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

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

In Good Hands

Foreign hospital. It's right up there with "foreign prison" on the list of places Americans don't want to find themselves. Despite the way colossal screw-ups and failures happen as much in our own medical system as others, we continue to believe that when trouble hits abroad, you don't want to be treated by anybody else. … Continue reading In Good Hands

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

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

We’re Not in Kansas Anymore

Saudi Arabia is a country full of expatriates. I come from the United States, a country full of immigrants. How great is that? I should feel right at home. But there's a big difference between an immigrant and an expatriate. In Saudi Arabia, there is no path to citizenship for foreigners. The only way to … Continue reading We’re Not in Kansas Anymore

An Ignition Key to the Kingdom

This is my current favorite picture of my twin grandson and daughter (you should be able to sort out which one is which): So many captions! So many word balloons! I can imagine a lifetime dynamic starting here, with Brother blithely going about his business and Sister a nano-second away from dope-slapping him on the … Continue reading An Ignition Key to the Kingdom

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

Saudi Sjaturdi

I live in a rented, furnished villa in a mostly-Western compound in Riyadh. Now be careful that with the word "villa" you don't conjure an image that looks anything like what I get when I Google "villa": Or that by "furnished" you imagine anything like what I get with "villa interior": I'm particularly fond of … Continue reading Saudi Sjaturdi