There are several reasons I might need or want to go to SA. If D has a problem, I could go and help him. Or, the best reason is we want to go diving in the Red Sea off the western coast of SA. (yippee) Another benefit of having my Iqama is that I can attend meetings of the American Woman’s Association in Al Khubar and meet the ladies living here.
|There are some great photos on this site.|
To complete my Iqama process, I will stay here in Al Khubar for a week (in a hotel) while the Saudi government processes my application. The Iqama process was very complicated and detailed.
Prior to this trip to Khubar, I had already spent 2 months working on the process. There were two physicals, one in the US and one here in Al Khubar. While I was back in the States for the first physical, my passport and the results of that physical (along with extensive blood work), a multipage form and several other documents were submitted to the Saudi consulate. After that first application was approved, they issued a permit for me to come to Al Khubar and apply for the Iqama.
This is the first rain I have seen since May.
|Putting the bidet to good use.|
Here I am with DW getting ready to go into Saudi. We are wearing our abayas. Women have to be covered up at all times in public in SA.
|Getting ready to enter SA.|
|My first view of Saudi Arabia.|
|Our husbands driving on the causeway.|
|View from the back seat of downtown. Women don't drive in SA so our husbands are in the front seat driving us into SA.|
|Typical row of older buildings.|
|Employee parking lot is all sand.|
|View from D's office.|
|Orchids in my hotel.|
On the way home, IT WAS RAINING with lightning and thunder. Typically it only rains for about one week a year here so the water drainage is not as good as we might have in the US. The water was quite deep on most of the roads.
|RAIN in SA.|
The amazing thing about this store was that the selection was so in depth for some items. There was an entire wall of honey, one aisle of bar soap and a huge display of toothpicks in every imaginable design or color.
|Tooth picks of every variety.|
|Pieces of cake.|
|More tea pots.|
|Baking flat bread.|
|Our driver parked on the sidewalk when we went to the clinic for second physical exam. Because DW and I are women, we had to have a driver everywhere we went. It was nice because we would not have been able to find our way around.|
|View from one side of the balcony for our hotel room with rush hour traffic heading home.|
|Construction is not fast in this area. D says this is the main road through Al Khubar. It has been under construction for over two years.|
I think I will go on Google Maps and plan a trip to Starbucks. Another adventure! Woo Hoo!
Here is a video that was taken on the dash board of a man who is just driving around Al Khobar very early in the morning before there are people or cars on the roads. He does not take you down any of the narrow roads in the older part of the city. He goes from the suburbs to the city and along the major arteries.
In the US we have a drug store on every corner but in the Middle East there is a Mosque on every corner. There are lots of traffic circles and speed bumps along the way. This is all very normal for SA and Bahrain so you can get a sense of what it is like to go on the roads -- BUT WITHOUT THE CRAZY TRAFFIC. When there is traffic, it is very dangerous.