Mission impossible? Not for me

Me in bathersHaving seen two of my lady friends wearing different bathers in the swimming pool I decided I had better go and get some more bathing suits.

The bus was scheduled for Mall of Arabia today which is about 3 times the size of Booragoon Shopping Centre, so I thought I am bound to find some there. Chris (one of my lady friends from the compound) was on the bus and wanted to get some as well.  We got to the mall and were told there was a Marks and Spencers store there. Well we couldn’t find it,so decided to go into a store called “Debanhams” on the hunt to find swimwear. They had lovely swim suits all sorts of beautiful colurs, so I had picked out three and was off to try them on.

I looked around for the fitting room and couldn’t see it anywhere, so I went up to the counter and asked the girl where the fitting rooms were. She said rather curtly “there is none so you better make sure they are your size because you cannot get a refund or exchange them.” I said ” what do you mean NO FITTING ROOM how do I know if they will fit.” She said “that’s why you need to make sure that you have the right size .” Go figure!!!

So me being me I said ” well I am going around the corner here to try them on first over my clothes to make sure they fit.” She looked at me horrified “you can’t do that.” I said “watch me.” So I went around the corner and took my Abaya off then my shoes and proceeded to wriggle into the bathing costume.

All of a sudden some of the men in the store decided to come past just as I was twisting and contorting getting them on. Well, the look on their faces, they couldn’t believe their eyes. I am sure they told all of the men in the store to come and have a look, they were coming out of the woodwork everywhere. They were all smiles and smirking at me. So I smiled at them and said “yes I am trying them on, you have no fitting room.”

This is what they saw. Not exactly flattering with my clothes all bunched up underneath. Can’t understand why they were smirking. Can You???

Women were coming past in Abaya’s and staring in disbelief. One of the women from the compound came past and said “good for you!” Anyway at the end of it they fitted so I bought them. How ridiculous not having a fitting room and no refunds or exchanges. Sizes vary from store to store and country to country as we know don’t we girls.

After this little episode we did end up finding Marks and Spencer’s on the top floor. Fortunately they didn’t have bathers. I would have been spitting chips if they were cheaper.


  • Oksana Andersen says:

    Thank you for sharing your experiences! I am about to join my husband in Jeddah and feeling a bit apprehensive. Curious, that the exchanges are not allowed. Is this the case still, 2 years later? What are people doing with all the clothes that do not fit? Throw them out? Donate?

    • Time has gone by. Some shops you can now go back for a refund within 7-14 days. Some women goes to the public toilets and try on the clothes. If they don’t fit they go back straight away. Much better than having to try and get back.

  • Sarah says:

    LOVED THIS!!! You’re such a good writer. This was very entertaining 🙂 you rock.

  • Naif A. says:

    lol nice post, its hundred percent truth i have faced same problem before and i did what you did because even for men in most stores they close the fitting room, i have another suggestion for you, my wife usually do she took the cloths and i stayed at the store and she tried them on at the ladies bathrooms, its more comfortable and its gave you chance to see it on you at mirror. 🙂

  • julieanne says:

    oops meant stock not stop !

  • julieanne says:

    lol ok will stop up on swimwear and other clothing before we arrive !

    Do any of the shops have change rooms ?
    many thanks

    • Unfortunately no 99% of shops do not allow you to try clothes on. I have come across a couple who let me try something on in their store/stock room. Very frustrating trying on things over an abaya. Also the fact you cannot exchange or have a refund in a lot of stores. If you can it is usually only within 3 days which makes it awkward getting lifts or taxi’s back to the store. Some of the hiccups living in Jeddah, but you learn to live with them.

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