His and Hers KFC in Saudi Arabia

How to depict a sense of Saudi Arabia when there is such sensitivity on pictures of women?

An empty KFC is one compromise method.

Even though we prepared ourselves we still several times accidentally committed the sin of first attempting to enter restaurants from the front, ‘Singles Section.’ Nope, to the side, ‘Family Section’ with us.

Saudi Arabia (86)

Saudi Arabia (84)

Fast food restaurants have the order counters split by a wall.

Saudi Arabia (82)

Interesting to us more than the tinted windows on the Family Section was the curtained booths to even prevent families from seeing each other.

Saudi Arabia (80)

We did notice in sit-down restaurants that the Family Section gave male waitstaff a rare opportunity to mingle with women, so much so that I am not sure the women in some cases were able to eat with all the hovering attention.

The experience of walking and driving around Saudia Arabia is not as exotic as assumed, because it is so damn hot that you rarely see people out and about unless they are trying to kill you with a luxury car. One great exception is the old town of Jeddah.

How was KFC? Quite normal except no ice cream, not sure why no ice cream on the menu.

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  • I love the Kingdom!

  • That’s almost hard to believe. Were the prices similar or really high?

  • @Grant Thomas – prices similar to the region, which are a bit more than US.

  • Food quality? What did you have?

  • Drew

    The spicy chicken is way better than Popeye’s.

  • @Grant Thomas – wife had the spicy chicken, they had no wings, I just had a spicy chicken sandwhich, just a rushed pre-flight snack. Good quality. We ended up there because we needed to eat at 11 am and nothing else we could find was open.

  • Drew

    At 11am I’m surprised you found anything open.

  • NB

    Two things spring to mind. One, why do you need to eat at 11am? And the second is when did KFC offer good quality?

  • @NB – we got up late, did not want to pay hotel breakfast which I recall was about $40, and had a flight out to Dubai that not sure it had a meal so we drove on of the main roads in Riyadh and out was this or closed doors.

    I generally avoid fast food to try to be healthy but KFC overseas I generally find to be decent.

  • Jayson

    How many luxory cars did you pass stacked atop of one another from old accidents?

    When I was stationed there in 96′ I couldn’t BELIEVE the amount of barely damaged luxory cars sitting there waiting to be hauled-off to the trash.

    Incredible wealth.

  • Jake from MSP

    LOVE this post. I find the pictures and cultural differences absolutely fascinating. Please do post more

  • @Jayson – it was amazing, I plan to dedicate a post on on driving and walking, both threaten to be short-lived occupations.
    @Jake from MSP – thank you, I will continue on KSA.

  • Joey

    was KFC non-smoking?

  • Aptraveler

    I second what @Jake from MSP said, I couldn’t agree more. It seems soo surreal, curtains at the booths? Whoa! I look forward to your TR.

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