Everybody loves a good "Get Rich Quick" scheme, and lately teaching in the Kingdom is becoming one of those schemes.
I used to get e-mails all the time like "I'm considering giving up my high-paying job as a lawyer to teach English in Brazil so I can get laid more. Can you give me some advice?"
Now I get e-mails like, "I'm giving up my hard-partying life of getting laid constantly as a teacher in Brazil so I can go teach in Saudi for a few years and save some money. Any advice?"
Anyway, another cautionary tale:
One of the guys who started at the same time as me, at my last hellish-but-highly-paid position in the Kingdom, was remarkable in how young he was. He was 27, I think, the only guy on the staff in his 20s. (He'd been teaching at the high school level in America since he finished college, I believe, so he had the credentials to get the job.)
He was amazingly clean-cut and wide-eyed, and I'm wondering now if he was a Mormon. I think he said he was from California, although not from one of the big cities.
Anyway, he was married, and had a young baby, new born. They'd been married since they were nineteen and had been high school sweethearts.
This was not the typical English teacher demographic, to say the least. Some of the guys were married, but almost always to foreign women, and they had almost all been teaching abroad for years.
He had a grand plan, he said. He would work the job for five years, and save enough money to by two houses in America, one to live in and one to rent out. Then they'd return to America by the time the kid was ready to start school.
"That's a plan, all right," I agreed.
Now remember, in addition to the heat and the general difficulties of life in a restrictive Islamic society, and the job being pretty unbearable, the place we were posted was no fucking garden spot. It was a small city at the edge of the Gas Oil Seperation Plant, and the air smelled like rotten eggs and asphalt most of the time.
|These bushes survived due to underground hoses|
|Apparently this was a halal slaughterhouse|
And what's more, they were living not in one of the nice compounds, but one of the crappy trailer park compounds.
They lasted about six months. The wife returned to America within three months, taking the child and threatening divorce. He was contracted for a year but he ended up just not coming back from his first vacation given the various difficulties and paperwork involved in ending the contract early.
"The plan is what you have until everything gets all fucked up." -- my wilderness survival instructor
Read about more Middle Eastern adventures in REQUIEM FOR A VAGABOND