*This blog post was written on the 27th February, but I don’t have wifi access, so this is belatedly going online when I can get onto the internet*
After a solid few weeks of festivities & celebrations, I left my parents flat at 6.30am on the 27th February (admittedly half an hour later than was planned), & got to the airport with about 5 minutes left to get my bags checked in for the flight, & then to get through security. It was all a bit of a rush between me being late & Louise (the girl I travelled with) being flustered. But we got on the flight, & then had a stop over in Amsterdam for three hours. I really liked the airport & am now thinking that maybe Holland is a potential holiday destination for August? Anyway, after a glass of prosecco (final one!) we boarded our next flight to Dammam! I was mostly fine, except for the thought that our suitcases would get searched when we landed, & I was worried I’d be chucked out of the country, but it was fine. Louise was a bit more nervous than me, but she seemed to hold it together well.
We landed in Dammam at about 11pm (our flight was delayed), & after not being sure what to expect (especially since the office we were supposed to go to on arrival was closed!), we were greeted by three very nice, excited greeters. The male apparently works in the department that I will be working in (Speciality & Intermediate Chemicals Department- whatever that is), & the two woman work in HR. After sorting out our paperwork & sending off for our Iqama (the residency visa), which should take two weeks to arrive, we got in taxis to come back to the compound & see our new homes.
Well, let me tell you- I’m very impressed with my new home. It is a one bedroom apartment (not a studio like I feared), with a proper kitchen & living room, & a full sized bathroom. The bedroom has a single bed in it, but is more than big enough to fit a double bed in it. The furniture is a bit ugly, but over time I will replace it it with nicer stuff, but I’ll deal with that in the next few weeks. I think I’ll go a trip to iKea to sort at least the bed when I get paid.
In the apartment was a full set of food, which included rice, pasta, fruit, tea & coffee, salt & pepper, jam, milk, eggs, etc etc. All the basics to get started, which was really nice as it’s one less thing to worry about. There is a 24-hour grocery store in the compound, called Lala’s, so I will do basic shopping in there, but will leave it to do a full shop when I can go outside, as the compound shop is a bit expensive.
Oh, & Louise is living in the apartment next door to me, which is really nice. It’s nice to
have a friendly neighbour.