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Saudi Born, European Educated, Hong Kong situated fashion loving Editor and Fashion Director in the luxury publishing sector

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

An Aramco Brat in Sand Land

Growing up in Saudi Arabia had a profound effect on me.  Here are a few things that I remember.

1. Everyone could do a perfect Indian Accent and therefore would be perfect employees of Sky Digital Customer Service

2. All of the snack bar staff was called "my friend"

3. A five star Shawarma came from golden juice corner in Khobar

4. A 1 star Shwarma came from the snack bar stuffed with mayonnaise and french fries

5. Sid is the illegal version of Bacardi Rum, the only thing that will counteract the petrol taste is mixed fruit juice saudi style

6. Saudi Sandals suddenly made a statement in the year 2005 when the GOLD versions came out.  Those who had them kept their mouths firmly shut about where they got them,  and simply mentioned a vendor called Abdullah and chuckled while they walked away from the confused enquirer

7. The sound of a microwaves beeping at early hours of the morning and parents waking up with no food left in the fridge on a weekly basis.  A result of some funny plants...I will say no more

8. Thinking you were the shizz if your parents had suped up your golf cart 

9. Coca Cola costing 1 Riyal thats 26 cents US.  And the outrage that ensued when it was raised to 1.50 Riyals

10. Thinking you were badass if you drank non alcoholic beer

11. Note to younger self: On the first day of Kindergarten do NOT pick the piglet as your year long cuddly toy.  Social faux pas at age of 6

12. Thinking that the person at customs who had the job of coloring in all the scantily clad girls in bikinis must have loved his job

13. My brother and his friends being arrested 4 hours before their flight back to boarding school for chasing camels on quads in the desert.  They ruled out farming and herding as job options following this

14. "Give it to me your ID"

15. Getting caught speeding on the golf cart...not realizing it was possible to speed in a golf cart

16. Hiding my many purchases in my best friends house (next door neighbor) and shuffling them through our connecting garden gate into my room after my parents went to sleep

17. Having a golf course in the backyard and not using it once

18. Trying to sell green scones (too much baking soda) at the commissary by wrapping them in colorful paper age 10....my mum getting a lot of phone calls...my dad seeing a lot of patients with food poisoning

19. The weather constantly being at 114 degrees because if it got too hot certain people couldn't work...something illegal in that somewhere

20. A certain someone believing that there was a special chartered flight from Abqaiq to Khobar.  Abqaiq and Khobar are only 69 kilometres away, 47 minutes in a car which would have meant a ten minute plane ride...it being funny forever

21. Atcha Batcha

22. Getting yelled at by Omar the lifeguard, for getting into the jacuzzi or sauna before you turned 18.  Spending the next three hours trying to get back in.

23.  Being forced to work as a lifeguard by your parents to make yourself useful during your time off college....not listening in class...spending every minute working hoping nobody ever drowned

24.  Getting my mum to cook lasagna (his favorite food) for the lifeguard instructor who was grading us later that day....him telling me I was lucky that my mum was such a good cook when I got my certificate

25.  Becoming very good at intensely timed shopping due to prayer times 

Please e-mail me at dervlalouli@gmail.com if you have anymore you'd like me to add

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