About My First Few Hours in Turkey

A rental car should be clean and fully functional especially if the car is described as “new.” It was 2016 and the car I rented was a 2016 model so I expected it to be in very good if not excellent condition with all modern accoutrements available for use. Although the 2016 model Fiat I rented looked…

Risky Christmas: Midnight Express Edition

Although I work for an American company, in Saudi Arabia, our staff must still comply with the Saudi ways of business. Christmas in Saudi Arabia is forbidden as it is not an Islamic celebration. Luckily, the Saudis granted us the day off. Excited about the possibilities,  I jumped at the opportunity to plan a trip…

Opportunity Cost

I read the following in a Cambridge International textbook. Opportunity cost is a very important concept in economics that refers to the cost measured in terms of the next best choice given up when making a decision. Every choice made has an opportunity cost because in most cases there is an alternative. Some examples of…

Saudi Like Me

Being that it is my first time traveling to this part of the world, I had no idea what I was in for. Intimidated is an understatement for what my initial emotion was while I stood in the customs line at King Fahd International Airport. It didn’t help that the customs official, a young Saudi man,…

Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep

As I lay in bed recounting the day’s events, I am also thinking of tomorrow’s challenges. Those challenges make me feel excited and curious, but also slightly apprehensive. As for today, it is the beginning of my new journey in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Counting my blessings seems appropriate here. 1) I am alive….

Leaving My Native Land

This journal entry sheds a little light on moving to the Middle East. Luckily, I initiated the application process in January — a time when I was on vacation from my assistant professorship in Korea. It wasn’t until two days before my return to Korea in February that I recieved word that I wa hired….

And Now This!

At the urging of a couple of my colleagues I have decided to embark on a new journey. Although Korea has been my home for nearly a decade I am 1) no longer willing to put up with my current housing arrangement, 2) afraid that if I continue working in Korea I will forego a…

City of Angels

In one of my previous blog entries I wrote: “And there isn’t really a strong fear of being shot …. near the ‘Jungles’ anymore.” Oh what a long way from the truth that statement was. I made that statement after making a cursory inspection of my neighborhood after returning to Los Angeles from Seoul about one month…

Riding in Cars with Girls Again

Jia and Julie greeted me at the airport yesterday. Jia and I met on my first trip to Jeju, six years ago. I met her, Yunhee, and SeungMi on that trip. It is a mini reunion being with Yunhee and Jia as it may possibly be the last time for a long time that I…

Numbers Spook Me

I have this thing I do. I have noticed it ever since my birthday last year. Perhaps it occurred in the past but it was less noticeable. These days I see it happening often. I check my watch at 10:09. I see the price of goods marked 10.99. I bought a meal and my total…