Growing up in Riyadh is a combination of events that make you SMH, say OMG, ROFL, NVM and Wallahi!
Growing up in Riyadh is an adventure… the kind of adventure where you call your friend up at 1 a.m. and demand them to get out of the house so that you both can have the SR. 1 ice cream from McDonald’s (and maybe a cheeseburger, too). We all can proudly nod our heads to these memes and say, “OMG, I TOTALLY WENT THROUGH THAT!”
Here are some times that you’ve lived in and grown through:
You BBQ Yourself
In Riyadh, a de-tan lotion isn’t going to save you from the scorching rays of the morning sun (for crying out loud, the ‘morning’ sun!). That might make you think that the sun is just right and amazing for those who plan on getting tanned… think again. Tanning in Riyadh is equal to getting barbecued. If you step out in the sun too long, you’ll end up resembling the black burnt parts of the shawarma chicken (yes, the same bit that everyone picks at and flicks away).
Aunt/Neighbor Knows All
From the time you step out of your house, to the time you return back, this aunt is a know-it-all. She knows the 5Ws (who, what, when, where and why) and 1H (how) about your whereabouts. She’s better than the journalists of the town and is the queen bee of gossip. Your mum might not like this lady, but they’ll meet for a kitty party every now and then to entertain themselves with the neighborhood dirt, just to end up saying “Astaghfirullah” or “Taubah Taubah” at the end of it all, before laughing it off.
You Remember This Phase of Riyadh
This tweet makes you reminisce back in the time when everything in Riyadh was cheap and affordable with your tiniest pocket money. You could hang out with your friends, have a hefty meal and enjoy a long ride, all just for a mere SR. 15. Or remember the time when your grandma visited you often and you never had a chance to miss her? Where have those times gone?
Post Tabbouleh / Molokhia Scenes
Throwback to this annoying and embarrassing moment. If you were at a party and were served molokhia or tabbouleh, you had to think twice before eating it, just to avoid having Grinch stuck in your teeth or looking as though your teeth are activists for Justice-for-Shrek movement. And, don’t even get me started on what them poor folk with braces go through. *smh*
This Makes Sense
You know you were raised in Riyadh (or Saudi Arabia) when such kinds of pick-up lines make sense, make you laugh and make your parents raise an eyebrow at your sanity. Oh, this isn’t the only pick-up line that you love, you also express a fondness towards comparing your crush/love to your favorite food, like:
- Hey girl, would you like to be the pita bread to my hummus?
- Will you be the batata to my maqluba?
- There is no ‘I’ in ‘Hummus’, just ‘us’. 😉
There’s just no end to it and you know these pick-up lines sound much better and more romantic than the regular ones.
You Sly Deceit
No, don’t even try rejecting this! You’ve done this at least once in your life, whether with a friend or your sibling. The physical version of this is crossing your fingers behind your back and saying, “astaghfirullah” on repeat, over and over again till the lie is over.
And mom, in case you’re reading this: Honestly, I didn’t break the flower vase in the living room, mom, it was the cat!
Don’t Know Arabic, But Ace Placing Your Order in ArabicOver the years, despite saying, “ana maafi malum arabi,” you’ve learned and perfected saying your order in Arabic for your favorite shawarma place, khabsa restaurant or sheesha lounge. You’re so good at placing your order that no one can guess that you don’t know Arabic. Though, after placing your beloved order, when the waiter asks: “Fee shay akhir?” all you can do is respond by shaking your head like a mute person.
Hahahah *tears fall out of embarrassment and sadness*
You know you were raised in Riyadh when the only solution to your stress, depression or sadness is baqala food! (Or pumpkin seeds). The moment your friends get to know that you’re stressed, they take you out for some delicious shawarma, aseer mushakkal and the two riyal softy ice cream. What follows it is long conversations about what got you stressed and you won’t get your arse up until what’s troubling you is solved!
Neighbor’s Kids Were Your Role Models
Everyone’s kid is better than you, even the two years old kid your neighbor’s have. All of them apparently are perfect role models for you as they ‘pretend’ to be perfect little angels who have just descended from the highest levels of Jannah. *major eye roll*
And your life is spent by trying to convey your parents how pesky the same kids were over social media (and you’ve also tried to exploit them by showing your parents their social media profiles and relationship statuses). *tsk tsk* Shame.
Would Travel Miles for This
Hello, is it me you’re looking for?
You can literally here the Al-Baik singing for you, luring you in its direction. You know you were raised in Riyadh when you travel all the way to Jeddah to have one of these delicacies. In fact, it has become such a vital part of your life that every time you complete an umrah, you treat yourself with one of these amazingly affordable box of chicken (or fish or maybe a prawn sandwich?).
Well, that said, being raised up in Riyadh is one of the best times of your life and you won’t trade those moments and memories for anything in the world.
Do you have any such hilarious moments in your mind? Share your thoughts with us. We’d love to read.