May 1, 2013

I did the unthinkable today!

This morning my daughters school had an open house for us mothers. Our children were going to present their years work in a portfolio for us to look over and discuss. I was extremely proud of how far my daughter came this year. She can now pretty much read- albeit slowly. She can do additions, and subtractions, and she has learnt some Arabic  as well as geography, and other subjects. I can't believe the year is nearly over, and that my baby girl is graduating from Kinder-garden and entering the world of Grade School- No more alphabets,  just numbers. No more preschool! I am super proud. Her graduation will be on May 15th, and I will witness my daughter graduate, wearing a cap and gown. I will have to keep tissue at hand, and enshallah this will be one more happy moment among many to come.

So let me go to my unthinkable act today. My daughters even was done at 10:`15, I was there from 9am. When I called my husband he told me he could not come to me till 12:30 pm! 2 hours and 15 minutes sitting around doing nothing with all 3 kids in tow. I thought for a second, went to the doorman and asked him where I could get a taxi, he told me the nearest place was near the Masjid. So since it is deemed unsafe for me to drive in this country, I was forced to take my 3 children into the street and walk. I really didn't mind the walk, the weather was beautiful, and the kids were really out of their element. They kept asking me 'Mama, what are we doing?", and I just replied we are taking a Taxi to the mall, as I did not have the key for our outer gate at home with me, and was locked out. After about 10 minutes we got to the main road, and a taxi stopped for us immediately. We jumped in the taxi, and were on our way to the mall. One thing that caught me off guard was the complete and utter laziness of the driver. Do Taxi driver here not get out of the car to help? He watched me struggle with the stroller with my 1 1/2 year old in hand, and didn't blink an eye- I kept muttering under my breath, that of course this was much safer then driving my own car- but I did not want to ruin my mood, and just kept my mouth shut and focused on getting to the mall. Once I handed the driver the money we got off, again with no help. He handed my daughter the change, and amazingly enough I later noticed HE tipped himself. He did not help me with the stroller, did not help me with anything, and he took the liberty of tipping himself. The nerve! So essentially he stole from me, will keep it on his tab till Yom el Qiyama (Day of judgement). Nope, not forgiving him!

Anyway, that was my unexpected event of the day, my husband was not happy, because he noted that it was unsafe to walk in the streets of Riyadh alone. He did not like the idea that I took the kids on a Taxi that I took off the street. So yeah, I am to only stick with London Taxi, or wait for him to drive me around when he is available. The question of the day, why not just get a driver? I still have yet to hear a good answer. We can easily afford it, we already have a place for him on our property, he would allow me to move around more freely, and he would be able to stop complaining about my forcing him to be my 'driver'. I did not chose this, I am living in the last country in the world that a drivers licence is void unless one has a Penis (I said it, sue me!!).

So yeah, this is to hoping that soon enough I will be allowed to make use of the card I hold in my wallet at all times. That one day, I may actually be able to have a life that does not require begging any one to take me places. This is to Saudi dreaming... raising my glass of Saudi Champagne!


  1. hi,

    the taxi driver didn't help you partly out of fear and partly out of frustration. he has to pay at least 100 rials per day to his slave master (kafeel) regardless of how much money he earns. so he is not going to go the extra effort for anyone. yes frustration reduces courtesy, but no one is immune from it.

    the other is that since he has the status of virtually a slave here, and i am venturing to guess he is not saudi, he probably isn't going to be caught dead trying to help you either by placing your kids in your car or even opening the door. he is opening himself up to abuse from the mutawas, or even other saudi men. do you think your husband would would be happy knowing that a foreigner held your kids to help them into "his" car?

    1. I fully understand the frustration bit, and I did not even expect any help with the kids. But when people usually see a women holding a child, and struggling with a stroller, a good person regardless of circumstance would jump out and help. I actually took a taxi one more time since that date, and was helped by the guy, I was so happy, I tipped him! He was elated. He did a good act, and I gave him something he was not expecting.

      Thank you very much for your response, and thanks for passing by.


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