoyed it. Riyadh has got a casual pace of working life and nobody gets overly stressed about anything. The educated Saudis are as friendy a bunch as any, and we had a lot of laughs.
Life in the expat compound was an adventure ... a small concrete village with a big wall around us. Unfortunately I was there during the period of the compound bombings which made going to sleep at night a kind of Russian Roulette. We received more and more protection until they finally decided to put machine gun nests at each corner ... comforting-not?!?
Every now and again, we'd venture out to one of the expat parties, or in one case on the Hash House Harriers meet in the desert. The pictures below tell the rest of the story.
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By Darrell Grundy - visited on 28 May 2003