Yearly archives: 2008

129 posts

Christmas in the Kingdom

Ho ho ho! Merry Christmas. By the time you actually read this, it will of course be late on boxing day, but I have a good excuse for being a bit behind. I’m in the magical Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, and have better things to be doing than blogging all the time. However, I can’t seem to help myself. When everyone else has gone to bed, or whenever I can steal a few minutes, I try to fire up the old computer machine and try to dash off a few lines, which brings me to this post. I wanted to get this fired up and online before we left for some internal trips for the next week. We’ll be away from Riyadh, and I’ll be unable to do any blogging while on the road. So this post will have to keep you entertained until we get back here to the Diplomatic Quarters. However, I can assure you that this will be a great little post, as we did some pretty unique things on Christmas day over here. Last year, I found myself at an all day cricket test in Auckland, NZ, and this year, I have a similar experience to share with you all, but you’ll have to read on to find out exactly what it is. You might also want to just check out the pictures on flickr that were put up from the day!

Christmas Eve Excitement

Another day, another series of little stories to share with you all. I’ll try not to get too long winded as if I do that, I’ll never actually get these posts done 🙂 At the end of my last tale, we had just wrapped up day 1 with a great view of Riyadh at night, and head headed off to slumber to get ready for another day of fun. Andrea had to work once again, but only for a half day, but it was long enough that we had a chance to head out for a little more exploration with Patrick and Helena in their SUV. The target of our exploration this time around was to be the Wadi , or creek-bed that lies around Riyadh and the DQ. This area only gets rain a few times in the year, but when it does, it causes flash flooding sometimes. This is the area where it would happen, but for most of the year, it is actually a roadway of sorts. Read on for a little bit about that as well as some other things I did on Christmas Eve. As usual, don’t forget to check out flickr for more great shots!

First Days in Riyadh

Hello everyone! I figured it was time to give you all an update on the happenings of me over in Saudi Arabia. As you likely pieced together from the last couple posts, we had a very smooth arrival in the Kingdom. Unfortunately, the Internet connection from here is rather slow, making it difficult to fire off too many emails or do other things. In spite of this, I’ve still managed to post quite a few pictures on our flickr page, so feel free to head over to our sets page and check out the latest while we’re over here. I will also attempt to give a little insight into our first few days over here in Riyadh and the Diplomatic Quarter. I’ve decided that although these are the same physical place, life is much different in the DQ than in Riyadh. Namely, I am on ‘Canadian soil’ when I’m at the embassy and in the house here, so we have a lot more breathing room in terms of what we can do while here compared to traveling around the city. I’ll try to keep this post on the short side, as we are leaving shortly for the camel souq and the horse races, and I’ve only got a little time to sort out my thoughts. Read on for the details.

24 Hours in London

Hello hello my dear friends. Hope you’re all doing well. As for me, well, it’s been a whirlwind 24 hours in jolly ole England. I’ve just cleared all the security hurdles, and now find myself with a couple hours to kill before we board our flight for Riyadh. What better time to fire off a blog post than right now? I’ve even had a chance to download the pictures from my camera and get them captioned, so hopefully I’ll be able to upload some of those in the near term as well. If not, then I apologize. At any rate, the arrival into London went very smoothly, and there were no issues getting our bags and getting through customs. Before we knew it, we were starting the longish trek to find the tube station which would whisk us into London proper. We decided to just buy some day passes so that we could get to a few of the sights a little easier than on foot. Read on for a full dump of the day, and what we got up to in our brief time, made even more complicated by the fact that we were a little tired. Click here for pictures.

Wings over the Water

Well, here I am sitting at a rather high altitude over our great nation. We’ve been airborne for about an hour now, and far below me is no doubt the roiling waters of the great Atlantic Ocean. It always amazes me what clever creatures we humans are. Conquering the skies with our mighty flying birds. I hadn’t intended to actually spend much time blogging on this first leg of our journey to Saudi Arabia, but what can I say? Circumstances have lead to this outcome. What circumstances? Well, mainly the fact that the onboard entertainment system is kaput. Yup, no fun movies to pass the time. Too bad. I was looking forward to watching Tropic Thunder, and probably Hellboy II or Christmas Vacation, that all-time classic holiday movie. I guess I can’t complain though. I’ve got my iPod and I’m rockin’ the Pink Floyd with my sound isolating earphones, so that I don’t have to listen to the myriad of crying babies on this red-eye flight to London. Jody seems rather oblivious beside me, having dozed off even before we left the ground! Good for her, she’ll be well refreshed when we touch down in the great city of London for our 24 hour layover. What? A layover? Weren’t we supposed to fly out Sunday and just stop for an hour and a half? Well, read on to find out what happened. Click here for pictures.