Pool swim and furniture

This week marked my first full week of orientation in the Udhailiyah division. One thing is for sure, there is a lot to learn.


Finally visited the community pool. I have never seen a more pristine pool in all my life. The water is so clear, if it were not for the bubbles you might forget you were under water. In the upcoming weeks, I want met the swim coach and see if he is willing to study my swim stroke and offer suggestions.

Living here is the perfect opportunity to dial-in my swimming and I plan to take advantage.


Our home is completely fitted with furniture and appliances. Many of the items are here to stay at no cost to us, including; refrigerator, dishwasher, stove, etc. Other items are ours to keep, including: dishes, utensils, pots, and pans, etc. Lastly, the home is full of furniture that is provided free of charge by Aramco for 4-months, which can later be rented for a nominal fee. This includes; office desk, table, chairs, couches, lamps, washer, dryer, bookcases, bed, mattress, and a long list of other items.

Everything is in good order, but most of the furniture is office grade. We are grateful for the items, with the exception of the mattress. The mattress is unbearable. I’ve voiced the issue with a work colleague and he took it upon himself to request permission to escort me to Al Hassa to shop for furniture. What a honor to work for a company that cares about me!

After visiting a few stores, I selected a dining room table, bedroom suite, and more importantly…. a memory foam mattress. It will take 4-5 days to deliver, but we are elated to sleep without anguish and pain.

Meanwhile, Renee has been able to purchase two recliners and a leather couch from an online classified forum in the community. Slowly we are adding our own personal touch to the house. We’re in no rush, but it is nice to have our own things.


Western versus Eastern bathrooms. Where do I start…. Squat toilets are arranged at floor level which requires the individual to squat with bent knees. In contrast to a pedestal or a sitting toilet the opening is located level with the ground. Squat toilets are sometimes called “eastern-style toilets” because they can be found in various countries including Japan, China, India, and the Middle East. Conversely, sitting toilets are often referred to as “western-style toilets”

This is not an issue in Aramco facilities, because both style restrooms are commonly available, western and eastern respectively. And of course, there are separate facilities for men and women.

No issues per se, but there has been a learning curve because it is not something I’m 100% comfortable asking questions about. While at the driver license office, I did not see a wall urinal and nearly urinated in a troth-style area, only to learn it is for washing your feet. I’ve attached a photo of a squat toilet below as an example.

Stock photos from a google search. Photography is not permitted in pool areas and certainly not in restrooms.


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