Thursday, April 12, 2012

The Move From Hell

Apologies for being away form the blog so long. But I had a good excuse! We were finally able to move into our new place in the Diplomatic Quarters in Riyadh. For the move we were planning to hire a moving company. Last time we moved the company destroyed many precious items I had brought from Finland and some things (like a huge painting) went MISSING.
So this time we searched for a moving firm we could trust not to destroy everything. A company was recommended to us that seemed really professional and even had a good website, but they would've charged us over 8000 riyals! For a days work I think that's ridiculous, considering petrol is almost free and labor for such work is very cheap.

So we tried to find something we could afford and ended up using a company that seemed OK and signed the contract which included price, time and most importantly that any destroyed items would be reimbursed.
When the moving day came, the crew arrived in the morning and we had hired two maids to help us pack and unpack. I felt I needed at least ten extra heads and sets of hands to be able to supervise these people.
The way these men were handling and packing stuff was amazing. I mean we are talking about people who do this for a living right? You would assume they knew what they're doing huh? Pack clothing nicely in plastic bags and other things in boxes with padding and wrapped in newspaper and so on.

In reality what was going on was about six Afghani men were throwing random things into plastic bags and boxes as fast as they could. I did not have time to label anything and they mixed everything together with no logic whatsoever. Their idea of padding was a single sheet of newspaper placed between items, not around.

So next getting the trucks (there were two which resembled something I've seen sheep transported in) into which about 70% of our belongings had been stuffed. No padding or wrapping, of course. I took a deep breath and thought with careful driving everything could still work out well. The men needed advice from us how to tie up the things so they don't fall in the middle of the road. As if they had never in their lives had to secure anything on the trucks before.
When we got to our destination we realized the trucks were too tall to drive into the parking hall. This meant the load had to be carried from a nearby parking lot to the building and up one set of stairs. In other words the men were now forced to walk an extra 200 meters and instead of having to carry things up two sets of stairs it would now only be one. Just a minor set back, or even better that way right?

Nope. This was the END OF THE WORLD. Suddenly the men became so lazy and slow, sloths would look like cheetahs next to these people. They dragged (not carried) one small bag at a time complaining about having to walk. In our apartment they tried to avoid having to take anything upstairs. We had friends over to help supervise and carry stuff but I swear for each one of these movers, a personal assistant is needed to ensure they don't break everything and do at least something!


The boss walked so slow I could hear when he was coming from a mile away by the way his sandals dragged on the ground. It was around 1 p.m and he was already giving up. He said this will never finish! Oh yeah? Well if you slouch around like a freakin SLUG it will probably not end this year! But do your job and it just might! I saw him THROW a box into the laundry room upside down, he thought no one could see him. When I confronted him he pretended it was an accident. How professional.

The mover-snails finally got to moving some of the larger furniture after long talks and persuasion. My husband and his friend were helping them since things were seriously not moving along fast enough. However the movers would not listen to any advice. The staircase is quite narrow and some things are difficult to get upstairs so my husband tried to tell the men how to turn furniture around to make it fit. Instead, the men didn't listen and kept turning the stuff around like it's the Rubik's cube until finally after half an hour they figured out what my husband told them was in fact the only way to take things up.
So after they had thrown our stuff around and finally emptied the trucks they started refusing to finish the job. WHAT? We have an agreement! We signed a contract! They said it's too much work. Excuse me you knew exactly how much stuff we have and said it's no problem. Plus most of the stuff was already here. They had left the heaviest things in the previous apartment for last. We told them if you don't finish it today you won't get any money!It was only 5 p.m and there was still plenty of hours in the day.

Truth is they were just too lazy. The laziest of them all was the boss or some sort of so called supervisor. His job was apparently to drink and eat all the food we provided and to sweat like hell after carrying a pillow. His job description also consisted of CONSTANT whining and sighing. And the sandal dragging, of course.

So when they got back to the old apartment, they QUIT. Just like that. In the middle of the move. Without getting paid. They QUIT. WTH? How can someone's laziness be so profound they even forget about money? So they did all those 8h work for free? I wanted to kill them.

My husband started calling around for another company and finally someone agreed. They came that evening with the promise of finishing off that night, despite it being late already. This all Pakistani crew seemed more professional in their packing techniques, plastic and padding was actually used.

Oh and a small setback at this point, my husband's car broke down.

So when the next truck was all packed up and my husband had managed to get another car they arrived at DQ. Guess what?

They REFUSED work. So our stuff (including those beds and baby foods!) were in the truck. They were holding our stuff hostage! They asked for more money. My husband initially refused but when it became evident the things were going to be held ransom, he agreed to pay a small amount more. No luck. The asses locked up the truck and left. Just like that.

Grrreat! Now what?

Well we ended up sleeping on a mattress on the floor in the same dirty clothes with no idea where the baby stuff was. Not the best of nights especially with the cats howling like crazy and jumping all over the place. The kidnappers were supposed to arrive 8 am the next morning because the truck was parked in the blazing sun and it contained food items. Husband called them in the morning. "Oh we're still sleeping, maybe around 11. MAYBE? 11? I was already sizzling.
So these hauler-pirates arrived around noon. Same thing as with the previous crew happens: After carrying a few boxes and things they start moaning and groaning. The boss says he will just drop off the things on the street and leave. No motivation, no respect.

These guys were even more reckless with our stuff. I had to watch them every second. They started to fill the corridor outside the apartment with our things. It looked like the gypsies were moving in. So instead of carrying the item five more meters into the house, they blocked the corridors for the sake of pure laziness. Even placed some things inside the neighbors foyers. Nice first impressions huh?
I was so annoyed and embarrassed at this point that I started to carry the things in the house myself, which I normally would without hesitation but I happen to be pregnant so it's not exactly advisable. My husband had to stay at the truck to see they won't run away and destroy our things. Whenever one of these useless slimeballs came around they refused to listen to me. You don't take orders from a woman eh? I could strangle you from your balls right now so you better listen to this one!

One of them was a total CREEP he would stare at me with no shame even in front of my husband. The same guy destroyed the house by dragging our pool which was full of mud up to the roof through the house leaving a trail of mud all over because he was holding it the wrong way. He got a good shouting for that but it didn't brighten up his attitude one bit.
I asked one of them to carry a box containing food (left in the +30c sunshine) inside to the kitchen. He looked at me and said with a poker face I don't carry boxes.
WHAT? Here's a newsflash for you: You're a MOVER. You know, the guy that carries boxes for his living? If you don't carry boxes, what DO you do, stare at women? So he ran away. Many of the men just ignored me or left when I asked them to do something. They were lucky I didn't have a rifle.

I saw another moving hero carry a box labelled Fragile UPSIDE DOWN and then drop it on the floor. I opened it and found a broken expensive glass item inside. Showed it to him and said you can't carry stuff like this look what you've done, it's broken. His reply? Mafi malom (I don't understand) and he laughed and left. He was lucky I did not have a bazooka on me.

The creep peed in all of our bathrooms, on the floors and the rims, so disgusting. Probably on purpose. I was going bananas. Then I went up to the rooftop to check if he'd done what I asked. The dude had actually left everything half-way in the staircase, thought I wouldn't go up and see. You're in no luck CREEP-O, get back here right now to finish! "Mafi malom." He tried to escape but I forced him to carry the things in their places.
So after thousands of similar scenarios that day the things were finally in the house. Now the moving geniuses needed to re assemble the wardrobes and beds. They tried to run away but we took revenge and kept one of them hostage upstairs. The rest of the crew vanished into thin air and my husband was left to assemble with this one totally clueless guy. That took a good three hours.

When they were leaving the manager came to the house. We showed him all the things they destroyed like one chest drawer ruined because of rough handling, the broken and scratched items and guess what he has to say? More money. Oh yes, more money, for this SUPER DUPER professional, swift and personal service. More money.

NO WAY. We won't pay you another halalah for this crap. In fact, you should pay us for what you destroyed by handling it wrong and apologize for your staff's totally frivolous working ethics.

In the end all was well, since we only ended up paying a very small amount for the "half-move" and things are just things and at least we are finally here. Forget these slimeballs and unprofessionalism that is flourishing in this country. I'm happy where I am.

P.S. Two days after this chaos we managed to pull off my daughter's 1 year birthday party ;)
P.P.S After we had emptied all the boxes we realized that all the expensive kitchen appliances had gone missing.

79 comments:

ربة منزل said...

Oh my goodness! I have experienced moving a few times but never had to go through such a bad situation. When I was young, my father hired a moving company that packed and moved our furniture, books and clothes in a day. and we are a big family of 7 children and 2 adults.

I guess those moving guys you hired are the kind that study their customers well and if they sense the slightest opportunity, they use it to make more money.

Happy birthday and best wishes to your daughter and your home, sweet home.

Anonymous said...

I am not trying to be disrespectful but I think that you are very disrespectful in the way in which you refer to people. Slimeballs, slugs, maids, Afghani men, Pakistani men. Perhaps this is why you have so many problems in your dealings with people. Treat people as you wish to be treated as an equal, no one is less than any one else. You catch more flies with honey than you do with vinegar...I'm just saying.
Sahar.

miolann said...

My impression was that the moving company gave a professional image in the beginning and they were treated respectfully until they showed their unprofessional attitude. Correct me if I'm wrong.

It must be really frustrating to get anything done if the work ethics are generally like that.

Hope everything starts to be in its place already :)

Soile said...

Unbelievable! I can't believe how bloody unprofessional they were, in any other country they would be fired.

Onnea uuteen kotiin :-)

Umm Gamar said...

Really Sahar?u hv to be kidding.if i was Laylah i would give those incompetent fools much worst names.they are disgraceful n disrespectful.on top of all the chaos,she's pregnant also(mashallah Congratulations Laylah). Uggh i despise incompetance.

Abdullah from Arabia said...

This could be a scenario for Tash ma Tash.

Talking about work and ethics, I wonder to what extent the ideas of Calvin about the predestination, hard work, being elected, influence the ethics through out the Protestant nations today. On other words, how many people who wake up and leave the house and work hard not only to be paid salary but also to fit the description of Calvin about the person who is elected. And I wonder whether these ideas taught to children by parents or in school? I think accordin to my understanding of the ideas of Calvin the Saudi populations will go to hell because they are wasters and lazy, 99% of them. please correct me if my understanding is wrong. Thanks

Laylah said...

I'm sure they studied us and because we were initially so nice and friendly to them they took advantage..

Thanks, we're finally beginning to settle in here :)

Laylah said...

If you don't have sense of humor whatsoever I suggest you don't read this blog.
You are barking at the wrong tree Sahar.

Noor said...

Wow I am sorry you all have to go through all of this. We hired companies in the states bc they were professional and we knew they would be but here we have just always packed and moved ourselves with some help with the large things from someone my dh hires so we have not had any problems alhumudllah. Its a lot of work but after reading this it seems like LESS work actually ya Allah.

This sounds like such a nightmare ugh I hate moving.

Laylah said...

Umm Gamar-thank you! Yes they were indeed disrespectful despite us treating them well and like the professionals we had mistaken them for. Their behavior was unbelievable and totally unacceptable.

Laylah said...

Miolann-yes they seemed really professional and when the boss came to evaluate our things everything seemed fine and I overlooked so many things along the way. But when people start trashing our belongings and treating us like idiots then I have an issue.

Laylah said...

and yes the work ethic is like this in most places.

Laylah said...

Soile-kiitos! I doubt they would ever fire their workers here, seems like everything is ok and allowed. We told the manager also about the urine around the toilets and the mud trail and how one of them was disrespectful toward me, staring and would not listen. He didn't say anything.

Anonymous said...

How aweful! Ugh, I hate moving! Happy birthday to your sweet daughter!!! Francesca from Ottawa, Canada

Karen King said...

A**holes. (I know I'm not suppose to use foul language, but this is the only thing I can say about this even.t)

Louise said...

Funny blog. I liked the part about the guy sweating while carrying a pillow.

Maybe it's time Saudi's stop hiring labor for nothing and doing their own work. Let's see how well (or not) they do it.

Good luck with your new home.

Anonymous said...

Abdullah from Arabia,

We, Protestants, learn our pride from hard work ethic, from the Puritans (Christians) who escaped religious persecution in Europe and were some of the first people to move to the USA (New World) in the 1600's. The Puritans learned it from the theology of Calvin/Martin Luther. It is the basic culture in the USA. It is taught from when you are growing up at home, church and in school. At work the same attitude is expected, too. Working hard for success and being proud of your hard work is engrained in US culture. SSB

Anonymous said...

Unbelievable moving experience. Maybe someone needs to start a website for Saudi people to post their negative and positive experiences with different Saudi company types so people can review the customer's experience. Enough bad reviews can usually change how a company functions or they will go out of business. And, since a foreigner can't own a business in Saudia, the Saudi who owns that company should be called out in shame for the service his moving company is hiring. SSB

Jean said...

I'm not sure it's useful to be trumping up the Protestant work ethic, etc. Every culture has its share of lazy folks, fraudsters, etc.

More to the point: What has been the moving experience of upper class to middle class Saudis when they had to relocate their household?

Anonymous said...

I was just stating an opinion Laylah, no need for attacks. I will not visit your blog again, I do not nor did I wish to offend, it is not nor was it ever my intention. This is not about a "class" of people. I truly believe that this is what divides us as Muslims. Astaagfir'Allah. I realize that this is not about religion, it is about a particular task as it were BUT it is about humanity, ultimately and that is my opinion as well. I want to "save" the world, forgive me.
So I will leave you and forgive me, if you choose not to publish this, it is your right but I would not be your sister in Islam if I did not wish for you what I wish for myself. I would just remind you of our dear Prophets last Sermon and his general message to follow Quran and his Sunnah and that no man being any less than any other man.
Salaams dear sister.
Sahar

Anonymous said...

Hi Abdullah, This is Annie from the US. That is an interesting thought. I've never heard anyone speak of learning this Calvanistic philosophy directly ie I've never heard anyone adhere directly to the Calvanist idea, but the idea/theology probably does affect western culture. I recently read a memoir by a Scotsman who mentioned that in Scotland "Work is love,". Perhaps this is a descendent cultural characteristic of the original Calvinist ideology.

Blue Abaya, I'm so sorry your move was so very miserable; however I'm very glad you didn't shoot any of the workmen as I really enjoy your blog and you probably wouldn't be allowed internet access in prison. I'm also glad you managed to not pay much.

Annie

Faisal Haji said...

For all who are ranting about how this post might be disrespectful, take your heads out of the ground (I had another word in mind, but I shall digress)! There is definitely no discrimination of classes, ethnic, and race in islam, and that all honest jobs are respected. BUT the Prophet also mentioned that whatever job one might be executing, he/she must complete it professionally! And I agree with Laylah on her amazing post, there was no disrespect in what she wrote. The workers are the ones who were disrespectful because they left her personal property in the hallways, in the sun, and tossed it around like a football. Such unprofessionalism should be brought to the general's awareness. What was missing in the post was the name of the company!

Oh and another thing, the company should've respected the contract between both parties, its highly against Allah's laws to void a contract without all the members' consent.

Please be aware of what you quote when it comes to Shria and Sunna, rather than a quick judgment

Here are some Hadiths for you:

Narrated Hadrat Hakim bin Hizam (may Allah be pleased with him): Prophet Muhammad (may Allah's blessings and peace be upon him) said; "The seller and the buyer have the right to keep or return the goods so long as they have not parted or till they part; and if both the parties spoke the truth and described the defects and qualities (of the goods), then they would be blessed in their transaction and if they told lies or hid something, then the blessings of their transaction would be lost." (Bukhari)

The Prophet also said: “A truthful and trustworthy merchant is associated with the prophets.“ Al-Tirmidhi

There is much more in the Quran and hadith too, but I think my point came across.

Thanks for another lovely post, Laylah, and may Allah bless your little daughter and give her good health and longevity.

Proud Muslimah said...

Just can't even believe this. You'd think for a country with so much money to spend on lavish things, they could afford to actually have good customer servie. STOLE your painting!? What!? Are you kidding me? Is that not illegal there? Is there no one who you can even complain to who will follow up with these kinds of invasions of your property?

Just insane. This seriously makes me realize that I have to start preparing myself for this kind of crap when I move out of the USA too. I've been spoiled with the luxury of knowing that my things will still be there if I have a company help me move. I've apparently also been spoiled by the postmen who don't steal the contents of my mail. Just can't believe that Saudi Arabia doesn't crack down on this stuff! That's so wrong.

American Bedu said...

I'm sorry to hear about your experience, Laylah. We had two moves while in Riyadh and I'm thankful to say that the experience was good. My Saudi husband made all the arrangements.

However when moving from the Kingdom, a word of advise... if English is not the native language of the movers, be sure and have helpers who watch what goes in to each box so it can be labeled in regards to contents and destination of which room. Movers may speak some English but many do not write in English.

Huda said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Huda said...

Islamically there is nothing wrong with publicly exposing those who expose themselves. There are 6 instances when this is permissible: one is when you need to complain to a judge or people of authority about oppressors & transgressors and another to warn other Muslims and advise them against their evil. So really, it would have been even better if the sister named the company she used, that way no one else would bother using them.

Besides, this is business ok, they paid these people for a service and they didn't get their money or times worth! In Islam is this okay? It isn't incumbent on the person who has suffered at the hands of oppressors to be silent. And this is a form of oppression... to take peoples' money and to give them false promises and then to turn around an do that.

Also urinating all over the place? Anas (may Allah be pleased with him) reported that the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) said: "Protect yourselves from urine, for most of the torment of the grave is because of it"

Not everything is about protecting people and Islam isn't about keeping quiet ALL THE TIME when someone hurts you. Especially when they offer a "service" to the public or they have a duty of care/responsibility towards other Muslims!

Huda said...

Mabrook on your pregnancy Laylah! How exciting!

And sorry about your terrible experience. Absolutely pathetic how they could do those sorts of things and still stay in business.

Reem Philby said...

OMG that is just terrible Laylah!! Sorry you had to go through all that crap ,, some people really need to shapen up and act professional!!

On the bright side, congratulations on the pregnancy and happy birthday to your daughter :)

Anonymous said...

Actually, that kind of work ethics is an intrinsic part of many western cultures that has a protestans majority (work will, basically, keep you away from sinning). It's is definitely different in many other western/european cuntries that are not protestant. It is really sad though that this is happening in Muslim countries when this is completely contrary to Islamic teachings. That just shows that religions is not always the biggest factor,just look at the huge difference between many european christian countries. In the end, it's the level of corruption that lead to things like this...

Anonymous said...

Hear hear!

Anonymous said...

@ Huda, you are completely right

Laylah said...

SSB yes I wonder what the owner of the company would have to say to that! It might be just a person who is the owner on paper but in reality the companies are run by other nationalities.

Laylah said...

Noor-you've got a really good point there! It's what I told my husband all along, we should just do everything ourselves! Unfortunately Saudis tend to have the mindset that you need to hire help for everything and he wouldn't listen :p

Laylah said...

Not only is it ingrained in the US culture but many other western and Asian cultures too. In Finland we take pride for being such a hardworking small nation, and just look what we have accomplished worldwide, and we are only 5 million people. Then we have countries like Pakistan and India where billions live but work ethics of most are as they are and well what is the result?

I don't think it has anything to do with being protestant or religion at all, it's just our culture and history that shaped us into a nation that values hard work and keeps high ethical and moral values on everything.

Laylah said...

Jean-I'm guessing those that can afford to pay tens of thousands of riyals just to move their stuff around have better experiences.

Laylah said...

Sahar-you really don't get me at all. Look you had an issue with me calling someone a maid. That's like having a problem with calling someone a doctor or a gardener. WHat is your problem here really?

Also, you complained about me saying Pakistani and Afghani? So what? What if they were American and Finns? I would have mentioned that as well. Just to describe the situation. And guess what? You would not have any issues if I mentioned the movers were of those nationality!
I was not calling anybody names, just describing how their work methods were. Yes they moved as slow as slugs.

Truth is most of the lazy, incompetent, uneducated work force used here are from certain countries, including the two I mentioned.

Also, how did you think I was attacking you by what I wrote? Jeez Louise, you need to relax.

Laylah said...

Faisal-Thanks for your comment! I like how you described it, throwing stuff around like a football! That's just how it was :)

Laylah said...

Proud Muslimah-You'd think this richest country in the world would have a few pennies to spend on many things, such as public transport,public parks, decent roads and so forth.Good customer service?? Only for the rich and royals I guess?

I have no idea what happened to the painting. I still kinda miss it. Either they downright stole it, or it got so destroyed they got rid of it thought we wouldn't remember having it, or it dropped from the cargo on the street? Who knows really, anything seems to be possible with these guys.

Lol ya, you're spoiled :)

Laylah said...

American Bedu-glad you had better luck with your moves!
Or the movers may not be able to write at all :)

Laylah said...

Thanks Huda and I wonder the same thing!

Laylah said...

Reem-thank you!

Laylah said...

Abdullah-None of the persons involved in the incident were Saudi remember :) But that said I wouldn't call the work ethics of some Saudis any better than these!

Anonymous said...

Speechless...really.

Anonymous said...

Forgot to write my name, sorry.
Mira

Anonymous said...

Completely agree. The Calvin ideas found in Protestan Christianism have a lot to do with the work ethics of people. You can see this reflected in south Europe, with Catholic majority, how things are going. (no offense to anybody, really, I just happen to live in South Europe).
People around here are kinda lazy (I do include myself in this group, sometimes, hehe).
But look at the difference between North and South of Europe...I love the South, I really do, the culture, people, food, but I have to admit things work better in Northern Europe, when it comes down to education, social services, clean parks, etc, they win!
Mira Bassam

Raaz said...

Laylah,

Let me first tell you that i LOVE reading your blog! It's filled with great information! My question is, if the service over there bugs you so much why do you choose to stay in saudi arabia? Why not move to a western country that would meet your needs better?

Also, I just want to state alot of South Asians ARE hard workers. For god sake, in the west (US) alot of the doctors and engineers are of South Asian descent/origin, ask anybody over here. Please do not paint the South asian culture based on what you see in Saudi Arabia. What exactly do you know regarding South asian culture and history to pass such judgment?

Me said...

I love, love, LOVE your blog! As an American who cannot imagine giving up my freedoms I must wonder with all the issues you have encountered (forced Niqab, no driving, horrid "customer service", raw sewage, random violence by religious police, arrests for speaking with a male or not having a license, etc, etc) I must wonder why you would live in such a country. Saudi has such a horrendous track record on rights for anyone (especially women) and will not even give children back to parents when it is obvious they were kidnapped. Add to that the honor killings (when a women is raped!) and I don't know how you, coming from such a wonderful open-minded country could stand it. Aren't you also terrified of raising a daughter in such a country?

I realize these are Saudi issues and not all are Islamic issues but wouldn't you are your wonderful husband (not to mention your Saudi-Finnish princess) be happier in a country where you could at least drive to the store and buy your own milk?

Keep posting! I love your honest views of KSA!

Kathryn

Faisal Haji said...

It's true that some of the things you mentioned in your comment occur in the Kingdom, many are "un-islamic" and demonstrate extreme interpretations of the Holy Book. But there is more to the Saudi Arabia than rape, niqab .... etc. It has a great desert and rich culture. I appreciate that you acknowledged that its not based on islamic laws because islam is actually a very moderate religion and is HIGHLY against extremist.

Also, freedom is not a universal fact, instead its based on personal preferences. I live in a "free" country (Canada), but I still think that there is more freedom, in some aspects that are important to me, in my country (UAE) than here. I sometimes believe that freedom is way overrated in some aspects in many western countries and it just leads to chaos and disarray. I mean its basic laws of physics, when the control factor is completely lifted, then the system is in chaos (entropy).

Please keep in mind that my comment is not defending the women right abuse in KSA, but its just something that came to my mind and I had the urge to share it with you.

Me said...

Faisal Haji,

I love your comment! I believe in freedom completely. My religion is is very conservative in that we do not drink, smoke, wear revealing clothing and are asked to refrain from any promiscuity at all at the risk of being excommunicated but I choose to do these things.

Not being able to simply drive my child to school, buy groceries, etc is simply beyond comprehension and this is done by certain Saudis to control women. It is a sad mark on the Islamic religion that this is done. Women have so much to contribute whether they choose a career or they stay at home full time with their children (I do not work outside the home so I can be here for our sons).

I don't believe there should be control but rather guidance. Someone cannot be truly pious if their decisions are made for them. I truly hope I have not offended anyone and if so I sincerely apologize. My children have friends who are Muslim and we have many neighbors who are Muslim as well. Most are Pakistani so the language barrier has kept us from talking much.

Thanks again!

Kathryn

Faisal Haji said...

I wasn't offended at all. It was just something on my mind. Besides back women's rights 100% and true islamic followers should to. In the Prophet's era, women were soldiers, caregivers, mothers, doctors, and ever businesswomen. There is no excuse that women should be banned from working, driving, or living in that sense. I believe many women are afraid to talk about this in KSA and come out very defensive to make them feel better. Some might argue that Islam restricted some jobs to men and not women, actually what islam mentions was: if a job is labor intensive, them men should offer working there unless a women wants to. Islam respected the femininity and tenderness that is associated with women but didn't limit their abilities.

My friend lives in KSA because her husband is Saudi, and it drives me insane. She is a great neurobiologist (PhD) but her husband refuses that she works and limits her contact with the outside world. I always argue about this when secretly speaking to her. If she were my wife, I would show her off to the world and not hide her.

Let me also say that your comment shows that you are a truely open minded person and not someone who would put one general label on a group of people. :D

Me said...

Faisal Haji,

What a lovely compliment! Thank you so much. I honestly try to be open minded with all religions. With most Muslim atrocities (as with most RELIGIOUS atrocities I should say) it comes down to culture vs Islam. I grieve for those lost in the 9/11 attack and think Al Queda and their ilk have a special place in hell reserved just for them but I think that of anyone who does anything so horrid and violent in the name of God, Allah, etc.

Reminds me of a bumper sticker that says: Dear God, Save me from your followers! So true in so many situations!

Laylah...Sorry that we have hijacked your comments section!!!

Kathryn

Faisal Haji said...

Soo true ...

Yup sorry Laylah :P

Om Lujain© said...

My God.. what madness.... if I did not see all the pictures on Facebook.. I would have NEVER believed the perfect home I walked into for Lamia's birthday party had endured such madness! lol... You and the Mr are amazing. I probably would have been in jail after murdering one or all of them :)

I hope you feel better now after letting all that out.. lol.. will come over for a playdate with Lamia soon <3 Miss you hon! And hope you had an AMAZING birthday <3 <3 <3

Om Lujain© said...

This is how we do it. I pack everything myself (don't trust the hubby).. move the things in their boxes.. and furniture and stuff by some guys my husbands friend knows. I unpack everything myself.. and believe me.. it's much much easier. lol.. even though I was 9 months pregnant with a 3 year old and a 1 1/2 year old... my official move was 1 week after my last baby was born... and yes.. I still have loads of stuff at my father-in-laws.. lol.. gotta finish that up soon enshallah :)

I have only done one move since I have been married, but with my mom we movies a LOT.. and I learned from her.. if you want anything done right.. just do it yourself.. lol

Om Lujain© said...

I know Laylah PERSONALLY.. and can tell you that she is very respectful to all people equally. (I have personally seen her deal with people of different nationalities with the utmost respect).

Laylah said...

Om Lujain-how did you convince your husband this was the best thing to do? I tried telling him this all along but he wouldn't listen. Maybe he's just lazy :p or used to hiring ppl for everything! I'm the opposite!

Laylah said...

Om Lujain-madness indeed! Thanks for your sweet words :)Miss you guys too and btw she loves the toy you got her! It's the only toy she actually goes to play with herself, genius invention!

My own bday was shadowed with some harassment at the grocery store, was pushing baby in her stroller but some idiots still insisted on followin me and making some disgusting sounds and gestures. In Carrefour!! HELLO!!! Get a life you loosers!Uff...

Pls come over soon!

Laylah said...

Kathryn-well those are some valids points but also like Faisal already commented on some things are simply not true..
Well every country has its own problems and good sides to it is all I can say. Everything is open, but if I wanted to move elsewhere it would not be to Finland, I always wanted to move abroad..Many issues there not going to get into right now, although on all statistics and polls it seems Finland is the ideal country to live in. Surely it is for many :)
At least now that we moved to dq many issues are gone, like going to grocery store :p

Laylah said...

No worries I enjoyed the conversation!

Anonymous said...

Hi, Laylah, I am a European expat leaving in Riyadh. I love to pass by your blog from time to time, just to remind myself that one can take Saudi experience with humor...really, most of the time, I am just fed up with all this laziness and incompetency all around.

Anonymous said...

Why you did not just pack yourself everything safely and have these guys move safely packed boxes? Forgetting our Finnish root are we? :)

Laylah said...

hahahaha I packed all the most important and fragile stuff myself. They still managed to break things so..

flawlessvelvet said...

Your story reminded me of when we renovated our house last year. My mom is a tough woman who doesn't take sh** from anyone... She want ballistic on the workers so many times. It's extremely hard to find professional laborers in KSA, and the good ones cost a FORTUNE.

P.S. I love the design of the building! Very Arabian.

flawlessvelvet said...

Don't know about upper class, but being a middle class Saudi I can tell you that in my experience we will try to move most things ourselves with the help of our extended family. We do have to hire peoplesometimes though and you just have to grin and bear it when it comes to their unprofessionalism (or yell your guts out at them lol).

muadmz said...

Hi, could u let me know how much the rent is at the DQ and like how many rooms the standard house or apartment has? How big is it? Also how much is the maid cost usually? Where does the maid stay? Are they any good?

Might be moving to Saudi some time in the future for some D post.

muadmz said...

Next time you should get a hold of their passports or IDs first and then only give it once they do their job properly. The service there seems to be like ten years backwards compared to the capital of Malaysia (where I live).

Danielletrini said...

Insane!

Anonymous said...

Well, Kathryn, 5 million Vietnamese died not in the name of God or Allah but "democracy". True story.


Vietnam: American Holocaust (Narrated by Charlie Sheen)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rBDKzcjMHEs

Lalalala.... said...

mafi malom means forgive me lol

Anonymous said...

Oijoijoi...

Well, you pay two times, once you buy cheap, and once when you buy good. Maybe the 8000,- "too expensive" was that for a reason. Or then it could have been worse.

SF said...

hey, This is my Story, I recently shifted my house to an area besides DQ.Those pictures with the stuff lying throughout the way, this is exactly what happened with me, I would never hire those paki / punjabi assholes again. not to mention that supervisor type guy was staring at my wife too.

Anonymous said...

Yes, I want to reiterate that many South Asians are hard workers. They have the highest income level of any ethnic group in the USA because they work really really hard - many of them including my husband's family literally came to the USA with ten dollars in their pocket and slept friend's couches to put themselves through school and work their way up at work. Straight A's, perfect SAT scores, and Ivy league educations are the norm in that group. No one in my husband's family would even dream of missing a day of work even if they're ill (they are all doctors, lawyers, engineers, or high powered executives). They make me look downright lazy in comparison.

Anonymous said...

You should have really called the police on the first movers. The police is very helpful and such people really need to feel fear over their heads to work. I know is it not really a work principle and I should not condone it, but there is no other solution.

I once wanted to move out some old items from a room and the company that I called seemingly came, but were not let in the DQ. Then I went to the DQ police station to talk with officer in order to allow them to proceed. On calling those movers back on the phone they said to the officer they would only come back but they wanted an extra 50 SAR.

Thus- here is the good bit: the officer was upset by them and went and brough movers himself from Umm Alhammam with his police car. They followed him with a van, charged half the price while he supervised them :)
They worked very disciplined and fast as you can imagine and their was no hagling for further money.

Laylah said...

You are absolutely right and I don't know why we didn't think of that! If ever there is a next time we sure will.

Abdul Basit said...

sister laylah, i went through many pages from your blog, you were sooooo funny in this 'house shifting' post, i laughed a lot throughout reading this article.

Abdul Basit said...

oops looks like i posted multiple posts!!!!!!!!!! sorry for this if it happened.

ST said...

Complete and utter dismay! **NOT**, lol ... The language used in this post was very funny, but I genuinely felt sorry for you and your family Sr. Layla (trust me i can relate), been there done that many times. Being a brit and moving to riyadh lock and barrel from the UK a few months ago I was in a similar position, luckily I knew the language of the workers! and believe me if u don't get the right 'variety' you better get prepared to crack that whip.

Unfortunately, the working classes doing such work here in saudi are almost always from india or the sub continent. I've found some of the things you mentioned very common amongst the workers here and your right its usually down to a very strange level of laziness, personally i feel its the SAUDI complaicency displacement syndrome (SCDS) effect, you know monkey see, monkey do...

Anyway, the secret is to find a gang of these guys that actually take some pride in their work, which is a task as hard as moving house and home in itself, after many bad experiences, from which I hope i learnt alot,I think i've now got a collection of relatively 'reliable' people whom I can call upon to carry out plumbing/electrical and leg work ... If the need ever arises 'again' i'll be happy to pass along any useful details! Reply back to this post and i'll email my contact details.

Regards,
Adam G

Tina maryam said...

Salaam waluakum sister,

you blogs are hilarious ma sha Allah. I am wondering how come you and your family prefers to live in diplomatic quarters when you are able to live with the saudi citizens? :)

i hope u r loving ur new home in sha Allah!

Layla said...

Wa aleikum salaam! Thanks for the comment, well to answer your question, actually the diplmatic quarter is the only place in RIyadh where all nationalities can live as neighbors without boundaries. I really like the concept of that. When we lived in a private villa we had Saudi neighbors but all behind high walls and we hardly ever saw anyone..And on the compounds they don't even allow Saudis to visit, let alone live there, so, it's like a normal neighborhood here, like in any other country :)