Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Victoria’s Secret in Saudi Arabia & the Starbucks' Mermaid in a Burkah! You’ve come a long way, Baby!

 (Victoria’s Secret, Kingdom Center:  Riyadh)

The day before Mad Dog was to be released from the Saudi Detention Center, I had the day to wander around Riyadh.   Comically enough, I found myself in front of an actual Victoria's Secret.  What on earth is this store doing here?  It baffles the mind!  These poor Saudi women wrapped head to foot in black sack cloth, why? 
Interestingly enough, the entire third floor of the massive department store at Kingdom Center was roped off so that no men could enter.  It was only for women.   This is in accordance with Sharia Law… because if a man were even to see a pair of women’s undergarments hanging in a store window… he might turn into a savage.  
 (Would you like fries to go with that shake?  Segregation of sexes at Mickey Dees, Riyadh)

I couldn’t resist adding a second picture of the segregated McDonalds here because it’s just hilarious.  It was very hard to take live action pictures in Saudi due to the presence of the Mutawa or religious police, dressed in brown thobe robes.  They have the power to arrest you if they see you committing a crime against Islam.  They can’t stop the people from having their Big Macs though.  Sorry Mutawa!
 Seriously, a Chinese / Asian restaurant in Saudi?  Who wants to eat sushi in the desert?
 (Funeral Pyre)

Back in 2002 there was a tragedy at Mecca Girl’s School when a fire broke out and 15 girls perished.  They were fleeing the burning building but school guards locked the gates and trapped them inside despite the pleading of the children.  The girls were not wearing their headdresses and the guards thought it better they die burning in flames than disgrace themselves by stepping outside with their head uncovered.
 (Whatcha Wearing Under That Burkah?)

Yes, another lingerie shop.  I just couldn’t help NOT taking this picture.  After months in Saudi and Yemen, after living such an isolated and weirdly censored existence, to see these shops was amazing.  Do the women need to burn their bras first… maybe burning something else might be in order?
 Oh yes, it’s good to see Tony Manero is alive and well… straight out of 1977.
 Seriously, man… don’t even ask!
Sometimes it’s all about creature comforts.  I was told that Starbucks was creating a new Company Logo due to complaints the mermaid didn’t cover her head.   This story is developing… more later.  It’s time to pick up Mad Dog from jail.  
I'll have mine extra black!

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