Shopping Porter

On a recent shopping expedition to a huge souk in downtown Jeddah, we were approached by a man offering to carry our purchases around for us.  This is a way he earns money for his family.  He toted around a big cardboard box with him.  He would wait outside the shops for us and we would add our shopping bags to his load.  The man must have spent almost two hours with us, eventually hauling everything to the car for us.  My husband paid him a nice tip and everyone was happy.


About SusieOfArabia

American woman now living in hubby's homeland of Saudi Arabia
This entry was posted in Culture, Life, Middle East, Photo, Saudi Arabia, Shopping and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Shopping Porter

  1. Hi Elaine –
    You might be interested in reading a post I did about the very first Saudi wedding I attended here, just shortly after I arrived. Here’s the link:

  2. Elaine says:

    Thanks for the answers. It really is a different way of thinking about things. I suppose the bare back and narrow cut front is just a matter of prettiness in that context, rather than attempting to show sexual health to prospective mates, or whatever the cultural anthropologists would say. Maybe the anxiety of “measuring up” is less important among women, so they can relax and just have fun. On the other hand, those older women will have sons in need of wives, and they may be inspecting for potential brides.

    I’ve just reminded myself of the Jane Austen novels! 8^)

  3. Hi Elaine – Ab answered your question … gowns like in the window are worn usually to weddings which are attended by only other women. A woman would never be allowed to wear anything like that in front of a man other than her husband. Weddings here are segregated affairs. Men have a separate function than women. There is no socialization between the sexes at all.

    Hi Ab – Thanks for your help!

  4. Ab says:


    When you are in a woman-only gathering!

    You’d be surprised as to what they wear under those long black abayas!

  5. Elaine says:

    I wonder if his convenient help encouraged you to possibly purchase a little more that day than you might have. 8^)

    The gowns in the window seem to have revealing cuts. In what circumstances are those appropriate?

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