July 9th, David left for his new assignment in Saudi Arabia. He is overseeing the construction of a copper mine that Barrick has there. It has always been his dream to work and live in the mideast but not mine, really.
After doing much research on life for women in Saudi, David and I both agreed that it would be best if I didn’t accompany him on this project. Although they will tell you the contrary, from what I have read, women have no respect. They have to wear an abaya, which is similar to the burka but doesn’t cover their face. Interestingly, I would do that out of respect for their culture and wouldn’t question wearing one.
However, what I would question is walking 3 paces behind my husband, looking down to avoid looking at another man, not being able to ride in a vehicle unless a male member of my family drove, not being able to drive period! There is nothing for the women to do over in Saudi except socialize with other women and go shopping….no gyms, no classes, etc. I would pull my hair out.
The deciding factor especially for David was when he read that you can offend someone by your expression. That was when he adamantly said that I wasn’t going on his adventure……
So, I had to create one for me, no? His rotation is four weeks working and two weeks off. He really didn’t want to spend 24 hours flying to and from Maine so we decided that it would be better if I lived in London. Now, that has been my dream ever since I returned from my initial trip 35 years ago!!! Well, not necessarily London but just to live anywhere in Europe.
I arrived in London August 31, 2012. My first day was rather quiet as I was a little jet lagged. I am staying near Paddington Station and my small studio apartment is off of Queensborough Terrace, which isn’t far, I discovered pleasantly, from Hyde Park.
I walked through Hyde Park and saw Kensington Palace, where Princess Diana lived and the beautiful sunken gardens. The day that I arrived was the 15th anniversary of her death. There were flowers, pictures and notes left on the gates to the palace in memory of her.
From Hyde Park, I walked to Paddington Station and got a sim card for my phone. So, now I am connected with my iphone.
I found a local grocery store around the corner from where I am staying. It is on a great shopping street with lots of restaurants and quaint shops. Yea!!! They have Greek yogurt over here! So, I bought some eggs to hard boil (always a good, healthy snack), carrots, cherry tomatoes, apples and a tub of Greek yogurt.
Bed was early and I slept late, until about 9:00. That is highly unusual for me but I was extremely tired yesterday.
Today is Saturday, September 1, Labor Day weekend in the states and the beginning of my birthday month!!! What a great way to celebrate birthday month!!! I walked to Notting Hill to visit Portobello Road Market, a flea market that runs daily. Saturday probably wasn’t the best day to visit it but it was fun see the potpourri of people and all sorts of antiques, variety of food and wholesale items. I bought some cherries to snack on and a scarf for a pound, which is $1.60….a good deal and light to carry!
The rest of the afternoon was spent having a coffee at the local coffee shop and catching my blog up. Walking back to the room, I bought a roasted corn on the cob from a street vendor….it was quite tasty. The rest of the night was spent getting my blog caught up from this summer and organizing pictures.
It is my hope to keep my blog current so that I can remember all that I see on this amazing adventure!