Wednesday, October 31, 2012

An International Halloween

I am so glad that we are not living in New York right now. After last year's Halloween snowstorm/debacle, I don't think my kids would be very happy to miss Halloween yet again. (Last year in New York, we had a major snowstorm which knocked out our power. My husband was in Saudi Arabia, I was recovering from the flu and a cold, two of my children had fevers, four of my children ended up with lice, and we lost power for several days. It was, quite possibly, the crappiest Halloween I have ever experienced in my life. So I'm not missing home AT ALL today.)

It is a lovely thing to trick-or-treat in 85 degree weather. Our compound organized a nice day of trick-or-treating and a kids' party, which we decided to skip. Here is my crew: we have a ninja, a mummy, a bloodthirsty skeleton, a vampire fairy, and a duck.

My oldest son who is now 13 (13!!!! I have a teenager!) dressed as a mummy and opted to dole out the goods to all the trick-or-treaters. 

T and J opted to ride their bikes around the neighborhood without adult supervision. It was so nice to let them be on their own without worrying. I really love the freedom and security of the compound!

My husband and I took B and Bubba J around the compound. B concocted her costume as a vampire fairy all on her own. She had very specific ideas about her clothing and face paint.

 Bubba J wore our beloved duck costume. My Mother-in-Law made this adorable duck costume 12 years ago when our W was just a little tot. All of my kids have worn the costume. It brings such wonderful memories to me when we pull it out and put it on another little one. Bubba J was so funny and really got into his role as a duck. He walked around quacking like a duck. Instead of saying "trick or treat", he would quack.

We enjoyed walking around the compound, knocking on the doors with Halloween decorations. Our group was truly international with kids of all nationalities chattering in different languages. I enjoyed chatting with friends, sharing the experience of our kids having fun together.

Yup! It was pretty much a perfect Halloween. 

Monday, October 1, 2012

What I Like About Living in Riyadh

Often expats and Saudis ask me, "Do you like living in Riyadh"? The answer is definitely yes. You may wonder what I like about Riyadh. In no particular order, here are some things I enjoy about my life right now.

Seeing camels. I get such a kick out of seeing camels curled up in the back of pickup trucks on the roads. I also enjoy seeing camels in their natural desert environment. I think they are beautiful animals.

Swimming. I love taking my kids to the pool often. I like to swim as well, but I don't always get in the pool with my kids. Sometimes I am content to just sit by the sidelines, reading a book, and keeping an eye on the water shenanigans.

My husband doesn't go on business trips now. 2011 was a tough year because my husband spent a significant time traveling abroad and throughout the U.S. I am so happy to have him home every night. I sleep a lot better too!

I like the plentiful fresh fruits and vegetables found at the market. I especially love that zucchini is always in-season and inexpensive to buy. If you are blessed with a bounteous zucchini harvest, I am your girl to help you with it!

I like exploring new places and cultures. Variety and differences cause me to think and ponder my own culture, values, and ideas. Even when the scenery isn't beautiful, it is still interesting.

I like making friends from all over the world. I have met some really great families here. I appreciate hearing new perspectives and learning about different cultures.

I like hearing the call to prayer five times a day. I don't love the disruption that the call brings if you are trying to do something. But I do like this idea of unified and frequent prayer.

I LOVE having a helper do the heavy cleaning in my home.

I like trying new food, especially local food.

I like how much freedom my children have in the compound. They are able to play with their friends without a lot of adult interference.

I absolutely LOVE the desert. It is amazingly beautiful.

I do enjoy the ease of compound living. We have a lot of great amenities that make my life very comfortable.

If you live in Riyadh, what do you enjoy about it?