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!
Wednesday, September 25, 2013
Victoria’s Secret in Saudi Arabia & the Starbucks' Mermaid in a Burkah! You’ve come a long way, Baby!
Secret, Kingdom Center: Riyadh)
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?
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.
you like fries to go with that shake?
Segregation of sexes at Mickey Dees, Riyadh)
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!
a Chinese / Asian restaurant in Saudi?
Who wants to eat sushi in the desert?
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
Wearing Under That Burkah?)
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
yes, it’s good to see Tony Manero is alive and well… straight out of 1977.
man… don’t even ask!
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.