Thursday, March 4, 2010

Localizer Mall

I was at the Localizer this weekend and thought I'd write a bit about it. The Localizer is famous for being one of the pre-eminent male malls of Riyadh. Sound ridiculous? It's totally not! It's a mall where men are allowed to roam free without being bothered by security for travelling in packs. What kinds of things can you buy there? If you are really into expensive T-shirts, you have just found paradise. If you would like to have an animal of your choice stuffed at a machine - well again, you are in luck. And a watch covered in fake diamonds? Boy, you are on a roll!

Many of the malls in Riyadh have a no singles policy in effect on the weekends, a rule designed mainly to keep groups of young men from harrassing women. Which sort of begs the question of where these men *are* harrassing women if it's not at malls. In Toronto, we have designated harrassment spots: clubs, bars, Yonge street... It's very different for Saudi men though, very different indeed.

To be fair, if you live here, you might understand why single men are banned from malls on the weekend. It's not like I haven't had obscene things whispered into my ears before, but there's a different quality to the rude stuff you see here when you do see it - something a bit more intense. In such a conservative country you can sort of see why there's no tolerance for it. I just don't know whether to be glad about the ban, or feel sorry for the men.

Anyhow, there you have it. Localizer Mall. Enjoyyy

8 comments:

Om Lujain© said...

what's sad is that I have had married men (with their wives) whisper crap my way.. they have no respect.. and although I feel sorry for them.. I think that I lean more towards banning them from the malls till they take a course on how to respect women :)

Did u go to the outback steakhouse? I am in LOVE with their bushman bread.. yummy!

The gym there is also nice.. my husband goes there (too bad they don't have gyms of that scale for us ladies :(

Nice post as always!

Orchidthief said...

Yeah there's a certain lot of men here that definitely give me the creeps in a way that I've never gotten in Toronto, even in the sleaziest bars. At first when my hubby was here alone, I thought the rule was outrageous because he was inconvenienced by it once or twice. But now it all kinda makes sense.

I haven't been to Outback yet. It's on our list of things to do. I hear the service is terrible?? That won't stop me from trying it eventually though... =)

I didn't even notice there was a gym there! The only ladies gym I've ever heard of is in the diplomatic quarter, which is probably not worth driving through security for

Om Lujain© said...

I must say that when I went to outback, the service was wonderful (I went once when it first opened), and was served by a Saudi guy (Very rare in a family section in any restaurant here), he was friendly, spoke perfect English, and went out of his way to help us.) So check it out, yo might get better service then your friends.. :)

ANd yeah, there is a gym there , fitness first. As for the female gyms, we have many here, but the prices range from about 6,000 riyal - 15,000 riyal for a years membership. I used to go to one called Al Multaqa and there was a Canadian fitness instructor there. My main issue with the female gyms, are that they are rather small, and not as spacious as their male counterparts.

Stacy said...

I've started carrying around a somewhat intimidating US army officer with me when I go shopping. Its been quite useful really for avoiding inappropriate leering from the opposite sex.

Orchidthief said...

ha ha, nice that you have a bodyguard Stacy.

m said...

I'm a man and I'd be inclined to be for the ban. It gives women peace and quiet at the mall with no one bothering them.

get2knowsaudiarabia.com said...

There’s been some renovation at the Localizer, now it even has a play area for kids! Hey, my wishes for your next venture! Love your blog! Slurp to the bottomless scotch…hehe

Valeria Zeman said...

There actually is a nice ladies gym in Riyadh you can enjoy. I'm not sure when it exactly started working, but i've been going there since spring...