Things I’ll miss and not miss when we finally leave Saudi Arabia. Things in green I will miss, things in red I most certainly will NOT miss!
The shops staying closed for over half an hour for every prayer and the shops being closed between zuhr and asr which is generally 4 hours.
2. Going out shopping or for any other activity and having a mosque or prayer room in the vicinity
Having to rush and go to the mall in the morning if I want to go anywhere apart from the supermarket as the mall shops will be closed between zuhr and asr and then it will be really hectic in the evening especially after isha.
3. Going out in Abaya/hijab/niqab and feeling just like everyone else, not different
Being stared at when I start to speak to my children because I look like everyone else but don’t sound like everyone else.
My pretty, hijab-wearing 12 year old being gawped at by perverted weirdos.
4. Living on a compound where the children can go out and play freely
Having to listen to moronic, bigoted compound politics… well actually I just try to stay out of the way and ignore it as much as possible
5. Having a decent sized, spacious home
Trying to clean it!
6. Halal food everywhere, not worry about pork or alcohol
Nothing not to miss here!
7. Going out to eat where everything is halal and no bar in sight
Again nothing not to miss! Actually… having to get into the restaurant right after isha prayer before the restaurant really fills up
8. Being able to do exciting things like driving to Makkah, Madinah or UAE
Having to leave all the driving to dh and some of our trip within KSA are approaching 1000KM which is a LOT for one person.
9. Being in the close vicinity of other countries like Oman, Yemen, UAE, Qatar and Bahrain
Having to get a stupid exit-reentry visa every time we want to leave the country so unless we have a 6 month exit-reentry there can be no spontaneous, “Hey! Let’s go to Bahrain!” We decided at last minute to go to Al-Khobar recently and would’ve loved to drive that little bit further to Qatar or Bahrain but… no exit-reentry visa!
10. Having to rely on taxi drivers who seem to speak no known language fluently and getting stranded at some location for a period of time while I try to rearrange return transport due to misunderstandings. Grrr!
Where's the positive for that?!
11. The sales - they really are fab here! Bargains galore and sadly enough, am very much looking forward to getting back from Algeria to browse the sales in August!
Nothing not to miss about that is there?!
A few additions from my two eldest daughters.
DD2 (10) says, "I will NOT miss:
- The stupid maniacs who crash everyday
- The people who do that annoying gesture and go “shway shway
- How only men can work in malls and supermarkets and women can't
- Having to get the school bus to school every day."
DD1 (12) says, "Things I WILL miss:
- My friends
- Compound - having freedom
- People wearing abayas and being fully covered
- My school
- The fact there is a swimming pool, shop, recreation centre two minutes away from home
- The sun