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Surviving Riyadh

Final...Touring Riyadh At Night

Final...Touring Riyadh At Night


Our tour guide announced that we had two hours to shop. She wanted to show the ladies where they could buy an inexpensive but good quality abayas. I tagged along closely as she walked briskly through the crowded mall. It was easy to get lost when everybody were wearing their abayas. She entered a store and exchanged pleasantries with the owner in Arabic. She waited for the rest before she introduced us.

Beautiful abayas of different designs and fabrics were displaced throughout the store. After checking them, I picked up an embroidered silk and asked the owner how much did it cost. One hundred riyal (2.75 riyal/dollar). Our tour guide told him to be nice to me and gave me a discount, she said, fifty riyal. I smiled. I remembered what I used to do in the Philippines. The merchants applied excessive mark-ups of their merchandise, so we bargained. They continued haggling until finally they settled for seventy riyal. I handed him the money.

We continued our tour getting in and out of the stores. Then we entered a store whose walls were covered with golden necklaces, bracelets, earrings, and etc. of different sizes and designs. It was quite a sight. Expensive rugs of beautiful designs and shades draped the walls of another store. Some friendly salesmen handed us free tiny bottles of perfumes. The two hour shopping was over. We went back to the bus where the driver was waiting for us. When all the passengers were accounted for, we drove back to the hospital compound where we were dropped off individually in front of our buildings.

Keywords: Riyadh, tour, shop, abaya, riyal, stores

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