Friday, October 8, 2010

My funny co-workers

The biggest irony I find about my moving to Saudi Arabia is that I don't really work directly with that many Saudis during the day-- adults, I mean. 95% of my students are Saudis, but my co-workers in the English department are all Indian or Pakistani, so what I've learned about Saudi culture has been gleaned from conversations with my students and the Mister's co-workers.

Anyway, Saudi or not, the women I get to work with everyday are a real treat. It's such a fun mix of personalities and so far we all mesh really well.

Last week we all gathered at one house for a ladies' lunch and all-around fun time. There is one lady in particular who always inadvertently makes me laugh. I don't want to say she's spacey because she's very smart and organized, but I think she sometimes zones out and when she tunes back into a conversation, she hasn't quite gotten the whole story, so her comments are really random!

One such case happened at the ladies' lunch. It was time for the 4th prayer of the day, so she was suiting up and there was a discussion as to which direction Mecca was. All the ladies then took to pointing in one direction or another. The house we were in is located right behind the school, and since that's a place that they all pray in regularly, they used the school and its surrounding landmarks as directionals.

Right next door to the school is a Burger King, and as the crow flies, Mecca is in the same direction. So to help clarify the situation, one of the ladies said, "Yes, that's the direction because Burger King is that way."

To which my funny colleague gave a confused look and simply replied, "...we don't pray to Burger King!!"

It was so hilarious because she was so serious and couldn't understand why her friend had been praying to the fast-food-monarch all these years!

Just thought I'd share a funny story.

Vicariously yours,


  1. This is fabulous! I am curious though, what do you guys do when they pray? I would feel very awkward for a few times a day I guess! Glad you guys are back on the web. :)

  2. We don't really do anything. Either people find a specific place (like a mosque or in the school we have a prayer room), or they go in a corner somewhere. If you're in the same room, you just go about your business and try not to make too much noise. It was a little awkward at first, but then I remembered that I don't mind if people are loud or in the same room when I pray, so it's kind of similar.