Monday, July 16, 2007

Mohammad, Table for 4

My friend and I went to see Oceans Thirteen at the movie theater yesterday. The mall we went to, City Stars, is probably the nicest mall I've ever been to in my life. It's at least 8 stories high, full of stores I can't even afford. It's full of kids who go there to wander through the air conditioning, westerners, and in the summer, people from the Gulf. We get tons and tons of Saudi Arabians who come here for the summer because it's "cooler." You can always point them out because the men wear specific clothing, and the women are usually covered in black from head to toe. Last night, the mall was crawling the people from the Gulf.

After the movie, we went for chips and salsa at one of the nice restaurants in the mall, Chilis. As I looked around, I realized we were in a restaurant full of westerners and Gulf-ers. To my suprise, at the table across from us was a Saudi Arabian man eating with his 3 wives and kids. I was shocked and couldn't help but stare. The women have an artful way of tucking the fork full of food under their burka (face covering) in order to eat without showing themselves. Then, another man came in and sat down with his 4 wives. At the same time, we lost count of how many men walked by with their wives trailing behind them.

It was probably one of the wildest cultural experiences I've had here, because although it felt very American in Chili's the diners made it as un-American as you can get! I would love to have a chance to get to know some of these women to learn about their lives. Perhaps I'll have an opportunity before the summer is up!.

1 comment:

Alicia said...


What a bizarre world we are in! Ben & I had a similar experience today...

We also went to the mall to run some errands. Being in this mall feels like being in America.

Right after that we went to deliver food to the Squatter's Camp, where the kids were COVERED in mud and none of the old ladies have teeth.

What a weird world. In our case, I think we should just learn to stay away from malls. In yours, it sounds like they are an interesting insight into culture!

Love you-