Friday, January 31, 2014

Just a Little Place by the Sea

People have been asking me questions about where I live in KAUST.  Do I live in a girls only dorm?  Are men and women segregated? Does your place have a kitchen or do you have to eat in the community cafeteria?

The answer to all of these is "no." Although, for the students there are girls and boys only dorms that I haven't been inside, but I'm assuming they are nice.  And there is an amazing cafeteria on the campus that I've tried once.  With all the options and various stations by country, it reminded me of the Marche in Toronto.

So where do I live?  I live in a townhouse by myself -- just like I would in the U.S. or Canada -- except this one is a lot bigger than what I'm used to and I have my own garage to put my imaginary car.

And I have a palm tree, which I love.  Any place with a palm tree has got to be great.

If you live here without a family, I think you get this size of townhouse.  Families get bigger ones or detached homes.  They all kind of look similar in style so it's easy to get lost.

Check out these hallways made for giants.

Notice I have my lovely Home Depot bag on the table that I use for my groceries.  They are trying to be plastic bag free at KAUST, so everyone has a reusable bag to do their bit to help the environment.  I might be the only one that arrived with my own.

They also are big into recycling everything, and I read in one of the documents that they will call you out if you're a "baddie" when it comes to sorting your trash.

The living room area.  There's a TV here and one in the bedroom.  There are maybe a dozen English stations -- and they play a lot of "Family Guy", "CSI: Miami and NY" and movies.  The movies range from "Betwitched", "Men in Black", and "Sleeping With the Enemy", to more recent ones like "Running With Scissors."

The kitchen!  So many cabinets, so little dishes.

The dining area.  The table actually had a leaf and two more chairs, but I felt like I was sitting in a boardroom when working there. So I removed the leaf and put the two chairs in my storage room. I didn't bother taking a photo of that -- or the laundry room as you really don't need to see my washer and dryer.

Giant window leading up to the upstairs. I love the giant window. Makes me feel like I'm living in a mansion in Beverly Hills.

Another photo of the giant window from the second flight of stairs.

A partial view of the bedroom. There is also a desk area in the room and the double wardrobe area is in another section with the master bedroom bathroom.  Again, I didn't bother with photos as it's not exciting.

Then there are three mystery doors down the hallway that are locked.  They told me they were the maid's quarters so I don't need access to them -- but I think they are scary.  You just know there's a Stephen King story about them somewhere.

That's about it.  I can't complain about the townhouse at all.  It's clean, more than big enough and the furniture is comfortable.  There's also a back yard that's pretty big too.  I haven't done anything in it yet, so it looks a little desolate.

I live about 3 blocks from the beach area and the gym, which works out perfectly.  The gym also has this amazing cheesecake in their cafe area.  It's a little dangerous, but gives me a reason to go there and workout.

Now if only I could convince Whole Foods to set up a market here (with Saudi - not "imported from the US" - prices). Then it  truly would be paradise.

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