You know your in the Gulf when you can purchase a very muhajabah-friendly wardrobe at your friendly, local grocery store. Ah yes ladies…it’s every covering sisters dream come true – run into the supermarket, pick up diapers, milk and a cute abayah or jalabeeya and a matching shaylah.
The first time I walked into the local Hyperpanda (or as it’s pronounced here…hyperbanda) I almost fainted when I saw all the shaylahs, long skirts, tunics, jalabeeyas and abayaahs hanging up for purchase. They even had cute “Fulla” abayaat for little girls. I was more intrigued by the awesome clothing than the food. heh.
Here the popular grocery stores are hypermarkets and are akin to a SuperWalmart only Saudified and uh, cooler (anyplace that sells abayaahs and milk under the same roof is cool in my book!). There is Saudi owned Panda and Hyperpanda, French owned Carrefour, American owned Safeway masquerading under the name of Tamimi and some place called Geant which looks half empty and I get sad when I go there.
Carrefour has the best clothing options. The nicest jalabeeyahs, abayaahs and shaylahs are available at Carrefour. (Food wise, I prefer Hyperpanda over Carrefour as their veggies and fruit are yummier and their private label is quite extensive and inexpensive)
So I fell in love with a supermarket abayaah today. I didn’t purchase it though because…well, I dont know why. You must understand that most of the abayaat being sold in the grocery stores are made of very cheap crepes in pretty bland designs and remind me of the way, way overpriced Saudi Abayahs being sold in the US. They are cheap and suitable for the expat who NEEDS an abayaah and can’t imagine spending over 100riyals on one, so normally I bypass them and look at the jalabeeyas which are much nicer at all of the supermarkets here.
But, I guess Carrefour got in a new shipment of abayaat or something because the ones out were newer and in fresher, trendier designs. And ONLY 100 Riyals!!! I seriously seriously wanted one of the satiny-crepe ones… I drooled this one which had very minimal embroidery down the front and on the sleeves while another had a floral rhinestone design on the sleeves and back. When my husband came home from work, I told him about them and he really and truly couldn’t believe I didn’t buy one. heh. He half expected that I did and stashed it somewhere. LOL C’mon…only 100riyals, thats less than $30 US! There was also had a new shipment of Jalabeeyahs from Syria made of this very good quality, substantial material, striped or with jacquard designs and extensive embroidery. Only 68 riyals. Nearby were bins and bins of shaylahs, still in their packages for really really cheap prices (5 riyals!). The majority were colorful with designs like what a lot of Emirate women wear .
So yeah I bypassed all. Am I silly or what? I have a job interview coming up for a position I REALLY want, en’shallah I’ll get it and once I do it’s shoppin’ time. hehehehehe.
P.S. To all my friends from back home..you all know what your getting when I come back for 2 weeks in the summer, right? C’mon guess…grocery store abayaahs!!! aww yeah!