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  • Writer's pictureVoita

The Saudi National Museum

KSA, among other things, drew inspiration from Italian culture. Social life begins with the sunset and ends with its sunrise, or shifts back into private spaces. Sitting outside, sipping local coffee, gossiping – people indulge in abundance. A significant difference hides in the absence of alcohol; majority of Saudis have never had a drop, even when living in countries with culture revolving around drinking in and out. Arabs build a barrier around themselves and stick to their guns. Perhaps another reason why the society here advances rapidly; half of them aren't vomiting on the sidewalk and yet others don't have to hold their hair.

Nat. Museum / pages of Quran

Beduin tent

descriptions of Prophet


As our autumn arrives in late October, it cools down here, winter filled with rain. Our autumn, with temperatures ranging from 50 to 85 Fahrenheit, compared to summer's 125, ushers locals into a winter attire. In the desert, there are occasional frosts overnight, driving away scorpions and other buggers. Now is the time to go for desert picnics. In the south, it supposedly looks like the Himalayas; green hills with villages nestled on the slopes. Maybe I'll manage to wander there next week.

art about Prophet made by guys and gals


model of Mecca

door carpet of Kaaba

For now, I'm exploring the capital; the curse of the first visits. I need to get 'feeling' for the place, absorb the atmosphere before venturing beyond 'civilization'. In Riyadh, if nothing else, I can communicate in English, but it won't be the norm elsewhere. I've learned that road rules are more or less optional; seatbelts are ignored, turning right on red light is done American style, and pedestrian crossing happens wherever there's a gap between cars. Only cranky guys honk, and taxi drivers go to the location marked in the app without asking questions. So far, we've always met. Public transportation is in its infancy; with the city's anticipated growth, locals feel traffic will become unbearable. Now they're quickly catching up with metro and bus development. But for now, I haven't figured out their routes, so I jump into taxis; shorter rides (within an hour) cost under $10, which doesn't seem too bad for KSA.



Had a peaceful day – headed to the national museum. The history is unsurprising; when the Prophet triumphed over skeptical townsfolk, his followers began ingraining Islam into everyone's minds, preferably with a heavy hammer. They clearly took inspiration from Christians. Someone influenced them a few times in turn, after which the Saudi Arabs unified the peninsula and founded KSA. The first thing the newborn king did was invite an American mining company, and after five years, just before the outbreak of World War II, they struck gold. An ideal period; nobody asked where the oil came from or how much it cost, and while everyone was busy partying in Europe, the locals took a deep breath...

fancy reading a story?



Three years ago, the king decided to open up to the world and started inviting everyone interested. Speaking of, transit visas, unfortunately for me cancelled at the end of last year, are now back as part of the Saudi Airlines package; 3 days with luxurious accommodation included in the flight ticket price to the east. Definitely worth considering if you are travelling to that side of the globe.

evening in a park

ordered a full plate... and the guy 'forgot' to mention it's for 4 people

he also 'forgot' to bring me anything else I asked for

I think his life sucks

I had an epic meal (or three)

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