Friday, October 21, 2005


Frolicking Lamely in KSAFrolicking Lamely in KSA
We took a morning flight to Bahrain and arrived at 10 am. Following our usual plan of not planning anything too much, we asked the taxi driver to take us to a reasonably-priced hotel. I can’t remember the name of it now, but it was very nice and had bars and restaurants overlooking the pool.

Now this is where it gets weird. This is the first chance I’ve had to get a beer in over four months so I immediately head for the bar. It must be some minutes short of 11 am, but the bar is not only open, it is packed with Saudi men! Not only that, but the hypocritical little bastards are all drinking beer! I am absolutely gob-smacked. I always suspected that the supposed piety of Saudi society was a bit bogus, and here was the proof.

I elbowed my way to the bar and proceeded to consume as much beer as I possibly could. We had lunch sitting by the pool, and once again the Riyadh paranoia was banging away at me. I shouldn’t be doing this. That woman in the tiny bikini should wear a swimming abaya. Those Saudis shouldn’t be here at all. That woman in the thong should cover her ass.

But you know what? The world didn’t end at that moment. Most of those people are probably still alive and well. I think my visit to Bahrain was a turning point in my attitude to the mad burghers of Riyadh. I had spent months trying to understand their culture, trying to imagine how it could make sense and how it could make them happy. Trying even to fit in. But it was no good. I now knew that it was all a sham.



Blogger Desert Mermaid said...


I'm really enjoying your posts about Saudi as well as Dubai ones. You seem to be posting regularly too!

4:55 pm  
Blogger Asian Dude said...

Hello group. This is my first comment on your blog. I wanted to comment on this blog because i thought it was wrong to judge a culture based on the actions of a some people! I know the kind of hypocrisy that exists in most Saudi, and I dare say, even Emirati men.
"I now knew that it was all a sham. "

Every country has its black sheep. You cant expect every person to follow the norms of the society. These guys cant do what they want to do in Saudi, so they escape to the closest place which in their case is Bahrain. I am sure there are many other Saudis who do respect their culture and dont drink.
Anyways, I do pity the Bahrainis, because I have heard stories of drunk New Years Eve revellers, mostly Saudis smashing cars and setting them on fire!

10:11 am  
Blogger Keefieboy said...

Asian dude: you're probably right. However at the time I wasn't operating on any kind of rational level - I was completely stressed out by my experiences, and a complete emotional wreck.

10:51 am  
Blogger udayms said...

When you post about your travel, I think it would be good if you could include details about the monetory aspect of it as well. For ex:- if you could include along with the details of the hotel, the price for the rooms and the cost of the beers.... we could be prepared, when we make a visit some day... :)

10:15 am  

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