Things happen around food

11/16/2014
A week ago, we got the truck back up and running. My husband had recorded some translations on a small voice recorder so that the mechanic who spoke no English would know what might be the problem. I told him that the guy would probably laugh at him for the recorded Arabic clips. He in fact did laugh at it. And then was able to diagnose a blown fuse right away. So, now we make sure that we have spares fuses for a quick change while cars behind us honk because the light has now changed and if you aren’t moving when the light changes that means, you are already late to get a move on it. We had fun that weekend driving around, getting lost a few times and seeing areas of town that really make you feel like you are in yet another country entirely. This one area was just twisting and turning roads with cars parked on both sides, but enough room for one to drive through. There were so many people out on the streets too. The small children were dressed just like the adults in that particular area. The little girls were covered from head to toe like the grown women. Even their faces were covered. The little boys all had on their thobes. It was really strange to see. I think because it was night time, it made it seem even more strange to me. It’s hard to describe how some of the things I see can make me feel one way or another. I can be bothered by a look or the mass of people on the streets on a Friday night, or take things in stride and not be bothered. Sometimes I see things that amaze me, but I don’t capture it with my camera. I don’t think you really want me to take a photo of the camel heads (and tails) that hang in the butcher shop window. It made me sad. I still get childlike in way when I see them out in the desert. I want to get close and maybe get a small one as a pet.  It’s just the way I’m wired.

A few photos taken from the car…DSCN3007 DSCN3003 DSCN3006 DSCN3000
There was a Facebook post from NPR on my newsfeed regarding women drivers in Saudi and how the Shura had recommended that the King allow it. I went into the other room and explained that I had breaking news to my husband. After I had told him what I had read, he said while smiling, “great, I moved here cause it was a man’s world.”
This past week I surprised myself by starting a baby quilt for another expat here and finished the top in three days time. First attempt at hand piecing went pretty well!
The past couple of weeks, I have felt like I am getting a bit more adjusted to life here. I still have my moments of frustration, but I think I am learning a little bit more how to handle even those moments. Also, we now have our stove hooked up to the gas canister! Yay! I can cook for real now! I tested the oven by making brownies from a box. I burned ‘em a little as the temp never did reach what I thought was 350 F and they didn’t even cook for the full time as instructed. I’ll be watching the baking items like a hawk ! My husband and I have had company over for dinner a few times, and that’s been really nice. It’s amazing how an evening of conversation can improve the morale in the desert. And this is what I can come up with on a comfort food night.

DSCN0100 Mashed potato and chicken eggrolls with ranch dip.
Yesterday I walked up to the carts at the market and this woman was struggling with carts that were stuck together. I laughed because it has happened to me as well. She grabbed my arm and asked me if I was American. I had to ask her to repeat herself a few times before I understood what she was asking. I felt embarrassed at that point but she seemed excited and said come inside. So I grab a cart and head into the store where she takes off her sunglasses (I can now at least see her smiling eyes) and she motions to me and her own head so I know she is mentioning my lack of head covering with her gestures. I tell her I don’t have one because I am not sure if she is offended by it or not. She then smiles, looked around and gives me a thumbs up. I think I got her approval! 🙂 Yes, this is now week four and this was pretty much my first conversation with another woman here!
Finding items at the grocery store can bring us great joy or sadness. My husband really wanted tater tots a few weeks back and the store didn’t have any. A few days ago…Ta Da! They had Ore Ida Tater tots! If we had had a chest freezer, he probably would have bought every package. I found caramel syrup that I wanted and this morning I tasted it and was so disappointed in the chemical flavor. My husband tasted it and then put it in the trash! That’s how bad it was! So now, here is my PSA for the day.

DSCN3010Do NOT buy this product ever. It is truly terrible.

This afternoon while looking for a few baking items at the market, I was attacked by children three who should have known better, and another two who were just riders in the cart. They had no manners and had no issues shoving themselves and the oldest girl had her phone in my face and was video taping me while saying “snapchat” over and over. Grabbing her hands and phone and repeatedly telling her no didn’t do a bit of good. A store employee even came up to me and apologized for their behavior. I think it was the first time I have ever wanted to break a childs phone. And because I don’t want to end this post on a sad note, I want to mention that Saudia brand vanilla ice cream is Awesome! Yes, many a good day, or strange experience happens around great food or the hunt for it! Hope everyone has a great day! Love from KSA -wife abroad

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