Monday, February 15, 2010

Multiracial Saudi Arabia

Multiracial Saudi Arabia, originally uploaded by CharlesFred.

I was very very lucky to meet a dear flickr friend here in Al Khobar this evening. I will nto mention his name but wil say he is half-Afghan, half-Kurdish and was brought up in Pakistan and has been living here for a number of years. I was already in bed, when the telephone went to say he was down in reception and, five minutes later, I was there too. Great to see in real life a face only revealed through photos on flickr, in a plave as seemingly remote as Al Khobar!

He wanted to sit outside to chat, even though it is quite cool this evening (as my father said it would be at this time of the year) and a couple of hours later we were still chatting until I said it was time for bed (well, I think both of us were pretty frozen by then). Can't go into too many details but he spoke about his incredible life and what it is like to live in Saudi Arabia as well as giving insights to how it is for foreigners living in this country as well as some of the things the Saudis themselves get up to.

One nice joke they say about the Saudis is that the first thing a baby says to his mother is 'where are my car keys?', which may only seem funny when you have actually been here and seen how young some of the drivers are and seen how crazy many/most of them are!

Anyway, it was a lovely way to end a day which had had me get up very early to catch a taxi for the 400 km trip across the desert from Riyadh to Al Khobar, where our main office is. I had hoped we could stop at teh camel market to give away some of the photos I had printed but there was a bit of a language barrier and it didn't happen. As it was, I slept most of teh way in the back of the massive car which was driving at 150km down the 6 lane motorway on petrol which costs about 7 eurocents a liter!

Had to work at the end of the journey too, before being taken out by a couple of Indian coleagues to an Indian restaurant.


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