Hey people, I know I know, I haven’t written here in AGES. Sorry about that. I’ve been traveling a lot and super busy juggling two jobs, I just put this on the back burner. Nothing has really changed, in essence. So the daily little nuances are still there. But my current driver is a wonderful Uncle-figure (who sometimes drives on the wrong side of the road) who is polite and clean so I really can’t complain after all the horrible drivers I’ve had to deal with.
I am back here for a different angle on the same topic: Female expats. I was recently introduced to a young, vibrant, lovely lady who has recently moved here. He plight in adjusting to the new restrictions, while faced with admirable optimism and lack of complaint, has really broken my heart. It’s bad enough that she moved to a new country with a totally different culture, which she is looking at as a wonderful adventure, but I can tell that despite her brave face, the feelings of frustration are starting to surface.
For those of us living in more urban cosmopolitan parts of Saudi, apps like Uber and Careem have REALLY saved the day and the sanity of many of us. I can’t tell you how many times a friend of mine said “Oh my driver is on vacation but that’s okay, I can still get an Uber and meet you.” or “Thank GOD for (insert driver app here)!!”
But for this friend, she lives in an area without those new and sanity saving services, a more remote city of Saudi, and that really makes a huge difference. She’s been struggling to find someone who speaks English, yet he has to be saudi because she cannot sponsor anyone as a non-Saudi. Any Saudi educated enough to speak English will probably not be working as a driver. It’s really a bit of a conundrum. I blame the company that hired her, honestly. Clearly they’re used to hiring only men or they would have a dedicated company driver for her. My advice to her was to go to the HR office and throw a fit or even cry if need be till she gets what she needs. Honestly, drama is the only thing that works with people here. Asking nicely just won’t get you noticed.