August 28, 2014
I absolutely LOVE this city… actually I love this expat community in this city!!!!
Best afternoon/night in Riyadh by far!!!
I went to the Diplomatic Quarters with a couple girls and guys to play street hockey in an empty tennis court. It was well over 40 degrees still, the sun was about ready to start setting… and we ran around in the heat for an hour!
Now, I don’t know if I’ve ever actually played a real game of hockey. (Being Canadian, I’m a little ashamed to say that!!!) I have watched plenty of hockey… but its been years since I’ve even touched a stick.
I must have looked like the most gangly and awkward person ever attempting to hit that ball around the court… but it was SO much fun!!
There are two teams that play hockey… my team… the hodge podge of people who play hockey more for fun and to socialize than because of any significant talent… and the boys team that plays before us and consists of a highly competitive group of individuals! And everyone is so friendly and fun and the competitive juices start flowing regardless of talent… It even gets a little aggressive at times… people get thwacked by sticks or balls… bruises form… and it’s all a great time!
It’s just a little crazy to think of it… A bunch of Canadians and some people of other nationalities, in Riyadh, in the middle of the desert, playing hockey in 40+ degree heat and having the time of their lives!!
And then… the best part of it all… going over to the Canadian embassy for some refreshments and socialization with a whole bunch more Canadians and all the hockey players!!!
Being at the Canadian embassy was like being back home… hanging out at your buddy’s house… or at the pub just down the road. Super casual and relaxed. Definitely casual as we were all just hanging out in our sweaty hockey clothes still!
Now, in Riyadh, whenever you meet someone new, there a standard set of questions that always get asked before the conversation progresses any further.
2. Where are you from?
3. How long have you been here?
4. What do you do here?
And then conversation proceeds based on your interest in finding out more information based on the 4 questions above.
So, I generally introduce myself as a Canadian from Vancouver, or I say that I live just outside Vancouver. Because really, who knows where Chilliwack is?! But… the Canadians here know where Chilliwack is!!! It’s amazing!!! I was so thrilled the first time I told someone that I’m actually from Chilliwack and they knew exactly where it is because once upon a time they had trained at the military base there!
Overall, it was such a wonderful night full of laughter and fun and stimulating conversation and meeting fabulous people from back home and around the world!! I felt so warmly welcomed into not only the Canadian community of Riyadh, but also into the whole expat community here! When you’re missing your family and friends back home, it is absolutely a blessing to be part of such a great group of people here!!
My love affair with Riyadh is definitely full blown now!!
More to come on the joys of life in Riyadh…