I’m sitting at Starbucks, drinking a latte tea. Islamic mullahs sing their call-to-prayer songs over the PA system every couple of hours, and I am surrounded by many women in full burkas with eyesburqalits allowing only their eyes to show, even in Starbucks (I wonder how they drink their coffee?).  Many groups of men in typical Arabian brilliant white thobes (a loose, floor-length robe) with traditional red checkered burnoose headgear stroll by, always jaunty and often loud_40735163_nsaudimen, a rare opportunity to be away from home with “the guys.” In sheer counter-point, there are a smattering of skimpily clad European, American and Oriental women in short shorts, skin-tights, or skin-tight jeans, with off-the shoulder style blouses and those impossibly high high-heeled shoes or boots, or the big clod-hopper combat boots. And there is every possible fashion blend in between from full sikh turbans to sags and gang style garb to beautiful Indian Saris – for instance, a Christian Coptic priest in floor-length black robe, long hair and head cCameron Diaz in Dubaiovering just walked by. All this is going on around me while a large, full-color advertising photo of Cameron Diaz watches me from just a few feet away as I write this blog. How strangely American that is! Just out of the picture of Cameron which you see on the left, there stands a whole family of Middle Eastern women of all ages wearing full body coverings with Hijabs (scarves covering their hair but faces showing), doing a photo opp in front of a fountain. I’m sorry I couldn’t get that picture, but the angle wasn’t right, and I’m trying to blend in – there is an extreme lack of tall, white-skinned, pink scalped men around here, so blending in is difficult. The clash of cultures here is very surreal.

Advertisements