# 43 Sushi

sushiWalk around Saudi Arabia’s metropolis cities and you will think that you are in Tokyo, from all the  sushi spots you can see. Sushi places invaded Saudi Arabia, after Saudis themselves said: ok… we have pizza places, burger joints, Indian cuisine…hmmm what’s left… yes SUSHI! and the rest is history ” I think”.

For non Japanese, sushi it’s either you love it or hate it. People love it because its sushi; that’s it… they have no idea about how the rice its suppose to be prepared, nor they will check if those crabs are real or artificial or even if its made out of plastic. 3 ingredients, mix them together, add, subtract… and you will have a full menu with thousands of options to choose from. For Saudis, they love their sushi to be fried for crunchy texture and some action(that’s why you will see in some sushi places names like: crunchy roll, crunchy maki, crunchy everything) and it has to be smothered with mayo; yes just shower those nigiri with mayo and sauces… plus if you dip it into soya sauce it will all taste the same after all.

So next time you wan to take out your significant other, family, or friends to a place that makes you feel authentic and multicultural…go to one of those mediocre sushi places and pray for me    (أدعي لي).

# 42 YouTube

youtubeFew years ago, there was a study conducted on most YouTube users by nations… and Saudi Arabia took the first place with honors. Now you might ask why, I can list all the reasons in the world but this will take me days and days to complete, so let us just focus on YouTube and Saudis special bond. For some Saudis, YouTube came as a blessing from the sky; it was the one thing they were waiting for all their lives. I can see some Saudis had tears of joy when YouTube walked into their homes.

From short films, to funny videos, to vlogs… to videos make you think out loud WTF!! Saudis covered all possible video categories you can ever think about. We realized that Saudi is a nation full of “talents”, yes indeed. An old man can video himself dancing with his underwear and his saggy balls hanging, and I can bet you this video will go viral in minutes as one of the most popular videos in Saudi Arabia; just to show you the magical effect of YouTube and what it can do. Another powerful effect Saudis believe in, is video taping people with authority figures (minsters, policemen, doctors, etc.) and trying to catch their flaws and share it with the world. Some take it to the next level, and try to provoke those authority figures and wait till he (mostly men) explode… then suddenly in a matter of seconds he will be YouTube number one star….number 1.

# 41 Black Coffee

Black-Coffee-Helps-You-in-Weight-LossNothing makes you look tougher and a serious workaholic in the corporate world  than drinking black coffee straight with no sugar, no cream, no anything that takes out from its hardcore-ness. Yes, coffee is considered one of the top commodity globally, and people drink it all around the world. But for some Saudis its not just a drink, its more as a perception STATUS.

You will hear things like “Oh man, I need my cup of coffee otherwise I can’t function” or “This coffee is not strong enough for me, it needs to have a punch that feels like you been hit by a train” . Or you might witness a Saudi ordering a black coffee loudly and proudly  so all the shop can hear him (yes I am talking about Saudi men here…ladies like to enjoy their cappuccino mixed with mocha latte drizzled with cinnamon on the top  ;).

Nowadays, Saudis (or since they use pots we can call them pot heads… wait! that name is already been taken.) started to develop an underground coffee junkies movement (aka. we-want-to-be-authentic); … where they will review and critique black coffee all around the kingdom. Walk into anyone of those people places and you will think you are in Starbucks from all the fancy shmainzy coffee roasters, grinders, pots, etc. … welcome to the black coffee world.

# 40 iPhone

iphone51For Saudis, iPhone its either you love it or hate every single feature that comes with it; haters can list all the issues that you can ever think about even if those issues exists in different smartphones, and start rubbing them on your face. In the other hand, Saudis who are Apple fanatic are different story… if Apple decide to release a new iPhone this month, Saudis will buy it right away, and if Apple said you know what: let us release another iPhone the month after with a camera in the front, guess what? Saudis will still buy the new one. Ok how about a new iPhone with two cameras in the back let us release it the same year… you got the picture 🙂

I don’t know if you want to consider iPhone with a Saudi as a smartphone, it is more of a camera/videogame  that has the ability to  make phone calls. With so many applications and games that comes within an iPhone, Saudis became glued to the screen as if the “phone” is telling them what to do… I guess it is a smartphone after all.

# 39 Social Media

Social-Media-buttons1Before social media, Saudis were lost in this world; not knowing where to go and where to head. When I say social media I mean Facebook, Twitter,YouTube and Instagram ONLY. The scene of social media in Saudi looks like a bunch of people that were starving to death, and all of a sudden an All-You-Can-Eat buffet place opened in their town… and did I mentioned that this buffet is for free.

All kind of society member have an account in one of those social media websites, if not all of them. Even my grandmother who once asked me if the internet is a machine that you can buy from the store. Now she makes fun of me , because she has more followers on twitter than I do. Having more friends on Facebook or followers on Twitter became a bragging right statement to show off among your peers.

For people who don’t have an account on FB or Twitter, I really feel sorry for you guys. Because once the “up-to date” people know about it, they will make you feel like crap; as if you just committed a crime. You will hear them say: you don’t have Facebook?! oh poor guy, I think you have interpersonal issues that you are struggling with, you need to see a doctor…Let me search for a good doctor for you in my FB friends list.

Don’t worry YouTube I didn’t forget you. You need a whole new blog by yourself. =)

# 38 Goatee

a105t_goatee_title_Sorry ladies, but this post is dedicated to Saudi men. No worries though you can read, I will not put two doors one for singles and other for families that lead to the same place 😉

The average facial hair growth rate in a Saudi man is 15 cm per second, therefore, you have to keep up with it; other wise it will eat you alive. This is where men discovered the goatee, during the daily battle with their beards; until it became a Saudi-man trademark. They even gave it a nickname: the Key Lock (قفل). Since day one, Goatee is considered  a royalty feature , and most of Saudi royalty rock this look. And since Saudis associate status with looks, you know they have to get the Key Lock on their faces.

For men who lack hair on the side of their mouths to connect the Goatee with their mustaches , no worries. Now technology found a solution to this big problem, all you need to do is to go to your local barber shop and let him fix it. In barber shops, they have their magical spray paint. Yes spray paint. Afterwords, the Hollywood work begins and the results will make you look even better than ever.

# 37 Bumper Sticker

bumper stickerMost Saudis like to ride presidential style: car windows pitch-black, even if you turned on the light inside the car you will not be able to see anything from outside (got the picture? Good). Those tinted black windows can’t be left alone like this, they need some Saudi art to make it more appealing… here is the dilemma: I want privacy and attention at the same time…this is what some Saudis go through everyday.

Enough introduction for a post…let’s jump straight to the point! you can see bumper stickers on cars all over the world, but in Saudi it’s not only on the bumper of their vehicles’, you will see stickers on windows, rare window, front of the car, and all over the body. For new cars, you will see most of cars has the word “Masha’Allah” written in Arabic “ماشاءالله” on their cars, this word prevent you from jinxing your brand new car and protect you from the “Evil Eye”. Nothing is wrong with that ; and since Saudis believe that evil eye exists (Side note: Soon a post on Evil Eye)…They will post it on their windows. But going 200 Km/h in a highway with a kid in your lap and a coffee cup in your hand and texting in the other hand…And you don’t want to wreck your car, and if you did you blame it on “the evil eye”?? Come on.

The other most common bumper sticker among young Saudis you will witness is the blackberry PIN number; or in Saudi your Bin number…Here comes the creativity part. Since young Saudi “boys” can’t talk/meet with girls in public, they will play with portability. In other words, if I spend 20 hours driving around (which is common among Saudis) in places where girls hangout, and knowing that the ratio of girls are more than boys…there is a big chance A girl will get my PIN number and call me =)