My friend, Bruce is coming to visit me today! Bruce works as a Chiropractive Physician at a major hospital in Jeddah. Jeddah is an hour flight to Riyadh. I met Bruce and his wife Florence through our friend Robin who lives in Florida. While Bruce was visiting, I hear Robin had a party.....Happy Birthday Robin and many, many more to come! Robin and I met one evening in St. Petersburg, Florida and while chatting I told her that I was soon departing to Riyadh Saudi Arabia, she immediately made the connection with Flo, Bruce
As soon as I knew Bruce was coming, I contacted our security folks on my compound to find out what Bruce required in order to gain access to this military compound. I was informed that he would need a copy of his Passport and igama (resident card that allow you to work in Saudi Arabia) to be sign in. He soon found out just how many restrictions I had, not just being a woman in Saudi but also as far as receiving guests.
After trying to find an Arabic interpreter on post to translate to Bruce’s cab driver how to get to the base and getting my friend Jay to sign Bruce in at the gate with not only the Air Force guards but the Saudi Army as well, Bruce was finally able to come on post! I had a spaghetti dinner with my homemade sauce prepared and I hoped it made all of the “red tape’ Bruce had to go through, worth the trip.
The next day, I showed Bruce all the amenities (i.e. the gym, basketball court, batting case, pool, tennis, volleyball) that are available to the residents in order to keep busy in the Kingdom. We did not make it downtown Riyadh due to it being the Eid holiday here in Saudi. Every shop and restaurant would be closed. The post also provides free movie rentals at the library and we have several movie free channels in out villas. We dined at post restaurant, visited the Base Exchange then had a nice swim in the Olympics sized pool. Bruce said, “You guys have really got it made! This place looks like a resort!” All of this; the compound with all of its amenities are a courtesy from the King!