Sunday, November 23, 2008

I've been promising photos, so here we go.  Many of these you may have already seen some of these photos on Facebook - sorry for the repeats.

Everyone has one of these obligatory photos.  This is what I look like when I go outside the DQ.  It's supposedly tradition to get a photo of oneself wearing an abaya and nothing else while standing in front of the religious police headquarters in Riyadh...  all I will say is that I have on jeans and a t-shirt as well in this photo!

The previously mentioned statue-climbing incident in Jeddah - that is, in fact, a flying carpet with a car and a thick layer of dust on top of it.  Let the jury note that I had heels on for this.

I have a series of photos capturing the every-day oddities of Saudi Arabia.  You see, in the West, we indicate women's bathrooms with a stick figure wearing a dress.  Obviously, showing the stick figure's legs and arms would be completely verboten here, so hey, why not have a disembodied head with an apparently transparent facial veil tucked underneath the regular veil?

Laziness in advertising - H&M in Jeddah was clearly too uncreative to design its own in-store advertising campaign.  Why bother, when it's much easier just to take the American/European images and pixellate out most of the objectionable parts?  Hair, inexplicably, is not a problem here.  I've also seen a Rolex ad in Riyadh with a European guy's arm ghosted out, but I was in a moving car and couldn't photograph the expensive watch floating in a myopic field of peach-colored flesh.

A nice peaceful seaside resort, with the skyscrapers of Jeddah in the background.  Blast walls around the compound, armed guards at all entrances, and minarets blasting the call to prayer not included.

The old city of Jeddah.  The oldest part is quite small, and not well preserved, but what's there is pretty, in a run-down sort of way.

The post-election party!  Those are totally the hats we interviewed in all day long.  That's me, Jessica, and Olga, my closest friends at the embassy - I've written about them before.

That's all I have for now.  We have to be sneaky in all of the photos we take here, because I think photography is actually forbidden here.  I'm not making this up.