The Nose Knows

Here's something I can't capture in the blog: People around here smell WONDERFUL. Fragrance is a big deal in Arabian culture, and there's a smell about the place that hits you the instant you step off the plane. (Or maybe when you get on the plane, depending on the ethnic makeup of your fellow travelers.) … Continue reading The Nose Knows

Decked Out: More from the Princess Souk

I went to the Second-Hand Souk this past week with my motto clearly in mind: NO MORE SILLY DRESSES I don't have mounds of them or anything, but you don't really need that many, do you? The sole use I've been able to come up with is princess night dinners, which are parties among my neighbors … Continue reading Decked Out: More from the Princess Souk

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

The Rule of Three: What We Do All Day

A friend asked me this week what I do all day. Surely, she said, you can't go out shopping or travel ALL the time, so...what gives? I, the expat wife barred from having a day job, came here carrying lots of ideas of things to do to fill the time. Subscriptions to Netflix, Hulu, Amazon … Continue reading The Rule of Three: What We Do All Day

I Feel Pretty II: Return to the Princess Souk

Entertainment, in Saudi Arabia, can be tough to come by. Your free time options are a) stay home, b) eat, and c) go shopping. Staying home is great, and we have a lot of fun with friends here on the compound. But no matter where you live, you don't want to spend your entire life … Continue reading I Feel Pretty II: Return to the Princess Souk

Arabian Holidays: Shopping the Souks

City sidewalks, busy sidewalks, dressed in holiday style... Okay, so shopping is a little different here than what most Americans are used to. And the quantifying ALL the differences is way beyond what one blog post can hold. I should be able to milk this topic for a solid dozen. But this is a good … Continue reading Arabian Holidays: Shopping the Souks

Christmas Crafting, Saudi Style

I'm very excited about Tuesday. Do you see it? There's a HUGE turndown. Partly cloudy (or "mostly sunny"--not sure of the difference) and right around 70 for THREE DAYS. It's beginning to feel a lot like Christmas, eh? Having none of the seasonal markers has made it a challenge to feel the Christmas mood. And … Continue reading Christmas Crafting, Saudi Style

I Feel Pretty

Here's how this week's adventure was pitched to me: People either love it or hate it. It's so gross. Keep an eye behind you. Don't walk alone if you don't want to be touched. Look up, not down. Bring your own water. There's no bathrooms. You'll want a shower when you get home. You can … Continue reading I Feel Pretty

Rookie Mistake, Part II: Getting It Right

Read any guidebook, magazine article, or travel post and you'll get the same tips about Paris: Don't go in August unless you want to wander an empty city. Greet shopkeepers when you enter their places of business. Keep your voice down. Dress well. In Madrid, don't go looking for dinner before 9:00. In London, don't … Continue reading Rookie Mistake, Part II: Getting It Right

Rookie Mistake

You know the one about the frog in a pot? How if you put a frog in cold water, then turn up the heat, the frog won't jump out before it's too late? Yeah, that one. Turns out it's true. Diagram explanation: Hyper-Panda (the pot): Panda is a retail chain around the Kingdom with various … Continue reading Rookie Mistake