In time for winter holidays the run of Messi10 show in Riyadh came to an end and our motley crew are flying away in all directions.
Staying and working here was an interesting experience. The local approach to living and working is quite different from what me and my colleagues are used to. Starting with uber patriarchal society where “only” four wives allowed and finishing with doing a business where everything is done at the last moment; but people are good natured.
Riyadh, a sprawling megapolis, on itself is pretty boring: the “attractions” are scarce and far apart. What Riyadh lacks in attractions it makes up in shopping malls: they are numerous and large.
Would I want to return? Nah, maybe Jeddah. I’ve heard it is a nicer city and it’s on the sea, which is a big plus.
As for riding a bike here: both Greengo, my Brompton, and I survived heat, annoying and dangerous drivers’ habits, long commutes, littered streets and dust. In fact, it wasn’t as bad as I expected based on what I had read on various forums. Still, Riyadh is years away, perhaps many, from being cyclist friendly city.
Adieu, Riyadh and Happy Holidays!
Riyadh in numbers:
2089 km — distance cycled
22 — malls in Riyadh
2 — years ago, the ban on celebrating non-Muslim holidays was lifted in Saudi Arabia
19 — countries represented in the cast of our show