Thursday, June 9, 2011

Why... It's Astonishing!

It's raining - and the streets aren't flooding!

Women are wearing t-shirts in public!  And driving!

There's pork and alcohol being sold at this store!  There's pork and alcohol being consumed at this party!  There's a party with men and women! 

It's 12:30pm, and the stores aren't closing for prayer!  (Or 3:40pm, or 7:00 pm, or 8:30pm - choose your prayer time!)

Wait, you mean there's only one entrance to this restaurant?  And I can go in it?  And sit wherever I want?

Whoa!  Look at those cars stopping for the red light!  And using their turn signals!  And turning left only from the left-most turning lane!

There's no air conditioning inside any of these houses!  (Wait, this one I don't like...)

That pretty much sums up my experience at home so far.  Lots of exclamation points (mostly in my head) and shocked disbelief at the blatant displays of heavenly vice.  And mostly lawful displays of driving, including by a large number of women. 

I've also been taking advantage of fast internet and downloading copious amounts of music and books and watching lots of Netflix and Hulu.  I forgot that it doesn't have to take an hour to watch a 20 minute show on Netflix...  I really miss fast internet.  I have gotten my fill of real commercials but still don't miss the AFN PSAs.  I love watching the Red Sox and Bruins win often and then watching the Heat lose.  May those streaks continue tonight as well.  I never thought I'd be cheering for the Mavericks, but I am doing so with fervor now!

Last weekend the whole family drove down to Newport, Rhode Island to watch my cousin marry his college sweetheart.  It was a gorgeous wedding and a perfect weekend for a perfect couple, and we had a wonderful time.  I don't ever want to go to a wedding without a 'lobster display' again!  Lobster claw tempura may be the best food ever.  My nephew was the ring bearer, and, despite not having a lot of context or experience for his role, he performed admirably.  (And stood still and quiet through the entire ceremony!)  He was a little miffed that he didn't actually get to carry the rings, but the pillow was pretty sweet.  And he looked so gosh darn adorable in his suit!  He fell head over heels in love with the bride last summer when he met her, so being in the wedding was perfect.  And he got plenty of hugs from his "girlfriend", as he calls her.  Which is a step up from "my older lady friend", which was last summer's term of endearment.  Keep in mind the child is only 4. 

It's been doctor and dentist visits and lots of reading and napping since then.  I don't get Blackberry service at home or even in the vicinity, so I haven't been even tempted to check email.  When I did send a colleague a quick email about how one of our contacts factors into a current US news story, she sent back a much-needed "thanks, we know, now enjoy R&R," email.  A good reminder to just relax.  Which is slightly hard to do as I watch the news coming out of Yemen and the saga of women driving in the Kingdom, but I'm trying. 

I am going to see one of my childhood best friends and her family this weekend after too many years, about which I am thrilled.  More on that next week.  Then, next weekend, a long weekend in Miami for another cousin's wedding!  My mom and I are going to stay in Key West for a night so I can eat conch fritters and stock up on key lime juice.  Yummmm.  Among other touristy pursuits, of course. 

The first tranche bid list came out today.  I of course won't see it until I get back, which is fine with me.  Second tranche comes out soon enough (when I'll be bidding), and too much of a glimpse into what's NOT on my bid list will be anxiety-inducing.  I have my top five or six dream posts, and several of them are probably not anyone else's dream posts (or at least I get really weird looks from people, including the Ambassador, when I mention what they are), but odds are at least half or more of them won't be on my bid list.  So not knowing what might be on there is making me a bit crazy.  Let's just say I don't plan to use my equity to bid Europe, as so many others coming out of KSA do.  To each their own! 

Happy bidding to many of my friends and colleagues!  I'll be asking for advice and recommendations soon enough...

1 comment:

Just US said...

Hahaha - loved this post! One of my favorite parts of being overseas is the "new" joy I feel when I rediscover all the normal things as they truly should be instead of how we live them.