Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Not Saudi Arabia

Visiting Saudi Arabia is a rather strange experience. But to make a long story short, unless you're coming to visit the holiest sites in Islam, you should steer clear of the place. This is because it is a country where…
  • Temperatures outside soar so high, every building must be air conditioned and you will most likely spend most of your time inside buildings or car.
  • Foreigners outnumber Saudis by such an amount and in so many jobs, that you'll have a hard time getting what you need when you are trying to communicate with Indians.
  • All prices must be divided by five to find their real life value, and you'll most likely be ripped off by prices that are considered to be normal by Saudis.
  • The dishdasheh is the national uniform for all men, while women must wear black tents over their heads – as well as not being allowed to drive. Conferences are a nightmare to attend, because all you will see is men in white and you will be the only person in Earth clothes.
  • Accents used by Saudis are so strange, that you won't recognize the language and will probably mistake it for Indian. Wide means a lot for some reason and the Arabic word for water has been somehow transformed into mooyaah.
  • Foreigners, such as Indians or Filipinos or even Egyptians, not only take up the manual labor industry, but also much of other industries, such as cooks and receptionists.
  • Skyscrapers fill areas of interest and tower above you while you navigate the cramped streets of the city. Fast food branches are so common in these areas that it's no wonder people have a hard time watching their weight.
  • Saudi receptionists look at you blankly when you enquire why the hotel does not offer internet services, and I must go around the place searching for a free wireless access point to read my email and update my blog.