This is an entry I wrote a couple months ago that I never posted:
Hello hello... no, I'm not taking the schoolbus to school, it's taking me shopping. Most compounds I know of provide this service for bored housewives. They take us to all the most popular malls and souks on a daily basis. My husband is reading over my shoulder right now and is correcting my spelling even though he is himself a notoriously bad typer. He also says it's important to have these buses because the women keep the house running. He said this in a machismo way, with his chest puffed out. How irritating to have this running commentary behind me. And he is still sitting here reading this. OK he just took a hint, got up, did something obscene, and left.
I can't imagine Riyadh without malls, though a guy from McDonalds told me that there were no malls when he showed up here in 2000. Riyadh without malls? That's like yin without yang...cowboys without chaps...John Travolta without disco... This morning, as I was about to hop on the bus, it occurred to me that the last time I was on a bus like this it was high school. If someone told me back then that the next schoolbus I would be riding was this one, my jaw would have dropped open. I also would have gotten up, done something obscene, and left.
Anyways, all this to say that the buses that take the ladies out of the compounds to the malls are a big part of compound life unless you have your own personal driver/ baby-sitter/dog walker/gardner. Blah blah blah, that's it.
Change can happen in Saudi Arabia
7 months ago