Saturday, 16 July 2011

Mum in Riyadh

My Mum is in Riyadh. She arrived the other night.  It's her first visit to Saudi Arabia.

She's been doing my dishes and my washing.  She also had a peek in my oven, I'm presuming to see whether or not it works so she can whip up an apple pie at some point in her stay.  I love Mum's apple pie.

We met in Dubai so she could have a look around that city for a couple of days prior to her visit to the Magic Kingdom.  In Dubai we traveled around on the Big Red Bus tour and a took a trip up Burj Khalifa, enjoyed the magic of the dancing Dubai Fountains and visited the Heritage Village.  Basically we did a bunch of touristy type things - a hectic two days after a long flight from NZ.
The bus stop at Wafi Mall
Mum's Saudi experience really began in the departure lounge at Dubai airport as we by-passed the Worker Bee men lined up at the entry to the air bridge and then, because we're frequent flyers, we weaved our way through their waiting lines so we could board the aircraft bound for KSA before them. 

The workers queue early for flights.  It's as if they are afraid they may get turfed from the plane if they are not IN the queue.  Unfortunately, knowing Saudi as I do, theirs is a reasonable fear.

On arrival in Riyadh a stop off at the loo is required so we could don the appropriate mark of womanhood - the Black Garb.  Fortunately Riyadh airport was not very busy the evening we flew in.  The queue for western types was not long at all, so we were through in a jiffy.  Even getting Mums bag was a synch.

And there to meet us was Mr Noor.  He's been saying, 'Kei te pai' in response to her 'Kia ora'  every time she hops in the car.

Mum has been in Riyadh for four days.
She came here to rest.

So far, this is what she has done -
  • First evening catch up chit chat with Glenn at the coffee shop - in bed late cos there was a lot to talk about.
  • Next morning we went to the gym for Afro Dance - tribal dancing type of exercises.  That evening was dinner with some friends - started at 9.30 pm finished around 1am.
  • Thursday was an early morning trip to the fish market, a look at Masmuk Fort and a bit of a walk round Diirah to look at trinkets followed by a visit to Riyadh Gallery Mall to look at modern things.  That evening we took her to an Embassy do - in bed by midnight.

  • Friday she got to sleep in while Glenn and I went bike riding.  A dip in the pool that afternoon and early'ish to bed - after sorting out her farm on Facebook of course.
  • Today it was a trawl of the Gold Souq at Taiba, and a walk home cos I mis-timed Salat so the cafe was shut.  It's so annoying when that happens.  You'd think by now I'd have my timing down.  Fortunately it's not a long walk.  Tonight is dinner with a Saudi family that starts at 9.30pm.
She has found it a little hot...not surprising given the temps are up around 50 degrees during the day.

I'm not sure how much rest Mum is getting in Riyadh, but she has time to knit....

...and her game playing time on Facebook has not suffered at all.

Ka Kite,

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