Broken down by fours


One week I feel great, and am explaining how I have gotten used to the abaya. The next week, I’m a total mess. Okay, maybe at times it can be broken down by hours, not weeks. And maybe a total mess is really just a nice way of saying that I may have just gone manic.

If someone asks me how I am doing, they will get the same answer most of the time. “I am fine.”

  1. I am smiling, but gritting my teeth
  2. I am on the verge of tears
  3. I may just go on a rant of exaggerated dislike for almost everything
  4. I really am fine

I’m trying to be thankful for things that are good in my life to counterbalance the stresses

  1. So thankful for my husband who keeps on loving me, even in the ugly moments
  2. I’m thankful that my health has been good. I even traveled to a country (cough, cough… the U.S.) that reported epidemic like flu outbreaks and never got sick.
  3. I’m thankful that I have things that bring me joy (all things art)
  4. We are always well fed

New things that have happened in the past weeks

  1. Trying home cooked Vietnamese food
  2. Meeting a Vietnamese ambassador and his wife
  3. Laying out in the sun by a pool, in a Muslim country
  4. Giving up my flip flops because we (the ladies in the group) had all worn high heels and did touristy stuff that required a lot of walking. I think the ambassador’s wife needed a break from the heels as well, and I didn’t have the heart or the nerve to tell her she had my shoes on. It was a really funny moment. I’ll never forget it.

Things I really need to work on as an expat.

  1. Not shutting down
  2. Every little detail is important or not at all (need to avoid extreme thinking)
  3. Generalization of things is often quite unfair to myself and others
  4. Keeping the bad folder underneath, and not as stocked full as the good folder

If it wasn’t for my being here in Saudi for the past 4 months, I would not have been able to have the experiences that I have been able to write about, and for that I am also thankful.

CAM00147 A view of Bahrain

CAM00148 The patchwork camel needed a scrub down

CAM00156 Old and new

CAM00150 Cool art at the old fort (also has patchwork)

Saudi is not going to change for me, I have to change for it, or I have to leave.

Working on perspective, and tossing around ideas in my head for the next steps in life





The other night, (Friday) my husband and I were at another couple’s home having dinner with them when we got word that there had been another shooting in our town. This time, the initial report was that two Americans had been shot near a palace. Personally, I found the report to sound fishy, and then my next thoughts were regarding the media. Would the U.S. broadcast this one? Because the first time it happened (since I have lived here) I don’t believe it was known to the world…Perhaps because people don’t care about seven Muslim men being killed right outside of their mosque. It could be compared to a shooting in Indianapolis, it happens all the time, but people have become numb to it. Plus, an overwhelming news story that continues in the States, is the killing of kids and men by cops. I find myself becoming more and more jaded by humanity as a whole.

Back to the recent shooting this week…

The following morning I searched online for stories about what had happened. Reading about four articles, I learned that one American had been shot and wounded, and they followed up the very short story by mentioning the seven who were killed in November. The stories did not mention a second person being shot. At that point I had told my husband that I thought that our friend who is in the Military here would probably have more information than what I was reading. Perhaps an hour or two later, this friend of ours who I will call Carl, called my husband. We were due to have dinner at his place on Saturday evening. Carl explained to my husband that the two men who were shot were followed by unknown persons (at this point) from the compound where they live. This is the compound where we were to have dinner with Carl. The two men were not killed, but had both received gunshot wounds that were not life threatening. The men on the compound were shaken up a bit, and on lockdown. Now I can’t help but wonder how much of this will get told to the world, and if it will be told only because these men were Military/U.S. Citizens. Or, will it get shoved under a rug? And, if it does reach the States, will it be wrapped in fear mongering, as if every U.S. citizen here in Saudi should fear for their life? Oh and I can’t help but say that it would add to the already intense mistrust and hatred that goes on by many (not all) U.S. citizens regarding the Middle East.

Anyway, Life goes on here as if nothing happened. While the police force was out like crazy after the seven were killed, I saw the usual (barely any) while my husband and I were out yesterday. We didn’t drive anywhere near the areas where it happened though either.

My husband asked me last night if I felt like I had to leave. No, I don’t feel like I have to leave. Is there an added fear of this place for me? Yeah, a little bit, but I also have to admit that part of me is like…this stuff happens everywhere in the world…It’s a sad reality we live in. It doesn’t matter where I go, the threats continue and there are no answers as how to make the killings, shootings, and total disregard for human life to stop.

I’m sick of the hatred in this world.