Saturday, 9 September 2006

On coming home.

My departure from Riyadh was a strange affair. As is the norm most days we went to dinner at the compound restaurant Jeff Dru and me. Wednesday night was BBQ night. Though we always sat inside this day we ventured outside and sat by the pool with Kevin and Daniel both of whom were well oiled on Sid

Several people stopped by the table to wish me well as the night wore on. It was quite a sad time, three years is a long time and even if you don’t make good friends with all the people you meet you do share something, in our case it was mainly the times when the company didn't pay. So in that we all had some bond. I will never understand Americans as long as I live, but neither shall I forget those that I met out there. Everyone different, everyone a gem in their own way with just one or two exceptions.

Anyway, stupid night that got stupider as time passed. Kevin and Daniel were dressed for dining by the pool and stripped off after eating and took a dip. Dru much the worse for sidiqui and not dressed for the pool stripped and took a dip b*ll*ck naked. Yeah I know we have all done such things, but not in front of Muslims for who it is haram (bad) for a man to see another mans bits. There was Dru in all his new born glory flapping about in the wind, much to the consternation of the waiters who as it would happen were all Muslims. Dru means no harm but he become unnecessarily uninhibited when he has been sucking on a Sid bottle.

My driver was due at 9:30, pm but even so I never left the pool side until ten to nine. When I left I went one way the others went another (to top up on Sid). They re-emerged minutes later at my place wearing a variety of silly hats carrying a variety of Sid containers. I finally finished packing with only 10 minutes to go.

I have never been hugged by so many guys in such a short space of time. It's not my thing, but it was pleasing to know that I had, had some effect on those people during my time in Saudi. Two spams one Welshie, one Aussie/Kiwi and one Sri Lankan who all thought I had done something important for them of which I was unaware. You do what you can when the need arises and it never seems like a great deal at the time, but they will never forget, well not till next week anyway.

Mr Priantha (the Sri Lankan) was a security guard at the other compound D96, when his services were no longer required he bought a car and started taxiing us a round. He now has two vehicles so business is looking up. He is mostly dependent on DIFA guys for his trade and suffers just like us when DIFA is late with our salaries

One guy took my pistol to sell it for me. I had emptied the mag and placed all the shells in a plastic bag which he stuffed down his kecks for safety. The bag split and bullets sprinkled over the floor, a half dozen drunks scrambling around the floor looking for bullets is a strange sight, surreal doesn’t really describe it!

The company driver turned up 20 minutes late and it was only then that I knew for sure that I was coming home. He had my passport and visa. There was a big sigh of relief all round because up until that time though packed and ready to go, there was always the possibility that it would all go down the sh*t shute.

All in all a great bunch of reprobates who have added spice to my life that I will never forget, well certainly until terminal ga-ga sets in and I don’t have the brain capacity to stop myself from pissing my pants, in a few years.

Respect you guys "Nil illigitimus carborundum"

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