Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Our World: Fresh Meat Delivery

I'm continually amazed here in Jeddah when I see the open air meat shops with carcasses hanging in the windows.
But I am astonished on the occasions when I have witnessed the delivery method used to get meat to the market.

Be sure to visit OUR WORLD TUESDAY, where family-friendly bloggers share a unique glimpse into what life is like all around our ever-amazing planet.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Proud Shopkeepers

This souq specializes in perfumes and the two shopkeepers proudly posed for me when I asked to take their picture. Many of the perfumes sold here are knock-offs.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Typical Clothing Souq

The souks are Jeddah are filled with very colorful clothing, despite the fact that outwear is almost strictly black and white.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Friendly Smiles

On a recent stroll through Jeddah's oldest part of the city called Al Balad, I encountered these men wearing traditional clothing who were more than happy to smile for my camera.

Friday, July 27, 2012

SkyWatch: Red Sea Dolphins

On my very first snorkeling expedition in the Red Sea, I took it as a good sign that dolphins danced alongside of our boats as we drove out to the dive spots. There were several dozen dolphins who put on a little show for us. You can read more about my first snorkeling experience here by reading my post about it called "Finding Nemo: Snorkeling in the Red Sea" on my other blog, Susie's Big Adventure.

To  visit MORE friendly skies around the world, fly on over to SKYWATCH  where you’ll find beautiful skies posted by bloggers all over the world.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Souq for Dates

The selection of dates here in the Kingdom is absolutely amazing. They range from soft and mushy to hard as a rock, from a golden yellow color to reddish to all shades of brown and even black. Some varieties are grown in Saudi Arabia's fertile regions. Dates are a popular staple in the Arab diet and play a prominent role during Ramadan, when many Muslims break their daily fast with dates and buttermilk. Dates are often given as gifts and are also an ingredient in many popular recipes for sweets and desserts.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Colorful Chunks

These colorful chucks are seen all over and come in gel form too that looks like beautifully hued ice cream. I believe it is incense, but I may be wrong. I really need to stop and ask one of these days...

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Our World: Napping

A hot day, a little shade, business is slow - what's a man to do? This vendor sets up shop on a sidewalk in the middle of one of the souqs in the Al Balad area of Jeddah.

Be sure to visit OUR WORLD TUESDAY, where family-friendly bloggers share a unique glimpse into what life is like all around our ever-amazing planet.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Capture the Spirit of Ramadan Photo Contest

The 2012 "Capture the Spirit of Ramadan" International Photography Competition™ is underway and accepting submissions. It is a chance to bridge the gap between cultures, countries, and religions by sharing with and educating the world about Ramadan and its various traditions.

From their website:
"Capture the Spirit of Ramadan" International Photography Competition is a unique and unprecedented 30-day visual celebration that will educate and enlighten thousands of viewers around the world about Ramadan.

Please visit their website by clicking HERE to learn more about their program, the rules, and prizes, and to see last year's winners.  You can also check out their Facebook page by clicking HERE.

Small Fabric Souq

Many tiny shops like this one in Al Balad are filled to the gills with product. the shopkeepers have made an art out of displaying as much product as possible in such a limited space.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Accessories Souq

Colorful scarves and jingling coins worn by belly dancers are available in this souq in Al Balad. There are no clubs where one can go to see belly dancers performing in this strict religious country, however I'm sure many men throughout the country may get their own private shows at home.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Souq Shopkeeper

This friendly shopkeeper was happy to pose for a photo. He sells fabric in a small souq in Al Balad, the old part of Jeddah.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Ramadan Mubarak

RAMADAN MUBARAK to all my Muslim friends around the world! I wish you peace and happiness.
For those of you who are not Muslim, Ramadan is the holy month when Muslims fast from sun-up until sundown. Fasting includes abstaining from everything, such as food, drink, no sex, and no smoking. The purpose of Ramadan is to bring Muslims closer to God and the fasting gives Muslims a greater appreciation for the blessings they have and more empathy for those who are less fortunate.

SkyWatch: Eerie Dusk

As the sun begins setting down on the Red Sea to the west of Jeddah, dust in the atmosphere and the silhouette of building cranes for new construction cast an eerie presence over the city.

To  visit MORE friendly skies around the world, fly on over to SKYWATCH  where you’ll find beautiful skies posted by bloggers all over the world.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Fabric Souq

Tailors and fabric shops do a good business in Jeddah. Many men have their thobes (long traditional dresses) custom made, and many women have one of a kind creations made for them to attend lavish weddings. This fabric shop in Al Balad carries fabrics more suitable for home wear, while others specialize in fabrics just for men's thobes and other carry fancy fabrics for women's gowns.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Our World: The Fans

Soccer fans gathered in a Jeddah mall coffee shop to view a big match on television recently.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Old Jeddah Building

Jeddah was first settled as a small fishing village on the Red Sea in about 500 BC. As the closest seaport to both Mecca and Medina, two of the holiest cities in Islam, Jeddah also became a center of commerce as well as the gateway for those traveling to Mecca for Hajj, the religious pilgrimage required of all Muslims. Since about 1940 after the discovery of oil in Saudi Arabia, Jeddah has experienced a tremendous and continuous growth spurt, from an estimated 1950 population of about 30,000 jumping to approximately 3.5 million in 2011. The oldest part of the city is called Al Balad, where many of the buildings are crumbling and are in a sad state of disrepair. Surprisingly enough, many of these buildings are still inhabited by the very poor, most of them foreign workers from nearby underdeveloped countries. Notice the satellite dishes.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Al Balad, Old Town Jeddah

Many of the buildings of old town Jeddah, called Al Balad, have not withstood the test of time. The construction consists of wooden framework filled in with stone bricks made of crushed coral. Many of the buildings are crumbling or have already been destroyed. Many of the new residential buildings that are several stories high are built of bricks and mortar with steel rod reinforcement. Time will tell if the new buildings will last. The open weave lattice work wooden window coverings are called roshan or rawasheen and are a very typical and unique feature of windows in Jeddah.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Tribute to my Mom

Me with my mom Trudy last October celebrating my 60th birthday.

My mom, Trudy Johnson, passed away last week. She was an extraordinary woman. I wrote a tribute to her on my other blog, Susie's Big Adventure, that will tell you a bit about her life. I have also included many photos of her throughout the years.

I'll be traveling to the states soon to join my family in a Celebration of Her Life, which will be held in Tacoma, Washington, on Friday, August 10th at 2 p.m.

I'd like to thank all my family, friends, followers and my fellow bloggers who have given me much needed support and have been the wind beneath my wings over the past few difficult days.

Head Over Heels

Despite the fact that women in public in Saudi Arabia must wear cloaks over their clothes to hide their figures, I often see women wearing flashy high heels at the malls.
I've seen high heels like these everywhere lately - must be really in right now.

Friday, July 13, 2012

SkyWatch: Sunset Over Jeddah

Sunset over Jeddah taken from the rooftop of our building.

To  visit MORE friendly skies around the world, fly on over to SKYWATCH  where you’ll find beautiful skies posted by bloggers all over the world.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Goodies: Create Your Own Juice

Perhaps due to the fact that alcoholic beverages of any kind are strictly prohibited in Saudi Arabia, the selection of fresh juice drinks is plentiful and imaginative. Many restaurants offer a create-your-own juice bar, where the customer selects the fresh fruit she wants, and then an attendant creates the concoction on the spot. This delectable array of fresh fruit is the juice bar display at Goodies Restaurant in Stars Avenue Mall. Goodies is a Lebanese restaurant, set up like an amazing deli, with huge glass display cabinets where the customer walks through and selects from fresh meats, salads, pastas, vegetables, desserts. The order is then cooked to perfection and brought to the customer. Yum!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Mr. Balloon Mall Vendor Guy

Today we salute you, Mr. Balloon Mall Vendor Guy. For years the world seemed content with that typical but boring round balloon shape in a variety of sizes and colors. But then along came mylar balloons - and skylines around the world changed overnight. Balloons shaped like dolphins, tigers, zebras, Tweetie Bird and Barbie were suddenly in demand by annoying 7-year-olds whining at the malls until Mommy bought them one. But that's not the end of the story. Wait for the crying as the overpriced helium-filled balloons end up separated from those chubby little fingers and float up to the ceiling of the mall. I wonder how many customers come running back to the poor guy demanding another one because theirs wound up floating up to the ceiling? So crack open a bottle of your favorite flavored non-alcoholic beer and salute that familiar but under-appreciated hero, Mr. Balloon Mall Vendor Guy.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Our World: Adding a 3rd Floor

This is a very common sight here in Jeddah. As more money becomes available, the building's owner may decide to enlarge his building by adding on more floors above. Care is always taken to match the building's design and finishes so that once the project is done, it is difficult to tell that an addition has been made.

Be sure to visit OUR WORLD TUESDAY, where family-friendly bloggers share a unique glimpse into what life is like all around our ever-amazing planet.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Pizza! Pizza! in Jeddah

Little Caesars is one of the many well-known restaurant chains here in Jeddah. Pepperoni pizza? No problem! But because all pork products are banned in Saudi Arabia due to religious reasons, items like ham, bacon, and pepperoni can be found here, but they are made of beef or turkey. Another interesting tidbit that is unique to Saudi Arabia is that most fast food chains, such as McDonalds or Burger King, also offer delivery service. Why? Because women in Saudi Arabia are STILL not allowed to drive.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Typical Saudi Ceiling

I always look up when I am in a Saudi home because inevitably the ceilings are amazing. Some are recessed with curves or other designs, some have tray ceilings and others have beautifully designed crown moldings. Sometimes there are exquisite chandeliers or recessed lighting. Many ceilings I've seen have incorporated all of these gorgeous details.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Guess That Logo

There are many things that I am fascinated by here in Saudi Arabia - such as mosque minarets, the art and sculptures, and Arabic calligraphy especially on signs. I love the way familiar logos are interpreted into Arabic by the use of different font styles and colors. This one should be easy to figure out because of the familiar border and colors.

Friday, July 6, 2012

SkyWatch: Hobbled Camel

When I first noticed this camel with his front left leg bent back at the knee and tied that way, I didn't know what to think. I have since learned that this is actually a technique called "hobble training," used to train and manage camels to restrain or stabilize them when it is necessary, such as for medical procedures. The strap or restraint is applied when the camel is lying on the ground. The camel is then coached to stand. The strap is not left on very long so as not to cause any damage, and is effective when used properly to train the camel and modify its behavior, making it safer in the long run for the humans attending to it and the camel itself.
If you would like to read more about hobble training camels, just CLICK HERE.

To  visit MORE friendly skies around the world, fly on over to SKYWATCH  where you’ll find beautiful skies posted by bloggers all over the world.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Nursing Baby Camel

The camels of Saudi Arabia are the one-hump Dromedary camels. Their humps do not store water, as is popularly believed - they actually are made of a mound of fat, which allows camels to survive in severe heat and drought for longer periods of time than other mammals. A baby camel is called a calf and weighs about 90 pounds when born. Calves are not able to stand immediately at birth - it usually takes them a few hours to be able to stand. They can be very playful creatures. Baby camels nurse from their mamas like all mammals do. Adult camels can grow to be as heavy as 1500 pounds and as old as 50 years. In Saudi Arabia, camels are a source of milk and meat. In fact, camel milk is such a healthy whole food that it has been reported that some nomadic tribes have subsisted solely on camel milk for six months at a time.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Camel Visitors

I was happy to see this group of young boys visiting a camel outpost and learning about camels. Young Saudi children generally don't have much interaction with many animals. Dogs are considered unclean and most Saudi families would never have one as a pet. Zoos here are practically non-existent, and my friend Laylah at Blue Abaya wrote about the horrific conditions at a Riyadh "zoo" she recently visited. CLICK HERE to read her post.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Our World: So She Won't Get Away

Camels are apparently quite easy to contain and manage. They are corralled in very simple rickety enclosures made of a few short posts with a string of barbed wire. I've seen many camels with scars on their legs and I'm not sure if it's from the barbed wire or perhaps they are markings or brandings to indicate ownership. You can see these markings on this camel and also on two that are seated on the ground.

I've also seen many camels with a short rope tied around their front feet, enabling the camel to take short steps but inhibiting her from running. The rope around her hump and body is actually a bra-like contraption that is put on nursing mama camels to prevent their babies from drinking too much of the milk that is sold to customers. The camels are milked on the spot when a customer requests fresh milk. Babies are allowed to suckle for a short time then to get the milk going and then the baby is kept away so the attendant can milk the camel. I've seen this done by one man, but it appears to be much easier if there are two guys doing the job.

Be sure to visit OUR WORLD TUESDAY, where family-friendly bloggers share a unique glimpse into what life is like all around our ever-amazing planet.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Camel Herder

I like to go with my husband when he goes to the camel outposts just outside of the city to purchase fresh camel milk. I enjoy taking photos of the camels and the men who take care of them. The camel herders are mostly from Sudan and live out in the desert among the camels. They lead very simple but hard lives, and they are seemingly happy. I wrote a more detailed post about the life of a camel herder on my other blog, Susie's Big Adventure. CLICK HERE to read it.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

CDP Theme Day: Chimneys

Coming up with this month's City Daily Photo Theme Day wasn't easy. The theme is "chimneys," and living in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, I must say that I have never yet seen a fireplace or a chimney. It just doesn't get cold enough here to warrant having a fireplace. There are built in barbecues that I guess have chimneys, but I didn't have any photos of any. So I thought of the desalination smokestacks that spew the waste created from taking the salt out of the sea water to make it usable for the population here. Not very charming or beautiful, but I hope they qualify as some kind of chimney of sorts.

City Daily Photo features photo blogs of cities all around the world. The first day of each month is City Daily Photo’s Theme Day, and July’s Theme is “Chimneys.” If you like to do armchair traveling, please check out the City Daily Photo blogs – you will see some amazing sights.