Monday, September 04, 2006

Desert Time...

Riyadh,
4:30 A.M.

There is nothing new with me... i'm just sleeping a lot during the day, and not sleeping at night... It's the bad habit that i picked up growing up in this country... It changed a little when i was away (for those who know me, u know it didn't change MUCH...lol)
So now that i'm here, it's back! and it's worst then ever (there are days when i don't sleep till 9 or 10 AM!)
Anyway, people here don't do anything before 3 p.m. cause it's so freekin hot so they are used to life after dark. They also don't sleep early... So the malls are open till 12am... The rush hour here is at 10pm!The other day we were driving back from a restaurant at 12am and the traffic was more then it was in the morning...
Growing up here, i'm able to adjust to this... But what i don't think i can adjust to (or maybe what i don't want to adjust to) is PRAYER TIMES...
I remember this when i lived here, but i never really went out shopping or did anything other then indoors stuff cause i was young... So i didn't feel it...I also haven't visited since 1997 (up until now... Thanks to Hizballa & Israel) Anyway, being here as a grown up...... Oh my God, i don't know how they function or run there businesses...???
The other day i left the compound and i wanted to make all my stops the same day... I figured the driver will stop, i will go down to each place and i will be done quickly... i stopped at the mall and as soon as i got in, it was prayer time... So i was looking around wondering what the best thing to do is (wearing my black veil & 3abayeh, looking absurd in a mall i don't know)... i realized no one left the mall, they all either: actually went to pray... Or sat in the coffee shop, or just walked around... but since i ain't PRAYING, and i'm not gonna sit in a coffee shop by myself, without being able to purchase a drink, i had to walk around for 1/2 hour, LOOKING at the windows, and WATCHING what i want to buy without being able to actually PURCHASE it!
A huge mall that costs God knows how much has to be stopped from sales 5 times a day! (4 times actually cause they are not open at Fajer) What a waist of time! there is no value for time here! The concept of time is money means nothing here...
I spent like an hour in the mall... when i was done i wanted to stop by the pharmacy, and guess what? it was PRAYER TIME AGAIN! i had to run in before they closed it, chose quickly and run back out.
I needed to stop one more time at the toy store cause i promised to get Nassim something, but i couldn't... it was already night time, and i had to head home for the kids...
So i told the driver to pick me up the next day at 12 noon, so i can go get what i need... and he says: but madam, it's prayer time at 12:30
aaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhh

I'm just gonna leave it at this... i'm not gonna go into the social/religious complaints that i have towards this (or anything else)... atleast not today :)

3 comments :

Cheeseburger Brown said...

I once made the mistake of arriving in rural Italy by train on a Sunday.

This meant that the entire town was seemingly abandoned -- nothing open, including the train station itself. My friend and I were dropped off on the empty platform and the train chuffed away...leaving us feeling like the only people on Earth.

Exhausted and hot, we decided to nap a bit on the platform. We woke briefly an hour later when people suddenly appeared in the town. We got up and gathered our things, eager to find a place to eat. Upon reaching a small cafe we were told it was going to close in 5 minutes for siesta.

Yes: everyone came out of church, said hello for ten minutes, and then went home to siesta and all businesses closed again.

The punchline is that the next day was a Catholic saint holiday, so everything remained closed.

Like you, I wondered how their society managed to function with such frequent breaks.

Love,
Cheeseburger Brown

Rewa said...

I'm not sure if prayer time is such a horrible thing to have to endure, maybe we need to pray a little more often actually, but on one's PERSONAL time. what I can't understand is that business needs to close for this. D, I can imagine the frustration. I lived in the Arab Emirates for so long, I remember how business needed to close from 1 till 4 pm, coz it's so damn hot, but there never was the closing of busniess for every single prayer hour, thankfully. If the East is going to compete with the West, it needs to recognize that unfortunately, time surely IS money, and although some may feel like they have a crap load of it now, in the end it's going to run out and any amount of prayer won't get it back in due time. I wish we paid more attention in economics class, right?

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