Diana's Life

A little slice of the web just for me!

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.

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