Prayer Times...

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Okay, so I have been hear for about a month and a half now.  Some things I have adjusted just fine to...others, not as much.  One of those is prayer times.  Now, don't get me wrong, I am more than used to hearing them 5 times a day...the hard part is timing your life around them.
The mall here opens at 10am...and you want to get there right when it opens if you plan to get anything done.  (One morning my friend and I had an issue with the crazy taxi's and didn't get to the mall till nearly quarter till 11)  Now, you may think...what's the big deal??  
Well, the big deal is prayer time.  Around noon everyday the call to prayer begins.  This isn't the actual prayer...it's just the announcement to tell everyone that prayer is going to start soon...so, head to the nearest mosque or get out your prayer blanket or do whatever you need to be ready to pray.  
When the call to prayer starts...everything else stops.  ALL the stores close..yes, Every.Single.One.  They kick you out of the store.  
Okay, so are you with me now?  I only have 2 hours to do any shopping before everything closes...for nearly an hour.  (it reopens for about another hour and then closes again till 4)  You can stay in the mall while prayer is going on...either park your butt on one of the fountains or in the food court.  But, you better make sure you get your food before prayer starts!

Yeah, almost missed out on feeding myself and my kids because of that:
My friend and I were casually shopping around the mall with four kids in tow.  We thought we would pop into the grocery store and pick up a few things before meeting another friend in the food court for lunch.  We kept checking the time to make sure we wouldn't be late and get stuck at prayer time.  
We finish up and start walking to the food court (at the other end of the mall)  My other friend calls to find out where we are...says everything is getting ready to close for prayer!  We panic...and literally start jogging (in abaya's) with the kids through the mall.  I had wanted to try a new place for lunch, but headed right for McDonald's cause I new we could order fast.
We get in the FEMALE line (RIGHT next to the men's line...seriously) and my friend orders first...the guy takes her order and moves on to the men.  So, I wait and watch the clock ticking towards 12.  The guy is totally ignoring me and more men keep rushing up to order food.  I realize that he thinks my friend has ordered for all of us...and just then, the lights shut off.  I panic!!  I have no order and two very hungry kids!  (and, well, I'm hungry too!)  The guys notices my panicked face and calmly says..."Did you want food?"  nah, I just freak out every day at prayer time...YES I want food!
Then the metal shutter starts to go down...my friends son starts crying because he thinks he's not getting any lunch!!!  
Never a dull moment around here.  Yes, we got our food (though my order was wrong) and we sat down (in the family section...which is partitioned off from the rest of the food court) to eat and wait for our husbands to pick us up.  (much safer to have the hubby take us than those nutball taxi drivers)
Yep, just another day in Saudi Arabia.  


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