There's not a lot to do in Saudi Arabia. Especially if you're a young man. No dating...no cinemas...they're not even allowed in malls without their families. There's also the issue of Bahrain being...well...out of order. The sheesha places here have also been closed because they were viewed as a "bad element" in the neighborhood. So what can they do? Apparently just sit on the Corniche sidewalk or in their cars and text, smoke cigarettes, and barbecue. They also really enjoy hanging out of moving car windows, driving really fast, and of course honking at everything. They get so loud sometimes that it freaks us out...but hey, they're shebab.
Because the only place to run is the Corniche, I end up spending a lot of time with the shebab. This means I get honked at a lot. I also end up having to get off the sidewalk sometimes because they've literally camped out right there. It's been pretty interesting. Most of the time they're so involved in their BBMing they don't say or do anything. However, sometimes I get the Arabic equivalent of "Run Forrest Run" (which by the way is "yalla, yalla!").
Ultimately, it's not bad enough to make me want to stop running there, but it is funny and a little sad that they don't have anything better to do. I think after awhile of running on the Corniche, it won't be a novelty...but then again I'm literally the only person I've seen doing anything remotely exercise related out there. But until either jogging becomes a socially acceptable activity or they find something better to do...I'll be spending my evenings with the shebab on the Corniche.
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