Most of you reading this probably read my blog regularly enough to know I work for Al Khaleej Training and Education. If you are new, you probably didn’t know that, and odds are you are a new hire who wants to know more about the company and found my blog through google. Already I did a review of my personal experience with the company here on my blog. Today I’m going to talk about what you should pack if you are an expat moving to KSA.
The apartments they provide us are “fully furnished,” or so they say. Yes I did have a bed and a sofa and tables and stuff like that which is nice. I probably would have traded all of them to have decent sheets my first night here, though. There were a lot of really important things my apartment was missing.
I did have sheets, but they were not clean. They were gross. There was some type of mattress cover on the bed but it was stained. I rummaged through the wardrobe until I found some sheets. They were so nasty I didn’t even want to use them. They were gross and stained and felt like they were about 15 years old. There was a comforter on the bed and it also was not clean. The very next day I went to find sheets. PRO TIP- either measure your bed or take a sheet with you to have the salesperson measure it, because here in KSA all sheets are measured by centimeters, not twin, full, queen, king, and so on. The bed also had pillows but they were heavily used. Some did have pillow cases, but when I took them out they were very nasty. Some weren’t so nasty but still I preferred to buy my own.
When I packed in USA I had a feeling that I should pack some towels, just in case. That was a great idea because I didn’t have any when I got to my apartment. I also didn’t have proper kitchen utensils. I had one pan, and 2 small pots. They aren’t in a very good condition though, as the teflon coating is scratched and still chipping off. I had a few spoons and forks, they were very old though. I didn’t have a single knife, and didn’t even realize it until I started cooking. My neighbor is really sweet and let me use one of hers. Also I didn’t have a cutting board, which isn’t a big deal. But it is a big deal that I didn’t have full sized plates or bowls. Not a single bowl! Just small plates and 2 salad plates. My kitchen was pretty much barren.
I packed clothes to wear for leisure and for work. I knew I would be at an all girls university, so I packed dresses that I would wear to work in USA, and some dress slacks. Well, bad news. The university I work for requires all teachers wear long, floor-length skirts and at least 3/4 sleeve shirts. Basically all my work clothes are useless. I also packed gym clothes that I would wear to a female only gym, for a gym that is coed. So basically I needed new work clothes, and I’m waiting until I get paid to buy gym clothes.
My advice on what to pack? Pack personal things, like sheets, bedding, pillows, towels, etc. If you kitchen is lacking important things, it’s better to buy them here because they are affordable and you will have a weight limit on your luggage from the airline. Something you will definitely need is a way to charge your electronics, because your electronics won’t fit in the outlet here. If you can get it before you arrive, that is better for you. If not try to bring a pre-charged external battery pack to get you through your first few days. It is easy and affordable to get an adapter here, but still you don’t want your electronics to die. Worst case scenario you can ask a coworker for help if you need anything, but always it is better to come prepared.