In December of 2008 Brian Hartenstein and family left America for an adventurous life overseas to live and work throughout Asia, raising three daughters with a sense of wonder and awe at the possibility of the world. It is now 2016 and the adventure continues back home in Oregon. This blog remains as a time capsule to that period. Thank you so much to all our friends around the world. Please stay in touch. We miss you all!
Monday, July 1, 2013
The Wild Goat Markets of EID
And then suddenly things got wonderfully weird.
While riding on the company bus to work along the usual route to the college...
There in the middle of the road... an impromptu market appeared full of Bedouin men and boys selling goats to be slaughtered for the EID holiday.
The EID was the midpoint in the second half of the year, (there are really no seasons in Saudi) where families gather and pilgrims take yet another yearly voyage to Mecca.
It was incredible to stumble upon this event. Half groggy and sleepy on the bus, with nothing around for miles... to suddenly see life bursting around me.
Bleating goats and men bargaining heartily, commotion and shouting and guns being shot into the air and wild high pitched screeching voices.
It reminded me of why I love to travel so much, these odd little events that happen when you least expect it.
Usually traveling to distant lands affords you these memories faster than can be recorded. The luxurious rush of senses that fills your eyes and mind with sights you've never encountered before...
But here in Saudi, there was never anything that enriched me, intoxicated or dazzled me... until today.
I realized I was missing so much of Saudi life that was hidden in the sand... (I know, calm down Hartenstein. It's just a bunch of goats.) But for those moments, trapped on the bus pushing through this crowd of herders and farmers and shepherds... I marked the day. It was the first time I felt happy to be in Saudi Arabia.