Friday, January 13, 2012

Shopping is...interesting, to say the least

Most of you know that pretty much the only source of entertainment in Saudi Arabia is shopping. There are no bars, no cinemas, no places where men and women can gather publicly. Because the Mister and I aren't big shoppers, we've found this country to be pretty boring. Much like grocery shopping, going to the mall can be a challenge of our patience. There are children on roller blades, roaming packs of teenagers hoping to catch the eye of an attractive member of the opposite sex, nannies chasing unruly toddlers through the aisle of stores, and literally hundreds of grown men and women wandering aimlessly while talking or texting on their Blackberries.

Despite all this, shopping in Saudi Arabia can be a little entertaining. The stores at our local mall are having massive sales, so I gathered a couple friends today and we braved the crowds. We always enjoy shopping together because we get to make fun of the awful clothes on some of the racks. Clothes like this fine specimen:

Not all clothes on the rack are of this same caliber, so don't go thinking that the women of Saudi Arabia are all walking around in pants that look like they came from the leftover upholstery off a 1970s Miami retirement community patio chair. But I can't honestly say that items such as this are totally uncommon. For example, here's a shirt we saw in the same store:

Oh yes. That says what you think it says. It just puts it all out there. Phrased as if it were a category on Jeopardy, and in no less than 3 different color choices. I have NO explanation for why this shirt exists. I can only imagine that it made its way to the shelves of a Saudi Arabian clothing store because the buyer is totally unfamiliar with the more x-rated English colloquialisms.

There were some encouraging sights to be seen at the mall today. This is the first weekend that women have been able to work at the lingerie stores of Saudi Arabia. We saw women behind the counters of every lingerie store today (and there is a surprising amount of underwear stores here!). The funny part is all the women we saw were wearing the niqab, and I couldn't see any name tags, so it was really hard to tell who was working and who was shopping. I'm not sure if the women are required to wear niqab in order to work at the mall, or if it is their personal choice.

I thought it was pretty cool to finally see women working in public. It almost made me want to go buy some underwear just so I could be a part of the experience.


Vicariously yours,

1 comment:

  1. I am only to assume your purchased that shirt in all 3 color options.