Expat wives living on compounds for the most part fall into two categories - the kind that work, and the kind that don't work. The kind that don't work often fall into their social groups and lifestyle structures based on whether they have young children or grown children. And if you are an expat wife that has no children, is not over 40, and you are not working, lemme tell you boy oh boy the thing to do is to kidnap a couple of babies so you join that baby club. No, I joke. One thing I like though, are the days where people from different groups all show up to the same thing. "Coffee Mornings" are great for that.
"Coffee Mornings" are bazaars that are set up at various compounds where a variety of vendors show up to sell their wares, there's coffee and snacks to buy, and basically women are picked up from their respective compounds for a morning out. There's usually a few each month to go to, but the best one to go to by far is the Kingdom Coffee Morning housed at the Kingdom Compound not to be confused with the Kingdom Mall. Yes, confusion is a specialty here, and happened this morning at our compound when two separate buses left - one for the Mall and one for the Coffee Morning and I watched a commotion develop when 3 French ladies in the seats next to me realized they were on the wrong bus. Sacre bleu! Anyways, the reason this coffee morning is so popular is because everyone shows up to it:
I admit I was on a mission today to buy my husband some German bread from German bakers. When you think German you might think Oktoberfest and sausages, but let me enlighten you if you didn't already know - they are *craaaazy* about their bread. It is seriously a source of national pride for them, so don't ever tell a german that you don't like Rye. Trust me on that one. Because you'll find out very quickly how many different types of rye there are and the different ways to eat them and you could find yourself being driven across town to a German bakery to pick up a ten-pound loaf of bread. By the way, if you are living in Riyadh and looking for this German bakery, let me tell you that you'll never find it because they don't have a store - they just show up to coffee mornings and deliver direct to your house or compound through an order sheet.
They also sell really nice abayas at this coffee morning, which was the other thing that I wanted to get. Mission accomplished (twice)! Always bargain, especially if you buy more than one. The key is to get in right after you've watched him give another woman a deal and just stare him down until he melts.
These are some of the knick knacks they sell along with a lot of jewellery, housewares, and fabrics:
As for the compound itself, it's quite nice, but not the mecca that my husband made it sound like. You know, it's got those fake rocks by the pool and some parrots in a big bird cage, but aside from that, I'm not sure what the big deal is. Arizona is the compound to be at if you ask me, because they have a horse, a golf course and goats. Yeah, GOATS! Booyah!
2 months ago