5+5 = 10 Things to Do at Historical Diriyah

The clock's ticking here, folks. The window of opportunity to fix the mess that has us leaving the country has closed. We've made our plans for the return trip, the dates are set, the flights booked, the house is packed up. On the plus side, the people moving into our villa are buying all the … Continue reading 5+5 = 10 Things to Do at Historical Diriyah

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

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

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

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

Natural Facts

Okay, kids. This is a test. I want you to think REALLY hard. When was the last time you heard any straight-faced conversation that touched on the term "women drivers"? The straight-faced part is important. Plenty of dudes will say it as a joke, grin, and wait for a nearby woman to swat him. Kinda … Continue reading Natural Facts

That Old Black Magic II: An End to Sorcery

I'm not in the habit of writing about the same topic twice (special exception for the Princess Souk—Volume III in the near future, I'm sure), but then this happened: Actually, the headline didn't inspire me by itself. I've seen plenty like it and already posted on the topic. Though I confess that the closing line … Continue reading That Old Black Magic II: An End to Sorcery

Some Things Are Puzzles

A lot of things about Saudi Arabia puzzle me. This sign, for instance. It puzzles me: I thought it might be advertising a new indoor playland (all the malls have them—outdoor parks are rare, hot, and dirty). A friend thought it was a candy store. Those are childish illustrations, so surely SOMETHING for kids, right? … Continue reading Some Things Are Puzzles