I Got Busted in Saudi Arabia…

It is no secret that I am a strong animal advocate, particularly when it comes to cats. It is also no secret that I’m not the greatest fan of the abaya. I wear it in KSA as it is required. Well, the other night I got busted. I was caught out without my abaya while feeding the stray cats. I typically put out leftovers for the stray cats in my neighborhood. However I do get tired of having to cover up to simply walk six feet outside my door where I have put a container for feeding the stray cats. So recently I moved this container to just outside my gate door so all I have to do is open the gate, put the food in the container and then I’m back inside the walls in less than five seconds. Therefore I asked myself “was it really all that necessary to put on the abaya for all of five seconds?” To actually get to the outside (street) of our villa, one must first exit the front door which opens on to a small walled courtyard. The courtyard in turn has a gate which opens onto the street. Last night I took the plate of leftovers out as usual. It was a lovely night – temperature in the low 80’s with a cool breeze. I opened the front door and left it open a crack so as not to lock myself out. I then walked through the courtyard, opened the gate door and in a flash dumped the leftovers into the container beside the door. Completing the task I closed the gate door. This was done within five seconds, in the dark and without any cars going by. Safe and undetected! With a sigh of relief that I completed this action I turn around to reenter my house. Uh huh…the light breeze apparently pushed the door shut. Our house is set up that shut doors automatically lock from the outside. I was locked out of the house. Normally I always take my keys with me when going out but since my husband was home didn’t think it was necessary.

So now of course I had to knock on the door for entry. Initially my husband did not answer as he was in another portion of the house and did not hear my knocks. I called him on his mobile and asked if he would be kind enough to let me in. Naturally he was surprised to hear my request and asked me twice, “you are outside?” I informed him I was at the front door. He opens the door and there I am, empty plate in hand, barefoot and in my jeans and tshirt. First thing he asks “you went outside like that? How could I say yes and yet how could I say no. I mean, there I was locked out with no abaya anywhere in sight. Thankfully I have a very understanding husband and explained that well, yes, I did go outside like that given there I was locked out but I did not really go “OUTSIDE” like that. Needless to say, you can rest assured I will not venture out any door without my keys even if I am not home alone! And on the subject of the abaya, much as I hate to acknowledge it, it is more prudent to wear it rather than go without it…even for a few seconds.

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