Monday, June 29, 2015

Yet Another Cautionary Tale

So if all the bombs and guns going off in the Middle East weren't enough to scare you off of going there, here's yet another cautionary tale. I thought about this a lot when I was deciding to leave my last job in the Kingdom.

English Teacher S was in his 50s when I arrived at my first position in the Kingdom. He was pretty normal as far as English teachers go; he kept to himself and avoided the intrigues of the school, just as I did.

He had been teaching abroad most of his life, also, and he was married to a Turkish woman. As many middle-aged English teachers realize, the Kingdom was his only pension plan. His wife lived with him in the Kingdom the first couple of years he was there (apparently - that was before I got there) but when she got pregnant, she went back to Turkey so her mom could help her raise the kid, and the kid could go to a Turkish school.

So he lived like that for about seven years, seeing his wife and kid during the summers and holidays, as he continued to work 9 months of the year in the Kingdom. He was sending most of his salary and going home to watch TV at night; if he partied in Bahrain or Dubai, I never heard about it.

Then as he hit age 60, the mandatory retirement age in Saudi, he decided to quit and finally go to Turkey. They'd saved enough money to buy a nice house in Turkey, so he was moving with a purpose, finally to be with his family.

He dropped dead suddenly of a heart attack about 6 months after he got to Turkey.

RIP, English Teacher S


Jug Jugette said...

I'm at a loss to understand the moral of your tale: don't ever leave Saudi?; don't marry a Turkish woman?; don't be an English teacher, you'll drop dead shortly after retirement from....what exactly?

People die every day, sometimes fairly young.

Chris said...

I think that it was more along the lines of 'best plaid plans...' / 'live for the moment...' / 'life can be short and death unexpected...'. Not hard...

englishteacherx said...

Obviously it's not the saddest story ever, because he got those three months every year with his family as good quality time, which is I guess better than if he'd been teaching English in Turkey. Maybe the moral is "exercise regularly and watch your diet and you cholesterol"

Ken said...

Maybe the moral is "exercise regularly and watch your diet and you cholesterol"

Nah, I know plenty of super fit individuals who dropped dead suddenly.

The moral of these drop dead suddenly stories is to remember that you are mortal and to try balance work and recreation and not to do either to excess.

Ken said...

Heh... that kind of reminds me... I've not been on holiday for several years now. The flaky nature of ESOL jobs, the fear of job contracts not being re-newed means I grab any teaching hours I can.

I was thinking of taking August off but was asked if I could start an IELTS course a month early... heh who knows on a European overland jaunt I might even bump into ETX. I always bump into people I did my CELTA with and that was a decade ago.

Anonymous said...

How old was the Turk-chica? Was she hot? Not trying to troll, but it does set the story up a little better.

englishteacherx said...

Oh, well, I don't know. Younger, anyway. I never met her.

Anonymous said...