Observations at Riyadh

Riyadh the capital of Saudi Arabia, Beautiful ….. well I liked it. Crime rate is almost NIL. The Pakistani cab drivers, who call their Taxi as Limusin…… are so nice and helping. In almost every shop you can speak in Bengali ( sorry Bangla ) as Riyadh is ” full ” with guys from Bangladesh, doing simple jobs.

There is No Cinema Halls in Riyadh. There are many shopping malls. The shops close for 10 minutes at the time of Namaz. The shopping malls are full with costly items, branded items, fashion apparels, lingeries, but the buyers are ALL in Borkha. Rarely with Obaya.

The houses here have numbers and other things written only in Arabic. Car number plates are in Arabic. The Arabic numbers are left to right.

The Boundary walls in residential houses are more than 10 ft high.

In the room in which I was staying, the window grill is made of 45 degree rods top to bottom. Means these are not horizontal or vertical. Never seen such a grill before.

Shirt / Pant, Suite are 3 times cheaper. In India a branded shirt is often 1500 Rs. Here we can get one for 500 Rs.

I tried more than 10 shops but never got a soap to wash clothes. I used normal bathing soap to wash clothes.
People give their clothes to laundry to wash. 1 Rial per shirt or per pant.

The buses run in petrol.
The cars generally drive at 15o Km/hr . Very wide roads. Very difficult to cross roads.
We have to wait as we see cars in zillions ….. moving at 150 Km / hr. One mistake and finished for ever.

Here family means you have to have a car. I never saw a small car like alto. All cars are huge cars. All petrol cars. Petrol is Rs 6 per liter. 2 liter per Rial. so 1/10 the cost that in India.

1 Riyal is around 13 Rs.

Here photo to be taken very carefully. Must take permission before shooting.

Not like India where suddenly we can do anything.
I ate in a Chinese Hotel fish and rice. Cost is same as India.
Ate fish sandwich cost same as India.
Saw Bread ( roti ) shop. 1 Riyal per bread. Tandoori Roti of the size 3 ft diameter. This is named as Tamiz. There are many other types of bread named as khobz or Khabuj or Khabus.

There are Indian shops charging for food same cost as India. Roti sabji for 2 Riyal. So 25 Rs.

Asked cost of hair cut in Barber shop. 10 Riyal. so 130 Rs….
No one should walk on the Road at the time of Namaz. If found police will pick up and leave him very far away from city, where will not get any bus or taxi to return. Namaz is known as Salaha.

I do not think there is any water problem in Riyadh. Water comes from Desalination plant at Dammam, near Bahrain border. There is no Electricity problem either, except in summer.

There are Lakhs of guys named Abdulaziz or Abdulla. Abdul means someone who is loved by God. Favourite  of Allah. Aziz means special, specifically liked by God. There may be thousands of princes, Grand Princes, Great great Grand princes of the King’s family who are named as Abdulaziz.

In Hindi and Bengali Bandar means monkey, and Port. In India we do not find people named as ” Bandar “. But in Saudi Arab this name is common. In Persian also Bandar means Port. Band means closed. Dar ( Dwar ) means door / gate. So Bandar = Closed-door away from sea or gate to sea ?( An enclosed area protected from Sea ). After a long Sea Travel, when sailors returned to ports, it used to seem as heaven. So in Persian ( Iran ) and other GCC countries some people have Bandar as their part of the name.

From the Plane at the time of landing ( to King Fahd Airport ) I saw quite a few Green Circles ( Disks ) in the middle of Brown ” Desert “. In India I had never seen Circular Green patches. In India the cultivation lands are pretty randomly shaped say distorted Trapezium or Parallelograms. It took me quite a bit of thinking to figure out what these Green Disks ( as seen from top ) may be ! Later I realised that these are farms of the Prince, which are watered by rotating pipes. The pipe being the radius, as it moves round, sprays water on the plants. So Circular green disks ……

In Korea

Subhashish the Zookeeper



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