This article was originally published in 2003. We're curious to know what has changed over the past 20 years. Please share your insight by leaving a comment in the comments section.
Do you spend whole days in the house? Do you feel cabin fever taking hold? Then take a day trip out around Dhahran – you may be surprised at what you find. So, turn off the television, put down the book, leave the housework and let’s go touring.
Start with breakfast at the new La Maison du Café (Al Najjar). This Lebanese-style café is just opposite the King’s Road theater and snack bar. It’s open from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. and serves a wide range of coffees, teas, sandwiches and salads. You may enjoy the Viennese hot chocolate with a cheese croissant, or a Calypso Cooler (expresso, milk, sugarcane syrup, banana syrup and fresh cream) – truly decadent.
While in this area, visit the Recreation Library to browse through the latest newspapers, magazines and books. Here you can read magazines covering arts and crafts, gourmet cooking, history, geography, news, money and sports; back copies of magazines, located underneath the display shelves, can be checked out. View the latest best sellers’ list; don’t be put off reserving one of these as the waiting time isn’t nearly as long as you’d think. The past two books I’ve reserved were available within a week. You can also check out CDs and audiobooks, watch videos in the AudioVisual Room, and use the internet. The library is open from 8 a.m. until 10.30 p.m.
Just across the road from the Library, is the Community Heritage Center. Open Saturdays through Wednesdays from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., and from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Thursdays, this very interesting museum is a record of Saudi Aramco’s history and accomplishments. Here you can see exhibits such as “Forty-eight Years of Theater in Dhahran”, “Saudi Arabian Cities and their Treasures” and “History of the Hobby Farm”, and learn all about the early pioneers. In a reproduction of a Bedouin-style room, films from the company’s archives run continuously.
If you’re a confirmed shopaholic, on Tuesday mornings from 8.30 a.m. to 1.30 p.m. head for the Women’s Exchange at Building 1721B on the corner of 17th Street and King’s Court. You might just find a bargain among the clothes and bric-a-brac on sale.
Time for a bite to eat? The Chuckwagon snack bar at the Hobby Farm is open for lunch Saturday through Wednesday from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and for brunch on Thursdays and Fridays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Menu choices include grilled eggplant sandwich, quesadilla and burritos, soups, salads and choices from the blackboard. A word of warning - the blackboard menu lists two very scrumptious cakes, carrot and chocolate fudge, so beware!
Work off all that food by taking a short stroll around the Dhahran Hills Park. Located at Quirsh Court, it is a little gem of a park with its hillock rising in the middle, pretty plants, and children's play areas.
That leaves the rest of the afternoon. Do you have a specific hobby or would like a new one?
The Dhahran Women’s Group runs Mahjongg sessions each Sunday afternoon from 1 to 4 p.m. and will teach you this ancient Chinese tile game if you don’t know how to play. Canasta and Mahjongg is played on Tuesday afternoons from 1 to 4 p.m. The DWG also holds Stitching Group sessions some Sunday afternoons from 1 to 3 p.m. You don’t have to be an expert – take along your mending if you don’t have a particular sewing project and have a chat while you’re doing it.
Would you like to learn to quilt and create a potential family heirloom? Perhaps you’re already a quilter and would like some company and a few tips to improve your techniques. The Oasis Quilters’ Guild meets every Monday from 1 to 3 p.m., and from 7 – 9 p.m.
If you just want to pamper yourself on your day out, what better way than to enjoy one or two treatments at the Beauty Shop? Located at Building 1716 on 17th Street, the salon is open until 6 p.m. Choose from haircuts to facials, manicures and pedicures, but don’t forget to make an appointment.
Finally, to really unwind, why not stop by one of the swimming pools for a refreshing swim or a dip in the jacuzzi?
Enjoy your day.