Following is an excerpt from my upcoming ebook, Living in Saudi Arabia; The Early Years.
The Portal Was Open
Thursday, February 04, 2010
A few days back I was standing in line in the produce section of LuLu’s. There is an area in which you can have your fresh pineapples, peeled and sliced for you. So, while we’re standing there, waiting for our turn, the Saudi lady (completely covered, with the exception of her eyes) standing in front of me, just started talking to me. I have NEVER had this happen before. Ever!! She asked me if I was from South Africa. I told her no, that I was American, from California. She said that’s nice. She then commented on the price for the pineapple cutting service, blah, blah, blah. But the funniest past was when she asked if I was married, I said, “Yes, this is my husband right here.” And, she looked at us and said “Oh. You don’t match.” LMAO!!!! Oh-mi-god. Roland said something, I can’t remember now, but we all laughed. And, the fact that she spoke to me…I just loved that. Sometimes I want to speak, but honestly, it’s kinda intimidating to speak to someone you don’t know and their face is covered. I’m glad she reached out.
Then, while in Tamimi’s (Safeway/Vons in the states) this Saudi man overheard my distress over the guy at the deli counter telling me that they didn’t have any of the Palestinian Olive Oil. He goes, “There is a store, not too far from here, and they sell Palestinian food products.” After it was all said and done, this guy drew us a map, told us to bargain (despite the price marked), and to sample before I buy (sometimes they will try and foist the cheaper stuff on you). After we had thanked him profusely, he was like, “No problem. I lived in the United States once, and people helped me.” Can you believe this guy? Freakin’ Awesome!!
Then…(yes there’s more). We’re on our way home from Al-Khobar (the location of LuLu’s and Tamimi’s) and while at a red light, the guys next to just started bobbing their heads to the Reggae music we were playing. Then they turned up their stereo so we could hear what they were listen to. At this point, we rolled our window down further and asked them what they were listening to, and they said Arabic music. We said, “Cool. We’re listening to Reggae.” And they’re like, “Yea, we know. We like it.” The light turned green, and we all smiled, waved at each other and went on our way.
I tell you, a portal to the Saudi people must have been open that day, because I’ve never had this experience, let alone all in one day. So, I’m still trippin’ off of it. And, I laugh every time I think of this lady saying, “But, you don’t match.” LMAO!