It's times like today when I feel so irked about having to rely on men. My husband is overseas on business, the kids are on school holidays so I decided it would be nice to get us all out of the house for the morning by going on the compound bus to the Mamlaka shopping mall. Yes, I know there is an almost brand spanking new car sitting outside the front of my house and the keys in the cabinet but being a woman in Saudi means the car will have to stay sitting outside the front of my house until the hubby gets back from his trip!
Sooooo... we got on the bus this morning, the shop-ping bus, notice the word 'shopping'. There were me, my 5 kids and a couple of other ladies. The driver is new and was taking a bit of a round and about route but we didn't really think anything of it until he started making a u-turn in an odd place... it was at that point that we realised the guy was taking us to the Mamlaka hospital! Purleeze! Even after after our protests he seemed a bit surprised that he was supposed to be taking us to the Mamlaka mall not the Mamlaka hospital. Eventually we arrived at the correct location.
After taking the kids in a few shops and getting them lunch we went outside to meet the driver. There had been two buses coming from our compound, I saw driver A (not the one we came with) and got the telephone number of driver B so I could phone him and confirm that he was coming shortly. When he came the bus was full. Ladies who had been on the bus A for some reason were on this bus... no room for 6 more.
So, I phone the compound gate to tell them what happened and I am told that they will send another bus. Not quite sure what happened after that, just breakdown of communications it seems. Three more phone calls to the compound and 45 minutes later we are still waiting outside the mall... I eventually get through to the compound manager who tells me he'll send someone right away... hmm, but I was told someone was coming 45 minutes ago!
Fortunately my kids managed to amuse me with their silliness on the bus back so I wasn't nearly as livid as I should have been when we finally arrived home. I did speak to the manager about the whole palaver but was very polite. I think we'll just stay in tomorrow.
If only women were permitted to drive in this country...