Important Notice

It is not my intention to denigrate Saudi Arabia or its people. It’s like everywhere else, there is good and there is bad. I would rather focus on the unusual and the humourous. Offence is not intended.

“The country is not perfect. The media cannot be trusted, mistreatment of religious minorities is common and there are some that live in fear.” You can decide for yourself whether that statement is about Saudi Arabia, the UK, or any country for that matter.

To quote the Joker, “Why can’t we all just get along?”

That is all I will say about either subject.

Monday, 11 September 2006

The Compound

I stay in a compound in the north of Riyadh. There are a lot of compounds in this area.
A compound looks like a small resort but really it’s a gilded prison. My compound has three pools (one indoor), a gym, squash courts, tennis courts, supermarket, restaurant etc etc. Once you are inside you could be in any country in the world. The security is absolutely intense (think armoured cars and huge machine guns) but at least you feel safe. Or at least you do when they are not pointed at you, which happened to me on one occasion when I tried to get a taxi driver to drive through security. Obviously they are not allowed and knowledge of important rules here is assumed.
So why do we live there? Well, unfortunately we have to balance our desire to experience the "real Saudi" with security concerns and the practicalities of every day life. If we were to live in an apartment we'd save a fortune but I'd be constantly worried about my wife's safety, her ability to get around (as she isn't allowed to drive) and her lack of friends / support structure.
A compound might not be perfect, the segregation of westerners might not be the most healthy, but right now this is the best place for us.

1 comment:

Sana said...

Can you tell me which compound you are living in and are they any available spots