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View Full Version : Wow What a ride it's been Part 2



pnevai
08-31-2007, 20:52
I want to make this absolutely clear! I am not gay and I have never been……………. Oh! Oops, sorry. And you are here reading this why? ??? Oh ok I lost my train of thought for a moment.

The sand storm, yes thats it. Well if you’ve never been in one, I recommend that you avoid the experience. The stuff gets into everything, visibility is cut to zip. It’s like driving through a heavy rain except it’s not. But you still need to use your windshield wipers, sort of. The wind was really starting to kick up just as Steve, pulled up at my hotel. In the dash from the car through the door to the hotel I lost about 3 of the 7 layers of skin us Homo-Sapiens have. (Well that takes care of needing a dermal peel) I spent the next few hours back at the window watching the maelstrom going on outside with the same sick fascination as I would watch Hurricane destruction years later in Florida. In the morning I got the answer to why those snow plows were parked along the roads. (You do not have to back track, I did not mention snow plows before) They were traveling up and down the streets plowing the sand drifts off of the roads.

This was a good news and bad news morning. The good news was that it was a clear bright blue sunny morning. The bad news;

1.Sand was in everything, your eyes, ears, underwear, between your teeth, up your nose…. Well you get the picture.

2.I’ll tell you later

There was a little trail of sand anywhere there was any little gap or crack where the outside could get in. It was piled up in little arcs in the corners of the window panes, and it seemed like a fine layer of dust covered every surface in the room. Two showers and a Niagara Falls worth of mouthwash, water, and toothpaste later, I felt almost clean. Why? Because the water in Saudi only barely qualified to be called such that’s why. Tap water is mostly desalinated and desalinated water is sort of greasy, chemically over treated and generally nasty. At least it was back in the late 80’s. So I shook off the clothes I was going to wear that day, this of course sent fine clouds of dust flying everywhere and since I was still damp from the shower it all seemed to home in and stick to me giving me a two shade darker orange cast tan………….. ##*&^%#%$@$%^&^%#$@^&%!!!!!!!!!!

So it was back into the bathroom, and this time I took my clothes with me. Housekeeping and the laundry service at the hotel was busy that day. My phone starts ringing so I answer it and it is Steve and John, they’re in the lobby waiting for me because it was Scuba Gear shopping day. I return the phone to the receiver and notice there are shiny clean spots on the handset where my hand had been……..I look at my hand, then I go into the bathroom and look in the mirror at my right ear….. ##^%#^$#%$%$##%^!!!!!!!

I GIVE UP, I wipe the orange dust from y hands and ear, and head down stairs. Steve and John are waiting in the car out front so (Bad news #2) I open the front doors of the hotel and step outside in to a OVEN!!!!!!!! BAM! the heat just slams in to me like a solid physical force. If you’ve ever baked anything in an oven set at 9,000 degrees and decided to open the door and peek inside to see how things were coming along, well this was just like that. Two steps towards the car and I am soaked to the skin in sweat and just then a light gust sends dust swirling up in the air. Aaaaaaaaaarrrrrrgh! I dive for the car door and a moment later I am inside in blissful cool air conditioning. Steve looks over and says “A bit toasty this morning eh?” I'll just say “If looks could kill”.

Anyway we are off to the market in Al Khobar and Dammam. Now urban driving in Saudi has to bee seen to be appreciated. People just park where ever, on the side walks, in the middle of the street some times 3 deep. A barely organized mayhem of vehicular activity. We wedge our car into a nearby opening pointing straight at the side walk and start on our way to the shops. John had some errands to run and we would hit those shops first. Now one weird thing in Saudi is that women have to walk around covered head to toe, in these Black Burka type things, the only visible portion is the slit for the eyes. Yet you walk down the street past shops like Christian Dior, Pierre Cardin, Ralph Lauren, Versace and a host of other famous designers. All of the latest in women’s fashions are on display. Must be a women thing. Anyway we spent around an hour of going hither and thither, (here and there for the more literally challenged) before returning to the car. As I get to the car I see a small black object lying on the passenger side front fender of the car. I pick it up and the object turns out to be my, my, my WALLET!!!! WHAT,WHO,HOW,WHY,WHOA (enough W words?) Then it hits me, when I got out of the car I checked my pockets to see if I had my passport and I must have taken my wallet out and absent mindedly left it out on the car.

At this point I would like to let my readers know that there is much more Scuba Stuff in this telling but some things just must be told so pleas be patient.

I quickly ruffle through the contents and everything is there, the credit card, all the cash, travelers checks, whew! (Just had to get another W word in there) One thing about the Saudi legal system, get caught stealing they chop your hand off. Seems to work just fine thank you! We drive over to a different part of town to the sporting goods store, and there I pick up swimming trunks, and look over all the cool scuba stuff they had. I must mention that I had no clue what I was looking at and the shop owners knew even less about what it was that they were selling. But I managed to select a Tekna mask and Tekna Spectra Fins. I picked up a flashy black dive skin that had iridescent blue stripe down the arms and legs that matched the blue of the Tekna mask fins and snorkel. It set me back around $220 US but hey I was a going to be a cool looking scuba diver dude.
See I told you that I would get back to the scuba diving stuff.

And this ends the second installment of the continuing saga of a learning to dive in Saudi Arabia. The Saudi portion will end within the next two installments but you will not want to miss the Odyssey in Malaysia where I went through AOW and Instructor training among other adventures.

Osprey
08-31-2007, 21:43
I'm sorry, I'm just not convinced I need to follow in your footsteps... lol.

Makes for great stories though, good luck with all that sand!!!

Suther2136
08-31-2007, 22:03
tap tap tap, is that feet under the stall... what, no, not me

Osprey
08-31-2007, 22:15
LOL Suther!

Xspect
08-31-2007, 22:15
Wow what signals. I cant even get my wife to share air with me ...

Suther2136
08-31-2007, 22:22
There's a reason for that, but you're married, so like me clueless...