Read Me/Disclaimer

Read Me/Disclaimer: This is a non-political/socio-political blog. It's a running tale of my Saudi Arabian adventure, great, good, bad, and ugly. It is uncensored, and I don't really care what you think of it, read it or don't. I don't care. I did not decide to do this as a means to an end, but rather to document the means with which I occupied my time while waiting for my end... All that being said, I'm an American Expat in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The opportunity to help build this system and the salary that accompanied it were to good to pass up.-Geoff

"The views presented here are just the views of some asshole named Geoff, they are not necessarily the views of my employer, my co-workers, my family or anybody else. First hand knowledge and second hand accounts were used to compile the information. These are not scientific facts and figures. These views are not necessarily supported, endorsed or even appreciated by the KSA the USA or any other country for that matter and the author makes absolutely no claim that they are."**

Thursday, February 16, 2012


Of the few things you either can't have or can't often find in Saudi Arabia, Mexican food is one of the surprising ones.  I mean of course I understand why I can't have a BLT, or why I can't go order a nice American style Ice cold draft, but Mexican food?  I can walk down the street in Al-Khobar, Dammam or Riyadh and find Chinese food, Indian Food, Italian food, American Fast Food, American semi fast food (Applebees's, Friday's, Outback Steak House, Planet Hollywood) Turkish food, British food, Iraqi food, Lebanese food, some of the best seafood you've ever imagined.  But I can't get Mexican food?  Weird...There is supposedly a "Taco Bell" in Riyadh, although I haven't found it, and calling Taco Bell Mexican food is like calling the Pope a religious dude, I mean technically the definition is semi accurate,...but it leaves a lot to be desired.  I did however find "Old El Paso" brand (which is about the same as Taco Bell) salsa and enchilada mix in one of the ethnic foods isles...(haha I'm the "ethnic" in the ethnic foods isle now!), but that's all there was, a jar of salsa, and a can of red enchilada sauce (and everybody knows that green is the good stuff!), so not a whole lot of help in the "ethnic foods isle".

Since I've been here, whenever I order more traditional fare, it comes with a small cup of "salsa" that most locals either disregard or spread on their rice and chicken, it even comes with the meal at some kabsa restaurants, I even tried some my first night and quickly decided that they didn't know what they were doing.  Which brings me to the point of this post.  We had a very nice, very expensive employee dinner about a week ago, at this dinner, they're were two "cauldron's" of an off color almost brownish, watery, pico de gallo looking solution.  I ignored them until one of the guys said here try this Salsa you might like it, have you ever eaten Salsa?  I assured him condescendingly that growing up in California, and being stationed where I was stationed, and even living in Missouri I was a freakin' Salsa expert, and that no way was that "concoction" going to taste anything like salsa is supposed to taste.  Without asking, he suddenly plopped a spoonful down on my plate and said "try it".  The entire table of 8 was now staring, so I decided to humor them and gently put my spoonful of rice in the clump of salsa...I have never been so shocked in my life...It was Salsa!  Not only was it salsa, it was either the best or second best pico/salsa that I've ever had, it was awesome. My brain suddenly started trying to remember which store I'd been in when I had seen a bag of Tostito's, because a bag of Tostito's and a cup of this stuff would make a Friday (Wednesday) night almost complete!

When the night finally wound down about midnight, we were encouraged to take as much leftover food as we could carry, nobody hesitated and cans of soda, bottles of water and plates and plates of rice, lamb, and chicken were swooped down upon buy our employees doing their very best impression of a pack of vultures.  I paid them no mind though, I had only one desire, to get to the cauldron's of Salsa that they were so foolishly ignoring.  I found a large cup and headed over, when I arrived and looked upon the gallons of near perfection it suddenly dawned on me that this stuff was fresh, really fresh, as in cut up from fresh onions, tomatoes, cilantro etc...And it had been exposed to air for a minimum of the last 6 eyes watered and my heart sank as I realized that this precious and impressive mixture would be spoiled in less than another 12 hours.  I took a little, and ate it with a plate of rice later that night, imagining what could have been...but the sunny side is that I now know it exists, it's here, I just have to find it again.  I need to ask the Dean who he had cater the meal...who knows maybe there's some crazy Mexican expat in their kitchen...Somebody knows how to make a proper Salsa though, and if they know how to make proper salsa, maybe they know how to make other things as well...and while its still not bacon or beer, a plate of pollo or carne asada enchiladas smothered in jack cheese and a bowl of salsa with some fresh oily and salty tortilla chips sounds like a little slice of heaven right about now...who knew I'd miss Mexican food?...maybe its time for another expedition...I'm Hungry!

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