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S as in Saudi – over and out. April 25, 2009

Posted by Aella in Al Khobar, Bahrain, Bahrain Daily, Beirut, Blogroll, Culture, Don't - just don't, Dubai, Food, India, Indonesia, Iran, Israel, Karlskrona, Lebanon, Life, Manama, Music, Pakistan, Palestine, Pictures, Qatar, Quotes, Saudi Arabia, Saudi culture, Sweden, Tool, UAE, War, Whack, Work.
5 comments

Seef beach

So.  I have for quite some time been thinking about ending my blogging here at S as in Saudi. I have a lot to say but still nothing interesting to be honest. It has all been said. Been bitchin’, going on my rants, praising, celebrating, crying, whining and shit…
I have recently turned over a new leaf and I can see things quite a bit clearer and more focused when it comes to my life.  I must say that, the years that I have been blogging here has been some of the hardest yet most interesting years of my life. I finally feel I can focus even if I don’t know exactly where I am heading. At least I know where I am not looking to head.

It has been an interesting journey where I started blogging to record the changes in my life and attitude and ended up a truly different person in a situation in which I never thought I would be in.

So I guess this is the last post here. I will keep the blog online for now and I will come back and hopefully read old posts and comments with a smile. It has been great getting all these comments from people all over the place. Some of you which I got to know a little more and some who only came once for whatever reason. I want to thank you all for your presence.

I will eventually be blogging elsewhere but it will be about a topic that  I am passionate about. Who knows,  we might meet again.

love to all of you out there

Sous

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Yalla bye Bahrain real estate! January 4, 2009

Posted by Aella in Bahrain, Culture, Dubai, India, Lebanon, Manama, Pakistan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Saudi culture, UAE, Whack, Work.
4 comments

Abraj  Lulu Today I resigned from my position as a sales associate in the real estate company that I worked for.  Khallas, I had enough of it and  really can’t run around like a mad person doing it anylonger. The market is down big time but I must say this is not the only reason why I left since the company I worked for has a steady stream of clients wanting to rent apartments, offices and villas.

I just had enough. It has been both a great and dreadful year. I met many funny, interesting, sweet and kind people but also many seriously creepy people that wasted plenty of my time and unfortunately I have been blessed with too much patience.

The real estate market in Bahrain is in no way regulated so it is jungle to say the least. I think everyone can agree that anyone and everyone here is as an agent. From the watchman, to grandpa Abdullah, to the stray cat , to the ice cream man.  A client often has many agents and things can get kind of messy in the end of who should have the commission since the same property can be shown by many agents.

There are not such word as ethics, standards or morals in the real estate market here. Agents steal each others clients, companies refuse to pay commission and even fire agents once they realise they have made a lot of sales  for the company (court case – shame on you ), people steal information from each other (clients and property data) and so on. In the middle of all this you got clients noticing the chaos in the market and desperately trying to play agents against each other by bargaining on commission rates (screw you – do you think we are the Red Cross?).  Many people seems to think agents are charity workers that owes them their lives (even if they pay jack-all). Not to mention the owners of property that ask you to sell their property and once you are about to close the deal for them they suddenly increase the price :). That really makes us looks like asses when we tell the clients. Well suckers, you are stuck with your property now :). Can you feel the sweat as you are paying it off not being able to get rid of it as you planned muaahahaha!

There are a few companies that have set standards for how their agents can act and they also back up their agents in times of need. I welcome and applaud this. The market needs some hard ass rules and some serious people backing up agents and kicking their asses if they act irresponsibly.

I have a great interest in the real estate market here but since being a sales associate doesn’t really lead anywhere here and all of the above mentioned, I say yalla byeeeeeeee! Gimme a shout people if you hear of any interesting vacancies 😉 !

Oh, and Happy New Year!
Have a wicked 2009!

General sadness August 2, 2008

Posted by Aella in Bahrain, Beirut, Culture, Lebanon, Manama, Sweden, Work.
2 comments

I am back in Dubai since Thursday evening. The last few days have been really busy and it took me some time to realise that I could actually use the computers in the hotel that I am staying in. In my typical ways I tried finding a unsecured wireless network to hook up to but only managed to disable the Microsoft Wireless client thingy..

My little princesses left for Beirut with their father Wednesday morning and it broke my heart, really broke my heart to see them leave. I can’t think about it cus it just makes me tear. After I went back up to the apartment I broke down. Seeing their clothes, teddy bears, a blanket, their fingerprints on the glass table, hearing the echoe of their little voices giggling as they tickle and tease me. I miss my children so much and I really cannot imagine what life would be like without having them near me. I used to think women that broke down when their kids leave home at adult age were silly but now I can so understand what they are going through..

Dubai…is humid and hot. Everyone has an opinion about Dubai whether they have been here or not but my general impression is that it is one huge construction site. There is plenty to do here for tourists though so I do think they have done quite a good job on that part.
What else?

Feeling exhausted from July. I felt weak and down throughout most of the month and the day before I “got” my leave was too much. Many times we don’t realise how living in cultures different than our own affects us. How we mistake things without even understanding it, assuming people have the same frames of reference as we do. How it stresses us out being confused about different sets of standards that are thrown at us. Different definitions of ethics. Yes, and most of the time we might not even understand anything of this as we go through it…
I am tired and I am feeling really old.

And lost at sea.

Real Estate Bahrain? June 6, 2008

Posted by Aella in Al Khobar, Bahrain, Culture, Links, Manama, Pictures, Sweden, Work.
8 comments

Last night I read a heated debate over at “Mahmoods Den” about the real estate market here in Bahrain and the affect it may or may not have on the Bahraini society. Mahmood pointed out that many projects can be of benefit for the society whereas a person commented under the name of “Hassan Alkhuzaei” claimed that the current real estate boom had many negative effects on society and that the Bahraini people need more opportunities, not more projects…. well it’s just a short summary of what can be read.

Now, I will not get into details but reading this was interesting since I myself am an “expat” selling projects such as the ones mentioned. I love my job but like I have mentioned before it saddens me to see huge projects coming up. I am a fan of old buildings and neighborhoods with character and soul. These new projects are soulless and dead in my opinion (not saying that I don’t like any projects but look at Juffair for a bad example) . That isn’t relevant for the economy but anyway.

fontana towers
Me no like
(Fontana Towers)

Yes anyway.
What do I see in my line of work in regards to this?
I see land prizes increasing drastically every month.
I see people playing the property game buying one property for 90 000 BD only to sell it a couple of months later for 100 000 BD or more.
I see the same people making 7000 BD in one day from a newly acquired unit.

I meet Bahrainis that wants to buy for investment or living but cannot afford asking me to contact them when something suitable comes up. I will.

I meet people that say it saddens them to tell their kids they will not have their own bedroom (ever) because daddy can’t afford it even though he is working full time as a manger in a store. Sorry kid, you have to share with your three brothers.

I see prices shooting up over night.
Owners aggressively pushing the prices up.
Buyers withdrawing due to sudden price increases.

It’s a crazy market if you ask me.

I have asked Bahrainis what they think of the boom that is going on. Some, working in real estate think it is a great thing without touching on the social effects it may have, only financial. Others are worried about what this will do to their society and what will be left of the country the grew up in.

Now something I am wondering is… Why are there so few Bahrainis selling property? I mean, there is a lot of money to be made in this line of business yet when I ask people that are looking for work they are simply not interested in doing it. I have asked managers of real estate companies why they have no Bahrainis on their teams (some don’t even have ONE Arabic speaking person) and they all answer that Bahrainis start and then they leave after a couple of months. Some even point out that they have no intentions of staying.
It just puzzles me when I know that many young people are on such low wages. Working in real estate kicks ass most of the time to be honest.

It was commented on Mahmoods blog that sometimes companies hire Bahrainis just to get visas for expats and I can confirm that this indeed happens. I have heard more than one person mention that this is how it is done.

Conclusion.
None.

I’m homesick yes.

Here comes the sun! February 4, 2008

Posted by Aella in Bahrain, Life, Manama, Work.
5 comments

I have just moved to a new building which means I will not have internet for two weeks. That means at least 4 weeks in case anyone wonders. Kinda sucks but that’s life :). Starbux will do for now.

What else. My new apartment is great. Sunny, bright and aah well just nice. I am happy to be there. I

Have a great day!!