As I mentioned in an earlier entry posted by me a few days ago, I have started exploring Saudi Arabia through some exceptionally well written blogs on the net. I came across one by a lady who calls herself Laylah. She is probably an American, but the fact is that she married a Saudi man, and has started a blog that has almost 500 followers, and a page on FB with more than 1500 likes. Check out some of her entries on http://www.blueabaya.com.
I read about her experience of attending a Saudi wedding. This encompasses two rather long and detailed posts on her first time at a Saudi wedding. It was thoroughly enjoyable. I haven't attended one as yet, but would certainly like to go for one if invited.
Also, she writes about many interesting places to visit in the kingdom, and one of the posts describes a village called Ushaiger, which is an hour and a half's ride by car from Riyadh. You should probably read the post and take a look at the amazing pictures that she has posted on the site!
Of course, Saudi Arabia has some problems, but then, which country does not? At least I am seeing a fairly good administration, well-planned, clean cities, an optimum use of the resources that they have to beautify places, plant trees, and do whatever they can to make cities livable. I would like to ask if a country like ours, i.e. India, could match the kingdom in the provision of good governance. I am not even talking about expenditure or whether India can afford to spend so much on this or that ... just clean governance, which costs nothing in money but everything in conscience. To that extent, I am gradually turning from a critic to a grudging admirer of this nation.
Someone asked me why I looked so happy nowadays. It made me think. Some standard stuff came to my mind such as my having passed part 1 of the MRCPCH, my having appeared for part 2, my having performed a visit to Madinah and performed the Hajj, my having made a decent amount of money that I could not have made had I been in India ... but at the heart of all this was the fact that life is getting to be enjoyable here because there is less stress, more peace, a slow pace of life, time to do things which one cannot ordinarily even contemplate doing in the fast hurly-burly of life in Mumbai, and such other comforts that are difficult to describe.
Yes, I miss my family a lot. I miss the snacks and the food that India is so famous for, and was one of the many reasons I regretted leaving India for, but these are common to the millions of Indians working here and in other countries in the Gulf as well as in the other countries of the world. So, we suffer, but we all do, and it is something you get used to after some time. In fact, the absence of corruption in day-to-day life, the absence of scams, the absence of terrorist attacks, the absence of the rat-race that we all become a part of in India ... you actually begin to like these things. And, thus, Saudi Arabia grows on you. Gradually, imperceptibly. As it has, on me.
That's it for now. Do write in with your comments.