Newbie Observations


Baby got a shiner on her right eye the night before we left the States!
Funny things about life in Jeddah:

  • Because my household water comes from a tank that sits on my roof, all of my water is hot. There’s no cold-water wash for laundry, and I have to bathe my baby in the morning, when the water’s not too hot to burn her.
  • Cats are as disgusting here as they are in other places in the Middle East. They are maggot breeders, garbage strewers, and smelly semen squirters. They don’t even lick themselves.
  • Sometimes it’s so humid that in the time it takes you to push your grocery cart from the store’s exit to your car, the cart is wet with condensation.
  • Islam’s prohibitions against mingling of the sexes is so ingrained that people regularly avoid conversation and eye contact except when necessary. If the hijab and abaya aren’t enough to make you feel isolated, this social dynamic should do the trick.
  • If you put an “Idle Free” sign up at your kids’ school, everybody would laugh at you. It’s too uncomfortable to wait outdoors for your kids, so everybody waits in their cars, and none of the cars are allowed to leave the parking lot until every child is buckled in. So that’s about 150 cars at a time that idle their engines for about an hour every school day.


Despite all of the above, I’m still having a pretty great time! I have lots of time to think, to enjoy my family, and to try to sound out store-front signs in Arabic.