Sunday, October 30, 2011

It's Raining Men

Obviously Saudi Arabia is radically different from most countries but it's the little things that sort of stick in the back of your mind.  One of the most difficult things to get used to so far is the weekends here.  They are Thursdays and Fridays, the work week starts every Saturday morning for me and it blows my mind every week. In Islam Friday is the holy day when everyone should go to mosque and pray and listen to a short sermon much like Christianity's Sunday, they take it a bit more seriously than most Christians though.
But perhaps a more subtle difference I have noticed is the lack of females working especially in those professions where females generally dominate. Cashiers - men, sanitation workers - men, clothing stores - men, fast food employees - men, lingerie stores all staffed by men.  Women have been removed from the workforce to a large extent.  Women are allowed to work but only in places where they will only be dealing with other women. Banks have a male section and a female and never the twain shall meet.  It is surprisingly odd to watch a woman in her abaya (black robe) shopping and dealing with the male clerk and looking and around and seeing a sea of beards and mustaches manning the cash registers.
Hope is on the way I was told today. Medical studies have been integrated and so far the entire civilization has not collapsed; rumours are swirling that within the next 5-10 years the other disciplines could be integrated as well and then it would be easy to imagine a time when I can go to the grocery store and have my   eggs, milk, and kunafa rung up by a member of the opposite sex.

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