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Q’s

Some questions whizzing around my head lately. Please do answer them if you can.

  1. How do you see the difference between a Saudi and a Bahrani wearing thobs?
  2. How do you see the difference betweens Saudis and Bahranis?
  3. How hard can it be to enter Iran? What papers are needed?
  4. Are there any spas in Khobar?
  5. Any recipes for the much spoken about dish kabseh out there?
  6. Where are the effing post offices in Khobar?
  7. Who is the bitch giving people advice on 107.9 Friday evenings?
  8. What are the chances of anyone from Iran finding this blog?
  9. Where can I swim in the sea in Khobar or Dahran?
  10. Where can I go fishing?
  11. Why do Saudis have picnics on the sidewalks? (Quite cool by the way)
  12. Where are all the camels? I have seen none so far?
  13. Why are people suddenly camping? Please do tell me the story behind this.
  14. What are typical Bahrani foods?
  15. Where do you go swimming in the sea in Bahrain?
  16. What kind of animals live in the Gulf? What kinds of fish?
  17. Are there scorpios in Khobar? I have seen that many companies have a logo with scorpios.

Comments»

1. notimportant - December 14, 2006

Q #9: Where can I swim in the sea in Khobar or Dahran?
A: I don’t recommend it since the sewage in the eastern province is transfered into the ocean. It is technicaly illegal to swim in beach in the Eastern Province because of the sweage issue, yet many go swimming anyways. Remember, however, that if you choose to swim, it’s at your own risk. I rather charter a boat and go deep into the ocean and swim there, it would be cool. I hope you found this answer helpful.

2. Sous - December 14, 2006

Oh thank you! I really didn’t know this. That’s just terrible. I won’t bother swim here then but as you said we could rent a boat. That’s a great idea. It would be a day out. Thank you so much🙂.

3. Pia - December 16, 2006

Q1: I think the difference is the design of the thobe- neckline is different. if you ever go to UAE, you’ll see yet another neckline design.
Q3: You’ll need to apply for visa for Iranian holidays, check e.g. Iranian embassy in London website (if you can access it) or check with any travel agent. Some used to offer package tours. Kanoo travel used to be one of them.

One question for you too: if your passport expires whilst in Saudi, do you go to your embassy in Riyadh to renew it?

4. Sous - December 17, 2006

Thank you so much Pia. I am really happy to get answers to my questions🙂 since im a little clueless.
As for your question, well I was told I could renew my passport at the honorary consulate here in the province. I have her name and email. I think she lives in Khobar or Dhahran.

5. annoos - December 19, 2006

(1) How do you see the difference between a Saudi and a Bahrani wearing thobs?
A: I’m not sure. But as I see Bahrainis, I think there is a slight difference in the way they design the neck..

(2) How do you see the difference betweens Saudis and Bahranis?
A: Umm, there’s a long post in my friend’s blog about this, but it’s in Arabic. I’ll try to traslate it for you when I have time..

(4) Are there any spas in Khobar?
A: Haven’t heard of any, but I don’t think so..

(5) Any recipes for the much spoken about dish kabseh out there?
A: Here are some sites:
http://www.saudiembassy.net/Publications/MagWinter96/recipes.html
members.aol.com/JAlmansur/saudi_recipes.htm
http://www.ummah.net/family/recipes.html
http://www.ummah.net/family/recipes/kabsa.html
Try to google it, you’ll find many more. But play a little with the word “kabseh”, make it “Kabsa”, “Kapsa”, add “h” and so on..

(6) Where are the effing post offices in Khobar?
A: There’s one in Al-Thoqba, but I don’t remember the exact street. I’ll get it for you soon..

(7) Who is the bitch giving people advice on 107.9 Friday evenings?
A: I’ll make sure I’ll listen to it next time..!🙂

(9) Where can I swim in the sea in Khobar or Dahran?
A: As a woman, you’ve no chance of swimming in the halfmoon or any public place in SA. But if you can gain access to one of Aramco beaches (I think they have one in the halfmoon and one in Ras Tannora), you can do whatever you want..

(10) Where can I go fishing?
A: Umm, I don’t know. Maybe the halfmoon..

(11) Why do Saudis have picnics on the sidewalks? (Quite cool by the way)
A: lol, cuz we don’t have other places. Plus we like grass..

(12) Where are all the camels? I have seen none so far?
A: lol, you know the way to the airport..? Just look at your right and left sides and you’ll find camels. I recommend you to pass by them one time and try their fresh milk, yummy😀

(13) Why are people suddenly camping? Please do tell me the story behind this.
A: Umm, I don’t see this. But maybe this happens sometimes when the weather suddenly get cool or when it rains..

(14) What are typical Bahrani foods?
A: I think it doesn’t differ much from here. But I don’t know..

(15) Where do you go swimming in the sea in Bahrain?
A: I don’t know, but my friend told me of a resort called Tala, he liked it..
http://www.wikimapia.org/#y=26300071&x=50663624&z=15&l=0&m=a

(16) What kind of animals live in the Gulf? What kinds of fish?
A: Camels😀.
http://www.reefcheck.org/methods/arabiangulf_fish.asp
http://www.arabianwildlife.com/nature/index.html

(17) Are there scorpios in Khobar? I have seen that many companies have a logo with scorpios.
A: Can you mention one..?

6. Sous - December 19, 2006

Hi and wowowow,

Thank you soo much for you answers🙂 !
I love the wildlife pages u gave me.
And of course I couldn’t find any companies with scorpios now but before I moved here I saw a school in the area with this logo and at least one more. Made me think it was a common animal here. I am more than happy if it isn’t😉 .
I will be waiting for the translation on the post about the Saudis and Baharanis and the address😉 .

All the best
Sous

7. bint al saud - January 14, 2007

hope these help:

3. How hard can it be to enter Iran? What papers are needed?
supposedly it is relatively easy…of course, women will need to wear hijab in their passport photos

4. Are there any spas in Khobar?
SAAD / Oasis have a spa….it is very expensive to join (I think SR500/year) *however* you are allowed to do one visit so you could go along and try before you buy. Other than that, there are many beauty salons (prima donna etc etc)

9. Where can I swim in the sea in Khobar or Dahran?
definitely you need friends in Aramco – someone who could preferrably get you on to the Ras Tanura compound.

10. Where can I go fishing?
I know the Fillipinos go along the shore at Ras Tanura to fish

12. Where are all the camels? I have seen none so far?
Go down powerline road at Half Moon Bay and you will find many camels.

13. Why are people suddenly camping? Please do tell me the story behind this.
Most people in Kingdom wait until autum/winter to go camping – simply because the weather is generally so enjoyable at that time. After rains the deserts come alive with wildflowers.

16. What kind of animals live in the Gulf? What kinds of fish? in the desert i was lucky enough to see a fox but that was only ONCE and noticable because it happens so rarely…of course, in the desert too you also find dubh (the big lizards which Saudis love to cook for desert dinner).

17. Are there scorpios in Khobar? I have seen that many companies have a logo with scorpios.
Yes, their are definitely scorpions in the Eastern Province – I saw them so they are there!

8. BraininBahrain - January 23, 2007

1. How do you see the difference between a Saudi and a Bahrani wearing thobs?

Saudi thoub is especially feminine because thanks to it’s design which is pinched at the waiste (hour glass style). The saudi thoub also has an overtly aggressive collar exceeding an inch in hieght. The saudi Collar also looks like a shirt collar (like you would tie a neck tie round it), wheras the Bahraini collar one is a simple bandstanding less than .75inch in height & often made of softer, more comfortable material.

2. How do you see the difference betweens Saudis and Bahranis?
Saudis are xenophobic while Bahrainis are outright cosmopolitan. As a Bahraini frequenting Saudi for over 10 years, I still feel uneasy in that country. The difference is drastically prevalent when travelling on the bridge from Bahrain to Saudi. The Bahraini side usually portrays natural friendliness & is laid back whereas the entering the Saudi side gives you an unwelcomming & uneasy feeling of mild paranoia of “what could happen”. We always turn down the music & stop any & all conversation when being attended to by the Saudis. There is no telling what they will take offense at. At the Bahraini side, the only guy that didn’t like our music joked us off on our way telling us “guys, michael jackson sux”. Thanks for that Radio bahrain.

Any recipes for the much spoken about dish kabseh out there?
Dunno about that, but you got to try the mandi. Just stay away from anything called Mathlootha.

Why do Saudis have picnics on the sidewalks? (Quite cool by the way)
When you’re in Saudi, what else can you really do ! where else can they go (other than to Bahrain :P)

Why are people suddenly camping? Please do tell me the story behind this.

Camping is great. The suddennes is because of the fantastic weather ! !

What are typical Bahrani foods?
Bahranis are one group of Bahraini people. Each of the ethnic Bahraini groups have very few dishes which are still distinct to their own groups, most of them have been assimilated into “national dishes”. These are typically tikka & kebab (different to lebanese & saudi), biryani, majboos, etc…
I need some Lussekatter ; ;

Where do you go swimming in the sea in Bahrain?
Best places would be any of the beach-front hotels. Depending on the hotel you will likely either need a membership, go with a member & pay a fee or ask for a 1 day membership. Unfortunately I dont know much more about this.

btw You guys should totally live in Bahrain😉

9. Sous - January 23, 2007

Hahaha you totally made my day😛 . And I agree, we so should live in Bahrain. I didn’t know that Bahranis are one kind of people in Bahrain. All news to me. And hmm yeah feels like they are a little tense over here…
Thanks for all the info and esp the info on the thobs. I think I will be able to figure things out now😉 . Will go on some thob spotting next time in Bahrain. How did you know the word lussekatter btw?

10. Sous - January 23, 2007

Bint al Saud,

Thanks for the info but hmm seriously, are people really eating lizards? I just cant imagine Saudis doing that😛 . And so you are confirming that there are Scorpios here. I hope I won’t bump into any then. As for the camping, maybe I should go for a trip with my family later this year then🙂 . Would be cool to do it here in Saudi😛 .

11. BraininBahrain - January 23, 2007

Lussekatter was sugested to me by a Swedish friend as one of his favorite things !

Unfortunately, despite having a team of 2 able bodied (& well hungry) friends helping, we couldn’t pull it off😦

Anyhow, email away if you have any other questions.

btw, your Bahraini fans really love your blog !!! keep’em comming. It’s a real eye opening to read about things that we readily overlook !

oh & grattis on (the soon to be) new baby !

12. Sous - January 23, 2007

Aaaw thank you, so sweet of you🙂 . And sweet that people like the blog.
I have never baked lussekatter by the way but perhaps I should give it a try some time. I’ll send you some if I succeed😛 . My problem with baking is usually the design since I have no patience to make it look good.
How many kinds of ethnic groups do you have in Bahrain by the way (I mean the major ones and the ones that are of Bahraini nationality)? Hope I don’t sound too confusing now.

13. Anna/Eir - January 30, 2007

Har du varit i Iran än? Rekommenderas annars. Inte alls svårt att få visum. En enkel blankett att fylla i som i de flesta andra länder.

14. Trine - January 31, 2007

Interesting to read the answers to these questions! I dont have a clue since Im moving for the first time to KSA this summer, but just a thought on the camping issue: – perhaps since saudis are originally nomadic tribal people (its not that long ago they – and we – found the oil!), they will use any excuse to go camping or picnicking to get out of the stone houses they’re now living in. Kind of getting back to the roots… down from the chairs/sofas to the ground where they feel much more comfy. Like we norwegians do when we put on the backpack and go for walks (hikes) in our spare time just to be outdoors and “get fresh air”. Other nationalities think we’re mad… LOL!
And yeah, BraininBahrian, I will def. visit your country!🙂

15. Sous - January 31, 2007

Hej,

Anna, nej jag har inte varit där ännu men hoppas kunna åka någon gång i år eller i nästa år. Låter inte särslikt svårt att få vuisum då. Tack.

Trine, yes the answers are indeed interesting. And yes it’s like the Swedes and their summerhouses. Most people in the world would want comfortable and luxurious accomodation whereas the Swedes spend their summers in small, damp houses with outdoor stinking toilets😛 . A really strange phenomena actually. My husband is death scared of the Swedish summer houses hehe.

16. Laetitia Sutcliffe - March 12, 2007

Hello Sous,
My husband just got a job offer he can’t refuse in Jeddah, so as you can imagine I am a bit nervous about the move, although I am very enthusiastic and positive…
Anyway, this is why I got to read a bit of your blog… and a bit more… and a bit more…! I finally finished reading the whole lot from when you left Lebanon!
Thank you so much! You have demystified KSA for me! Now I actually look forward to our move, although I know it will not be easy every day!
I especially enjoyed your style and your sense of humour. You sound like a down to earth and passionate woman!
Love
Laetitia

17. Laetitia - March 12, 2007

Oooops… wrote the last message in the wrong place…

18. Sous - March 12, 2007

Hi Laetitia,

First of all congratualations to you and your family for the job offer. I hope you will all be happy here🙂 . Jeddah is larger than Khobar and apparantly has a lot to offer ( for ex you will be by the Red Sea where snorkling and diving is supposed to be great).
Second, I want to thank you so much for your kind words🙂 . It makes me happy to know that you have had some use for my blog in your research for your move.
I wish you all the best in your move. Please don’t hesitate to ask if you think there is anything I might be able to do or answer.

Best Regards
Sous

19. Sal - May 27, 2007

I was actually browsing the net …..for (Don’t even go there!) USED CARS in Al khobar and I ended up lost in your blog! I didn’t try to think too much about how I ended up in your blog as I didn’t think much when I ended up here in Al khobar anyways!!!

Actually now that I think of it, I am so excited to have found your blog. FINALLY I have found a place to release my frustration and share ‘common’ opinions on Saudi life style. Ok fine, it might be a VIRTUAL place, but trust me…..just knowing that there are people out there who are of the same stand point helps.

You are doing a great job ! Just keep it going sista, as long as the oil is pumping in Arabia ….(I know it made no sense but it sure sounded cool he he)

By the by, about the 107.9 show on weekend nights, there are actually 2 different women with 2 different shows giving advise. Dr. Laura Schlessinger and the other one is Dr. Joy Brown.

I am sure you are talking about Dr. Laura ‘coz she is the bitchy one🙂

20. Sous - May 27, 2007

Hi Sal🙂,

Great to have you here. And yes it must be Dr Laura then and maaan is she nasty or what? I can’t understand why anyone would want advice from her. She is so nasty it makes my skin crawl.
I hope you found some used cars😛 and didn’t get too sidetracked from being here😉 .
Today it’s 46 degrees…what are we doing here?

All the best
S

21. Jen - May 30, 2007

Hi – we are considering an offer to move to KSA, so I am glad to have found your site! Such valuable first-hand info! Questions – Do you live on a compound, and do you feel safe at home and out and about??? Also, can girl children play on the playground and use the arcades and amusement rides?

22. Sous - June 1, 2007

Hi Jen,

Yes I do live in a compound and I do feel safe if you are referring to the threat of terrorists. I can’t say these things have worried me since i came here. And of course little girls can play on the playground and use amusement rides so don’t worry. You will see that many things that seemed quite scary when you are outside aren’t things you even think about once here.
I wish you all the best in making your decision to move or not.

/S

23. jason - December 13, 2008

this blog is a cool to hang out .

24. jason - December 14, 2008

this blog is a cool hangout.

25. GardensofSand - January 26, 2009

For Q 7, I believe you are referring to Dr. Laura?


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