11) Labor Costs -
Neither Jamie and I are really used to this, but it is a nice lifestyle. In the US and most other western nations, having a housekeeper, car washer, and gardener would be too much of a cost on the budget. A couple of families on the compound have a live in maid, which we don't think we'll ever get, but certainly seems appealing if you have a few kids. The men who work on the compound (mainly from Pakistan and India) have regular hours where the take care of maintenance on the compound itself; however, before and after work, they wash cars and do other personal maintenance request you may have. Just recently, we had a guy build a fence and put in a doggie door for us. We don't mind helping these guys out because their service for us pretty much double or triple their monthly salary.
10) Location for Traveling -
This year wasn't nearly as busy for our traveling as our 2 years in China, but the area where we are is a great location to see 3 continents. The only drawback is that the cost of flights are more expensive than they are in southeast Asia, but pretty much everything is more expensive than it is is SE Asia. This year, we went to Bahrain, Sri Lanka, and Turkey, while I was able to go to Nepal and Jamie to Kenya. With the birth of our child, it might slow us down a little bit, but we hope that in the years to come, we can take advantage of our location to 3 continents, mainly Europe.
9) Bahrain -
Bahrain has pork, alcohol, a nightlife, movie theaters, and goods you can't find in Saudi. You can't bring the pork and alcohol back into Saudi, but it has been nice to go over there on the weekends and enjoy these things. Women can drive and Jamie doesn't have to wear her abaya. At a minimum, it takes about 45 minutes to get there if you can get through customs quickly; however, it can take nearly 2 hours if the causeway is busy. Many people go on early Friday morning to avoid the traffic. Ric's Kountry Kitchen has a great breakfast and City Center Mall has been our favorite place to see a movie. Overall, it is a nice getaway from the bore of Saudi Arabia.
8) Shawarmas -
According to wikipedia, a shawarma is