We can find the cause of American extremism only if we realize the calls for it are coming from inside the house.
Maybe the key to understanding is assuming you don't.
The allure and danger of projecting onto our leaders.
A few years ago, I came across this gem of a headline in the Arab News: So...it turns out that not all fertilizers are equal. Human waste makes your lettuce smell and taste like doo-doo. Noted. And when it comes to irrigation, best just stick to water. As much as I appreciated the gardening tips … Continue reading Of Fruit, Farmers, and a Free Press
A few months after I arrived in Saudi Arabia, I found myself at dinner with a group of teachers. You know, school teachers. Ladies that taught English at Saudi girls’ schools. Old maid school teachers. You got that picture squarely in mind? Good. Now flush it. Whatever scars you still carry from that time you … Continue reading A World of Stories
This is my favorite keepsake from Saudi Arabia. Okay, I'm pretty pumped with this, too: The gift that keeps on giving. But the necklace is still number one. To my eye, Arabic is an exquisite written language, and it's been used decoratively for centuries. When I told the jeweler what I wanted, he suggested a … Continue reading The Faith and The Hope
Why won't you let any refugees in? Please, help me. I want to understand. I want to think better of you than what I see. I sit in front of the television, crying. "This is Europe's defining moment," I hear a television announcer say. I shake my head. "Why?" I say. "Why is it just … Continue reading Dear Saudi Arabia, Please Help Me Understand
Theory: A sense of humor is to every human quality as salt is to every food. It doesn't take much, but the lack of it will pretty much kill whatever you're serving. Love? Good, but when it's dead serious it'll suffocate a person. Dignity? Admirable, but without a sense of humor you're just stiff and … Continue reading Me, a Joke, and the Secret Police
As you may have noticed, summer is winding down. In Celsius, that's 44, 44, 44, 44, 45, 44.., and that little nip in the air means it's expat migration season. Time to pack the bags full of all the loot/necessities/contraband you've picked up in the home country, squeeze in a last dinner at your favorite … Continue reading There’s No Place Like Home
A woman I knew a few years ago returned from a year of living abroad. Awesome. Great experience. Good for you. But I'm not doing myself any favors if I paper over the fact that she had instantly become INSUFFERABLE. She could say nothing without prefacing it with "Well, in China..." Nothing, I promise. To … Continue reading Note to Self: Top Ten Repat Reminders