There’s No Place Like Home

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

Note to Self: Top Ten Repat Reminders

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

Leaving Oz

At face value, you have to wonder why Dorothy wanted to leave Oz. Kansas was gray and windy and ugly; Oz was technicolor and gorgeous and magical. To top it off, by the time she got to the capitol the witch was dead and she was being treated like royalty. Why on earth did she … Continue reading Leaving Oz

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

Letter from Inside Saudi Arabia: Why I Live Here

I've been away for the last couple of months, helping my daughter in the U.S. welcome a new baby.I know, right? Pretty cute. Or at least the adults all think so. But Weird Overseas Granny moved in two days after Weird Small Baby moved in, and two days after that, Big Brother did this with … Continue reading Letter from Inside Saudi Arabia: Why I Live Here

Saudi News Notes: Normal and True

Merry Christmas, y'all. I took the holiday off. And I meant to still be taking it. But then the news got the better of me, and I found myself at the mercy of a flowchart. Because, you see, this article appeared in today's edition of the Saudi Gazette: AND IT GETS BETTER. There is no … Continue reading Saudi News Notes: Normal and True

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

Behind the Walls

I got a note last week from a Saudi gentleman who appreciated a post and especially other expats' positive comments about life in Saudi Arabia (his comment will be the last or nearly), and then said, "What I read is all about personal experiences. How about getting in touch with Saudis themselves? How did you … Continue reading Behind the Walls