One of the things you quickly come to realise being an expat in the KSA is how incestuous the expat community is here. Like, everyone knows EVERYONE. Our world is an English Village.
Where the concept of "six degrees of seperation" exist, in the KSA its likely to be "two degrees of seperation". And I'm not talking nationalistic, patriotic groups of people hanging out together longing for the motherland. No, this is International, on a global scale, even moreso with people working in the same industries.
For example, I just met a Sudanese woman and a Pakistani woman - we have never met each other prior to this week. Yet, I worked with (and lived next door to) one of this Sudanese's good friends two years ago. And just yesterday the Pakistani woman was telling me a story about a crazy Spanish lady from Madrid called Rita that she worked with in Arar. I met Rita on one of the conferences back in 2015 where we were lumped into different workshops and she happened to be in mine. And she really was crazy.
And all three of us know Jane from Wisconsin working in Najran, from meeting or having worked with her at some point in time these past few years. I met her on a night out in Jeddah in 2014 when my British colleague Laura introduced us. She and Jane had been best friends from their time together in Abha.
Sometimes, the connections get absolutely crazy. For example the time I happened upon some really private information from someone's life (from her then-fiance) and only met her two years later after they'd broken up - and we ended up sharing an office and knowing the same people in Morocco.
And an American colleague, who happened to befriend one of my good friends when they were working in Makkah - this same friend who worked with my sister at a University. And Shama who 3 years prior to having met her, was good friends with Paul in Ha'il - the same Paul who was in my High School class.
And Gina from New Zealand who knows an ex-colleague, Tim, who is currently living in Thailand - the same Tim who met Ray when they were backpacking through China, the same Ray we met at the beach in Jeddah who went to Egypt for New Years Eve with Ahmed - whom we met at another conference when we all had to share the bus to the venue...
So it goes on and on and on. In fact, I haven't met an expat that I couldn't link back to someone I'd met before or know now. It's the most phenomenal thing.