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Blogging on Saudi Arabia: Best of Search Engine Terms

I have always been wondering about the people who are reading this blog. More importantly: in the vast dimension of the internet, how on earth did they come across my blog among so many others? Algorithms provide an interesting angle from which one can look at this question. My analytics page shows me some of the search terms which have been used before the link to this blog has been clicked. I…

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Ma’a Salama Riyadh: Last Post Maybe

By the time I am writing this I have already left Riyadh and maybe even for good. There were quite a few things happening but not as much that I could have written about up until now. Things like the last exams or prom and in the end, graduation. I must say that  despite all of the differences between life in Riyadh and life anywhere else, I miss Saudi Arabia. I miss…

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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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Learn to Dance in the Rain Before You Get on Your Jet Ski

Even though it is only the beginning of March right now, it gets very warm here, especially at midday. I see girls come to school in dresses and skirts and whenever I go outside covered up, I already start feeling uncomfortable temperature wise. Before coming here I, as many other globetrotters, had the issue of what to take with me to Riyadh and what to leave behind. Knowing about how hot it…

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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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There’s No Such Thing as “Just Friends”

Some people may say that making mistakes is a good thing. If you make a mistake, you will (hopefully) learn from it and whatever it is you did, you will (hopefully) not do it again. In the case of Riyadh however, learning from the mistakes of others can be just as effective and actually even better for your own good, if not for your own life. So if you are a wannabe…

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Red Rose Contraband

Many people who decided to live in another culture and who have done research on the internet before moving to their new home, may have found that some things ended up being different than expected upon arrival. There are quite some things that appear strange about Saudi Arabia as well. A couple of months ago, I read that smart phones and (Barbie) dolls are banned in the kingdom. Once I found myself…

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On Prom Dresses and Strange Opening Hours

My grandfather, whom I unfortunately never got to meet personally, always said that you can have several wedding dresses, as you can get married several times, but you will only have one single prom in your life. With that in mind, and because I really needed a reason to leave the house, I found myself at one of Riyadh’s shopping malls, which I usually visit like museums because pretty much everything sold…

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Ahlan Wa Sahlan to Riyadh!

It was a chilly day in September and my alarm clock was ringing at quarter to nine. My spacious room in the basement was nearly empty. The one suitcase packed, my almost ancient backpack looking like it would explode from all the things in it and my long, black skirt, that my grandmother sewed for me just for this occasion in one day before I left Belarus, were all lined up along…

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