Merry Christmas, This is a Machine Gun!

I thought that being the only woman in a room of 200 or so men was the low point of my Christmas (believe me, it’s a creepy feeling); turns out I was wrong. The low point would be the part where we take a wrong turn coming home from the Intercontinental Hotel, reach a dead-end street barricaded with a SECURITY CHECK sign, make a U-turn, then find ourselves staring into the angry eyes of a Saudi soldier who speaks no English and is aiming a machine gun at us. Really, the machine gun part of it just captures your attention. Paired with orders to get out of the car with your hands in the air and being asked for our papers, it’s pure Christmas magic! Santa, you’ve been holding out on me all these years. THIS is where the Christmas magic happens!

Don’t worry, we got off with a warning to be careful next time (the other English-speaking soldier who came to our rescue told us to be careful because there were snipers around the area) so we sped out of there like a bat out of hell. Because apparently in Saudi, they don’t care if you’re speeding; no, it’s the wrong U-turns that’ll get you in trouble.

But hey, 2011, right? 2010 was a year of constant moving for our little family – last year we bought and moved into our new flat, then moved to Rome, returned briefly to Paris before moving again to Saudi. At least in 2011 I know that I have this place as my home base for the next 12 months. No resolutions for me, as always… well, maybe one, which is to be forever grateful for what I have, and to make the most of everything that comes my way. I hope this year will be fulfilling and beautiful for all of us.

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