Sunday, 16 February 2014

Grateful For Winter

It's winter in Riyadh and I'm truly grateful for it.  As this post takes shape my gratefulness is growing. In fact, if someone were to say it sounds as though I'm talking myself into an attitude of gratitude, they'd be right.

I'm walking as I write this post. Outdoors. In the DQ.  It's 1.30pm.  My appointment at the salon is over and my taxi driver (Mr Noors brother today as Mr Noor is busy elsewhere) has called to say he's been denied entry to the DQ.  The guards at the gate have told him to rack off.  His taxi is empty, therefore he's not allowed in.  If he had a passenger then they would let him through, no problem, just as they let me through when I arrived. 

I do wonder how they presume women, or men for that matter, who arrive at the DQ by taxi are expected to leave.  

Presumably I am to catch one of the now empty taxi's searching the Diplomatic Quarter streets for other passengers left standing without their arranged return ride.  But I refuse to do that. Nope.  Though I may be happy to hail a taxi from the street for a short ride about town, safety dictates that jumping in the back of a strangers car for a more lengthy trip is simply a dumb idea. 

Apart from that fact, I don't like the look of any of the taxi drivers who've eyeballed me desperately as they drive by - they all look a shade too shifty - the whole rigmarole of determining how good their English is, assessing if their meter actually works, finding out if they actually know where I want to go is an unexpected and unwelcome hassle I could do without today given there was already a perfect plan in place for my return home  - Mr Noor's brother would come back at a set time and pick me up. Simple. Perfect. 

Simply perfect plans being sent awry, especially when those skewed plans center around drivers and me left waiting make me yearn for being able to drive myself!  Plus it has the potential to put me into one of those negative phases one is wont to go through when life in Saudi throws a completely unnecessary curve ball. 

So, I'm walking to the main gate on this beautiful weekend winter afternoon where Noors brother will pick me up.  I have made a mental note to not make appointments at the DQ salon on the weekend again as a friend, who I called to complain to, explained security is more stringent there on weekends (no kidding!).  And as I walk I'm telling myself how grateful I am that the temps are cool, my hair looks great and that I will get my ride home once I reach the security gate where my ride is waiting for me.  But, bugger me, if anyone hassles me about my undone abaya and bare legs showing below my shorts or uncovered, though beautifully colored, hair, gratefulness will take a back seat and the shitty-ness I'm attempting to keep at bay just might spill over into a terrible emotional mess!

Ka kite

1 comment:

  1. Ooh, look at the Princess there! La-di-diddly-diddly-da.

    Seriously, walking around on a nice summer day is bad because what _might_ happen? Get real. Yeah we all have bad days, me included, but not keeping the strop internal means you're gonna get called out on it :-)


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