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What to Be Grateful For?

I have not been writing anything for a while now and thought that I could use some practice again.  Maybe even to just  allow my brain to “breathe” again after cramming for all sorts of assessments, hoping that technology won’t give up on me again three hours before the deadline. Just as I was looking through my Facebook news feed, seeing how my former Kosovar classmates, now seniors, are enjoying themselves in Dubai,…

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Cultural Pas Faux: Shaking Hands

Today, one of my western friends seemed to be very surprised about the fact that in Saudi Arabia men and women who are not related to each other do not shake hands, as it is, generally speaking, socially unacceptable. I can imagine that some of you may be very surprised as well when finding out about this, so I thought that a post about this cultural norm may end up being helpful…

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Slices of Life

One day in my journalism class back in Junior year, my teacher suggested that we add a “slices of life” section to our school’s news blog but whether we actually did that or not, I can’t remember. Basically, a slices of life section contains short things that…let’s say just happened. Maybe somebody said something very funny. If so, a journalist can write that funny quote down and here you have your slices…

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Buildings and Their Nicknames

I am pretty sure that in any city in the world, you will find some building that has some sort of special nickname, given by the people who live in that city. Only a couple of days after my arrival in Riyadh, I learned that even here there is a building that has a rather amusing nickname. Just as in Berlin we have the Haus der Kulturen der Welt (House of the Cultures…

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Experiences in a Nutshell – Advice For Future Expats

From my very arrival in the kingdom up until now, I have faced some situations, or what I would call cultural lessons, that taught me something about how to handle life here, especially as a non- Saudi. For the future Saudi expats among my readers or those who are just generally interested, here is a list of things that you should keep in mind and things you may want to do once…

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Coffee Mornings, Stroller Tanks and Other Stories

What would your first thought be if you got out of the house, walked up to the street of your compound and saw dozens and I mean dozens of buses standing there neatly along the sidewalk? Mass evacuation? That’s probably what you think but no, that just means that a bunch of women from all over the city have assembled on your compound today because it’s coffee morning time. A coffee morning…

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A Day in the Life of a Saudi Arabia Expat

A couple of months ago, I wrote a post on my peace. joy. pancake blog about what a day in my life in Kosova looked like. So, one day  I thought to myself: Why not do the same thing for Saudi Arabia, too? As you can tell by the title of this post, I thought that was a great idea, so here you guys go! While other people around the world are still sleeping…

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The Story of How the Watch Got Diabetes

One morning in Saudi Arabia, I woke up and decided that it is time for a new watch. To be more specific that was today. So, I got on the compound bus with several other ladies that have nothing to do all day, except for household stuff and for whom the highlight of the day, as far as for activities, is a trip to one of Riyadh’s shopping malls that make German…

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The Case of the Saudi Matryoshkas

Riyadh, the city that never sleeps. Somehow I feel like this statement would suit the capital pretty well. There is not much going on here during the day, but once the sun sets, everyone gets out of their fancy or not fancy houses, gets into their fancy or not so fancy cars and turns the streets of Riyadh into a real challenge and hell for most European drivers. But once the highway…

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Moving to Saudi Arabia: Back to When Everything Started or How to Pack Everything You Have in Less Than 24 Hours

Since the beginning of this blog, I have written about pretty much everything worth mentioning about the live of a student in Saudi Arabia, except for the day I actually knew I would have the chance to start my life anew. So here is my second post for today, which will be talking about exactly that. Saudi Arabia is one of the most difficult countries to get into. ESPECIALLY if you are…

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