Riyadh is a complicated place to live. If you're not careful, you can get in trouble for seemingly trivial things. I'm not just talking about getting in trouble legally, but getting in trouble in places like schools or shopping malls.
The goal is not to criticize the way things operate. Instead, consider this to be some handy insight into how to avoid any issues over the most random things.
Here are 7 things you should definitely avoid in Riyadh.
1. Smoking in public, especially if you're a woman!
Aside from the fact that it is extremely frowned upon to smoke in Saudi Arabia, you will pay a fine of 200 Saudi riyals... or more.
2. Openly talking to the opposite gender in public
Also, please don't try anything cute like giggling in front of someone of the opposite gender. If you get caught, you can end up at the police station. If you're a minor, your parents will be called in and you could end up in serious trouble. Take it from someone who almost got in trouble... when she was 14!
3. Leaving your hair uncovered (women) when the Muttawa show up
DON'T EVEN THINK ABOUT IT! You will get yelled at and kicked out of the place.
4. Trying to access banned websites
The page that makes us want to just give up on life...
Much like the media, censorship extends to websites as well. I'm not just talking about banning porn websites. For instance, Jennifer Lopez's website was blocked.
You're going to have to deal with this whether you're a Muslim or not, because you can get jailed or fined for this.
As most of you know, you're not allowed to celebrate any holiday that is not a religious one. During Valentine's Day, all stores are forced to remove anything that is the color red a week or two before the holiday. If you get caught with red, you can get in trouble for this.