Thursday, August 7, 2008

I found my abaya. Well, 2/3 of it, anyway.

I can't believe it has been a week since I touched down in Riyadh. Thanks so much for all your kind words of encouragement!

Today will be a quick post as I am studying for my final exam for my UBC psych course. I can't go into too much detail as I become quickly embittered at the thought of all my new friends shopping their hearts out (aside: thurs/fri is weekend here) while I am stuck in the prion- refrigerated morgue-like confinement of my dark little apartment, studying erectile dysfunction and dissociative somatoform disorders (aside: abnormal psych).

Nursing orientation in Saudi Arabia has proven thus far to be only marginally less boring than that in BC...this is a direct result of the amusing accents, political incorrectness, and direct translations from the presenter's native language to english. For example, during a fire and safety presentation, the thickly accented Philipino fire officer told us how to use a fire extinguisher to save our "fat ugly husbands". Ha. This presentation was secondary only to the flat monotony of the housing officer who gave a thoroughly un-rousing hour long presentation showing pictures of every single hospital hospital residence (there are about 15, and they all look pretty much exactly the same!). The absurdity of just how drab it was, coupled by his limited English (and thus ability to elaborate or describe in detail) tipped the scales and consequently resulted in absolute hilarity. The presentation went something like this: "here is a picture of the living room...a of building". This was repeated for each residence, with a long pause on each picture so we could admire the archaic paisley on the mis-matched love seats...

So, have you ever gone into a store on Robson street and confidently purchased an expensive pair of jeans that were way too small? Think Miss Sixty flood pants. Then, you put on your little sister's long sleeved shirt (which comes to mid-forearm), have a look at your reflection in the mirror, and think...DAMN I am hot. Of course you haven't. I could say the same up until about 3 days ago when I learned that the abaya I was wearing was meant for someone about 5'0". I thought the sleeves were supposed to be mid forearm, and the fact that the hemline touched mid-shin allowed my fashionable Oqoquo black pants to be admired from underneath. My fashion blunder became the centre of hilarity on the orientation bus (aside: there are about 30 orientees, including several hot Jordanian and Lebanese male nurses), and was quickly compounded as my friend from Dallas, TX (a fellow tall lady) loudly assured me that I could go out and buy a "Moo-moo" sized abaya (so it is long), and have it tailored for a very good price. Thanks, y'all.

Back to erectile dysfunctions. More to come in a few days.

Love Y'all



Kate said...

Fi, Your description was fantastic of the abaya and can (almost) see you in it now. Thanks as it gave me a good laugh today.
You'll be happy to know that I'm sitting with some beautiful road rash from touching wheels with Alan. My t-mobile helmet is toast and so is my left side of my body. Wish I had your wonderful ninja wisdom a short call away, so I'm off to drug store for something called duoderm and see if it helps.

Doug said...

Fiona, Thanks for including me in your email and I really look forward to following your year in Riyadh. I think you are so strong and brave to take on this adventure. All the very best, Jocelyne

Doug said...

Fiona, the post that says Doug is actually me - Jocelyne somehow going through Doug's account!

Michael said...

Well, I am glad that you found some clothing... I was going to tell you that I could send you something from one of the many stores in the King Aziz Mall (just about 12 min walking door to door for me). They have (these are all true!) Abayah World, House of Abayah and Abayah Shop... they were just missing out on the Abayah Hut... too bad, I heard that one is the best!
So are you going traditional black or non-conformist coloured?
I am glad to hear that you are starting to settle in. My mobile is +966 54 690 6631. Call me when you get a chance!!! Ciao bella

Kerry said...

Oh dear....a mini little Abaya! Ahh well - these are the adventures that travelling brings us I guess.

I hope you just had a good laugh and moved on! =)
I know you did, you're always a good sport.

Are you right into working now, or still in orientation?

Have you been able to do any 'exploring' yet - or too busy getting settled?

Dave said...

I laughed,
I cried,
then I went to the bathroom.

cath1 said...


sounds like a perfect fit for your little sissy back home!!

You should start you own fashion line: Atallabaya