When I arrived to Buraidah, I wasn’t sure exactly what it would be like. I’ve heard that it is one of the most conservative cities in the world, so I have to admit I was a little bit nervous. Turns out I ended up living on a compound, which I have to admit is 1000x cooler than I thought it would be.
A compound is a gated community that doesn’t follow the same rules as the local city here in KSA. For example, all women in Saudi Arabia wear black abayas, or long flowy garments similar to robes, and hijabs, thin scarves that cover their hair. In some cities women even wear the niqab, or a piece of material that covers their entire face, except for their eyes. When my co-workers and I go into the city, we also wear the abaya, hijab, and niqab. However, when we are at the compound we wear what we want.
The compound is a very nice area, probably about a square kilometer big. It houses many nationalities, including but not limited people from USA, Scotland, England, South Africa, Australia, India, the Philippines, Jordan, and many other nationalities. There are no Saudis here, as Saudis are not allowed on the compound. I have heard that we can allow a Saudi to visit us in our apartment, but they aren’t allowed to any common areas. Also, you are only allowed to invite people of the same gender into your home.
The compound area has all different size apartments, from studios up to 4 bedrooms. You are placed in an apartment based on the size of your family. Because it is just me, I live in a studio apartment. It is very comfortable, and I have to say it is a lot better than my former apartment back in USA. To make things even better, I have my own washing machine. I can’t tell you how happy I was to see it! I also have a very cute, cozy kitchen that is a major upgrade from my former apartment.
The compound itself has some great amenities. There is a mini-mart, tennis courts, 4 swimming pools both indoors and outdoors, as well as co-ed and female or male only. The indoor pools also have Jacuzzis and saunas. There is a gym that is open 24 hours, a soccer field, a play room, lounge, wifi, basketball court, gardens, a clinic, and soon there will be a café. The compound offers a bus that travels into the city 5-6 times a week, and hosts activities and dinners. Right now there is a carpet expo, with handmade rugs and carpets from around the globe. This weekend there will be a free buffet style dinner, featuring Lebanese cuisine. The compound employs people around the clock to clean, and I am very thankful for these hard working people because the compound is spotless and tidy.
But enough talking, I’m sure you want to see the pictures now.