Last night my friend Donna and I decided that we would meet up with each other at the Al Rashid Mall which is where most people go to fufill their evenings here in Khobar because of the little entertainment that this place provides.... Anyway little did we know it at the time but a Saudi man was watching us both and when he saw my friend and I come out of our coffee shop (Starbucks) he was there in our face and asked me if I was from Taif (another city here in Saudia). I said no and thought I would be able to continue on my way. He then asked if I lived in Jeddah which I told him no again and that I lived here in Khobar. The man was using all the little tricks in the book and obviously wanted to get to know us better and he asked us what we were doing etc... Naively I told him that we were going out for dinner shortly. Unfortunately for me I made that silly mistake and he followed us to our restaurant and promptly sat down where we sat etc.... and offered to pay for our meals etc... As I have been away from the country for two months I completely forgot that we shouldn't be doing this..... and of course I think Donna was blown away by the fact he followed us into the restaurant anyway. Rule number one, ignore these sorts of people if you can and stay well away from them. They are dangerous and want nothing more than a bit of intercourse with you regardless whether you are male or female. They will often ask for your mobile number or contact details and we weren't that silly to do that. We managed to loose him after we said we had to go to the Bookshop. In Saudi it is sad how the people cannot date who they wish. Many a young person is sexually frustrated and one day soon this country will get fed up with it's practices and the young will try to break free. I feel sad for them as they are only human after all. Something will crack one day here I am sure!
Using your camera is strictly frowned upon and they consider it to be an "evil eye"!!! So be careful whenever you take pictures, that you don't have any women in the picture, any government buildings or anything that can be even considered so!!! Leaves you with almost nothing to photograph as there is no such thing as photography in Saudi Arabia!!! And be careful of the police whenever they are around don't even think of opening your camera case!!!
I found out the hard way though to watch the merchants when using a credit card. I bought groceries at the cost of 406 SAR and my bank statement came back at 406 USD even though the receipt said SAR. It took me over a amonth to get it sorted out. Keep every receipt!
If you are in Shoula Shopping Center or in any mall in Al-Khubar, do not even make a move to smile or talk to a woman especially if you do not know her. For sure, if the Mutawa catches you, you will end up in jail. Moreover, if you are travelling by car in Al-Khubar or in any place of the Kingdom, you should always bring your Iqama and Marriage Certificate if you are with your wife. Men and women are not allowed to be together in a car or any vehicle unless they are husband and wife. You disobey the law, then you will be spending time in prison.
In Saudi Arabia, extra care and alterness is required while driving on roads. It is a common sight to see cars in accidents and people getting badly hurt. Most of the local people have habbit of rash, signal violations and careless driving.