If you've been an expat in Saudi Arabia for years and now you're moving back home, you're bound to relate to these experiences.
23 November 2016| Last updated on 6 September 2017
When you first moved to Saudi Arabia, it might've taken you some time to warm up to the place and get used to the culture and norms. After spending so much time there though, you get so used to how things are and you probably won't realise it until you're back home.
You become socially awkward around men
How odd it is that you’ve become used to minimal interactions with male strangers? Having full-on conversations with men after being so used to maintaining a distance in most areas… It’s a bit tricky.
Finding something to wear is an exhausting task
You wore your pajamas under your Abaya, because after pairing it with a cute pair of heels, who could tell? So when it comes to actually having to put some thought into what you wear, it’s a big deal.
You get annoyed when you have to wait in long lines
What do you mean I have to wait like everyone else? Segregation might not be fun but you can’t deny it comes with some advantages.
You learn that reverse culture-shock is a real thing
At first, you’re excited to be home and to see your friends and family. Then, this euphoria wears off and you start feeling out of place in your own culture. You see old norms and values from your home country from a fresh perspective and your priorities have changed. Suddenly, you're overhelmed by emotions you didn't expect.
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You have a hard time refraining from using Arabic words
You find yourself sneaking in words like “Inshallah” or “Yalla” in your daily talk and you have to make a conscious effort to stop yourself every time.
You throw a fit every time you have to pay for anything
Especially for petrol! The difference in prices is so hard to adjust to. And all the taxes on top of those really expensive prices? It's an outrage really.
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Driving anywhere is an adventure
You can actually drive yourself to places! It will give you a sense of power you didn't have before. You might even get in the car to drive aimlessly. However, at times, you miss having someone drive you around and not actually dealing with traffic or bad drivers.
You are constantly on the search for that perfect shawarma sandwich
It's one of those things you only appreciate after you don't have it anymore. You keep craving it but nothing seems to compare to the delicious shawarma you're used to. And having those french fries inside..well you will have a hard time finding that added touch!