Why am I interested in Saudi Arabia?

A little background on way back when I worked in
Saudi Arabia and a few other things.

You might have noticed that I have a topic for
Saudi Arabia….

My first full time
position in my chosen career took me to Saudi Arabia for three months. You can
find the one picture I still have from my trip here. It was an
interesting experience.

I worked
in-country from February to May of 1984. I was working on the Royal Saudi Navel
Base at Jubail on the east coast, right on the Arabian Gulf (I accidently called
it the Persian Gulf to the colonel in command of the base my first day – he
corrected me very sternly and I didn’t forget, even to this day as you can see).
We would drive south to Al Khobar to shop, especially in the gold souks (shops).
The flight was 12 hours to Dammam (my first flight ever – there were so few
people on the plane that I took an entire center row of the 747, put the arm
rests up and took a nap).

The women
really do wear black, and I mean head to toe. The Saudi women toss a sheet of
black gauss over their heads. The Yemeni women wear a veil that shows their
eyes with a gold clip over the nose bridge. Other arab women wrap a veil around
their head.

The beaches are split
between male bachelors and single women/married couples. In general, men and
women don’t mix at all – I never spoke with a woman while

Driving was very offensive
– if you drove defensively you never got anywhere. And it was dangerous – lots
of accidents (we had some near misses but not hits thank

My girlfriend at the time
sent me a Dear Bob letter while I was there, so I decided to have a little fun
and leave by way of Amsterdam and Copenhagen, three days each. When the plane
left Saudi air space, two things happened – first, every Saudi rushed to the
bathrooms to change clothes, and second the drink cart came

Last summer, during one of my
seven trips to Amsterdam, I read
by Sandra

; it turns out that she left, at the end of
her second trip, right after I did. It was fun to keep pointing at pages and
saying, “I remember that.” Yes, I talk to myself.


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