Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Ramadan and my first week

It has been 1 week sense I have arrived in Riyadh. Ramadan started today which is a Muslim holiday. During Ramadan(which is 1 month long) Muslims can not eat or drink during daylight hours. All restaurants and many shops are closed until dark. Non Muslims may not eat or drink in public, sooo... this is going to be an interesting month.
So far this week I have got to know the other Paramedics, went out to dinner with most of the guys, exploring around the city, visited a couple of our ambulance stations and a helicopter station. Everyone has been very friendly, including the locals. I am meeting people from all over the world. I am still processing in for the next 2-3 weeks before I start work.

I have been ushered to the front of several waiting lines at hospitals, embassy's, and admin lines simply because I am American. Hopefully this does not go to my head :)

The hotel I am staying in is nice, but its boring and does not have a kitchen in my room. Its also not within walking distance to much. I am looking into compounds to live on but they are all full with waiting list. Bordem can set in easily when there are no movie theaters, clubs, pubs, dancing, censored Internet, 2 English channels on tv, no interacting with females, and everything closes 5 times a day for prayer.Nothing opens until 4pm because its so hot during the day.. We will see how next week go's.

      Once I get my living situation figured out I can pick up some hobby's to keep myself busy, find some good coffee shops, build  a group of friends to do things with, and start going to a gym. I might even get a  a big SUV because people drive insane here and gas like 30 cents a gallon.