Tuesday, June 12, 2012

The Culture of Saudi Arabia - From Shopping to Praying to Eating!

So, our first week in Saudi Arabia has come to an end and the new week will start soon, I think. Here are some interesting things that I have learned so far about the culture and lifestyle here:

1. The work week starts on Saturday and ends on Wednesday. So, that means that Thursday and Friday is the weekend. So, since today is Tuesday, that means that the weekend will be here in 2 days. I know, I am still confused about this too.

2. At the malls, most of the kids wear roller skates, use a scooter and some even ride their bikes. The malls are so big here-so I guess this tactic eliminates the "mom, hold me" whining.

3. At the beach, families picnic at night. We drove by and saw families with "camp" fires, roasting their fresh caught fish.

4. People EAT camel meat here! Gross, right? Well, actually, I ate it, thinking that Sohail was lying to me about it being camel. It was actually quite tasty!

5. Stores stay open until midnight here. Some stay open until you are done looking. But others just turn the lights out on you.

6. Stores close during prayer times. I really don't know how to explain this, but for example-we drove up to the gas station and the gas pumps just turned off (the part with the price on it). Prayer time started and we sat at the pump for at least 30 minutes. Prayer time ended-we were able to pump the gas, but the guy pumped it for us. And-it only cost $6.93 to fill up our car!!!!!!!!!!!

7. In restaurants here, there are "family sections" and "single or men's" section. This is also hard to wrap your head around. I am here and don't really completely understand. For example, I walked up to Starbucks in a shopping center. I had to go into the side door for the "family section." I had to wait longer because the men ordering their coffee, on the men's side went first.

8. There are malls everywhere! At least one every mile. Some are even across the street from each other. And, get this-the top floors have arcades and playgrounds (at least the ones that I've been to).

9. The Andalus Mall, has a grocery store in it, on the 3rd floor! That was cool! And-the escalators are not like stairs, but are flat. So, the shopping carts fit on them, all the way down to the 1st floor. That means, that you can roll your cart through the mall!

10. Using toilet paper is not a common practice here. Most homes and public restrooms have a water hose type thing to wash with. Me-I carry tissues in my purse!

That's all for now-I hope you enjoyed reading this!

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