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 December 2006

A Wife: The Ultimate Saudi Accessory

I had to spend two months alone in Riyadh before my wife was able to join me here. I was a lot happier (and less lonely) when she finally arrived. One thing about Saudi then became immediately apparent. It is far better to be a married man in KSA than it is to be a single one.
What with immigration, customs and the Saudi queue (maul) I was expecting hassle and delays when my wife and I arrived together at King Khalid International Airport.
When we got to immigration it was packed. Things did not look good. But I didn’t fully appreciate the impact of my new power-accessory. Thanks to having a female on my arm, we waltzed through the very small “Families Only” queue, leaving an army of single men waiting in long lines.
When we got to customs the queues were long and they were opening and searching all bags. It did not look good. But thanks to my WIFE 1000™ we were ushered to a separate area, our bags were only X-rayed (not opened), and we were swiftly on our way.
Of course, the same can be said about any restaurant, take away or coffee shop in the city, and (seemingly) any police check point on the roads. When you are married you also get to sit in the family section in restaurants which usually means that you get your own private room / area to eat in.
In KSA, married people have a higher status and singles suffer for it. But the lack of respect for family in the UK has meant high divorce rates and large numbers of children growing up in single-parent families. I wonder which attitude towards the family really causes the most suffering.


Bandar said...

It is true, married people are treated with more respect in saudi. Think of a woman here as a Swiss Army Knife.

Please keep writing about what you think of this place of the world...

Anonymous said...

I love your blog! The way you write is fun.

Expat in Saudi said...

Married people certainly get the short queues and having a wife and kids always eases the customs and immigration process. I find, to my disappointment, the family areas of restaurants and cafes to be usually not so nice, with no view (what's wrong with one way glass so you can look out?) and usually round the back or up the stairs or suitably out of the way. Maybe I'm too sensitive but I always feel relegated to the back entrance as an inferior being. However, having a wife in tow will enable you to get into all the shopping centres previously not open to you as an unaccompanied man. The places to go for fun(?!) are now doubled.

Balqis said...

You must see if is true respect or just a formal one
Nice blog
Ciao from an Italianwoman in Oman :)

DemonEyes said...

you lucky guy youuuuu :D
well as a saudi single:
1- no shopping malls(the only entertainment in this city)(or the japanese resturants in shopping malls) unless you have a female guardian
2-no theme parks without a female guardian
3-no parks without a female guardian
4-no jumping the queue in the supermarket without a female guardian
5-married men get raises alot faster....and i never heard of a single guy being the boss of a married guy.
6-you get treated as a sexually breserked beast by the society and your opinion is worth nothing to married people unless you are marrie.
just to mention a few :)

Khaled S. said...

totally agree with (Expat in Saudi)

(DemonEyes) what are you seeing exactly "fun" in shopping malls?
its just boring... reminds me of the hit "bored to the bone!!.. boboboboobored". lol

in your (4) point. I didn't know that!! :O

Keep up the good stuff Englishman

Anonymous said...

Of course a Saudi guy has the option to get a second (third/fourth) wife if current wife gets too uppity!

Anonymous said...

Divorce rates are VERY high in the kingdom(Over 50%)! And most divorces seem to happen in the first 2 years. (Arab news et al.) Considering how easy they are for men and how un-prepared to deal with a spouse Saudi men and women are (and spoiled in general) - no surprise.
Actually: My marriage failed as my wife yould not STAND it here. But hen a divorce is not really such a bad thing, just costly and hate-provoking in the west (and east, I guess).