Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: Madison Wisconsin
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One is not required to live in a compound. You are allowed to live in a Saudi neighborhood if you wish. If you do, you will have the same freedoms that Saudi men , women and children have. In other words I would have to wear my Abaya even to step outside to get something from the car.
Since so many westerners live and work in Saudi for many years(sometimes a lifetime), there are thousands of "western" walled in communities for them to live in all over the Kingdom.
Within these walls are beautiful villas, pools(we had 10 smaller pools on my compound and 2 huge ones), playgrounds,
recreational facilities of every kind, beauty parlors, restaurants, grocery stores(we had a Dairy Queen on our compound) tailors, and every ther kind of service you can think of. Some are huge and some are tiny. Women can dress as they want. Often walking around in nothing but a swimsuit. Men and woman can kiss, talk, hug, hold hands or whatever!! Women can smoke. All of these things could not be done off compound.
So, I am sure you can understand why people like to live in compounds. They are full service. Of course, I still went out into the city for shopping or restaurants nearly everyday. But, having a western home to go back to is priceless whilst living in an absolute monarchy ruled strict muslim country!!
My compound life was the best lifestyle I have ever or will ever have! We miss it soooo much. We are happy we got to experience it.