I’m happy to report that you have nothing to worry about when it comes to medical exams for an iqama in Saudi Arabia. No crazy ladies herding you from room to room like cattle, no one shrieking “Yallah yallah” in your ear, no hurried nurses savagely stabbing at your arm for blood. I was the only woman around getting her medical done; the rest were workers, so I was given priority. I’m still surprised that everything went smoothly.

Thursday night was a different story. I was trying to separate two pieces of frozen steak with a butter knife and managed to ram the knife into my palm. Catastrophe ensued! The same scenario had happened to Julien eight years ago and he had needed stitches. Jeez, what a pair of idiots we are. We had to call the security officer of Jul’s company and ruin his evening as well. We drove 30 minutes to the hospital for a wound so superficial that I was almost hoping it needed stitches so I’d feel less embarrassed about it all.

And two weekends ago, we took a walk along the Corniche of Jubail. It was lunchtime so the shops were all closed, and the whole Corniche was deserted save for a couple of families sitting on the grass and a few fishermen.

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