Saturday, August 22, 2009

Two weeks to go

I'm trying out a new look for the blog. How ya like it? The header background pic is a shot of the front roofline of my house with an actual rainbow. I may not keep it but I wanted to experiment with the blog layout to see what I could do. I got some very helpful advice from Susie of Arabia -- an award-winning blog about life in Saudi Arabia for an American woman.

Latest preparations

Car storage: I've solidified my plan. A friend with a 3-car garage will let me park it there for a year, unused, except for occasional trips up and down the driveway to keep the engine fluids happy. This has the great advantage of allowing me to cancel my car insurance -- except for the minimal $61 "comprehensive coverage" in case a rabid bat flies in and tears up the place or there's a flood or something. In addition, I can de-register my vehicle for the year with the state Dept of Motor Vehicles.

Telecoms -- cell phone, land line, Internet, satellite TV: I've got these all bundled together with Qwest as a package and the good news is that I can essentially eliminate all...saving about $150-200 per month. I'm able to keep the Internet service on its own for $50. Of course, I'll have to pay for some kind of cell phone/TV service in Riyadh so this is not a total savings.

Property Manager -- I've arranged for my next-door neighbor, who happens to be a realtor, to serve this function. The nice part is that he already knows the ins and outs of my house and can keep an eye out on the property without having to drive over all the time.

Still to be done:
1) the main thing is still finding a renter to cover my mortgage
2) also need to settle on a method for transporting belongings

3) need to re-instate my home warranty coverage with Old Republic. This just covers any major repairs or replacements for stuff like the washer/dryer, dishwasher, refrigerator, A/C, etc.

In the meantime, I read the expat forums and e-mails regularly and try to keep up with a few blogs.


  1. I found your blog via Susie's - I'm also American living in Ras Tanura KSA. Welcome, you are in for quite an adventure. Happy travels.

  2. Thanks for the note Jackie. Feel free to comment on anything you see here or make suggestions or corrections.

  3. Since I'm living on a compound and not really getting the 'Saudi experience' that Susie is getting I'll leave the real advice to her. I've been reading her blog since before I arrived and her missives have been invaluable. What I can offer you - patience and humor. Oh - and drive defensively! Always. It's nuts here. I'm looking forward to your first impressions - hurry up and get here already!

  4. I see that RT is down along the coast. Sounds like a beautiful place!

    How does one get from Riyadh to coastal cities?

  5. It is beautiful. I don't know, drive I guess. But keep in mind the driving is most dangerous. There are sea side locations closer to you than Ras Tanura, Jeddah even.