Sunday, June 01, 2008

We Have Pimps! Eavesdropping Devices. And, Another New Mall.

Pimps! The Saudi Gazette uses this term - pimp - whenever someone gets busted for running a prostitution "business." I tried to do an archive search for it - you have to see it to believe it - but for whatever reason when the Saudi Gazette decided to update their website a couple of months ago the search function was left hanging high and dry out there in "computer programming land" and will let you do a "search," but won't let you get to the results of your search...

It is almost comical. Just seeing the word "pimp" conjures up one thing in my mind: Huggy Bear wearing a purple velour suit in Starsky and Hutch. Fire up that time machine and head back to the 70's. Oh, wait, things are a bit slow here in The Sandbox - to say it's behind the times wouldn't quite be accurate - the 70's is still to come... A Nepalese national was arrested "for sheltering runaway maids and luring them into the prostitution profession." The headline is:
Pimp Arrested.

What is always left out of these reports of the "pimps" and their prostitution lairs is who the customers might be?!? After all, it's not a business unless you have consumers, right? Hmmm...

And in less exciting news, the Police in Jeddah arrested six men selling listening devices that could pick messages sent by security officials [sic]. Phew. Those criminals are now off the streets. "Listening devices," meaning, perhaps, scanners? Who knew they were illegal? But then again - we haven't quite gotten to the 70's. Up until a couple of years ago camera phones were illegal, so no surprise, really, that scanners or "listening devices" would be illegal.

I went downtown yesterday - and this, a trip downtown - is always an exercise which tests my patience to the max. Why? Why do I have to do this to myself?!? [Well, since I can't shop for groceries on our compound and we do have to eat...] So, off to the market, and at least that was successful. I got bread, and EIGHT rolls of Bounty paper towels!!! [Who gets excited over paper towels?!?] I had my full-length black covering on - and underneath it? Not much. It is way too hot outside to be fully covered in black. And, just one of the reasons people don't move quickly here - that and the fact that they have no place to go - but to the malls.

We have a brand new furniture store here. For the last two weeks there have been full page ads in the Arab News announcing the grand opening of Kika! I'm NOT crazy enough to have even considered going on opening day. No way. But I figured that I'd let the weekend go by and then go on Saturday morning - the slowest day of the week, downtown, and check out their office chair selection. Mistake to even think I could find a nice, decent, quality chair there. But, guess if I wouldn't have gone to check it out, I wouldn't know... Crap. A humongous store of stuff I would never buy. Perhaps if I was young, and just starting out in life with an apartment or whatever, it would do. But not now. And the store was packed with hordes of women dressed head-to-toe in their black, blocking aisles and moving slower than molasses on ice, accompanied by their husbands, guardians, mahrams or whatever.

Which begs the question, "Don't these men have jobs?" Umm. No. They don't. The place was packed. I will say this about it, though, and management can take this as a compliment, even though I'll likely never buy anything there: The floor sales staff was incredibly friendly and professional [not a single one of them "local," but instead all imported!].

And, as I was rounding a corner trying to find an exit - the place is huge - and a maze - the bottom of my abeya swinging open showing my bare ankles and feet [yes, I was wearing sandals without black socks to hide my "bare" feet, imagine!] - I almost ran directly into one of The Sandbox's finest. They are easy to spot! They'll be the men with unshaven faces wearing thobes that are far too small so that their legs are uncovered! For a second or two, I honestly thought I was going to be chastised for showing a few inches of bare ankles and my feet and I avoided eye contact with him. Couldn't help but snicker though: He was the one showing far too much "skin," and looked utterly ridiculous. Got out of
Kika with seconds to spare before the gates were lowered and locked everyone in the store for prayer [during which time you are free to wander about and shop - but you will not be able to check out or leave]. Good grief. Cannot imagine being locked in there during prayer time.

As my driver left the
Kika parking lot I discovered that we have another mall going up: Jarir Plaza. Because, what we really [really] need here is another mall! We have a brand new Hyper-Panda that I can do my grocery shopping at - less than five minutes from home - instead of ten or fifteen to Tamimi... And besides, Panda seems to offer the biggest selection of "Western" food products. Yipee!


  1. The human rights crisis is astounding. It's sad that no one brings more attention to it.

  2. "The human rights crisis is astounding." Yes. It. Is. "It's sad that no one brings more attention to it." I'm trying, Enamorada. I'm trying... Regardless, whether I bring attention to anything or not, nothing is going to change, here, or not in the "short term," anyway. It. Just. Won't.

  3. I found your blog because two years ago I was an avid reader of

    You are doing a fabulous job. I love how you write, with your own opinion, articulated and justified. Many people around me think that America has no culture.

    From reading your blog, I am very proud of our culture...

    ...just not our administration!!

  4. Thanks, Enamorada, for the very, very kind compliments! [I miss Alhamedi! Wish he was still blogging. He had a lot more "guts" than I do, to tell it like it is. Actually, it has nothing to do with "guts." Perhaps when my feet are permanently and firmly planted on U.S. soil...]


Site Meter