Im in Riyadh,
Its hot and dry, the AC isnt working and the scarcity of furniture in my "apartment" would make a Spartan cringe. I havent yet unpacked since there is no wardrobe. The lats exhaust fans need to be on at all time else when duststorms take place (which are quite common here) the entire place gets covered with dust.The houses incidentally all look alike.
Still, the flatmates are nice. So far. There are limited Indian restaurants in this area and language is a bit of a barrier. Havent yet met the religious police which is a blessing since my tattoo would cause a problem (Tattos are apparently against Islam)
Despite all that I had heard, I think Saudi airlines were very efficient. My plane took off on the dot and landed 15 minutes early. This was compensated for by the ground staff who made me wait for over 3 hours in the passport control line. But once I got through that and figured where my bags were, it was quite swift.
Getting a local number took less than 5 minutes. Sim cards for Mobily are sold by most retailers and dont require passport copies etc.
The area I stay in isnt safe. A friend of mine got mugged there only last week. Even though the office and flat arent too far (7 blocks away) once the sun sets, you shouldnt walk out alone.
Theres very limited entertainment out here. As one guy put it "Last week, I even spoke to a couple of women"
Seriously! speaking to a woman is considered entertainment . What kind of place is this?? :)
I know I should be worried but Im strangely excited.