Oh there's air conditioning. in fact, we weren't allowed to go outside except to walk a few feet to the van. The whole place, the part that foreigners see, is contrived and decadent. Here is the pool at the Ritz Carlton, where we were taken for a buffet dinner one night, which itself would have made Las Vegas blush.
So I suppose I shouldn't complain about the heat, because it wasn't that much of an issue... Just painting a picture.
To give you an idea of the way they treat foreigners, after going through their rigorous customs after a 12 hour flight from Dulles, a military official approached me with a stern face and said, "You need to come with me." Fuck! What did I do? Did they find my empty pill bottle on the plane?! (The pamphlet on the plane did specifically say that importing prescription drugs, even with a prescription in some cases, is punishable by death.) So I get led to this table with two other stern looking Saudis who peer up at me, and say, "Congratulation! You get a free sim card for use in the Kingdom!" Ummm. I'm no cyber security expert, but I demurred nonetheless. (One tipoff that that could be a bad idea was that when I was trying to get a visa, I navigated to their embassy's website, and Google threw up a big red screen that says, "Just don't."
So then they just haul you to the hotel where you're stuck until they come to get you to go to the university. But don't worry, the hotel has the finest selection of non alcoholic beers you've ever seen. Like pages long. They took us out one night for a "fun" night on the town. This consisted of going to a store that sells nothing but dates. Then going to the observation deck of the tallest building in Riyadh, which is called the "99th floor", despite the fact that the building is like 45 stories or something. Should have known they'd be Trump supporters. Then we capped the night off by going to a shopping mall. It had a Starbucks. Cool.
Although it was boring, it wasn't unpleasant per se. Good food and they treated us nicely. But you have a sense of being watched all the time. And no one has a job except the Bangladeshis who suffer in the heat. Boredom. Idle hands. Religious extremism. Surveillance. Not even a move theater to go to. I mean, fuck, I watched some PG-13 action movie on the plane and the blurred out the women's legs when their dresses were above the knee. For real. Yeah, I'd be a fucking terrorist too.
There's no comparison to Texas. Even though your God forsaken state is also way too hot for humans.