So later that day, we all piled on to a bus going to the Mall of Arabia in Jeddah. It takes about an hour to get there from KAUST. One of the perks is that we didn’t have to stop at the check points to have our ID’s checked, as we all had given our names and ID’s upon entering the bus. KAUST does have quite a few benefits. So we left at 5:30 pm and got there an hour later, then had to be back to catch the bus at 11 to arrive back at KAUST a little after midnight. The various neighborhood buses were all waiting when we returned, so we got on the Purple Bus to come home and he drove us straight to our house. The bus drivers know where people live, since it’s such a small community and most people take the bus to get around.
Again, these are all just with my iPhone with no flash. And many were on the bus, which blurred them a bit. These photos show a lot more people than others in public places that I’ve posted. They were enough at a distance that I didn’t think it would be a problem. Mostly the women are in black and the men are in white or Western attire.
The sun set on our way to Jeddah.
As you can see, it’s mostly desert with a few small towns. I’ve noticed that when people pull off to the side of the road, they pull WAY out (much more than we would in our designated shoulders).
Coming into Jeddah… it’s a huge city.
Getting off the bus.
The Mall of Arabia. Pretty, isn’t it?
Here I am with Mauski. I wore black and covered my hair.
A line of taxis waiting out in front.
Just inside the entrance.
We got there around the time of next to the last prayer of the day, so shortly after that, the stores opened again after being closed for half an hour or so. We made our way to the bathrooms upstairs. The prayer rooms are inside and off to the side of the bathrooms.
We were in Centrepoint for a few minutes before they started announcing closure for the last prayer. Afterward, they turned out the lights and closed the front gates.
We ordered our dinner from this place serving Yemeni food. It was Mutabaqiah Yemeniyah and very tasty. One cheese and the other spinach? Anyway, it was really good.
This is Panda, the grocery store inside the mall, where we met Mohamed after he’d done a little shopping.
A couple shots of the bathroom. I discovered AFTER I used this that there were also some regular toilets available.
On the bus going home.
One of the check points we didn’t need to stop for.
There were an amazing number of trucks pulled off to the side of the road on our way home, presumably with the drivers sleeping.
One of the two checkpoints coming back into Kaust. They did check our ID’s at this point.