様々な分野でグローバルに活躍する「普通の人々」が体験を語り、次世代の普通の人々のお役に立てればと思っているサイトです。

日本在住歴約40年のRon McFarlandと外資系勤務が長い齋藤信幸が、それぞれの海外体験を語ります。

Global Interaction : No.42 Biz Trip サウジ・アラビア

2020-07-18 11:10:48 | Ron's Life Story
さて、今日はサウジアラビア。

数年前、反体制派のジャーナリストが、自国の大使館内で殺害されるなどとても民主的な国とはいえないとこと。

今から30年以上前はどうだったのでしょうか。

ちなみに、『FACTFULNESS』(日経BP、ハンス・ロスリング他著、上杉周作・関美和訳)によると現在、サウジアラビアの平均所得は日本を抜いています。


Saudi Arabia

At the end of 1986, I was asked to give sales training in Jeddah and then Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Jeddah is the main business center of the country. It is also the gateway to the holy cities of Mecca and Medina.

My work there was quite uneventful except for one dinner I went to with one of the salesmen. After traveling to many developing countries I grew accustomed to taking care of my health regarding poor quality food, water and dangerous areas. This salesman was a Bedouin (Arab families that live in the dessert) from Yemen originally but then made his home in Jeddah. His English was poor, but I knew he wanted to take me out to dinner to a very traditional local restaurant.

時には食事も冒険!?本当にそうですね。私も行くたびにお腹を壊した国がありました。
It was a lamb restaurant, but I was very worried about it being clean and the food fresh. He assured me the meat was very fresh and clean and many foreign people go there. As we approached the restaurant, I noticed a long line of barbeque pits in front. The salesmen took me through a hallway of the restaurant with the kitchen on the right and the dining rooms on the left to the back yard where there was a herd of sheep fenced in. I didn’t think anything of it at the time.

Then, we went into one of the dining rooms. The room had no furniture at all, only wall-to-wall carpet. In various corners of the carpet people were sitting on the floor eating off of newspapers. We found a corner and sat on the floor, and the waiter laid down a newspaper in front of us and took our order. We ordered their popular barbequed lamb and soft drinks. Our drinks came quickly but he said it would take time for the lamb, as preparations were not ready yet. We did not mind; as my training seminar was finished, and all I had to do was go back to the hotel, pack for the next day’s travel to Riyadh.

お祈りの時間
As I relaxed chimes went off to signal that it was prayer time. I did not notice it, but my friend did. He excused himself and went over to a corner to do his prayers.

Shortly after he came back, we heard very loud animal screams. I asked what all the noise was about. He said they were preparing the lamb for cooking! Yes, they were slaughtering the lamb in the next room. He was right. It was fresh.

電気も冷蔵庫もない砂漠で食事することを考えると、その場で動物を殺してフレッシュな肉を食べるという調理法・習慣は普通にありかなと思いますね。

写真があれば良かったのに
After about a half an hour, the waiter came in with a bowl of rice, which he poured on the newspaper. Then, a dish of the lamb came. It was laid on top of the rice. Sitting around the newspaper with the food on it, we ate with our hands. Our hands got so oily that we were afraid to touch anything except the food until the meal was finished. Then we washed our hand.

That is the life of a Saudi Bedouin family on the weekend. They go out into the dessert in the evening with their family and the sheep tagging along. They pitch tents, start a barbeque, have a meal, camp for the night and return to the city the next day before it gets too hot.

From Jeddah I went to Riyadh, the capital of the country. It is right in the middle of nowhere. The main business center in the country is Jeddah on the Red Sea. Jeddah is the gateway to the holy cities of Mecca and Medina, and that region is overrun with Muslim people on pilgrimage every year coming from all over the world. That is not the case in Riyadh. In terms of wealth, Saudi Arabia is the big boy in the Middle East. It has massive resources of oil and natural gas and a very low population to support.



A camel trail outside Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

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