Thursday, March 26, 2009

Photography in Riyadh (?) ...and PIES (!)

I've been bluntly told a little while ago that my assistance is required with decorating the house before I leave to go for a visit to Canada. This was after some more gentle nudging and hinting (e.g. "I wish this would look more like a home..." >big sigh<) a couple months ago. Normally I would scoff at this but without gainful employment and not much else to do, I agree that this would be something constructive for me to work on. The hubster wants pictures up on the walls, which would be great, I agree. But the thing is, it's not like there's a ton of photo developers here. I've seen one Kodak studio in Kingdom Mall and that's it - I suppose I'll go investigate. Taking photographs of Saudis is taboo for religious reasons so my guess is that there's not a lot of demand for these services, which is a shame for someone like me that always comes home with hundreds of pics from vacations. I confess I still get a little confused by the whole photograph issue for the locals. Most photographs I know of are not being used in shrines with incense and candles, except for the one of me taken immediately after winning the World Pie Eating Contest - so what's the big deal? The lack of photo developers seems to be made up with printing services at malls that put photos on mugs and t-shirts. The samples are all of people, mostly kids, on these really tasteless coasters and the like. I also just saw an advertisement for a Saudi movie, starring what appear to be Saudis on the television, which added to the confusion of what's taboo and what's not. I'm assuming it's based on how conservative you are, and that these movie makers must be running wild like heathens with their cameras.

ok I really can't resist writing about the pie eating contest. It's held annually in a bar in Wigan, England and has recently been plagued with problems. In 2006, bowing to health lobbies and "relentless pressure from the Vegetarian Society" (those vicious vegetarians!!!) the rules were changed to concentrate on speed alone, i.e. how long it takes you to eat just one pie, rather than a volume based challenge. Plus, they added a vegetarian pie, which added insult to injury and pissed a lot of pie people off. In 2007, a dog ate all the pies, and in 2008 a junior pastry chef made all the pies using inches instead of centimetres and ended up with "giant" pies.

Can't wait to find out what calamity will befall the contest this year.

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