As a follow-up to my post, A Tale of Two Cities, I have decided to put together a list of things I’ve learned from all the time I’ve spent in Jeddah. I was supposed to publish this post earlier but then decided that since I’m going back to Beirut in a matter of days, now would be the perfect time. I hope you enjoy reading this list as much as I have putting it together. Here it goes!
- Food, no matter where you get it from, is always great tasting. I’m most partial to Al-Baik, a broasted chicken chain that is deeply associated with Jeddah AND is incredibly delicious.
- Wearing the Abayya is not as bad as it sounds. First, you wouldn’t feel like an outsider. Second, you can wear one that’s colorful so you don’t have to worry about conformity. Third, since it covers all your clothes, you don’t have to dress to the nines every time you go out.
- Sleeping when the sun comes up is perfectly normal even when you have work in a matter of hours. Day and night have been truly redefined.
- Arabic is not the official language, contrary to popular belief. Asian expats don’t speak Arabic, Arab expats have a difficult time understanding different dialects and the locals will only speak in their distinct dialect.
- The sheer organization of taxis in this country makes me actually miss the chaos that is Lebanese “service”s.
- We’re in the second decade of the 3rd millennium and women still don’t drive, and things don’t seem to be looking up. (more…)