Desert Diving

We went on our first desert outing of "the season" yesterday. I calculate "the season" as "not summer." Kinda like the symphony season. The theater and ballet and debutante and ballroom season. You're still wearing long dresses; they're just...simpler. Less colorful. Less flattering. Dustier. And on any given day, smellier. I'll tell you what, though. … Continue reading Desert Diving

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┬ácover the same ground. Here, then, are the basic answers to the basic questions about what it's like in … Continue reading Saudi Cheat Sheet

Won’t You Be My Neighbor?

I'm in the U.S. now, doing what both expats and a lot of Saudis treat as necessary: getting out of Saudi Arabia. I wasted no time beginning my Celebration of Swine: straight off the plane and into a sweet pork Mexican salad, followed by a ham dinner, followed by ham-and-bean soup the next day, followed … Continue reading Won’t You Be My Neighbor?

Coins in the Fountain

A slope beyond the back fence of my home in Denver has housed, for many years, a family of foxes. (Literal foxes, not pretty girls from the 1970s.) Or at least, that's my best guess of what was going on. Foxes all look alike to me, so I don't know whether the place was available … Continue reading Coins in the Fountain

Camel Kisses

A friend recently posted this on his college daughter's Facebook timeline: I know, right? It's DARLING. I couldn't resist chiming in: They don't actually start out like that, either. That was a picture of an alpaca. Camels start out more like this: Still cute, but not a face that's going to take over Facebook. Being … Continue reading Camel Kisses

Farther Than It Seems

When I'm traveling, I generally consider it a compliment when people take me for something other than an American. I do love my people, but bless us, we have a terrible reputation as travelers. Loud voices, loud clothes, loud annoyance when things turn out to be not like America. (On the plus side, we also … Continue reading Farther Than It Seems

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

Real Gone: Bali, Indonesia

I been gone. Real gone. (Sing it! You know you want to. I'll let you get it out of your system here without cartoon cars.) My gone-ness for the last two weeks was part of a national exodus of Saudi-dwelling expats for the Eid al Adha holiday (Hajj pilgrimage season). Most of us get about … Continue reading Real Gone: Bali, Indonesia