Finding Festive: Holidays in the Gulf

When it comes to celebrating the Christmas and New Year holidays in Saudi Arabia, an expat has two choices: Leave Stay and do something weird Last year we took Option 1 and went home, where we managed to get everybody in one spot for long enough to get a family picture. Out of about forty … Continue reading Finding Festive: Holidays in the Gulf

The New Normal

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Ergo, weird is also in the eye of the beholder. So I guess it's simply a matter of what you're used to being normal and what's different being weird. I'm confident that expats everywhere have moments where they catch themselves doing some formerly weird thing that's become normal and say, … Continue reading The New Normal

That Coffee Morning Jolt

Until I embarked on expat-wife-life, the term "coffee morning" would have conjured an image like this: Or maybe this: You know, the ladies-who-lunch crowd who have gotten the kids to school, gone to the gym, had their blow-outs, and still have some time to kill before lunch. It's morning, there's coffee, and by making enough of … Continue reading That Coffee Morning Jolt

Make New Friends, but Keep the Old

This is me and my friend Chris. We've known each other for close to 20 years, and have been taken for sisters time and time again. Back when we both had teenagers, my own daughter, seeing Chris bent over something, came up behind her and said, "Mom?" Chris has only sons, and was delighted to have … Continue reading Make New Friends, but Keep the Old

Buckle Up, Kids: Driving in Saudi Arabia

I've been putting off this post for some time because I didn't have the sufficient video or photos to do it justice. I've finally concluded I will NEVER have sufficient material to do it justice. The topic? Driving in Saudi Arabia. This is one of those "gotta be there" kinda things. But I have to … Continue reading Buckle Up, Kids: Driving in Saudi Arabia

Home Is Where Your Stuff Is

I had a terrible time getting to sleep last night. And it wasn't jet lag. No, it was more like this: And what, pray, could make me that excited? I'm HOME. And by that I don't mean my home-home. That's where I'd just been. No, I was in my now-home. I've been away for … Continue reading Home Is Where Your Stuff Is

Saudi Cheat Sheet

When people learn I live in Saudi Arabia, the first question tends to be, "So what's it like there?" A big question. But given enough time (say, a meal, rather than a cash-register transaction), the conversations generally cover the same ground. Here, then, are the basic answers to the basic questions about what it's like in … Continue reading Saudi Cheat Sheet

Modest Is…Oh, Come On

There can be mixed messages in Saudi Arabia about what is and isn't appropriate: That shot comes from my TV, where we're watching a show through our local satellite provider called "Wine-Quest," and yes, those are Arabic subtitles. In a country where alcohol is illegal. So illegal, in fact, that you can get a hefty … Continue reading Modest Is…Oh, Come On

Funny to You, Maybe

Every culture has its own taste in comedy. This may have come from an American movie, but Americans have never cared much for it. Instead, the French find Jerry Lewis HILARIOUS. A comedic genius! Americans are baffled. As they are at Japanese game shows: Lest you think I imagine Americans are above it all, let's … Continue reading Funny to You, Maybe

Doing the Saudi Shuffle

I sometimes find myself in situations where the people with me say, "You should write a blog about this." So, I'm going to write a blog about this: This is not where the story started, but what made it a story at all is where it ended. Which is the case with most stories. A … Continue reading Doing the Saudi Shuffle