We had a much needed day off today! No alarms at the crack of dawn. We all woke up on our own time and relaxed in the a.m. Randi treated us to pedicures in the Kingdom Center. The third level was ladies only and the rails were lined with frosted glass. It was so nice to see the ladies “let loose” and let down their headwraps. The women are absolutely gorgeous! We didn’t have much time there, but we may be going back tomorrow. We also went grocery shopping with Pushpa. (he takes care of the villas we stay in). He is so helpful and was the one who told us that taking photos outside is not allowed. He told us of a Swedish Dr. that got arrested a few weeks ago for taking pictures of the royal palace and not having his passport on him. Then they came back and searched his room. Needless to say we didn’t pull any cameras out.
Right before dinner we had a little run-in with the mutawwa. The mutawwa are the religious police. Here’s a little explanation of what they do:
Dr. Brasel was approached by them and was told that we were all to cover our heads. It was interesting to see all the ladies walking into the mall and quickly covering up as they saw them. We also saw a man prevented from entering the mall because the mall is a family place and they don’t want single men gawking at the women.
The nurses treated us to a wonderful dinner at Fatburger. It was so nice to see everyone not in their scrubs and white headwraps. We learned how everything closes before and during prayertime. So we go there and waited outside the restaurant. But then there’s another prayer time and so we waited again to take our order. Then we had to get our dessert early because they prayed again! We had so much fun and learned so much more about the culture here.