What The Boring

31 Mar

You know how it goes:

You never realize how boring your life is until someone asks you what you like to do for fun.

And Saudi Arabia brings you to the realization of the harsh reality of your life will be, on average, boring. I mean, psychiatrists are concerned about the boredom levels among youth in Saudi Arabia. There is so much NOT going on, that they are concerned about youths resorting to causing trouble and breaking the law to find a little bit of excitement in their lives.

Coming from several years of killing boredom at bars and nightclubs and occasional parties, concerts and movies, museums and arcades, exploring the city and trying new restaurants and coffee shops, it is impossible to transition into a Saudi female’s lifestyle. Limited by transportation, limited in the number of activities available, limited in what to see, and now the scarcity of family hookah bars has absolutely destroyed fun for me.

It all comes down to, “Let’s go to the mall… there is an arcade there and some rides!” or “Hey, I’m bored with nothing to do, come over and entertain me!” We will chat and catch up, decide to download a comedy, or a scary movie because for some reason they have a tone of thrill which we lack in real life, turn off the lights and create a home cinema. On a rare weekend, we will go to the beach. I hate the beaches in Arabia, because of the scorching sun that will give me a tan I despise for the rest of the year, running into the water with all your clothes on because well, this is Saudi Arabia, you have to keep your clothes on, and the fact that I don’t know how to swim. So, I just let myself float in salty water. Since I am uncomfortable with nudity or partial nudity anyways, I don’t mind the sea close to sunset, and I enjoy the barbeque meals there at night, and playing Cricket or Soccer.

But the beaches are once in a summer kind of a thing. It takes so much planning, and convincing parents to take us and enjoy out there themselves. It’s only possible on a weekend, and if all our friends’ families have no other plans with other family friends.

Then, there is the mall. You can only have fun at the mall if you intend to shop. And for the most part, not all of us are in the frame of mind for shopping, be it lack of interest in purchasing something nice because you will be wearing an Abaya over it outside of home anyways, or the lack of finances for something we really like.

At times, we host themed parties. Sometimes it’s a more West-themed dance party, sometimes we dress traditional and eat traditional food, put on ethnic music, and take lots of pictures where we look pretty together. Or, we make a plan and go out to Applebees or Pizza & Co., and sip non-alcoholic cocktails and margaritas, because you know, we are cool like that.

But that is my potential summer when I will get together with my girls who are coming back when their classes end. That’s late June or early July. In the mean time, there’s nothing. Except work. Except finding all the adventure I need in Sidney Sheldon classics. Except living a long-distance relationship and the drama that comes with it. Find my colleagues interesting and develop some sort of informal friendships with them, where I can have some sort of social interactions.

Anyway, Saudi Arabia takes you to a whole new level of boring. With your limited options for fun, you suddenly do not know what fun means, other than digital entertainment. While boys still have opportunities to go to the gym, play billiards, go bowling, find hookah bars, drive around the beaches and inhale fresh air, girls unfortunately do not. We cannot all get in one car, freely talk about anything and everything, move in our seats to music, because of the presence of a father. Having a brother drive us anywhere is still more preferred by us, but then, brothers have their own lives that they do not want to waste on entertaining us and our girls.

So, where in other countries, we are responsible for the boredom and the lack of passion in our lives, it is not so in Saudi Arabia. It is this country that is responsible for it. It is the way it has nurtured our parents to be strict to unreasonable levels, and bred in us the fear of disobedience towards them. On a plus side, women here develop a sense of rebellion which they satisfy through building a passion for change, a passion for education, a passion for a career. So while every girl in the rest of the world can have passions of traveling and exploring and freedom and music to easily make it happen for them, our passions stay limited to achieving something through our minds, through reading, because that is the only escape to go ahead and find more passions.

The minimal physical exposure, and the lack of emotional and financial support for that exposure, that is needed to develop our passions, till then will keep us boring. Or, we can try and find adventure in our struggle.

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One Response to “What The Boring”

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  1. What The Boring | Welcome to Habibistan - March 31, 2013

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