Thursday, January 15, 2009


I posted on the severity of the penalty two men received for stealing sheep the other day. Yesterday an article reported that the "judge who sentenced two young Saudis in Bisha to three years in prison and 2,000 lashes each... said Tuesday that his verdict was fair... 'I swear to God, these two young men are like my sons and the court is a place of mercy and discipline.'" It is reported, today, that the National Society for Human Rights is stepping in and will "seek a much lighter punishment taking into consideration their age, if not scrapping of the verdict altogether."

If there was no demand, there would be no supply: 2,000 p0rn0 DVD's have been seized. Phew. That danger has been removed.

Apparently there is no place that women - just women - can go and be left in peace. Meddling residents "are now demanding closure" of a center "exclusively meant for women," after a woman worker was smoking a cigarette in a coffee shop. The residents want the shop closed "for violating their traditions and customs." Gimme a break. How many coffee shops where men are smoking have been closed? Are they not violating traditions and customs by smoking? Aren't women allowed to have a place where they can go and relax with a cup of coffee and a cigarette if they so choose? And, if they aren't, why not?

The divorce rate in The Sandbox is on the rise. In 2007 there were 18,765 divorces; last year there were 24,428. According to a family medicine consultant, the rise is attributed "to a number of reasons, including the absence of religious values, low incomes, intervention of relatives in the personal lives of the married couples and the adverse effect of satellite cable programming."
What were the reasons for divorce, before those? Just curious.

Only 11% of pharmacists in the public sector are Saudi. Interesting. I wonder why there aren't more. Seems to me like it would be a field that would be fairly attractive. Apparently not, though, with so few Saudi's in the pharmacies...

We have a pharmacy on our compound. Not a big one - just a small shop - but, with a fair offering of products considering its size. I went the day before yesterday. DH has the flu [and, yes, I am coming down with it as well - I can feel it in my eye-lashes]. I'm sure that there are other wives out there who will be able to sympathize with me in this regard: When men get sick, they turn into infants. Poor DH. He was coughing, sneezing, blowing his nose and laying in bed, just shivering. He needed cough syrup so I said I would go get some - even though I do not like the pharmacist at our little shop - who, by the way, is Saudi. He tripled charged me for something a while back - I didn't see the teeny, tiny little price sticker on the back of the packaging and when I asked how much the item was - and he told me - I paid what he said the price was. When I got home I saw the price - and of course, didn't have a receipt - so didn't bother going back. It was more than just being triple-charged. It was his whole attitude! Probably he just dislikes Western women in general, but too bad, sometimes you have to deal...

Anyway, I went to the pharmacy for DH to get some cough syrup and was pleasantly surprised to find a different pharmacist there. I told the young man - yes, he was Saudi - that DH had a dry, non-productive cough and asked him what I should get. He was more than helpful in explaining the different brands and suggested a specific one. DH had also decided that he needed antibiotics - after being sick for only 24-hours - and asked me to get those as well [which you can get without a prescription]. I'm not a medical professional - I don't pretend to be one - but I was pretty sure that DH didn't need antibiotics for the flu. So, I asked the pharmacists about it and he confirmed that no, DH probably didn't need them, but he was more than happy to sell them to me if that is what I wanted. However, he recommended something else, seeing has how DH had had a fever for less than 24 hours, and said to take them for a couple of days and that if DH wasn't feeling better to try the antibiotics. We had a bit of a communication problem - but only insofar as me telling him that DH's temperature was 101.9 - Fahrenheit versus Celsius - which is what the pharmacist was familiar with.

We have been to pharmacies downtown and had similar experiences that have been less than pleasant - I'm sure I've blogged about them at least once before. So, it is always refreshing to find someone who is genuinely willing to be helpful and who isn't trying to make an extra riyal or two off of some unsuspecting Western woman. I hope the new pharmacist is actually "ours" and wasn't just filling in for the other pharmacist on his day off or something. I'm going to have to pick up more cough syrup, today, so I guess I'll find out...

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