Irina Bernebring Journiette

Live. Do. Laugh. Explore. Dance. Love. Fall. Write. Scream. Enjoy. Dare. Go.

Month: December, 2010

101231 – Underground Riyadh!

Discovered a new side of Riyadh a couple of nights ago. The underground life that excists in the dark depths of the night. After two weeks at this place I’m still intrigued. If forbidden fruits are supposed to taste the sweetest, living here is like living in Candyland. Stories about rave getaways in the middle of the desert and secret private resorts with access only to thoose who know the secret password.


101224 – Mafii Maloom!

It’s supposedly Christmas. I still havn’t, after much effort, managed to round up any Christmas spirit. So from now on, to H*ll with it. Spent tonight having dinner at a South African Christmas party. It was different. Enough said about Christmas. On our way home I sat in the front seat! Felt like home again. (It is the small things that matter!) The cab-driver thaugt me some useful words/phrases in arabic. (The spelling is probably completely off, so don’t bother correcting it. Just say it out loud.)

Due to my skin-color and “difficult-to-place” ethinc background, everyone here thinks I’m Saudi. An assumption which have led to some awkward moments. Among other things elderly women are constantly trying to make me cover my face, which Saudi women are oblidged to do by law. I, not speaking Arabic, are having difficulties to fend them off. Now, however I’ve learnt how to deal with them. “Mafii Maloom” – I do not understand. “(S?)Halas!” – Stop, it’s enough!. At the moment I feel pretty pleased with myself and my new knowledge.

Ma’a Salam!

101223 – The night before Christmas

“Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse;
The stockings were hung by the chimney with care, In hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there;”

Spent the day before Christmas having “high tea” at the Globe, again the contrast are striking. This oasis of luxury on top of the world in Riyadh. (I’m actually wearing a very nice dress under my Abaya.)

101222 – “Chop chop square”

Went to Dira souk, right next to “Chop chop square” – filled with life and death. Today, children playing, women covered by blackness gossiping, lauging. Tomorrow? Execution. Enforcing of Sharia laws by decapitating or stoning. The contrast within this country amazes me. Women in black, men in white. Death one day and life another. The sereness that exsist in this noicy and busy town. I’m left speechless.

101222 – Deserted

101219 – Riyadh

I walked on a plane filled with people dressed in everyday outfits. I walked off a plane with women all covered in black. I’ve never felt more out of place ever. Spent yesterday exploring the desert – the red sun. It is stunning. Sometimes I forget how many beautiful places I’ve seen, places that can not be described using words. Regarding the Kingdom, I’m still getting used to sitting in the backseat, that the car is checked everytime we drive in to the compund, that I live behind walls gaurded by men with big guns. For now it is intriguing. Tomorrow I might feel trapped.


It’s raining in Irvine. I’ve just finished my second ‘monster’ article/ piece of literary journalism. Now I’m going to do Yoga in my one piece. Surrealism is the word of the day.

101204 – Literary Journalism

So. From now on I can call myself a literary journalist. Or, an aspiring literary journalist. Read my first ever published piece about the College Republicans at the University of California here!