I feel a need to share some of the “other” ways in which life in KSA has affected me. (no, nothing will be clothing related in this post, I promise!).
1) Ive developed a taste for Khaleeji soap operas…especially…
UMM AL BANAT! (mother of daughters)
Does anyone else reading this totally just adore that serial!?!
I admit I can’t understand 98% of whats being said, but it’s a very touching and emotional serial and you can easily follow the story line just by paying close attention to what they are doing and where they are. It essentially follows a Kuwaiti mom of what, I think like 8 daughters and relatives/friends and their daily trials, tribulations and joyful experiences. Honestly Ive picked up quite a few Arabic words just from watching this serial…
2) Arabic language skills…
So I’m definitely no where near good with Arabic and although I admit to currently having little or no interest in really learning Arabic anymore (call it compound depression), I do have a pretty good foundation in “survival” Arabic and just a few evenings ago I surprised myself by going into a cafe and ordering everything I wanted entirely and comfortably in Arabic! I can also listen into conversations and pick out words here and there which I understand. Ive also started to figure out where verbs are and how they are conjugated. So instead of sounding like meaningless gibberish I’m slowly starting to pick things out. I don’t know whether this is a good sign, but it’s a bit surprising to me how much Ive picked up just from watching Arabic TV and going to the malls and suqs. I think if I had more Saudi friends or interacted with Saudi’s more I’d probably learn Arabic much faster. We’ll see what happens, maybe God will make Arabic easy to learn and I’ll just sort of become good at the language just from being in the environment.
3) Addicition to Za’atar and an appreciation/love for rusks!
Before coming here I *never* ate anything with za’atar in it! I assumed it was some herb mixture that Lebanese put on their bread for breakfast *seriously*. But, since coming here Ive devloped a real taste for za’atar! I LOVE croissants filled with za’atar for breakfast with a small cup of strong coffee and I esp adore ricecakes covered in za’atar and cheese with za’atar…and…oh what else… yum…it’s so tangy with a bit of piquancy and heat that it really suits my “torshi” loving lastebuds.
Ive also come to aprpeciate rusks, I had never seen them before coming here but both my husband and I really like them and there are so many different varieties on Saudi supermarket shelves. Rusk is like a small piece of bread that is dried. Its not stale or too hard to eat easily but is more like small pieces of bread which are dried out to preserve them but they are still soft enough that one can easily eat hem. I am a huge fan of the “milk and honey” rusk which are whole wheat rusk made with milk and honey and they have a touch of sweetness to them which makes them suitable for breakfast or snack with jelly, cheese and coffee and whole wheat grain “hearty” rusk which is composed of barley grain, corn grain, rye grain and several types of seeds like black seeds, it’s a very heavy and hearty rusk which really fills you up when eaten. I like to take a pack in my purse when going out with my son as they are a yummy snack.
Another perk to rusk is that if you get the whole grain ones they are quite healthy with little fat or carbs, there are also wheat-free diabetic rusks and barley rusks as well.
I’m sure I’ll think up some more stuff eventually!