Sunday, 9 October 2011
Saudi Arabia Five Funny Things I Just Don’t Get
*Disclaimer: I love Saudi Arabia and its wonderful people; this post is not meant to be offensive, or judgemental about anyone or their culture. It is written for the purpose of light hearted entertainment, and if someone reads it they might be able to shed some light on the matter ....*
1. When a couple dines out, more often than not they sit next to each other, rather than opposite each other. I always thought it would be easier to talk if you are facing one another, (Please get your mind out of the gutter; overt p.d.a is not an option in Saudi.) Although you see less of this seating arrangement now, it still happens.
2. When someone bumps into you by accident etc, instead of saying ‘Sorry’ or انا اسفه / انا اسف, people often say ma3lesh which basically means it’s okay-no problem/no harm done, for a while this used to really aggravate me: Excuse me! I will be the judge of that, I’m the ‘victim’ or aggrieved party here. But as it’s said with a smile, and some (hey chill out dude) gestures, you get used to it and just accept it, as instead of sorry, but deep down you know that it doesn't really mean sorry, although some people including Google translate it as forgive me, you know. It is a malady that can affects the whole culture and create a somewhat irresposible attitude to things, it can be found in Egypt as well. Again, I’ve noticed the younger set has switched to the English- "Sorry" or its Arabic equivalent.
3. When strict segregation of sexes is practiced everywhere but male gynaecologists are common. You would think all the male ob-gyns would be unemployed.
4.We have male lingerie salesmen, see above-thankfully this is slowly being phased out.
5. Bedouin women, who live in the villages/desert can drive-yes, they can and do; while urban women can’t. It seems they are far more modernised. It has been said that they can take care of themselves, as they carry guns. I guess it’s high time designers such as Gucci, LV, and Burberry introduced their own line of revolvers, and pistols, the empowerment of urban Saudi ladies depends on it! Until then will a BB gun do?
Remember if you are here, please drop me a line to let me know, what you think of this post or my blog in general.