Yesterday the maintenance man came around to our villa after I had put in my long list of requests for changes to our villa. He took a look at it and said “I have to ask the Manager to look at it because you have put down a lot. I said “fine no problem get him to call me.” I am learning fast from the other girls.
Next thing I got a call from the maintenance manager asking if he could come and see me.
He came in and said “why do you want to change the lounge and furniture it is beautiful”. I said “No I don’t like it, I want the same as in villa xxx.” Then he sat down in the recliner lounge and said “why wouldn’t you want this it is beautiful.” I said “No I don’t like it I want the same as in villa xxx.” This went on with a few of my requests.
Then we got to the laundry and I said I wanted it enclosed and painted white. He said “Oh no it is not possible all the villas are painted on the outside the same.” I said “No villa xxx is painted white.” He said “No it can’t be.” I said “It is. “Then the maintenance man said to him “It is.” So he said “OK then we will arrange for the work to take place.” So when it is done I have to do some major sucking up and many Shukran (shookran – thankyou). This is the way you have to do business here, firm then soft. If it is a saudi you need to make a friend first then do business, that is their custom. They like to get to know you first to trust you.
I went with a Thai lady her name is Meow (yes that’s right cat) to the Souq markets yesterday. She was very aggressive, beating them down with the prices then walking away and coming back. Finally she got her price. I bought another Abaya which was 170 SR so I just smiled and said my price 100 SR, then he asked for more, so I just got out my money and said “here is 100 SR my price thankyou that will be lovely and he accepted.
It is quite amazing how you actually look forward to purchasing an Abaya. They are changing a bit now, starting to have coloured panels or sections on them. So you look for the bling and trimmings that are different from everyone else. We also have day Abaya’s for going walking on the dusty roads, then others for going to the shopping malls etc… Before in Australia I always thought they all looked the same. They are not. You really notice the difference when you are surrounded by them. Saudi women are very attractive.
Today I went on the bus with the girls to The Red Sea Mall. We had a breakfast of Arabian bread, falafel’s cooked eggplant slices, chilli and a sort of flat herb bread pizza. Accompanied by tea with fresh mint. Very yummy!!! The flat breads are delicious.I will take pics next time.
They have a lovely shop here called “Danube” which has all manner of home wares. All the sales are on at the moment. Some things are 85% off. Beautiful ornaments, crockery, glasses and ornate decor. It really is a smorgasboard of goodies.