Sorry if this ends up being incoherent. I’ve been woken up from my nap twice. First nap I’ve been able to have since arriving, by the way. Every day I come home thinking I’ll have a nap, and haven’t been able to until today, and bam, woken up twice for this junk.
So, you remember when you were a kid, and your parents taught you that lying was bad? Then the first time you heard one of your parents tell a white lie like ‘no that dress doesn’t make you look fat’ or ‘my goodness this green jello casserole is delicious’ you were like WHAT!? no way you just lied, lying is bad!
Parents then undergo the difficult prospect of trying to explain the complex rules that govern untruth in the adult world. Because even though we all know lying is bad we lie every day to make things easier, to spare someone’s feelings, to avoid an unpleasant conversation, to pretend that we care about what our boss thinks, or even just to get what we want.
Most of the time, by the time we reach adulthood, we’ve built some kind of reasonable database of acceptable lies, which is to say, the ones that don’t get us in trouble. But if you asked most adults to write some rules for how this works, they wouldn’t be able to because its always a case by case basis, and our brains do some very complex algorithms to determine in any given situation if its ok to lie.
With me so far?
Because I feel like the entire situation of men and women talking in Saudi is just like this. When you arrive, you hear talking to men you aren’t related to is haram (bad). But then you find yourself talking to a man and its ok. Talking to shopkeepers is ok, but don’t talk to them too much. WTF is that? But I’m out in public with this man alone? Well, he’s not a Saudi, so its ok as long as you’re in public. But I’m in my apartment with these 2 guys? Is one of them Western? Well, that’s ok because one of them is obviously a chaperone. But if they’re both Saudi then haram! This guy drove me to the airport? He’s just a driver, so that’s ok. This guy gave me a ride to a party and chatted with me on the way? But he’s your friend’s father and she was with you, so its ok. This guy took me out shopping. oh my god haram don’t you know you could get deported for that!!!!!!
Does this abaya make me look slutty?