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A man of many words. Profane, profound, loyal to a fault and a right rat bastard. I love the finer things in life: expensive cigars, cheap women and all the salted, cured meats I can eat. A friend to dogs, lover of humanity and despiser of people. If I were King the world would be a better place, because, well...I would be King! Oh, and I like ice cream.

Sunday, March 05, 2006

Insane Clown Posse...

Otherwise known as the US Education Group. We visited Effat College, a women's undergrad university in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia yesterday afternoon. As a going away present we were given, among other things, these caps. Of course photography ensued, mostly via cell phone.

Interesting place. The staff was mindful to shut the window blinds in the room where we presented so no one would be able to witness the heiness crime of an unaccompanied woman speaking to a man. The Saudis are positively gaga over the idea of a strange man (or any man actually) in the presence of one of "Their" women. Always lurking nearby was a fully covered woman ("Full Ninja") observing the goings on. One of our group in describing it said she was wearing a big frown. How could he tell? But, it had that effect.

Interesting tidbit about the Saudis and "Their" women: women in the Sand and Oil Kingdom of Saudi Arabia are not permitted to drive cars (or trucks, ATVs, etc.). Aside from the fact that eliminates the concept of the soccer mom from Saudi society, it creates the situation where families must hire drivers to transport the womenfolk around. In doing so it also creates the situation where a strange man is alone in the presence of "their" women. That's the thing about these control freak religions. You keep shaving the rules to maintain control more and more and eventually you find out there is nothing there.

Not to digress, but (well, of course I mean to digress. I LOVE to digress. Haven't you been reading this blog?) the huge majority of these drivers are of South Asian origin (Indian, Pakistani, Sri Lankan, Bangladeshi). They come here for economic opportunity. Much of their pay goes back home to support their families. As a consequence I understand the flow of Rials out of Saudi Arabia has become somewhat of a concern, just as a stream of dollars leaving the States would be concern for our economy.

Speaking of digression, gas here costs slightly less than a buck a gallon.

The food is not as good as in Lebanon.

In my opinion.


World Knight said...

Hey Mike:
Rachid here. Hope everything is going well. Just a correction: the religion is not control freak, as you indicate, but it's the Saudi society and culture,aka: traditions & customs.
Take care, man and keep digressing :)

Dima said...

Hello Mr. Wigal,
Don't know if you remember me, but I'm one of the Effat students you met that day. I managed to track your blog down.
Actually, the window blinds were down so that YOU GUYS wouldn't be able to see the women passing by outside who were unaware of your presence and thus "insufficiently covered" to uphold the "public decency". Really makes sense.