Diana's Life

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Browsing Life in Saudi Arabia

Perspective

October8

Some interesting facts about living in Saudi Arabia…

Women can’t drive but drivers are inexpensive and readily available. I actually prefer to use drivers here, so for me it’s a win. I can drive on our compound and I assume all compounds are the same way. Our compound is huge, about the size of a small town, with a commissary, library, movie theatre, bowling alley, schools, cafes and restaurants. The company is also located within the compound limits.

Dressing rooms are illegal. You have to purchase an article of clothing then return it if it doesn’t fit. Sometimes the return period is only three days and combined with having to find a driver AND the time to go, it can be headache causing. Sometimes women buy a dress then go try it on in the restroom before leaving the mall. I don’t because the toilets are in the floor (ceramic covered holes) and they use a water hose to clean themselves instead of bathroom tissue, which means the floor is wet. Ewww! I don’t even like walking into the public restrooms.

Five times a day you can hear the Call To Prayer. I kind of like it, it reminds me that I am in a land I never dreamed I would ever visit, let alone live in. The only problem with it is that the stores and businesses all close for the prayer. If you are lucky you are sitting in a restaurant with your food already in front of you. Otherwise, you are sitting outside the shops waiting 20-30 minutes for the prayer to finish. Grocery stores will often let you continue shopping but you can’t check out during prayer time.

Alcohol and pork are illegal. Bahrain is just a few miles across a causeway so, if we feel extra “deprived” we just go spend the day there. Or weekend. That, however, can get expensive so we try to keep it down to once a month. We try.. each month we try… that bacon and beer yell for us every week but we try…

Women cover. And man does that get hot on 120 degree summer days! Being a westerner I am only required to cover from neck to wrist to ankle. Usually, western women wear an abaya but a few choose to just wear long loose slacks and a long sleeve loose fitting top. Muslim women have to cover more. Some you can’t even see their eyeballs! I always wondered how the kids knew which covered lady was their mother but a friend explained that its all in the shoes and purses. Underneath the abaya, however, are regular clothing. Sometimes pajamas, too.

Men cover, too… kind of… when they want. They wear a long white gown like article of clothing called a Thobe. When they want.

Okay, I guess that is all I have for tonight.

Ugh!!

February4

I haven’t posted in over a year! What happened to my determination? My desire to get my blog back on track? WHAT HAPPENED?!?

Well, since you won’t answer me, all I can do is start fresh. No promises, but I’m going to try. Again.

I kind of like this template, what do you think? My old one is my favvvvvvorite but I can’t format it to fit WordPress. Maybe I could hire someone to do it for me?

Ummm… letsee… nothing much is going on lately.

I still live in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia with a home base in Houston, TX (USA, Baby!) I am married (5 years), have four kids aged 25, 23, 21, and 2 (yes, you read that correctly). I have a grandson by 23 yr old daughter. Its funny, I never knew you could love someone so freaking much that you were not either married to or gave birth to, until him. I’ve considered telling people that I have five kids, one is grand. Hehe.

No pets.

We did move into a new house on compound. We were in a two bedroom and now we have four! Huge difference!

We went home for Christmas, of course, but for some reason we never got jet lag when we came back to KSA! I have no idea why. I’m not complaining but it would be nice to know, so we can do it again! Not even Damian got jet lag! So weird!

How sad is that? I just about summed up a year in a single, SHORT 271 word post!

Lets see if I can do this again tomorrow and maybe get a few more words typed 😉

Go away, jet lag!

January2

So, we went home for Christmas! OMG! I was so ready for that! I NEEDED that! By the time the taxi delivered D and I to the house, all I could think about was SHOWERING with FRESH water! You know, the water you can let into your mouth without gagging!?

It might surprise you but water in the Middle East is not so fresh. In fact, the garden water is “reclaimed!” Yeah, I don’t want to know what that is, either!

My mom came to visit. Her first trip to Houston in many years! My brother came as well. My kids, Ohhhh! My kids! And my grandson!! Yep, we had an AMAZING holiday! I could live every day the same, given those days!

And then the ride home happened.

It’s not exactly like we hitch hiked, but it is always hard physically. It’s a long ways, about 8,000 miles from Houston to Saudi Arabia! D voiced his opinion a few times, to my exasperation!

And then… The worst part… JET LAG!

That is where we are now. Our first night, as a mater of fact, and we have many more days/nights to go. *sigh*. Right now D is dancing to Shrek and he will go down a few times before it “takes” and he sleeps. This is the worst part, the first night, because I know there are many more nights to go! SOooo many nights!!

It will end just about a nano second before I lose my mind. Mark my words…