Saturday, March 5, 2011


Last week I had a driver coming to take my mom and I into town after I took the boys to school. He then called at the last minute and canceled because he had to do something with his sponsor. (He works for them, they sponsor him in the country. When he is not driving for them he takes side jobs, usually driving expat women like me around.)

So there we were, not enough time to call a new driver or wait around for a taxi to show up. I only have two hours while the boys are in school, it's not much when you have a few places to go here.

It's times like these that I really begin to wonder how I could disguise myself and drive out the gate. (Women are not allowed to drive in Saudi- on camp, yes. outside, nope.) It would be so much easier to just do it and not have to depend on someone else to take me. Seriously, I am a woman and YES I can drive. Boo-yah. One of these days I tell you, one of these days...

Until then. Mike offered to be our driver that night and take us into town. Yes, my husband is very supportive here and tries his best to make the transition easier by being very willing to drive me around and not complain too much about it.

Called a babysitter and off we went. It's not worth the drive to take the kids with us in the evening. Crazy parking, crazy streets and a whole lot of people at night. Even I tend to get a bit nervous venturing out when it starts to get dark.

First stop. Best Swarma's in town. Here Mike is "helping" out. They carve the meat off, add lettuce, tomato's, pickles, garlic sauce and hot sauce in something like a pita. It's one of the two local things I actually like here. They are cheap too, only 4 riyals a piece.
Second Stop. Latiff's Bakery for cheese bread and fresh labna (almost like cream cheese) and honey bread. Best fresh from the oven.

*I got a new abiya, you know my cute black dress/harry potter cloak I get to where out in public. Check it out. No more turquoise hurray.
We're sitting in the family side. Nothing special to it. Just a room with no windows and some plastic benches. Just behind Mike you can see the little window where you place your order. On the single (bachelor side) you can see they have a big open counter and windows.
Third Stop. The souqs for some authentic shopping for my mom. A lot of the little shops look something like this. Covered floor to ceiling with pieces for sale. No we did not bring home the sword.Here's mom shopping in Koba mart. It's a larger store with furniture and other handy little things, like the metal horse my mom bought.
This week we'd like to go out again. But that also means calling another driver. I know it's not a big deal, just pick up the phone and call. But sometimes it feels a bit like asking someone out on a date, will they say yes? are they busy? Kind of like calling a babysitter, I kind of dread it. Weird, I know.

Also there are rumors of some protests that will be happening here on the 11 and 20th of March. Could be nothing and could be something. If we're going to make it into town this will be the week, because if things do hit the fan I will not be leaving the compound. We will hunker down and just wait.

Hugs, A

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