October 10, 2006

Saudilogue 26

Saudilogue 26

Wednesday (Humda’allah) (thank God).

First, let me say how much I enjoyed being with all of you during holiday. I did not lose
an ounce, but ohhhh the food was so good. See you again next year – really I will.

Meanwhile:
Cars
So during my marathon drive around Jeddah that first night back, we were passed by a
goldenrod Dodge Viper and then found ourselves behind a Porsche SUV. Porsche SUV?
For those who asked, I have been looking again at the car dealerships we pass on the way
home from school: FAST MOTORS, they carry Ferrari, Mazerati. Another outfit carried
Lamborghinis. There are BMW, Citroen, Astin Martin, Lexus of all type, caddies. I saw a
Margane (something like that) parked in the compound. Mgs, Corvette, Lincoln Town
cars. Ducati. I’ll look again on the way home tonight… Jaguar, Mercedes (lots of them). I
saw at least three Mercedes dealerships on the way home. Probably all owned by the
same dude, but three none the less. KIAs even, for the appliance shoppers and Honda.
Mitsubishi, Hyndai. On the streets the really fast cars are hard to identify because they
zoom by so quickly. The guy who took me home from the airport said that his Dad had a
Viper, but totaled it in a really bad accident. Ououououououou, poor car. I like them,
actually. Oh, and Jim, how could I forget – Audi! Jeep for my sister. Oh, and those little
Coopers.

Ramadan has started and the number of traffic accidents has gone ballistic. Some of these
are very severe. Hope everyone’s okay.

The square-dancing was a kick. Night one was the first lesson. It took me back to
elementary school when square dancing was part of phys ed. Again, folks from all over
the world. I have learned some Arabian dancing and Scottish steps since I got here. A
whole crew of South Africans were also first timers. Everyone is going back for another
shot at it. I ran into more Americans there than I have in one place since I got here. That
was rather nice. Couple folks from the Midwest.

I confess I am a bit more homesick this time coming here. I already know the routine, so
coming back held few surprises. Today, however, was one of those days my daughter
cheers about. Per centage 80/20 today…. (that is 80 – come back/ 20 stay here next year.
Haven’t had too many days like this really in all the time I have spent here.

Considering that state of the world, that’s really pretty good. 70/30

There is an IFTAR on the compound tonight. Iftar is the break-fast held every night at
sundown during Ramadan. Since I am picking a colleague up at the airport HEY, that
means we finally have a full staff!!!!!!!!, I will, alas, miss it, unless it is still going by the
time we get back.

Hope all is well with everyone. More later.

Now a week later. My colleague arrived. Went through hopping heck to get a ride to pick
her up when other entities would not do it – but when I got there, someone from the
school was already there. This is a good thing, though I was really ticked. Cosmically, the
camel who is a regular at Wednesday nite, transmitted sanity vibes and after a hefty Step
2, I felt much better the next day.

We have some wonderful new staff members. This has nearly eliminated the bus
squabbles. Hurray.

Maggie found two more folks interested in playing bridge, so we now have a Tuesday
nite bridge game on the compound. That is so nice because even though it is easier to get
to square dancing on Monday nites (one of the square dancers is a guy on the compound
is in the group and he has a car), it is great to have something local.

One of the newbees is trying to arrange taibo lessons for us – also on the compound. I am
still trying to wrap my head around that one. Kick boxing? Jake tells me I should pursue a
form of exercise that I will actually use longer term. Taibo. Dunno. I might need more
than a surrogate camel for that one.

Gotta trot.

S of A

PS
Hiho-Ramadan break going well. Basking by the pool, putting together classes.

I saw the ultimate electronic devise in a new store today. Watani is another superstore.
Football fields in size – everything you can image. So, I saw a small oven (about the size
of a microwave, perhaps a touch larger, with a three burner hot plate on top and FOR NO
EXTRA CHARGE – a mini ironing board. All packaged together. Amazing.

One of the swimming pools sprung a leak, so it is being torn up for repairs.

Bridge is going well. My partner (new to the game) refuses to pull trump right away. If
he was partnered with my late father, he would be a late bridge player. I confess I have
gotten very irritated with this, but we is doing it his way. Some folks learn the hard way –
I sure have.

I had a gecko in the bedroom for a long time. Named it Harvey. Last night is was on the
wall such that I could catch it with soft lid and a piece of stale flat bread. (Don’t ask)
With some success I moved the slightly beat up gecko (scrap the stale bread) outside.
Said a little prayer that the little guy survived the ordeal. This morning the gecko and the
flat bread were gone. I assume cats ate the flatbread.

The cat population seems to be regulating itself through inbreeding and feline leukemia.
There is another cat disease which seems to attack eyes.

One of the compound dogs is gone, so the evenings are quiet. As always, except for
howling cats (on occasion).

Keep the faith!

at October 10, 2006 10:28 AM