The Walk

3.5 kilometers. That’s the length of the walk around King Fahad Medical City.
Men and women, families, Saudis, non Saudis and all kinds of people walk there. Some have been walking around it for years. I know one lady that has been walking there for at least 5 years now! She is as skinny as .. Mmm..a skeleton? Really skinny.
I walked there for 3 months once. Everyday. Same time. You meet people you thought had left the country . You meet all kinds of people. Sweating and tired, they greet you. Almost angry that you came along and broke their focus on the walk. Then you see guys wearing formal clothing, nice shoes and walking with phones stuck to their ears. Talking to “her” or looking for “her”.
You will see people sitting in their cars , having coffee, pretending to be waiting for someone but they are not. They just want to be around people.
Kids running with their parents. The occasional jerks passing by in their cars shouting nonsense at women or just teasing people. The intense walker with a serious expression, head down, walking fast and on his 2nd round. Ready to kill. The pregnant women walking slowly with their husbands planning this and that.
Its an event that happens each day in Riyadh city and it is a mixed gathering.
Not so long ago, when I took my wife for a walk there, something happened. I saw a girl walking and talking on the phone. I over heard her describing her self as we walked past her. After a while, having left her a long way behind I saw a Mutawa (pvpv) walking with a regular guy. The guy was on the phone too. He was describing where he was and that he will stop and wait.
I ,at that point, got a very strong feeling that he was talking to that girl we had left behind. And, I had a very strong feeling that she was in the wrong place.
Round one was almost bringing us to the same place. And, lo and behold, the Mutawwa was questioning her and asking her to call her dad! She wept.
He had set her up. That regular guy. Fixed a date and called the pvpv on her! I wonder what he gained from that?
I mean, you want to tell her that what she is doing is wrong- just tell her! Why create a scene on the street?
PVPV don’t just show up! They are called. By regular people out to hurt others or maybe even counter something wrong. From the expression on the guys face, I could tell that he was settling an old score.
Yes, you lose weight, you see a lot, you hear a lot AND learn a lot when you go for that 3.5 km walk around King Fahad Medical City..

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