Last weekend – which has been changed in the country from Thursday and Friday to Friday and Saturday a couple of months ago – we invited my family-in-law for dinner at our place. They were our first visitors, and with nine adults and six kids you could say it was a good test to see if we’re ready to throw a housewarming party for our friends. I guess except for some small details we are.
Truth be said, we decided to keep things easy. We bought some fresh juices (as no alcohol is being sold in the Kingdom) and ordered dinner from a place we already know, and which all of us likes. (Next time I will definitely try to make everything myself, but I didn’t have enough time for that.) We told the kids to bring their swimwear, as we boast of a fancy swimming pool in our communal backyard.
The kids were so excited that they hardly ate any food, which left us with three days of eating leftovers…
Everything went quite smooth. The men and my mother-in-law ate downstairs at the big dining table, and the women and kids upstairs on the floor.
Before thinking how unfair having to eat upstairs on the floor is for the women, let me give you an explanation. First of all, it is common here to eat on the floor. In fact, my husband’s family prefer to eat like that. We’re still working on a second, Arabian-style living room upstairs to host my in-laws whenever they come for lunch. And although we usually eat all together, one of my sisters-in-law does not want to mingle with any men. Usually I stick with the men and she eats separately with my other sis-in-law, but as I was the host, I obviously did not want to leave them alone.
When the kids could no longer wait to jump in the pool, we decided to take them before we served tea. They had a great time and would have loved to stay much longer, but it was getting late and we didn’t want any problems with our new neighbors. We drank tea – my Simon Lévelt Aloe Vera Green tea was a big hit – and got some lovely gifts from my mom-in-law as well as from my brother-in-law and his wife and two-year-old daughter. With these gifts, we are certainly ready to receive guests in our beautiful palace!