29 July 2016

I'm still amazed every time I go to the grocery store at what I can find, especially for a reasonable price.  I've hardly looked for anything since I just wander around different stores and find stuff I need.  But I am getting to the point where I'll actually need to start trying to find some certain things like tofu. 

The employer, like a lot of employers here, provides us with transportation.  Drivers here are generally from Asia and Africa and there is plenty of time to chat. I've learned how to pronounce Eritrea and Kerala correctly, confirmed that Lulu is the grocery store for me (next I need to ask about little roadside places), and am trying to keep track of when babies are due.  It is very odd to be chauffeured about and to have to plan ahead when I leave the house.  I am looking forward to the bicycles arriving and cooler temperatures so I'm not so dependent on a driver (and who knows how often you can ask for a ride before they tell you it's too much).

Also, in a major success, I found the medication I need at the pharmacy.  Yes, I could have it mailed, but it's a bigger hassle to do that than to go to the pharmacy, plus I prefer to buy locally if at all possible, and medication costs so much less outside the US that I can't justify buying it there when I have another option.  I'm feeling good about this one.

I have spoken pretty much zero Arabic since arriving here, except with my husband when the boys are listening and we need them to not hear for a minute.  It's sort of fun to have people assume I don't understand them, but it's also very hard to practice. Even reading signs while I'm riding in the car, which I've always done everywhere to practice, is hard because almost everything is in English and Arabic and it takes a lot of concentration to ignore the English and just read the Arabic.

The Internet is still a problem because of an odd combination of circumstances.  I'm hoping for a temporary solution in a few days that will at least allow us to have a connection that works all of the time, although a slow one (but still 120 times faster than what we had in Kyrgyzstan the first time, so it's just slow for 2016 which is doable). Mostly, we need something to do because we're stuck at home and we packed our suitcases over six weeks ago and entertainment in Riyadh wasn't on our checklist.

I knew that having a Sunday-Thursday workweek would be weird.  I have to think every day about what day it is and how that day fits in with the rest of the week.  I'm sure I'll get used to it, but right now, the weekend comes quickly which isn't a bad thing.

This house has a Dyson vacuum.  I'm not sure if it's just here while we're waiting for our stuff, but it's a cool vacuum, and since I'd never actually buy one, it's fun to use it.

I think the humidifiers make a big difference, or my body adjusted to Utah dryness and so Riyadh dryness isn't too much worse.  

We've been trying some new greens from the grocery store.  Last night we ate gerger and I can't remember the name of what we had before that and I couldn't check because no internet.  This no internet thing has been tricky with the food shopping.  Also, there are mangoes here.  Egyptian, Yemeni, Pakistani, and more.  I like this. I doubt mango season is as long here as in Mexico though.


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