Archive for the ‘Saudi’ Category

I have a reader who was asking about life as a woman in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia  and lifestyle in general, as her husband is being offered a job there. Here was my reponse:   Women in Saudi (Jeddah):Generally, as you’ve found out, women can not drive and can not work in Saudi. Although you may […]

We went to Saudi yesterday to do our Final Exit, that means, our resident visas would be cancelled and we can never go back to Saudi again unless someone sponsors us. Paperwork was completed in the morning and we spent the day in Damman with friends. We had "Kare-Kare, a viand of beef tripe and ox’s tail with peanut butter sauce, for lunch. Mavis and I were able to chat with Fe and Ranel, Xiane was able to play with Enzo and I also got to sleep after lunch. By 5:30 pm, we said our goodbyes and went to BabyShop in Khobar to buy Xiane some clothes and stuff then drove to the Saudi-Bahrain Causeway to get back to Bahrain.

It was supposed to be an easy exit, but it wasn’t to be. We got stopped on the Saudi Customs as the guy told us that we have to ride the bus to get out of Saudi? What? I was driving my car, now registered in Bahrain, and they want us to go back to Khobar, get on a bus to exit? This was their S.O.P. with regards to people exiting Saudi. I guess riding a Bus, typically a bus which takes you to the airport as you have a ticket back to your home country, ensures that you won’t be staying in Bahrain without a valid resident Visa. I parked as told, my knees already getting weak, as I know this would be another one of those long battles. I asked the guy if I could talk to the Captain so I could explain to him my situation; I have a valid resident visa in Bahrain, my car is registered in Bahrain, and I can stay in Bahrain till 2007. He led me to the Captain and he spoke to the Captain in Arabic. The Captain said something and the guy I was talking to led me out and told me again, that I had to take the bus. I kept explaing to him the situation, which I don’t think he actually understands as he spoke more Arabic and the only English words he spoke were "Bus", "Exit", and more "Bus".

After 5 minutes of explaining and showing him the Bahrain visas, he decided to talk to another guy about it. I again, explained the same thing to the guy, over and over again, and I got the same response. So he took me inside to consult another guy and I had to explain the same thing again. This time, the guy understood the circumstances and talked to the Captain again. This time, the Captain agreed that we could go to Bahrain on my car. So I drove back to where you have to get the vehicle pass and then proceeded to the custom line for our passport check. Again, we were stopped, faced the same dillema and I had to go back inside the custom office to talk to the Captain again. It is really frustrating to explain things over and over again. I was escorted to the toll were we lined up and got our passports stamped. Whew. The whole ordeal took us about an hour. What can I say? I’m just glad that we’re already here in Bahrain and that everything was resolved. 😉

We woke up at 5:45 a.m. yesterday to get ready for our cross country trip to the land of Oil, Saudi Arabia. I was supposed to get government papers from the Directorate of Traffic so I could export my car to Bahrain. For the nth time, we were not able to complete it because the […]

About our blog

It's been 10 years since the San Juan Family started their blog documenting their lives in this little spot called Qatar. Follow Chris, Mavis and Xianelle as they share what Doha has to offer.

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