Working in the Middle East?

Have you ever workd in the Middle East?

If so, please describe the conditions, and what you thought of the living and working conditions.

I did 2 tours in the Persian Gulf in the 80’s. I was on a guided missile destroyer and we escorted U.S. ships carrying arms to Iraq when they were at war with the Iranians. We escorted loaded oil tankers out of the Gulf to prevent them from being attacked. We had port visits to Bahrain and Abu Dhabbi. It was hot, beer was expensive and you couldn’t get laid. Not good.:stuck_out_tongue:
I recommend the Phillipines or Thailand. It’s hot, beer is cheap and so are the “ladies”

I was in Bahrain for 6 months right after the war [1992], they served beer when I was there as well but not anymore! The Amir has died and his son is the boss now!

Joe, Get to know the customs in what ever country you decide to visit, you don’t want to piss off the locals! I was housed in what we called camp “X”, 3 squares a day, off every Fri., given a car and a credit card and made decent money. I agree with Linas, it was hot, the tempurature was 57 degrees C or 136 F with the humidity factored in. If you think you can cool off by swimming in the Gulf…think again, it was hot.

A very close acquaintance of mine spent almost a year there starting in March of 2003. His first few weeks were spent mostly in an NBC suit with local folks hurling 7.62mm Kalashnikov rounds and RPG’s at him. Nights were spent in holes he dug in the ground and food was 1-2 MRE’s per day if he was lucky. Once he reached his destination conditions improved, he had the use of once regal but now bombed out presidential palaces with no electricity nor running water. I’ve seen photos of him standing next to a thermometer reading 131°F. While some locals delivered the above mentioned welcome, most others greeted him with smiles and open arms. Several provided him home cooked meals at times albeit unidentifiable but decent grub. Yesiree Bob…just a great place to be. I’m glad he was able to provide you the opportunity of a place to go make a buck.

Here are a few customs you should pick up right away…

First, you should draw a dotted line that circles your entire neck immediately below the Adam’s Apple. Carefully write…“Cut Here” in Arabic. It’s a great joke and will endear you to the natives, immediately.

Then…as you march through the streets outside of the city waving a Christian cross and bible…be sure to look for freshly dug little mounds of dirt along side the road. When you see one…jump on it with both feet and go “Boom”…and the townfolk will run and hug you as they laugh, joyfully, at your bravery.

They may tie your hands and feet as they ask you to pose for a family video…but don’t get nervous. Just show them the funny marking on your neck and watch them smile…

I spent a total of 7 years in the middle east. 1 as a soldier and 6 as a civilian with Raytheon.

#1 you are not in the US anymore and respect that! It is their country and culture. Adjust to their ways and respect the things they do even if it seems backasswards.

#2 attempt to speak their language. A little effort goes a long way.

#3 learn a little about their religion and respect it, for they respect Christians (they actually believe Jesus was a great prophet).

#4 Drink water, lots of it!

#5 Always carry leather gloves. Sometimes it gets so hot, touching something metal (car handle) burns your hand.

#6 they are EXTREMELY close to their family and any off colored remarks about them is grounds for fighting.

#7 do not help them get beer, cigs, porn, ANYTHING like that. If its not in a local store do not get it for them.

#8 always remeber you are an outsider in their country. If you respect their views (you don’t have to agree, just respect). They will in turn repsect yours.

#9 LISTEN…what you KNOW is right just might not be right. Listen, learn and do not think YOUR way is the right way. You can get it done your way, but make them think they thought it up first…and PRASIE Them…

I guess thats all I can think of right now…

Listen to Russell. He nailed it. If you can live without green grass, extreme heat, and lack of companionship from the ladies you’ll be fine. Personally they couldn’t pay me enough to live over there years at a time. I would be very happy to call it quits over there after just finishing my fifth middle east tour. You can only handle so much before a newfound respect for America slaps you right in the face.

Thanks for the comments.