I worked in Saudi Arabia for 4yr and this is my story, 1996 I was offered a job in
Saudi by a company named Saudi Oger ltd, after proving all my paperwork of my degree’s and back ground and clearance’s I was giving a plane ticket and a time to report to work, I lived in Louisiana for about 15yr before this Jan 02, 1996 date to start to work in Riyadh, the company I was working for was Boot’s Pharmaceutical , and I loved it there for 3yr as a Engineer, the people were great, and the company loved all the employees there, but the company was sold to Knoll a German company that just wanted to close the plant. We made Ibuprofen all types up to 1000mg. My first time I run into a Saudi, I was walking the roads of Saudi Arabia the second day I was there a young man with a security uniform and a truck that read in Arabic and English SECURITY, he asked with broken English if he could help? I told him I was looking for a phone to call and tell my family I was ok and I missed them very much, after he took me to a hotel “HOTEL” wowowow “BIG” and gold lined and the smell of flowers all over, I walked back to the truck with him asking questions, I found his English was better than I had thought at first, I found him very interesting and educated, we talked about America and Saudi Arabia of course I had many questions also, but of most part I felt alone, because when I arrived it was 2am in the morning at the Saudi airport it was organized so organized that at that early time and me being so sleepy I didn’t see it for what it really was. When you come off the airplane you are split into two groups men on one side and family to the other side, I flowed through the check point they looked at the passport 1 minute “done” I never saw any airport move so fast and check in or out so easy they knew who I was and every person on the plane. I walked out of the airport, and it was raining, a hard rain and I laughed a small laugh, thinking I just left a raining Louisiana and now here I am in Saudi Arabia and it is raining. A little man drove up to the curb, jumped out and grabbed my suitcase, I started to grab “him” but I heard a voice it was Denise, I had talked to Denise days before our departure, he also was a engineer, just on a different project I was on section 3 and he was on section 2, Denise said he is here to pick us up, I said ok, I got in the car and we took off the guy was driving about 160klm, I woke up, eyes open all the way, why so fast and we had been driving over 15 min, and then we stopped I got out and walked into a hollow block one story building the little guy did not speak but grabbed my hand put a key and a small book in my hand, and then left, there were 18 doors each with a number, I looked at the key…no number, so I walked around and tried to open each door with my key, finely my key worked and I open the door, there was a nice bed and blanket and sheets on the bed, and a Refrigerator very small, but I looked at it…it was plugged in and running but it was upside down, I walked over and unplugged it. Started to unpack, but I was to tired so I layed down and fell into a deep sleep. Next morning I walk outside my door it is not hot, not cold, I hear a door open and close, I look and it is Denise, ha man, where is everyone? Where do we eat? Denise laughed hell if I know. Denise a barrel of a man 6 feet tall 200lb full beard and mustache, with a “Boston” accent, I liked him right off, we walked around and never saw anyone, it was strange, we found a building that had a schedule on it, Breakfest 6am to 8am Lunch 12:00 to 1:00 Dinner 5:00 to 6:00. It was 10:00am so I said ok we get lunch, we walked back to where our building was, strand rock’s every where no sand, Ha Denise this is not what I had read or had a picture in my head what I would see, he said ya it is different, I saw a cat walking to the left of us maybe a 100yards off, Denise look!! That is huge, I mean huge!! Wild cat? House cat? Don’t care let’s go so we picked up our pace of walking a bit. Lunch time, we both go in and get in line, there are two other people sitting down at small tables, there are about 12 tables inside this kitchen area, there are 5 or six little guy behind the sneeze screen, and ask what I want, “NO” “MENU” I said a steak and Denise said the same, it was a breakfast type of steak small and thin with mash potatoes on a plate you slide down and there was many different kinds of bread, after picking up the bread, there is a guy waiting I am looking for money in my pocket, he said no, ticket please! I pulled them out and I noticed they were color coated, he ripped a yellow one out and said thank-you. I sat with Denise at the table and in the middle of the table was a pitcher of looked to be ice tea, it was a watered down type of sweet tea. After lunch we walked back again to the room where I unpacked and was thinking why did I do this, and Denise knocked on the door, and looked at my fridge and said same in his room. Upside down fridge, the afternoon was windy and brisk in the air, not cold just different then Louisiana humidity that I was used to. And still no people around, I thought about the guys we saw in the dinner, but just kept working on unpacking. Dinner was the same, nothing but it was getting dark and we moved a little faster to get to the rooms. The next morning I took off walking, to find a phone some how, I could see the airport off in the distance maybe 5 miles, so I started of with out Denise, and that is when I met my first Saudi.