4:40 PM American Time

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Leaving Riyadh 

The man who drove me to the airport on my way out of Saudi could take me at 6 am or 10 am. From 6:30 to 10 he was responsible for delivering his mother, grandmother, and sisters to work and college. On alternating week days, he delivered his brothers and nephews to school and his sister-in-law to the university. He returned them all home  each afternoon from 2:30 to late evening depending. The rest of the time, he was free to deliver a variety of expats to their jobs, their homes, their doctors appointments.

I took the six o’clock car. He regaled me with stories of my now former colleagues. While his sisters will all obtain drivers’ licenses, his days won’t change much. The family can only afford two cars and he’d miss hearing about their days and what it’s like to work. He’s practicing his English, demanding new vocabulary from every English teacher he encounters. One day, he says, he’ll be able to use his nursing degree at one of the expat hospitals. One day, he says, all Saudis, men and women, will have work.

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