Saudis Love their King Abdullah

King Abdullah has returned to Riyadh from his long hospital stay abroad and he received a very warm welcome from Saudis. The streets of Riyadh are lined with flags and large pictures and posters of the King are plastered on every building with slogans like “Thank God for the King’sRead more

Saudi Dating Scene

Dating? In Saudi-Arabia? It would appear that there is no such thing as dating in Saudi-Arabia. The countries strict laws on gender segregation make sure all contact between the sexes is minimized. There are no movie theaters, restaurants and cafe’s are segregated by gender and single men areRead more

Saudis Could Take Lessons from Finnish Schools!

It’s not a big secret that people think the Saudi public schooling system sucks. Even the Saudis complain about the system all the time. Some have called it one of the worst in the world. It’s mostly bashed for being tied to rote learning and for an over-emphasis on religious studiesRead more

Saudi-Arabia: Pathetic customer service

Sometimes I wonder why all the shops in Saudi-Arabia have employed so many shop assistants. There seems to be a man in every corner of the store yet actual customer service is unheard of. I guess the cheap labor enables the employement of 10 Indian, Pakistani or Philippino men instead of one veryRead more

The Four Seasons in the Magic Kingdom

The saying goes that there are only two seasons in Saudi Arabia and they are: Hot weather and cold weather.  I’ve come to realize there are in fact four different periods in the year which could be defined as seasons, although very different to the ones I’m used to back in my homeRead more

Thumbs up for the muttawas!

Warning! This post contains muttawa-friendly sections and reader-discretion is advised. In previous posts I might have been a bit (but just a tiny bit) harsh on the members of the CPVPV also known as the muttawa or Hai’a. Okay well they deserved it.You can read more here or here. Check out aRead more

Saudi Government Offices- Women’s only sections

Saudi-Arabia is a gender segregated society where government offices are no exception to the rule. Women are not allowed in the main buildings at all because their male family members are supposed to take care of most of the woman’s issues. However there are specific much smaller sections forRead more

Has King Abdullah returned to Riyadh?

King Abdullah was recently discharged from a New York hospital after full recovery from his back surgery. He was planning to stay a while at the Waldorf Astoria hotel but no news of his return to Saudi-Arabia has been released. Something weird happened today and I started suspecting wether the KingRead more

The Abused "Inshallah"

Inshallah, insh’Allah, insha’Allah -God willing is a very frequently used term among Muslims. It stands for “if God wills, it will happen” and it’s meant to be said as a positive thing. Responding with “inshallah” after having been asked to do something,Read more

Cultural comparisons- Small talk

This week was Finland’s Independence Day and we attended the dinner at the embassy of Finland in Riyadh. In attendance of course were many Finns but also Saudi diplomats and other guests mingling with eachother. This got me to thinking how different our cultures are when it comes to smallRead more

Thank you my dear Saudi patients!

Dear patients, I wanted to write this letter to all of you to express my gratitude for everything you have given me during the years. I will not be seeing you for a while because I will soon be going on maternity leave. It is all of you wonderful patients that I will miss the most from the ward.Read more

Expats in Saudi-Arabia and Learning Arabic

Many western expats come to the Kingdom for employment not knowing a word of Arabic and that is unfortunately also how they end up leaving. I could strongly recommend expats planning to come to work in Saudi-Arabia to try learning some basic Arabic even prior to arrival. Once here I would recommendRead more