Skip to main content

We're Guests of a Saudi Family


It's vacation time for Gabby and Sunday! That means the much-needed break for me. No more getting up a little bit early to prepare their breakfast and packed lunches and getting them ready for school. I am now enjoying those extra snooze time and the unhurried sipping of coffee in the morning. I'm so grateful.

Although I like that my children will be able to rest from all the studying and project-making, I am also worried that they get bored in the house while Fred and I are at the office. So when Fred's boss asked us to visit his office and pastry factory again, I readily agreed and sacrificed a whole day of being at home. I will just be doing the chores, anyway. The ironing of clothes and tidying up can wait.


The day was perfect and the kids were raring to go. But instead of touring around the factory again, Fred's boss invited us to his house! It wasn't part of the plan and I was a bit hesitant because I haven't been to a Saudi family's house before and haven't observed how they receive guests. But the boss insisted and promised our stay won't last longer than thirty minutes. So I said yes.

And it was one saying yes I won't regret. The wife of Fred's boss welcomed us warmly. Fred was ushered to a separate receiving area for male guests and I was led to the family room by Madam, as I then called the boss's wife. The kids played table hockey with the boss's kids in the entertainment room.


While I enjoy sipping my coffee unhurriedly in the morning, I don't like anything to do with caffeine in the afternoon. So when this authentic Arabic coffee was served, I begged off. But upon knowing that coffee Arabica contains less caffeine, I drank this brewed coffee and enjoyed its taste. Honest. I even had another cup.


Sipping that cup of coffee while talking about almost anything under the sun with Madam was my day's highlight. I often thought I could only learn something from someone older than me. I was so wrong. She is just my age and she's shared so much about the Arab culture (and its flaws), and of how she disciplines her children, talks to his husband, and still finds time for herself. For a harassed, always on-the-go mom and wife like me, I was so dumbfounded yet so inspired.

We left after an hour. Yes, the promise of a thirty minute stay was breached. But it was so alright. Had it been a little earlier, we would've stayed a little longer. Fred would've known his boss a little deeper, the kids would've enjoyed more playing time with Arab kids their ages, and I would've shared what I know with Madam, too. Maybe, next time.

And maybe next time, I would answer yes more often.


Comments

Reena said…
wow, that's so nice of them to invite your family. Mukhang masarap nga yung pastries and omg, the dates! I haven't tasted those in years! Glad you enjoyed and i hope you have more time to chat with Madam in your next visit.
Dong Ho said…
thanks for dropping by my blog. nice to know that you're considering nagsasa cove. while you miss the philippines i miss the idea of going to other countries.
Photo Cache said…
nice post. thanks for sharing.
Farida said…
Those dates are heavenly. I have tasted them from an uncle who once worked there though it's a bit sweet for me. Glad you enjoyed the short visit and the many things you learned while talking to Madam :)
Beng Gee said…
Hi Beth! Fred's boss must have liked him a lot that the family were invited to meet his own. Really nice of them to open their home to you. Good for you that you have learned deeper about their culture. Truly a worthwhile time spent out of your own home! Indeed the chores can wait. Lol!

Happy Easter! Blessings to you and family!
Farida said…
It must be a delight to be the visitors of your husband's boss. Btw, have you observed the seed of a dates? There's a cross embossed on it.

It was a sight to see the tray of goodies you captured on the photos. I hope the chatter was as interesting as the contents of the tray was. :)
Missy said…
So how did you take those pictures in front of the madam? Hehehe I wonder how did you ask her or did you just sneak while she's away? ;-)
Beth said…
Those dates were special. It was only on that meeting that I knew about it. I didn't know before that there are special dates or the expensive ones, and there are dates that are just ordinary.

Thanks for dropping by, Reena!
Beth said…
Yes, I really miss the Philippines. Maybe because I haven't explored all of it yet. And yes, I will really put Nagsasa Cove in my to-visit list. :)
Beth said…
...and thanks for dropping by!
Beth said…
I like dates. But they're really sweet. Naturally and healthfully sweet. When we come back there, I'll try to remember bringing home dates for you! :)
Beth said…
I didn't know that there's a cross on the dates' seeds. I'll check it out when we buy some.

It's an honor to be invited, really. The boss' kids are well-bred and very kind.
Beth said…
I asked her, Missy! Haha, at first I was a bit ashamed but I thought I really had to so I told her and she said yes. She's one accommodating hostess. :)

Popular posts from this blog

Star City, Riyadh

It's the start of Gabby and Sunday's vacation! And I'm back to the things that I always take for granted: reading and blogging. I've always looked forward to posting here but life has been a whirlwind for the past months. Gabby graduated from primary school and will be in high school this June. Yes, you read it right. I now have a high school kid. How time flies! I got so sick after that and was rushed to the ER and was given antibacterial medicines intravenously. But now, I'm back and raring to blog again.

Prince Salman Science Oasis, Riyadh

Don't think that I don't like my job when I tell you that I took a leave of absence just to accompany my daughter to her field trip. I do love my job. But my daughter is growing up fast and I don't want to miss the chances of being with her on times she asks me to.

Ever read or heard about the famous deathbed regret quote? It says, “No man ever said on his deathbed, ‘I wish I had spent more time in the office.'” That thought reminds me to always have time for my family, no matter how busy I am at work. So on times I need to choose between being a mom and an office employee, I always choose the former. And I haven't regretted that choice since I started making it.

Let me be honest here. One of the reasons I went to that field trip was to check out places that aren't included in my must-go-to list here in Riyadh. I am so sure museums and exhibition centers are way below your list too, if they're there at all.



*Prince Salman Science Oasis (PSSO) is a non-pr…

Almarai Dairy Farm and Factory Visit

Whenever I chat with my friend based in Abu Dhabi, I always ask her what she will cook for an upcoming occasion, and she would promptly send snapshots of dishes I only dream of cooking. And when I posted the photo of my husband and me on my Facebook account, with a short "A trip to Almarai Dairy Farm" caption, she later on commented that she and her partner like Almarai products especially the yoghurt and fresh milk. That's when I realized that although we're miles apart, my friend and I still have something in common: we enjoy the same brand of milk and juice drinks.