#1: Came out of Carrefour (think French Wal-Mart) a couple of weeks ago. I hear music playing…loud. This, alone, is very, very unusual in Saudi Arabia. On occasion, you hear some kid blasting hip-hop or Arabian music, but it is really, really rare. So, I hear this music, and it sounds familiar, but I can’t quite place it. I get to my car, open the door, and sit in the seat. Then, it dawns on me. “Oh come all ye faithful, joyful and triumphant….”
#2: This morning, I stop at Starbucks on the way to work and order my usual Iced Venti Americano (for REAL coffee drinkers). Selling incense and custom perfume and cologne (often made of the same stuff) is a big business here. Any place with Oud in the name is a giveaway, and there is one of those places right next to the Starbucks. As I am waiting for the barrista to finish my espresso drink, I notice a placard attached to one of the pillars out front, advertising a 50% off sale. As I stare at the placard, trying to see if there are any Arabic words I recognize, I realize that the image providing the background is one of holly leaves and berries. Ho, ho, ho.