Yesterday during orientation we were given a lecture about the phases of culture shock, and it was very apparent that I am in Phase I the Honeymoon Phase; when everything is new, exciting, and you're just taking it all in. So far, I have felt like I'm dealing well with uprooting my life and moving across the world to the Middle East (of all places). I have chalked this up to my amazing coping skills, but now know that this will probably not last. At some point in the next few weeks these things that have not yet bothered me will likely become somewhat frustrating. I'm secretly hoping that I stay in the Honeymoon Phase for the rest of my time here!!
Last night I went out shopping with the girls to one of the many local malls. You must be very concious of the prayer times here when out running errands, as stores will close down and you may be forced to wait outside until they reopen. The last 2 prayers of the day are quite close together, so it could become an inconvience if you don't structure your time around them. After a few hours of shopping we hailed a cab to head back to the compound and ended up with this Yemeni cab driver who was doing his best to flirt with us (even though he spoke zero English). We dropped one of the girls off, and were heading to the other side of the compound when he plowed through the security gait. He was so busy looking at us in the rear view mirror that he wasn't paying attention. The security guards were pissed, and took his driver's licence and made a few calls. We sat in the back laughing, and trying to figure out what the heck happened. The driving here is really something else!! So far my time in Saudi has been pretty eventful!