Sunday, September 30, 2012

Things You Should Know Before Moving to Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia is both mysterious and unique in many ways. A trip to the kingdom can be both challenging and adventurous at the same time. Getting used to a new culture, language, and country can also be the way to test ones patience. Saudi Arabia is no exception. Below is some useful information for anyone preparing to visit or move here either alone or with family.

The Work Week:
Instead of the typical Monday-Friday workweek, with Saturday and Sunday off....if Saudi Arabia, the work week is from Saturday-Wednesday, with Thursday and Friday off. So, Wednesday is like Friday. Saturday is like Monday. It still confuses me!

Prayer Times:
Being an Islamic country, every place of business closes their store during this time. Prayer times occur 5 times each day.There are apps you can get to let you know when they are. Roughly, prayer times are around 4 am, sunrise, noon, around 6:30 and 7:30. It changes according to the time of year and the Islamic calendar. Prayer times last from 15-40 minutes, on average. On a loudspeaker, the call to prayer can be heard. It is like a beautiful song-like poem in Arabic. It signals Muslims to give them enough time to either go to the local mosque to pray or shut down their work area. Some stores turn off their lights to signal for everyone to leave and wait outside. Others, like IKEA and larger grocery stores, allow you to continue shopping. However, you can't pay for your items until prayer time is over. In local markets, the shop owners leave their items covered with a sheet and then they head to the mosque.

This is a holy holiday that is highly observed by Muslims. From sunrise to sunset, they are not permitted to eat or drink anything. As soon as the sun sets, they open their fast by eating. If you are not Muslim, you are not required or expected to "not fast." However, it is nice to respect the culture by not eating and drinking in public. On the other hand, those who are born in Saudi Arabia are born into the muslim religion and are required to observe and participate in fasting. The same is for the many foreigners who live in Saudi Arabia, whom are also Muslim. EVERY place that serves food starts opening before the fasting time (iftari). It is common to see long lines in the grocery stores and at local eating places. They are selling the food that everyone will begin eating. Some families cook a nice little feast and they gather and open their fast together. After this it is common to take a nap for a few hours and then have dinner. Staying up and going shopping is very common. It is normal for stores to still be open at 2 am!

Value of time: 
Most people in Saudi Arabia think of time as an infinite resource. Appointments are made as a hope that it will happen. For example, I have seen many business meetings rescheduled for the following day because the person who called the meeting was tired or had forgotten about the meeting. So many times, I have also seen people show up for meetings to meet with a person who was not even in the office. Many times the phrase "insh-allah" is said. For example, when we bought a table we were told that it would be delivered in the evening, insh-allah. My translation: "if it works out, I will get you your table on the date and time that I said. If not, it was not meant to be." This phrase is meant to mean, though that if God wills it, it will happen accordingly. Again, this is something that you get used to here, but it can be frustrating too.

Women are not permitted to drive:
As a woman myself, this has been the most "interesting" idea to adapt to. I do respect the culture that I have chosen to live in. I do, also, miss my independence that I had in the US. Women are not permitted to drive. A husband, personal driver, taxi or relative is allowed to take women to and from work and elsewhere. So, like me, if you run out of sugar, you either walk to the store or wait for your husband to get home and take you.

Women must wear an Abaya, at all times in pulic:
An abaya is a black covering that looks like a robe and it is worn over your clothing. Amazingly, this was not hard for me to adjust to. Here in Jeddah, most women wear black abaya's (including myself). However, it is ok to wear them in other colors too. I have seen Navy, dark brown, dark purple and dark gray. They button from top to bottom, in the front and some of them zip up and down, for easy off and on access. It's best to just go to a shop and try them on until you find the size that is perfect for you. Many shops even customize abaya's to make them exactly how you want. They come in various materials like polyester, knit and lace overlays.

Head Coverings:
This is not a requirement. In the past 4 months, I have never encountered anyone telling me or asking me to "cover my head." I have heard of it happening, though. Many women do cover their heads here in Jeddah. It is common and I have gotten used to it. Some women also wear a head covering that also covers their face-leaving only their eyes exposed. This is common also. Not covering your head does draw attention, though. I just don't make eye contact with strangers in public. That way, I won't know if I am being stared at or not.

Many options are available from apartments, villa's, or compounds. My family lives in a 5 level apartment building and it is a nice and quiet place to live. The drawback of an apartment is that there are usually no parks or children's entertainment nearby. Our children cannot safely ride their bike outside. Also, apartments here are not like those in the US, where there is a shared pool and gym. But, most here have elavators! Villa's are also available. Here in Jeddah, most are large and more expensive. Villa's are the equivalent to a house, but most have a large wall around them for privacy. Many also have pools. A compound is the next choice. Compounds are like mini-neighborhoods, with a pool a little store, sidewalks, and trees. They are more expensive than an apartment and for a family, much smaller. That is why we chose the apartment life here.

Food Choices:
Food from around the world is available here. Many chain eating places are here, like Applebee's, Subway and McDonald's. (I have also written an entire post about the choices here in Jeddah). The fast food joints are about the same price as in the US. However, the sit-down American restaurants are almost double of what you would pay in the US. The local food (chicken and rice) is typically less expensive.For me, I have not enjoyed the food as much here. My Texas food from back home is truly missed by me!

Family Life:
There are a variety of place to take children to entertain them. Each mall has huge arcade like children's play places (similar to Chuck-E-Cheese) but on a larger scale. Some schools offer extra-curricular activities, but some also charge for them. The beach is easily accessible, to stroll by, on Corniche street. Private beaches are available as well. These are the ones that you pay for to enter, and you don't have to wear or swim in an abaya. It is common to see locals having a picnic on the side of the road with their family or friends.

Many facebook groups exist for meeting new friends and acquaintances. A few are: Jeddah Mums, Jeddah Moms, Jeddah Blog, KSA Teachers, Expat Ladies Club, Expat Ladies Wing, Jeddah Foodies. It is a bit tricky getting to know people here, but not impossible. I have met some wonderful people via facebook and then in person. We scheduled children's playdates and got to know each other better that way.

Singles vs. Family:
All places that serve food or drink have "sections" to them. There will be a door to enter the "Singles" section. This is for men only-single or not. Women cannot go in a Singles section. Also, you will find a "Families" section. This is for single women, groups of women and families or both parents with or without their children. This was the hardest thing for me to understand while I was in the US.

When you are offered a job, it is common for your pay to be lower than what you expected. The culture here, "barters" (for lack of a better word.) It is expected that ask for higher than what you think you should make and then you both "meet in the middle." So if you were offered 10,000 SR/month, you could ask for 15,000 and then you both could end up agreeing on 12,000. In addition to your pay, some jobs give you a housing and transportation allowance. Others include those items within your pay or "base salary." Be sure you find out which one your pay includes. Many jobs pay for your airfare, others reimburse you after you arrive. I recommend the first option, for various legalistic reasons. Keep in mind that your pay, accomodations, etc. will vary GREATLY, depending on your job type and company. For example, working for a school versus working for an oil company. Larger companies give shipping allowances and moving expenses. Many schools and smaller ones do not. Expect to get paid in cash if you do not yet have your iquama. It can take months for your employer to get your iquama approved by the government.

Public schools instruct only in Arabic and offer English in later grades. Therefore, a plethora of International schools are available to expats. Many Saudi's send their children to these schools as well. All International schools in Jeddah are tuition and "for-profit." Yes, even the American International School and the British International School. Those are the most well known schools around. The exception are few, such as the Pakistan International School. (Their government assists them.) These schools usually offer American or British curriculum. This simply means that the textbooks are from either country. Expat teachers from around the globe work at these schools. However, just because the school has American and/or British curriculum does not mean that all the teachers are from those respective country. In fact, most are not. At smaller International schools, some teachers are native English speakers and some speak English as their second language. Schools range from 8,000 SR-40,000SR per semester. Most schools also have "hidden fees" which are in addition to the tuition (registration, uniform, books, miscellaneous, activities).

Also, be prepared-your child will have an entrance exam (for a fee) that he will take prior to being admitted to the school. Most schools are K-12. Some of the campuses have all the building close by and some are spread out across town. However, pre-schools and Kindergarten schools are also throughout the city. Some schools are split by gender, having a boys side and a girls side. If you have children, my advice is to visit every school that you can, prior to moving here (that is what I wish I would have been able to do). The school websites do not offer enough information. The facebook groups offer some, but not enough information to make the best decision you can, for your children.

I hope that my first-hand and recent experience here, helps you to understand the culture better. Feel free to ask me about anything Saudi culture related and I will give you my thoughts based on my American influenced perspective!

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Outdoor Market Shopping at Hiraj

I love this place for its local charm and culture. Hiraj is outside of the city and is a shopping market. Most of the shops are outdoors. On our route there, we stopped to meet local camel farmers. I even watched them milk a camel! Hiraj is known in Jeddah by many locals, for having good quality curtain fabric (for a super low price)! It is huge and has everything from furniture to custom made camel saddles!

This man is a local "Sewer." We bought our curtain fabric and he sewed it into curtains in less than one hour!

The outside of the market is outlined with these tiny "air-conditioned" shops. To the very right is the entrance to the furniture section.

As we drove by, we saw so many things for sale here, like: toilets, sinks, tools, shoes, toys and beds.

Well, you can't go to Saudi Arabia without seeing the camels! I was so happy to find these local "camel herders/farmers" on the way to Hiraj. There were even other foreigners who stopped to take pictures. This guy wearing white is actually milking the camel!

This is one of the many couch sections of the market. Looks pretty good for second-hand, right?

See the fresh camel milk? It is in the bowl on the table. The farmer even put some in bag, should one want to buy some to take home.

I am guessing that this is where the farmer lives. But I am not really sure. Hopefully, it is just for his supplies, though.

Two of the guys on the left actually tasted the camel milk. We did not. No thank you!

This part of the market was fun to drive through. Local guys just wait with their trucks and then you pay them to bring home your furniture treasures.

This is a small part of the fabric section.

I don't know why...but it was so much fun walking past all the fabric. 

This is what a camel farm looks like. My daughter was dying from the smell and begged me stop taking pictures so that she could get back in the car! When we got back into the car - we smelled really bad. 

Awww....the sweet camel family! The babies were so cute!

See the frothy camel milk below.....

This is me. I'm having a bad hair day. Well it is 90% humidity here-in September!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Saudi Bathrooms 101

If you are from America, like me-you are used to American bathrooms. The bathrooms in Saudi Arabia are a bit different for several reasons:

1. Public restrooms do not usually have toilet paper-yep, that's right. Unless you go to a more expensive restaurant-those have TP, but only sometimes.
2. Each stall comes equipped with a hose like water sprayer- just use your imagination to figure out what that is for...I will not go into detail....just remember-no TP!
3. Sometimes the stall floors are sopping wet. Why? Remember the Water hose thing....that's why. Unless- you go to a MORE expensive restaurant, where a cleaning person, mops after each person leaves the stall.
4. Some bathrooms have no toilets! Seriously! They have "squatty potty's" instead. Again-use you seat to sit on,but there is a hole in the floor.
5. Some have sign outside, do you know where to go. This sign was in Spanish and Arabic! But the men's sign only came in Spanish....

Lucky for me- toilet paper is sold in all the supermarkets here!

The pictures shown are from a super nice and clean restaurant in Jeddah, called "On the Border." It serves Tex-Mex style food-yum!

Friday, September 14, 2012

Middle East Burning

If you watch what is going around the world you will think all Muslim are psychotic hate filled individuals just looking for any reason to kill another human being or destroy properties. If you are watching the news I must say I do not blame you for thinking that way.
We can all agree that the follower of each and every religion have figured out a way to corrupt their own religion. Same is true for thousands out of more than a billion Muslim around the world. These men and women we see on TV are destroying their neighbor’s properties and killing innocent and unarmed people for no reason. Some believe it is due to a movie created by someone in the United States of America.
To me Islam is a religion of peace, what I’ve be taught throughout my life tells me the actions of few individuals who are acting like bunch of elementary school kids. Name calling and getting in school yard fight is what it all seems to me.

Growing up Muslim this is one of the stories that stayed with me about a women and Prophet Mohammed. “She thought till late at midnight and finally decided how to take revenge from him. She could not sleep all night, because she was too eager to take revenge for the idols she worshiped. Even before the first ray of sunlight had entered her window, she was busy sweeping her house. She saved all the garbage in a basket, placed it on the roof of her house and proudly looked at it for a while, then with an impatient look on her face, she looked at the street that she lived on, and thought, "No one has ever seen him angry. Everybody will praise me when they will see him shouting at me and getting mad. They will laugh at him and make fun of him." She looked at the basket again and grinned.

Meanwhile, she heard footsteps, announcing the approach of the end of her waiting. "Finally my prey has arrived," she thought, as she saw a man dressed in clean, white clothes coming that way. She picked up the basket in her hands and threw all the garbage on him when he passed by. Much to the woman's disappointment, he did not say anything and continued on his way. She did the same the following day thinking, "Maybe this time I will be able to annoy him." But he was too gentle to shout at a woman. She misinterpreted his attitude as fear and decided to repeat the same mischief every day in order to keep him frightened, so that he might stop preaching the Oneness of God. This gentleman whom the woman hated so much was Muhammad (pbuh), the last prophet of Allah Almighty. He did not want to disappoint the woman and so continued to walk down the street every day, instead of picking an alternate route, and prayed for the woman to recognize the Truth. One day, the Holy Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) did not find the woman to be on the roof of her house with the basket. This worried him, because he thought something must have happened to her for not being over there. So he knocked at the door. "Who is it?" asked a feeble voice. "Muhammad bin Abdullah," was the reply, "can I come in?" The woman feared, "I am sick, and too weak to fight or talk back, therefore Muhammad has come to take revenge for what I have been doing to him." But the permission to enter her house was in such a gentle voice that she allowed him in.

Muhammad (pbuh) entered the house and told the woman that not finding her on the roof had worried him and he thus wanted to inquire about her health. On finding out how ill she was, he gently asked if she needed any help. Hypnotised by the affectionate tone in the Holy Prophet's (pbuh) blessed voice, she forgot all fear and asked for some water. He kindly gave her some in a utensil and prayed for her health, while she quenched her thirst. This made her feel very guilty for being so cruel to him in the past and she apologised for her mean behaviour. He forgave her and came to her house every day to clean it, to feed her and to pray for her, till she was on her feet again. The kind attitude of the Holy Prophet (pbuh) inspired her into the recognition of the Truth, and his prayers were answered in the form of yet another addition into the growing number of Muslims.

Some may quote the Hadith, “None of you believes until I am dearer to him than his father, his child, and all of mankind” My interpretation of the Hadith is to love him and his actions and not just his name. Love him and his legacy not just his title. Love him and his message not what Sufis, Clerics, & Imams have told you. What better way to show our love and appreciation than to do exactly how he himself would have acted in the situation. We learn about his mercy from the story about conquest of Mecca. Did he Kill and destroy everyone and everythig? What about the people of Taif, did he destroy them. I love my prophet so I will follow him and his teaching. 

Photo Friday | Architecture & Designs in Jeddah

Sunday, September 9, 2012

School Registration Insanity Continues!

Life here is going ok. The kids are happy, but I am going a little crazy for the moment! To be quite honest, I feel like I am on another planet that is far far away! "The glam of Saudi Arabia is gone and reality is kicking in," as my husband says. In spite of all the backwards things I see here, I am determined to be a super-hero, with God as my strength! 

Part 1 Summary -- In my last post, I wrote about how difficult it was to find a school and then register my children here in Saudi Arabia. You may have even felt a little sorry for me when I wrote about the process of having my children tested to be admitted to a school and then having to wait until the next day to see if they “passed”. Well, the story doesn’t end there.

Part 2
I went back to the school to pay the rest of the registration fees. I was given a number on a sticky note and was directed to go pick out the kids uniform sizes. They tried them on and we picked out their sizes-but since I was waiting to pay, they couldn’t give them to me yet. So, they stacked them to the side and told me to come back with my receipt. So, preceded with patiently waiting for the accountant to accept my money. My number was 39 and they were on number 21… 9:30am! By 11:30 my number was called and I made a fool of myself by whooping and hollering because I was so excited that it was finally my turn. (All this time, Sohail is waiting outside in the car for me because men are not allowed on the women’s side of the school and vice versa.) I was surprised to see that everything was calculated by hand and a calculator-with no computer entry. However, at 12 noon, I was finished paying and went on my way to pick up the uniforms.

Guess what? They gave my stack of uniforms to someone else! So, now I had to guess the sizes of the kids-because I was just so frustrated and didn’t want to have them try on clothing again. And-they were out of the sizes the kids needed. Oh well-what could I do, right? They told me that I could exchange the sizes out next week.
Then, I was told to go pick up the kids textbooks and workbooks. What a sight it must have been to see me walking out the building with over 20 books + the uniforms. Seriously-I could see heads turning and eyes glaring at me-this white girl in a black abaya! Now that I was finished it was 2:00pm and I was exhausted-but I did it-and I didn’t cry or yell at anyone!

Before I left, I was told that school had been postponed…until September 16th. Oh my-what next?

Well, when I got back to work-the lights were out in my office. Then, I opened the door and the door handle fell off from both sides! What a day! What a day!

Saturday, September 8, 2012

The Madness of Finding a Driver!

This past month I got the pleasure of searching for a driver *insert sarcasm here*. When I arrived to Saudi Arabia, Sohail had arranged a wonderful driver to take me to and from work each day. He was great, until after 2 months-he quit. So, again, Sohail arranged a driver and after one week-I fired him! Each week, I have had a temporary driver, since. Why did I fire my driver, you ask? Because I arrived to work almost in tears because of how he drove. We were even in a minor car accident on his 3rd day! Now that the children are going back to school, we need a driver to pick them up from school, drop them off at after-school care, pick me up from work, then pick up the kids and take us back home. Amazing, right? *insert more sarcasm here* So, tomorrow our youngest starts school and this week our other 2 children will begin school. Wish us luck in finding a driver!

Why is finding a driver such a big deal? Well, if you don’t know, women are not allowed to drive in Saudi Arabia-ever. Women must rely on their husband, father, brother, son, a taxi or a family driver to take them anywhere. I have accepted that these are the culture’s “rules.” However, after legally driving for more than twenty years, I feel a bit demeaned by not being able to drive. Granted, men crazily and unsafely drive here-so I would not really enjoy driving here. But, when it comes down do it-I am not able to drive to get groceries, take my kids to and from school, take them to after-school activities, etc…. So, not being able to drive completely limits what a woman is able to do here. It is frustrating to say the least. 

Many women here have tried to start a movement by posting various articles on their blogs and even in the newspaper. One woman did in fact “drive” but now she faces the horrors of not being able to get a job in Saudi Arabia. Her act of driving must have disgraced the family, unfortunately.

Once again, my fellow Americans, be glad for the rights that we have-in America!

Long ago, women did not have the same rights, nor did African Americans or foreigners. Luckily, human rights activists, religious leaders and government officials made equal rights the law. Although American is far from perfect-at least ethics and equal opportunities are enforced. It didn’t happen in a few years, but over the course of decades. I would hope that many other countries would follow. It could happen!

*update* I now have a driver. The problem is-he doesn't speak English! More adventures await!!!!!!!!!!

Another American living in Saudi Arabia wrote about the same women driving issues here:

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Jeddah: The Simple Life

Family and friend outings in Saudi Arabia are much different then in other parts of world. Here people have figured out a simple way to relax and enjoy life. They do not ask for much and make the most of what is available to them. Below are the beautiful examples, in photo form, of what some  locals did to enjoy a weekend evening.

In Jeddah, there are many open lots, like the one in this picture. Open areas are the perfect place for locals to entertain themselves. This particular place is across the street from the Corniche beach area. I drove onto the sand and asked Mohamed if I could take his photo. He said "no problem, as long as it is not for the newspaper." So, I snapped some shots of him firing up his grill. 

A few minutes later a few young men drove up to buy a nice cup of fire hot tea. Before I knew it, we had a mini-photo session....right there on the sand.

They dressed me up in the typical daily Saudi head-dress (red and white she mag) and then took a photo of me, as well! They asked for copies of the photo's and then we exchanged phone numbers. My purpose was to capture realistic images of local natives and in the end I made some new acquaintances!

The Madness of School Registration!


In Saudi Arabia, if you want your child to go to a nice school, you have to pay tuition. However, you can send your child to public school for free-but all the classes are in Arabic! 

Before coming here, I researched every international school in Jeddah, that had a website. Schools here are like businesses, so some were presented very well on their websites, while others were not in English.

When I arrived here in June, all the schools were off for summer break and all the staff were gone for vacation. Administration and office staff do not stay on campus during the summer. So, I could not visit any campuses to see how they looked. However, I did find out from the websites that administrators usually return one week before school starts. Starting on September 1st, I began calling the schools to set up an appointment for a tour. Not one school picked up the phone! After 2 days of me and Sohail both calling all the schools that we were considering, we began to get worried. On facebook pages from parents in Jeddah, we began hearing that many of the schools were full and had no space. I became so frustrated that no one picked up the phone and got concerned that all these schools must be bad if they can’t pick up the phone. 

So, I reached out to Jeddah mom groups  on facebook. The advice that I received was that I needed to actually go to these schools in person, to find out if there were any spaces for my children. So, that is what Sohail and I did. The first school that we visited said that there may not be a spots for the kids, but that we could sign them up on the waiting list. The office staff said that we could bring the kids back the next day for an entrance exam. Yes people, that is the norm here. All International schools “test” each and every child, so that they will know if the child is ready for the grade level. I have also heard that some schools make spots available based on your country of origin. 

So, frantic….we went ahead and picked up the kids and took them back to the school for testing. The 2nd grade test lasted 20 minutes and the 4th grade test was over an hour! I know! This is insane! I was then told on the spot that my daughter “passed” but that I would receive a phone call the next day to hear if my son passed or not. I guess they needed time to grade his lengthy test!

So, worried that he may not pass the test, we went ahead and visited the other schools. EVERY school we visited did not have spaces for both children. They had space for either one or the other. Now we began panicking yet hopeful that the kids would be accepted to the first school. So we went to bed, went to work the next day and waited for the phone call. At 1:00, I couldn’t take it anymore, so I called the school…..and guess what? He passed the test and there was a space available for both of them now! Yeah!!!!!!!

However, this is not the end of our literal "school shopping" and registration process. Now, I was told to come to the school before 2pm and pay the fees. So, I got a taxi (since women can’t drive here) and I told the guy to go fast, so that I could get to the school in time. I made it in time and was told to pay the fees. Now, keep in mind, I have not even filled out the registration papers yet. I thought that I would only be paying the registration fee but was told that I needed to pay (for both kids) ½ of the tuition, the book fee and the uniform fee.  I guess the schools here want to make sure that you will actually pay the money, before they allow the child to start school. 

Since I didn’t have that much cash with me for both the kids, I asked the office lady what to do. I told her that we have the money, but not with us. She said I could pay the registration fee and ½ of ½ of the tuition for each child. So, I did that and now and she garaunteed that their spot would be held. Yipee!!!!! In spite of the insanity of the registration process, the office staff were very nice and respectful to one another as well as me and the other parents. I think this is a good sign of the type of school atmosphere that they have. The teachers were coming in and out also, as they were the ones testing the kids. I noticed that the principal had to sign off and approve each child’s entry. In the end, it seemed like they had a good routine of what they were doing even though I was freaking out inside and trying to figure out what I was supposed to do! 

Each of the grade levels also start on a different day of the week. This is also the first year,  EVER that I will be able to take the kids to their first day of school!

When I mentally recover, I may write about the joys of finding a Kindergarten school for our youngest child! 

Thanks for reading and I know my American friends and family, that you are probably feeling truly blessed to be living in America and not have to worry about this hassle! But, if it weren’t for all of this drama, I would have nothing to write about. I hope everyone has a great school year!

Sunday, September 2, 2012

No Sir! - An Experience to Remember!

"Sorry sir we do not have that" or "Sorry sir we can not do that" is something one must get used to if you live in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. From business side of view I believe it is lack of empowerment or sometimes lack of training. But sometimes these incidents  can make you laugh and are great stories. I'll share two of the great stories.

So one day I decided to visit Papa John for a grand opening. After getting to the register I looked at all the different options they had on the menu. I asked the cashier for a pizza and he replied "sorry sir we do not have that". Well I requested for a pizza with different topic and got the same reply. Then I asked if he can give me pizza with cheese, beef, and jalapeno. This time his reply was, "Sorry sir we can not do that, please select something from the menu". So I asked him if he can just show me what they have to offer. He showed me two different pizzas and I selected one out of the two. I requested for it to be thin crust and not hand tossed. I was surprised when he replied, "Sorry sir we can not do that". His reasoning behind it was that they do not have a way to charge or register thin crust in the register. Then he asked us if we would like anything to drink. I asked for a pepsi, can you guess the response, "Sorry sir we do not have that". Then I asked for 7up and got the same reply. I asked with frustration what do they have. He replied diet pepsi only. Then I asked if he had wings. Surprisingly I heard "YESSSS". But I made the mistake of asking him if he had buffalo sauce. My second mistake was asking him if he had ranch dressing. Well the situation turned from frustrating to extremely hilarious when I gave him cash and he replied, "Sorry sir we do not have change". I could not stop laughing about it for hours. 

Well Andrea did not believe something like that can happen. But not long after her arrival we went to a Chinese restaurant where we were asked if we want a private room or a table. When we decided to go for the private room the greeter at the restaurant told us "Sorry sir we do not have that". 

For those of you who is looking for a video of something crazy like this all I have to say is, "SORRY SIR/MAM I DO NOT HAVE THAT".