Getting Around Riyadh

The heat here is unbelievable!  I am told it is cooling off and that it will get cooler during the winter months.  I am looking forward to that.

I have spent the last few days getting settled in my new home, and my new culture.  There are so many places to shop that it’s mind boggling.  The malls, the supermarkets, the local markets, and the sook. 

When I first set off to shop, I was dreading it, thinking I would have to get a taxi and not really knowing my address, how in the world would I get back home?.  But when I stepped outside, there were two drivers from my school ready to take me wherever I wanted to go!  I gave them a name (Hyper Panda) and off we went.  The megastores here are called hyper stores.  They are very close to being like Costco, but without the yearly fee. 

At the store, there are employees who place your items on the conveyor belt, cashiers, and baggers.  After my purchases were bagged and placed in the cart, one employee pushed my cart outside, and waited with me until the driver came.  Sweet.  Shopping life can’t get much better than that.

On another occasion, I went to a mall, among many malls here in Riyadh.  The mall was huge.  But the most striking thing for me was the absence of music.  The mall was fairly busy, and … quiet.  There was a calm pace where no one was in a hurry and shopkeepers were available and very helpful. 

The pace of life here is very different.  No one rushes.  There is no frenetic pace.  No pressure to buy.  No pushing and shoving. No Halloween pressure.

I only needed to remember that when prayer time came, I would be locked in the store until prayer time was over, usually only 20 minutes or so.  But that was okay – I was not in a rush. 

So far, life is very good.


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Near Beer at Hyper Panda

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The Food Court at a Mall


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