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living in Saudi Arabia

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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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Service Denied

I came across something on my Facebook feed today that sparked in me a new load of thoughts that may keep this blog going. There was a video about how a Starbucks in Saudi Arabia had denied service to women and asked for their drivers to get the coffee instead. Dear haters and critics out there, I don’t want to proclaim that Saudi Arabia is a paradise for women (not by comparison to other…

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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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To Adapt, or Not to Adapt, That is the Question

Why would the average person move to Saudi Arabia? For many it is all about the luxuries, such as cheap gasoline, luxurious houses and a good salary. But unfortunately, many of those people don’t think about the differences between this country and the country of their origin. In the end, they realize that in order to have a happy life here, one must adapt to the local customs and rules. However, by the…

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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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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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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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