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."**

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Happy 82nd Birthday!

This post is a continuation of WooHoo Party!   

Saudi Arabia turned 82 today.  You just don't realize how young a country or Kingdom is sometimes.  Considering this was the first year I happened to be in the Kingdom for National Day, I politely disregarded the advice of others and went out anyway. 

Wednesday night some kids were causing a little trouble and breaking bottles, Friday night they were racing motorcycles down the street adjacent to my apartment, Saturday I got called into work because I was told that "this is a Saudi holiday, not an expat holiday" (so much for my four day weekend!), Sunday my buddy Jim called and we made plans to go drive around and check out the events.  We hit the roads which really weren't that bad, and cruised all around Dammam, Khobar and Dhahran.  Quite a few cars were displaying temporary paint of Saudi color and flags of the Kingdom, but other than that, we didn't see much.

We ended up at the mall of Dhahran and had an early dinner at Tony Roma's, not bad, not good, but for a place famous for a dish it can't serve here, it did OK I guess.  probably would have been better in the family seating, instead of the bastard (Oops, I mean single!) seating.   We shopped around a little, made some pretty funny and crude mannequin jokes (whole 'nother story).  We engaged in eye flirtations with the women who made eye contact and wanted to flirt and laughed at the "fashion show and peacock-ing" of the 20 something Arab men who look like they fell out of a Ralph Lauren ad, or a GQ magazine (clothing wise at least).  I picked up a second Saudi flag, This one the perfect size for the souvenir I want to create and also a 82nd Birthday/National Day sash.
My Saudi National Day sash...I don't read Arabic, so it probably says
"I'm an American asshole, somebody please shoot me"...but lets hope not!

 We checked out Ikea and Saco for looking for cheap stuff to try and make our apartments look like someone actually lives there.
Living Room
Dining Room

Yes I know its a mess, Thank you mother. 
Little luck was had in that department, everything was in heavy frames, expensive and really nothing just "had to be had".  We called it a day and headed back to Dammam.  Traffic was a little heavier than normal, and a much more obvious police presence was out, but really it remained pretty uneventful.

So all in all, a pretty good day, nobody tried to kill us, nobody gave us any mean looks, nobody harassed us at all.  No riots, no rock throwing and it looks like people exaggerated the dangers and crowds for the most part.  As I get my shirts and pants pressed for tomorrow, I can safely say that it was a good weekend, although I wish someone would realize that for an American adult male, hanging out at the mall with another guy is considered pretty lame, but since we aren't allowed to talk to women, or go out with them unless we marry them, and while Citizens can go to Bahrain every weekend but expats can't...God help me, it looks like I've officially become a mid 30's mall rat! 

I really hope the Kingdom takes a few steps in the next ten years to make non-Muslims and non-Saudis feel a little more comfortable! 


  1. Replies
    1. Ribs (pork ribs). Or at least they were 20 years ago before they went corporate. I used to go there with family every now and then and they really only had ribs and a few other things, but you could get all sorts of different kinds of ribs and seasonings and sauces. Now its pretty much just an Applebees or Benigans or Chilli's...You know Corporate food. :)

  2. Replies
    1. Really? I thought that was a horrible picture, but its the only one I had. Thanks though!