Saturday, 17 May 2014

Summer Holidays (aka Studying for Exams) in Jeddah!

Back in the sunshine (with lots of reading in tow)...
I can’t believe that four whole months have passed by since I was last in Jeddah. Since my visit in December, I returned to Toronto, finished all my PhD coursework (generally working 12 hours a day and temporarily nearly blinding my poor, exhausted eyes in the process—that’s what I get to taking two Victorian Literature classes among others in one term!), and started studying for my comprehensive exams which take place at the end of the summer. I’ll accordingly be spending my summer reading literally #allthebooks (a favourite hashtag on Instagram and Facebook these days!). My exams are in two parts: from the Old English Beowulf to the end of the Renaissance period (1660), and then from the Restoration (referring to the restoration of King Charles II to the English throne after the English Civil War) to the present time.
Compreshensive Exams #readALLthebooks!
That’s a whole lot of reading (and a lot of books to lug in my weight-restricted luggage back to Saudi!), but now that I’m over my jet lag and knee deep in it, it’s bringing back nice childhood memories. I remember how, every summer, my parents used to try to get me outside of my bedroom at the cottage, but I’d refuse, perfectly content to remain snuggled up in bed all day with a good book—or, really, an entire series of books, because, really, one book is never enough!

Starting with the Old English Beowulf

Now that I’m an adult, I seem to have made a career of reading and academia, and, for those who know me well—especially my parents who now see that there indeed IS a purpose to my staying indoors reading, reading, reading—it is not surprising!

Jeddah: Home Sweet Home
I’m now back in Jeddah for two months. I arrived on May 2nd, and will stay until the end of June, which is great, because it was a longggg four months without DH, though we both made excellent productive use of our time apart with our intensive studies! It’s taken some adjustment being back here and getting used to having someone other than Oreo, my dear feline friend, around, but it’s a nice change of pace to have DH come home from work at the end of the day and keep me company. I also finally have a reason to cook! Living alone, it’s hard to justify spending time slaving away at the stove, especially with my hectic school schedule, but having him with me gives me an incentive to tap into my culinary creativity!

My usual company: Oreo and his Sheep friend!

Finally signs of spring in Toronto (April 2014)

An Afternoon by the Red Sea

Today, the end of my second weekend back in Jeddah, DH had to go into work in the afternoon while I got in some study time. Once he got home, we decided to head out to the Red Sea for a nice walk along the Corniche. Of course it felt like 40 degrees Celsius outside, but I’m so very happy to be back in the HEAT, and rather enjoyed basking in the sun (well, I suppose “basking” is a bit of a figurative description since I didn’t show any skin—I even covered my face because so many people were staring at this white western girl walking quickly along…with niqab, I blend in a bit more!), but you get the idea! NO MORE WINTER!!!! It was a long and horrible Toronto winter, and the frigid weather was probably the most difficult adjustments since my move back from Saudi, but I survived.

We walked along the beautiful pathways alongside the Red Sea, pictured here:
Middle Corniche, Al Hamra, Jeddah
Corniche Walkway, Jeddah
...And then took a water / hydration break on some benches in the shade before heading over to Sushi Yoshi for some delicious sushi for dinner! Yum! We had a nice view of the King Fahd Fountain from the restaurant, and enjoyed the time out.
Sushi Yoshi!
Overall, it’s wonderful being back in Jeddah, and it really feels like I never left. Home is where the heart is, and mine is most definitely here!

PS: Readers, if you have anything you'd like me to blog about, or any questions about  Saudi / Jeddah, leave a comment below and I'll happily indulge you in my next post inshallah! :)
Beautiful Jeddah Sunset this Evening
The King Fahd Fountain, Jeddah
Ahh, warm, sunny Jeddah!


  1. Yoshi!!!! like Mario! hehe hope its not sushi made of Yoshi?! :|

  2. Oh dear, Alicia! I hope I didn't eat poor Yoshi!! As long as he doesn't taste or look like fish, we should be safe! lol

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