Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Momma Can't Drive

Most Americans are used to having a car. Usually, it is common to have at least two cars per family-one for dad and one for mom. In Saudi Arabia, it is a bit different. Why? Women are not allowed to drive. So, in Saudi Arabia, most families have one car-one for daddy. If that family is ever so fortunate, they will have another car that is driven exclusively by the family driver. Momma and the kids usually ride with the family driver, while daddy drives his car to work.

Sometimes this becomes a problem. Like today-my daughter's school called me while I was at work and told me that she was sick and that I had to pick her up. I hung up the phone and just sat there-thinking-"How am I going to manage picking her up from school?" I took out my phone and got to work. I called my husband-no answer. He must have been in an important meeting. I called my driver and he is unavailable, because he is also a driver for 3 other clients and is busy driving them for the next two hours. I tell my boss that I have to pick up my daughter. I tell her of my dilemna. She graciously offers me her driver to pick up my daughter. Whew! I was so happy that she did this, because I would have just taken a taxi, however, taxi's are not allowed through the security gate at school.

As me and my boss's driver enter the security gate, to retrieve my sick daughter, the security officer will not let us through. Why? Because we do not have a car pass to enter. I explain that my own driver has a car pass and that this guy is not my driver. He tells me to call the front office to get them to vouch for me coming into the school without a pass. I call. No one picks up the phone. Luckily, I have an old school tuition bill in my purse that I show to "prove" that my daughter goes to school there. What security, right?!! They finally let me through after I pitch a fit.

I pick her up from the nurse and as I'm leaving, security asks for an exit paper! What! I tell them that this is my daughter and that the nurse has the paper....and then I go. All this-just to pick up my sick daughter. I can't imagine what would have happened if a friend or someone else went to try to pick her up. Luckily, my work allowed me to get her!

As we are sitting in the car, my daughter tells me that she's hungry. Right. She did not have lunch. I ask the driver to swing by McDonald's. He says "no," that he has to get back and finish his work. I understand, however, for some reason, I just break down sobbing in the car. My daughter comforts me by rubbing my arm and giving me a hug. When she asks why I'm crying, I decide to be honest with her. I tell her that I am just frustrated because I wanted to be able to pick her up sooner and get her lunch, but I couldn't. Because, in Saudi Arabia-Momma Can't Drive.


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