So we moved down to Khobar. The apartment was wonderful. The compound was called An Nassim.It became glaringly clear that the Jubailies definitely were ripped off. Forced to live up there with no amenities and such a long distance from Khobar, Bahrain, no taxis-it was really unfair and so isolating. Now eventually all Jubailies were moved to the beach resort:it might have been called Pearl Beach- I can’t remember. They eventually got really nice accomodation but oh my, having to live at Red Sea compound?that was bad. They were pre-fab houses and kind of like living in a logging camp.
Khobar was great because we had such immediate access to Bahrain.You could go to Bahrain during the week, go for dinner, have a normal glass of wine or beer and get back by 10pm. Of course Dave had to drive and could only have one,maybe two small glasses of beer .I honestly don’t know how he did it, all that manic driving. The average speed on the road was 180km ph. Any accidents in KSA are almost always fatal. Allah is the only traffic cop in sight. The Saudis live and drive like that:if I die, I die, Allah will decide.
The school itself: well there were problems there. The Principal of DHS was a maniac and his VP , his trusty assistant.They ran that school like their own personal prison camp. I won’t go on and on about their antics because it’s boring and there is no real context anymore.Suffice to say I would never work for either of them again: such a small vision of what education is supposed to look like: trouble is, they are likely both still out there making teacher and students’ lives miserable. That’s their legacy.
The Principal of DEMS: oh dear, she really did an about turn. I thought she was a kind, caring lady but she turned out to be vindictive and false. Again, no need to ramble on about her: the universe aligned and she was given a new set of cards to deal with. I don’t harbour any feelings of satisfaction when a woman suffers in her personal life, but I note it and try to model better behaviour in my own life, not wishing to encounter the same fate.
Some characters of KSA: I’ll always remember my friend Asma, the art teacher. . She made me laugh so much. She is Palestinian and her family had lots of land in Israel. But it was all taken away. I love visiting Israel and hope to go again but as I visited there I thought of Asma and her family lineage. I saw all the new settlements in the west bank, knowing it represented land stolen from the Palestinians. I don’t approve of it but it is not my battle. It’s wrong though. One Palestinian man put it this way:
“Think of our land like a bank account. We have land sitting there, in a savings account. Just because we are not using it today, does that give the Israeli government the right to just take your savings out of your account?” True analogy. And yet it keeps happening.
Bethlehem: I loved visiting there. It’s still a very poor town, in Palestinian territory. It’s hard to imagine but Bethlehem is only 7km away from the old city of Jerusalem. You can take a taxi there but it has to be a taxi licensed for Palestine. So an Arab has to take you across. Jews can face big fines if they go there. It’s a run down old town, just like the bible says. But it was wonderful to be there. There is the “shepherd’s field” where the shepherds first saw the star. There is the Church of the Nativity. I bought a beautiful Cross of Jerusalem at a local jewelery store.
Funny story. We were approaching the Church of the Nativity. This was big excitement for me. Will finish in a bit. Just saw on the news Senator John McCain has died. Very sad. We visited the prison in Hanoi where he spent 6 years. I gained a lot of respect for him during that visit.