Monday, 7 October 2013

What Martin did next

We get a text on Wednesday night at 10 o’clock.  “Martin will be working at the SBC language centre.  You have been given 3 months housing allowance and will now have to leave the hotel by Friday” WHAT?!!

Great news that Martin had been placed in Riyadh but because of the split shift we weren't happy about that.  In England, our expectation was that we would both be working in Riyadh universities and not subject to the capricious nature of the learn-English market. In fact, we had said that if he was offered a split shift we would both up sticks and go to Al Kharj which is an hour and a half outside Riyadh. 

Since we made that decision I found out that women have to wear a veil over their face in public and I just couldn't imagine doing that at all!  And Martin said I would hate it there.

So we decided to give it a go with the split shift.

We were both working on the Thursday, so how were we meant to find a place to live the next day?  We had only just found out where Martin was going to be working so couldn't do anything about it before then.

We had a look at a lot of places but we hadn't realised that you needed to pay 6 months rent up front plus a security deposit and we didn't have that.  Although furnished apartments are relatively cheap, you still need a lump sum to buy furniture.  So we are in another hotel 15 minutes walk from where Martin works.  This means that he can come home in between shifts and have a rest without having to take a taxi.  It is costing me 100 sar for a return trip to the University.  Ouch!

It is cheap (3250 a month) but can be compared to a traditional B&B in the 1970s in terms of style.  It has a large bedroom, kitchen and a bathroom.  We get free internet and of course the cleaning is done for us.  We can pay monthly which is why we are here.  In a couple of months we will have enough month to rent elsewhere – maybe a compound – but we may end up deciding to stay where we are because the point of being in Saudi is to save some money and it will be easier to do that if we spend less.

The other advantage is that it is right in the middle of the malls and so quite a lot to do. 

Realised I hadn't taken any pictures of the bedroom, the main room.  I wonder why?

Grotty washing machine and sinks

Loo and shower room

Long corridor leading to the bedroom

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