Friday, June 17, 2011

Impressions #7 - Beating the blues in Riyadh

Okay ... for a start ... I've got to explain that I woke up this morning in a real funk and it got worse as the day went on. No need to go into details. We all have our black moods once in a while. But I had to do something to get out of it. So I turned to YouTube and looked up a bunch of Hoagy Carmichael videos. That lifted me from black to just blue.

(Thank you, Big Brother, for not blocking the content of YouTube)

Ole Rockin Chair's Got Me

Once I was feeling just blue I was able to get myself up from the sofa and face the city. I knew I needed some movement, so I braved the heat and dust and walked the mile or so back to Mena Hotel, where I was staying until a couple days ago. It's a really nice place and I highly recommend it to anyone needing a place to land in Riyadh. In addition to the excellent breakfast buffet it has a lovely lobby where you can sit, anytime of day, even on a Friday in the middle or prayers, and get something to eat.

So, I made it as far as Mena Hotel and landed in a cushy chair. I knew the perfect cure now, to get me from blue to reasonably cheerful, that classic English remedy, Afternoon Tea! Within minutes I had a large pot of tea, milk, sugar and a delicious slice of cheesecake with blackberries offering itself up to me for my delectation.

Oscar Wilde wittily remarked once, "I can resist anything except temptation." Well, I'm no Oscar Wilde and there are some temptations I can resist, but afternoon tea is not one of them.

Once the tea had watered my soul and the leaves of my spirit had ceased to droop I noticed that there was an entire menu of edibles available. I found the perfect sandwich, which arrived with an unwilted salad of young Romaine lettuce leaves, an unexpected treat.

I only wish I'd brought a book to read. Next weekend you'll find me back there again, enjoying another tea and meal, but this time I'll have a book with me and I'll plan on a couple hours of relaxing reading in that quiet, elegant atmosphere where even the air is fresh.

On the walk back, which I admit, seemed a little longer than the walk there, probably on account of my full stomach, I came across a grocery store that was open. So it seems some of the stores DO open on Friday, the holy day of the week. Now I've got a refrigerator stocked with the basics and I'm ready to face another week.

p.s. I didn't take the photos myself. I stole them from other websites ... sssshhhhh ... I'm still not in the habit of taking my camera when I go out. But next weekend I'll make sure to take photos of my own.

love to all my family and friends


  1. Nothing like a nice cuppa to cure whatever ails you.

  2. Writing also can keep you in a good mood when you feel maybe lonely as an expatriate on the other side of the planet!