This blog contains opinions, experiences, thoughts and observations of the author from his day to day living.
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There is no intention to offend, discriminate nor degrade anybody or anything for that matter, only shared feelings, emotions and angsts at the moment.
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Thursday, August 25, 2011

I Thought It Will Not Happen Here

I just keep ignoring it, these past few months, because I still am in the notion that despite the world is experiencing a crisis, this land of milk and honey, as written in the Bible, will not be affected at all. Reasons like this country is standing under oceans of oil; taxes are not in their vocabulary; food is plenty; commodities were cheap and one can live in luxury to the extent of one's salary.
But I am wrong, dead wrong! Nowadays, the prices of the basic necessities here went up the least of 20%. Yes, my fanstasy of bringing my whole family here in Saudi to enjoy a good life is starting to crumble right in front of me. Although, in their currency, it is still "cheap" in a way, but to expats who's salary is just a minimum wage,  and at the mercy of the company's business status, we count each Riyal to the last centavo equivalent.
I love fruits, I made my smoothies out of it morning and evening, here I can eat fruits that I only see on our table back home during the holidays, like Christmas, grapes, apples and peaches. Bananas as big as they can get, oranges a plenty, not to mention those seldom heard fruits like pears, cherries (fresh and not preserved),  plums and strawberries, which I only eat when I am in Baguio!
Yesterday it strucked me, hard when I bought my week's supply of smoothie ingredients. When I asked how much were the fruits I bought for 3 kilos total (bananas, apples, peaches and mangoes), I gawked when the seller said SR 39.00! What the hell, I thought he was kidding me, as I am his regular customer and in all smiles and showing his stained and crooked teeth, I read he was not. Here's how the conversation went, hope you follow the drift:

"Esh hada?" I said.
"Sadiq, esh mushkala?" he replied.
"Esha mushkala? Liesh hadi gali?"
"Habibi, kulo gali!"
"Esh hada? Kam kilo hadi mawz (banana)?
"Sita (6), baden hadi tofah (apple) tamantash (8), mango kamustash (15), khokh (peach) ashra (10) riyal!
"La, la, la, la, la (no, no, no, no, no), liesh hadi?"
"Esh sawi? Kulo shil gali, lazem bai kida, malesh, baden saker ana bakala!"
"Mushkala sadiq, kief kida , esh sawi ana? Phulos shuweya, mafi miya miya, ana mumken mot!"
"Hehe, ana gib discount, mafi mushkala, kulo kamsa talatin (35), kalas!

Grumbling, I pull out SR35.00 from my wallet and mumbling to myself as I walk out that fruits and vegetable store.
Imagine, that's almost P400.00 in my money, and what I have brought? 5 pieces of bananas, 5 apples, 4 large peaches and 3 large mangoes! I haven't bought my yoghurt yet which cost SR 1.00 each and that P11.00, thank you very much!
Truly, times do change, even in a rich country like Saudi, but those who are sleeping in their palaces and grand houses, maybe doesn't feel it, orthose who earn much, but we the lowly workers, and those other poor locals, feel the big difference. Other basic goods like rice are now SR 28.00 per 5 kilos, whereas 4 years ago I get it at SR 18.00 only! Nowadays 1 whole chicken costs up to SR 14.00 when I used to have it at SR 9.00
If only those company owners would realize that the pay they give their employees should go with the times, then maybe we wil not complain as much, thank God for my housing allowance as rent costs here are also on the rise and right now there is this extra "insurance bond" that we need to pay which they say is refundable when we decide to leave, you can hardly see apartments here that are below SR 10,000.00 a year, and when you do find, it is so uninhabitable (to my standards, anyway) you will sacrifice your extra money you are saving, probably for a new Iphone 4, just to have a good night sleep and a safe place to live.
And I thought it will never happen here. Sigh.


  1. Friend its Ramadan and nearing Eid so all prices are drastically going up it should be back to normal after the holidays.