Wry Exchange

View From The Veil
05-27-08, 7:36 pm
Filed under: Culture | Tags:

 Three different viewpoints of veiled life by American women bloggers.

Stilettos in the Sand is written by an expat living in a Western-style compound in Saudi Arabia.  She doesn’t have to cover up in the compound, and was told Western women didn’t have to wear an abaya before she moved.  “They” lied to her.  I enjoy reading about her life in the ‘sandbox’ with her husband and two large dogs.  A sample Really, going to the clinic is like an organized sport of some sort – with a list of rules that are somewhat baffling – especially to a newcomer [which, thankfully, I am not, anymore]. First there is the hunt for a parking space – it’s a huge parking lot. Huge. But every single space is filled – and then some – because all of those pesky yellow lines which are painted to show where a vehicle should be parked only apply to everyone else. “You,” as a “local,” are entitled to park anywhere you want – double park – block an entry or exit – that’s fine for you. Park on the sidewalk – that curbing that’s been placed there is no deterrent whatsoever – just hop up on over it. So just finding a parking space becomes the first quarter of this game called “going to the clinic,” with no referee or umpire to call “safe” when you’ve got your parking place in your sights and are ready to ease your vehicle into it – when WHOOOSH – someone else overtakes you and screeches around you to get their vehicle into the spot first. Quite a game, really, and deft skill is required so that your vehicle – no matter how big it is – doesn’t get totaled in the process. So, here I am, poor little me, without my DH as my guardian to accompany me to the clinic because he is working and it would be totally unacceptable for a Westerner to call his supervisor and say, “I won’t be in to work today because I’m taking my female dependent property to seek medical attention” playing the first quarter of this game and not winning, I might add. I end up parking what seems like a good half mile or so from the clinic. Oh – forgot to add that the last part of the quarter of this little game is to try to navigate the parking lots / sidewalks and other pedestrian areas without being hit by oncoming traffic. I finally make it to the clinic… End of first quarter. She lives in a whole different world.

tabarakallah at wordpress.com-She is an muslim who completely covers herself, and her 14 year old daughter.  She lived in a muslim country for three years, and longs to return. She doesn’t seem to like America or the people here.  She wants her husband to take a second wife as soon as they can afford it.   A sampling of her views on polygamy: It is the man’s nature to be polygynous. It is a challenge for him to juggle the responsibilities of more than one household, more than one relationship. Kinda like being a CEO. If you are good at business, why only own one. Or a gardener, he tills his soil and plants the seed and admires his yield, why plant only one variety? Does the love of roses diminish ones love of daisies?  Um, yeah.

latexlifestyle at blogspot.com-She is living abroad, and covers up because she has rubber and submissive fetishes.  She completely covers with latex including gloves and hoods.  She wears a white latex burkha over several layers of latex/rubber when she leaves the house.  This blog fascinated me in a creepy way.   A sample-That evening at dinner we ate at a restaurant inside an old bank vault with some colleagues of Sir. It is always interesting when I am introduced to colleagues of his as they typically don’t know what to say or do. I always offer a rubber gloved hand for shaking (or kissing as a few of the men do) and then seat myself to Sir’s left. On occassion, i am able to sit on the floor or kneel next to him which i truly prefer to do…the reaction from some of his stodgy colleagues is precious. That evening at dinner I was allowed to kneel next to him…most fun.  Reactions from women are also intriguing since many are shocked and some offended by public displays of servitude.   I actually enjoy kneeling next to Sir for an hour or two chatting with the wife of one of his colleagues about Ireland, sewing, teaching, the latest books, whatever, while nibbling on my dinner under the cover of rubber.  I don’t know what I’d do if some woman knelt on the floor and expected me not to notice.

See here for a visual glossary of clothing items including abaya, burkha, chador, hijab, and niqab.


2 Comments so far
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Thanks so much for posting about my life! Hope your readers enjoy reading about it as much as you do. And, again, thanks!!!

Comment by BT in SA

Interesting post, the last blog was kind of creepy though.

Comment by Nicole

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