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Packing for Riyahd

 
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run-jp



Joined: 27 Jan 2003
Posts: 60
Location: now rushin for kabsa 'tween prayer calls

PostPosted: Sun Jul 27, 2003 5:05 pm    Post subject: Packing for Riyahd Reply with quote

Hello all,

Well my flight to Riyahd isn't far away and I was wondering if anyone could suggest things I should pack (bachelor compound housing). if I bring in a canister of sealed sports drink mix or box of power Bars, will it get thru customs? i am assuming that rasors, deodorant, etc. of western quality are easy to buy there, unlike in Asia. My employer has been exact about what NOT TO BRING...understandably.

so when you go diving, do you have to provide own wet suit? Is it worth buying one abroad? still i suppose they can be ordered & shipped fairly cheap from Australia?
Also, what is general "caution level" (chances to leave compound) now? I have been told we should go in pairs off compound. ...so are people still diving, hashing, going places?

(I guess you can tell I am coming, work-wise, from "no-security" Asia where UK football fans and N. korean "fishing boats" are #1 security threat). Thanks and hope to meet some of you soon enough!! Smile
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scot47



Joined: 10 Jan 2003
Posts: 12502
Location: Ultima Thule

PostPosted: Sun Jul 27, 2003 6:38 pm    Post subject: don't Reply with quote

I wouldnt bring the drinks or "power bars" - whatever they are. I am fairly sure you can get that kind of thing where you are.

Diving ? In Riyadh ? Diving in Jeddah is big business and I would think you could buy a wetsuit there. But Riyadh ?

Mind you, shopping is highly developed there. I can show you where to buy a furcoat ! (For those who wish to fly off to colder climes and arrive suitably atired.)

Seriously you do not need to bring anything to Saudi. It is all available there !
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Paul in Saudi



Joined: 03 Mar 2003
Posts: 392
Location: Doha, Qatar

PostPosted: Mon Jul 28, 2003 2:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yep, I fear it is an unsatisfying answer for you, but you could just arrive with cash and be up and running in a couple of days.

You may wish to bring your music CDs. Maybe they will cause excitment at customs, but probably not. No need to pack the jewel cases.

If you are a large size, maybe some extra shoes, big fat American shoes can sometimes be hard to find.

I get a lot of milage out of the reference books I bring in with each trip, but that is just me.
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Cleopatra



Joined: 28 Jun 2003
Posts: 3657
Location: Tuamago Archipelago

PostPosted: Mon Jul 28, 2003 6:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I agree - just about everything you could wish for (with a few exceptions ...) is available in Riyadh, often cheaper than in Europe - don't know about the US. don't bother weighing yourself down with too much.

If I wre you, I'd take the covers off my CDs just in case they attract the interest of customs people. Even photos of women who are reasonably dressed by our standards can cause probs.
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scot47



Joined: 10 Jan 2003
Posts: 12502
Location: Ultima Thule

PostPosted: Mon Jul 28, 2003 9:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Shopping is number one participant sport in Saudi - for Saudis and western expats. Expats from other countries are usually too focussed on saving. You can get just about anything in a Saudi supermarket or mall - except Jack Daniels and Johnny Walker. You have to go elsewhere for them.
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titanicman



Joined: 17 Feb 2003
Posts: 71
Location: Qatar

PostPosted: Fri Aug 01, 2003 4:14 pm    Post subject: Women's clothing Reply with quote

What are sizes for women's clothing in Riyadh? Are Arab women like Asian women? My Korean wife doesn't fit into the clothing sold in Canada -- they are just a little too big.

No, the women's clothing isn't for me.

Cheers.................Titanicman
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scot47



Joined: 10 Jan 2003
Posts: 12502
Location: Ultima Thule

PostPosted: Sat Aug 02, 2003 5:07 am    Post subject: heading to RUH Reply with quote

I do nothave a lot of experience in the field of buying women's clothing, but in Saudi - at least in the big cities - you will find ALL sizes. There isa HUGE number of foreign workers in KSA, from all over the world.

My advice is travel light and buy your needs localy.

Maybe bring your favourite music, but be careful about what is on the cover. A Wahabi customs inspector may have a different concept of "obscenity" to you.

And be prepared for a DIFFERENT experience. No description will prepare you for it. I will be interested to haer how you react, and wheteher you can make the adaptation.
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Cleopatra



Joined: 28 Jun 2003
Posts: 3657
Location: Tuamago Archipelago

PostPosted: Sat Aug 02, 2003 7:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm quite small and skinny and have no trouble getting clothes to fit. There are many international clothing chains here so all sizes are available. However, one thing which is a real pain is the fact that there are no changing rooms in clothes shops. Either you try to find a nearby bathroom or you wait till you get home to try things on. This can be annoying as of course you can never really tell is something will fit you or suit you until you've tried it on. Shops are good about exchanging stuff or refuning you, but it still makes clothes shopping a bit of an adventure. All shop assistants are male too - there was recently an article in the paper talking about how crazy it is that women are not supposed even to speak to unrealted men, yet they have to discuss their bra size with them. Where else but the good old K of SA?
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Pilot in Command



Joined: 19 Apr 2003
Posts: 50

PostPosted: Sat Aug 02, 2003 5:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I just got back here to Saudi Arabia a couple of weeks ago...yep. back in the left seat, so to speak (and I thought I'd NEVER come back to this place!). I brought a DVD player and some DVD's. They didn't cause a stir, but the floppy disks for my laptop did. They took them to their special place in the airport (Dammam) to look at them, but they returned them immediately. Don't bring videocassettes, though. They also took a DVD that I had taken out of the case to watch on the plane...they discovered the empty case.

Overall they seemed a bit pickier in customs than they were a couple of years ago, when all my luggage went through the scanners without them looking in any of it. Thought they'd be nicer to Americans in light of events, but not the case.
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scot47



Joined: 10 Jan 2003
Posts: 12502
Location: Ultima Thule

PostPosted: Sun Aug 03, 2003 6:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

"nicer to Americans" ?

I think the opposite is probably the case.

I have no doubt in my mind that relations between saudis and westerners are more distant now than before the events of September 11.

And you will still find many are friendly and helpful. Paradoxical isn't it ?

But then people are people. And they are different. Forget your stereotypes and your life becomes better.


Last edited by scot47 on Tue Aug 05, 2003 10:53 am; edited 1 time in total
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Cleopatra



Joined: 28 Jun 2003
Posts: 3657
Location: Tuamago Archipelago

PostPosted: Sun Aug 03, 2003 10:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I agree with scot. I also don't see why the Saudis owe it to the Americans to be 'nicer to them' just because of the actions of a few of their countrymen.
Recently, there was talk of how all American visitors to KSA would be subjected to fingerprinting, because apparantly that is what Americans are doing to Saudis and other Arabs. I don't think anything has or will come of it, but I suppose it ilustrates that what goes around, come around. And since I very much doubt that custom searches for Arabs arriving in the US have in any way lightened up over the past few eyars, why should Americans expect the Saudis to go easier on them?
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Paul in Saudi



Joined: 03 Mar 2003
Posts: 392
Location: Doha, Qatar

PostPosted: Tue Aug 05, 2003 2:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well over seven years ago when I applied for my first job here, I was fingerprinted and had to give my new employer a police background check to get the job.

Lemme see, a buncha Saudis kill three thousand Americans, the Americans respond with increased security towards Saudis. The Saudis proclaim this is not fair. They opt to mirror-image the American steps.

Mind you no Americans have killed three thousand Saudis.

Not that I am concerned. Just amused.
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