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."**

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

One of the coolest times I've had in Saudi

Last weekend, I went with some friends to the absolute coolest event I've been to in Saudi.  One of my friends was getting married you see and I made the guest list!  The wedding was a little ways out in Al-Hasa which gave me a good chance to not only get out of the city, but see the likes of another city and village as well.  It was held at a rental facility geared for such things and was overall one of the best if not the best time I've ever had in Saudi Arabia.  I've had some really decent times here, some really scary ones, and a whole truck load of boring ones.  This one topped them all.

The wedding was attended by close to 300 guests on the male side and everybody was spread amongst the sprawling lawns and date palms, relaxing, drinking coffee and tea and congratulating the groom and the family.

Food was awesome as usual, a traditional style meal of Lamb on rice, with sides of fruit and dates.  they fed us almost as soon as we walked in the place and didn't stop until we were ready to burst (as I've said many times, food is not a problem in Saudi).  We took dozens if not hundreds of pictures and spent the rest of the night being shown around the facility by the Grooms brother and relaxing in the cool evening breeze on the grass under a date palm. 

A few things occurred to me throughout the night, first and foremost was the fact that I was welcomed so openly.  In fact, welcomed doesn't even describe it.  I was treated like an honored guest.  People were so glad that I decided to come and I just was ushered around to meet everybody.  So why then don't I get to do more of these things?  Saudi's seem to mistakenly think that as westerners we would rather hang around on compounds, get drunk and hang out with scantily glad loose women.  Is this really the image we portray to the world?  Is this really what you think?  Don't get me wrong, I don't look a gift beer or gift woman in the mouth, but c'mon!  Being invited to cultural events, seeing the actual Kingdom, visiting new places...these are the things we want to do, and they are the things we cannot usually do on our own.  Please keep inviting me to these types of things.  Believe me, I can find plenty of booze and women and boring old compound conversations when I get back to the states.  After I leave Saudi, I will never again get the chance to attend a Saudi wedding!

One of the other things that occurred to me throughout the evening was how similar people everywhere are.  This may sound strange to some,who've never been anywhere quite as culturally 180 as this; they probably believe while looking through their bong smoke that "people are people man".  The truth is, people aren't just people.  I've been all around the world and never have I seen a place where some of the basics are so different from my home than here.  I walk to work and walk home every day, I live in an apartment off compound, I run at night on the beach and I'm normally struck by the sense of just how different we are from each other, therefore, its really cool when I get to see our similarities instead of our differences.  Watching children chase each other around the lawn, old men sit and laugh and talk, young men congratulate the groom and ask if he'll be "up to the task tonight".  Men dancing, hugging, cheek kissing, playing music and taking pictures, it all served to bridge a gap and all in all, I felt very at home and loved the entire event. 

Considering that my own marriage just imploded after nearly 10 years, I was tempted to yell to the groom "don't do it!", but I quickly remembered the good that comes with the bad and held my tongue. It was also the couple's second wedding, so technically they'd already been "married" for years. Not to mention, who am I to tell a man when enough punishment is enough?

I guess in closing, It seems Saudi just takes a while...a while to get to meet other expat westerners, and a while to prove yourself worthy enough to get invited to cool events by the Saudi people themselves.  I guess my dues are paid up for now, time to sit back, relax and enjoy the good stuff! 


  1. Replies
    1. Thank You for saying so! And thank you for reading!

    2. oh welcome.Your blog is interesting as well and what I like most is I am reading positive stuff from KSA.It's refreshing rather then reading ranting and whining(like I do a lot.... LOL)

  2. "Saudi's seem to mistakenly think that as westerners we would rather hang around on compounds, get drunk and hang out with scantily glad loose women. Is this really the image we portray to the world? Is this really what you think? "
    yes that's the image in mind, blame it on Hollywood. unless people (some people) get to know YOU then you are a stereotype of what they've "seen on TV"

    im happy you were a part of a great experience before you leave, and glad you enjoyed it

    1. As much as I hate to admit it, some stereotypes are grounded in truth, other aren't but are rather a form of cognitive dissonance or worse are the result of deliberately produced propaganda. In this case I think Hollywood has actually inadvertently "screwed us". Do remember though that the majority of mainstream big box-office movies coming out of Hollywood are going to be geared towards what a younger crowd who is most likely to spend money wants to see.

      That having been said, this particular stereotype does exist for a reason, personally it took a while for me to see it, and actually I've noticed it before when I came back from Japan, but we Americans do tend to be loud, a tad bit superficial, like to drink, and chase women...But not all if any of us do it to the extremes that some believe.

      Thanks for the well wishes, and yes I had a great time. I've had a couple of them recently, I'm just behind in posting!

      Thanks for reading!