Wednesday, November 16, 2011


A few observations from my first 10 weeks in the Kingdom:
-there are quite a few little photo studios in Riyadh and it is generally frowned upon for people to display pictures of themselves however, apparently it is OK to have pictures of the king and other members of the royal family plastered all over the place. I can't really imagine going into a studio to get a portrait done and looking around to see Stephen Harper in a number of different poses.
-Alcohol is banned but there are more varieties of non-alcoholic beer on sale here than I have ever seen before; pomegranate near beer? mango 0% beer? Also no real bacon as the pig is a dirty, dirty animal but please enjoy this club sandwich made with beef bacon. No if it didn't come from a pig it is not bacon.
-A woman was recently caught driving and was sentenced to 10 lashes the king commuted the sentence making him look very progressive, not sure why they don't just outlaw the lashing of women that might be a bit more progressive
-Pretty sure I walked by some guy parked on the side of the road with his pants down rubbing one out, not sure that was necessary at 4 in the afternoon

And some comments from my students who are generally a good group of kids but:
On Saddam Hussein:
Student A: I have to say I liked Saddam because he at least attacked Israel
Student B: But he also attacked Saudi Arabia
Student A: Yeah that was bad, but still
On Crime in Riyadh:
I don't want to sound racist but there are some black areas in the shouldn't go there
On Men Crying:
Teacher: Why was the guy crying?
Student: Cuz he's gay
On Evolution:
My grandparents weren't monkeys
On Islam:
Student A: If being a Muslim didn't make me feel good inside I would quit being a Muslim
Student B: If you quit being a Muslim we'd have to kill you
(unfortunately true as any Muslim who renounces his faith should be executed)
On Steve Jobs:
Steve Jobs was a really great man, even though he wasn't a Muslim
On the Prophet Mohammed, peace be upon him:
He was the greatest person ever there were a lot of haters but he won in the end
On Dating and Marriage:
In the west you can have like 10 girlfriends in your life and here we can have 4 wives so it's basically the same thing

1 comment:

  1. Mango near-beer sounds pretty darn good. If you ever come to Istanbul, bring along a bottle of that.

    Thanks for thinking women shouldn't be lashed. I think so too. What do the Saudis think?