LITK: American Restaurant Chains in Saudi Arabia (Part One)

Ah, restaurant chains… We all have our various opinions for these mass producers of cuisine. Personally, I’m not really a fan. I’d rather have a small mom and pop style restaurant. The kind with twenty tables or less, local beer on tap, and the owner(s) working the dining area showing their appreciation.

However, there are is a benefit or two that comes with a mass produced international brand of dining establishment and its food. The first being familiarity. When you’ve been away from the wonderful country you call home, without and family for a few months, nothing helps curb the significant onslaught of home sickness like familiar food. Food is universal; and the title “comfort food,” in my opinion is quite relative to you and your needs in the moment.

Now, as I discussed in the last installment of Life in the Kingdom (LITK), there are many cultural differences that affect the day-to-day life of “expats.” In the case of Saudi Arabia these cultural differences steam into what restaurants can legally serve. In the Muslim culture, alcohol and pork products are not allowed to be consumed. Therefore, if you have an urge to eat a bacon cheese burger and wash it down with a beer, it better be beef or turkey bacon and a non-alcoholic beer. However, there are some upsides to the cultural differences on this subject. For instance, absolutely EVERYTHING here can be delivered to you. Whether it’s something standard, like a pizza delivery, or a third-party service app, like Uber Eats or GoWaiter, everything here can be brought to your door. Or in my case, to the outer security gate of my compound. Even fast food! Heck, I even have my groceries delivered to me every Saturday morning which is cheaper than driving to a store.

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Khodarji delivery truck, via jordonsun.com

With all that said, I have done my absolute best to take these factors into account when making these lists in attempt to be fair, but honestly these factors carry a heavier weight on some of the establishments. Without further delay, here are the best and worst five American restaurants in the Kingdom:

Best 5

Texas De Brazil

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Texas De Brazil storefront, via texasdebrazil.com

Easily the most expensive establishment in this post; Texas De Brazil is usually something myself and my co-workers save for special occasions, like a promotion, or someone ending their contract and returning home permanently.

For those who aren’t familiar with Texas De Brazil, and other Brazilian steakhouses let me explain. This style of restaurant is a carnivorous dream of grilled, smoked, and roasted; beef, chicken, lamb, shrimp, veal, and in non-Muslim countries, pork! Brazilian steakhouses are a form of buffet in which you are brought different types of meats on long steel spit rods, by the staff where they cut you a portion directly to your plate.

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Lamb chops, via texasdebrazil.com

When you are seated you are given a way to indicate if you do or do not need to be served. In the case of Texas De Brazil, this is done by using a drink coaster with a green side to indicate you want food, and a red side to indicate you do not require more food at the time.

Now, it is not only a continual heavenly onslaught of decadent meats. Oh no, my dear friends! Typically, there is an extravagant salad/cold bar that is included. Also depending on the establishment, hot sides are brought to you the same as the protein, or like Texas De Brazil, there may be a hot bar.

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Texas De Brazil cold bar, via denverpost.com

The Texas De Brazil in Riyadh does an excellent job of holding the high standards of the brand started in the state.

Outback Steakhouse

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Outback Steakhouse storefront in Riyadh, via David Cannon

Bloomin’ Onions, endless bread, and Wild West Shrimp are in high supply here in the kingdom. In true Outback fashion, when you walk in the door it looks exactly like it would if you would walk into one of the franchise’s locations anywhere in the U.S. The décor on the wall, the tables, and even the staff’s attire are on point in every way.

The one thing that sets the Outback here apart from others in the chain is something that you can find in most steakhouses here, but only in high hand establishments in the states. Waygu beef! This kind of beef is so spectacular, it can’t be over-hyped. Simply put, I makes Kobe beef look like freezer burned USDA Choice sirloin from Wal-Mart.

McDonald’s

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Riyadh McDonald’s, via eyeofriyadh.com

I feel like people may be surprised by this choice, but please let me make my case before you scoff and quit reading. Remember, food here for many in my situation is about finding anything to feel normal. With certain things being banned or inaccessible, achieving that normal feeling sometimes means pulling into a McDonald’s drive through after a bad day at work and ordering a large fry and a Coca-Cola. Typically, I’m not a fast food fan, but honestly no other franchise is able to bring the consistency, a world over, quite like that of the “Golden Arches.”

In my opinion, McDonald’s outside of the U.S. are usually better. I don’t really know why that is, but that is my experience. In the case of Saudi Arabia, Mickey D’s sure is! There are certain things I just find awesome about them. Plus, they are everywhere here!  There are legitimately eight locations within a five-mile radius of where I live.

The breakfast menu is quite different due to pork being a no-go here. They do a heck of job filling in the gaps though. My favorite way this is done is them adding all of the chicken sandwiches and nuggets to the breakfast menu. That’s right, if you’re feeling like a special kind of fat kid one morning, YOU CAN HAVE McNuggets FOR BREAKFAST! To boot, you can also have French fries before 10:30 in the morning. If you’ve never had the chance to eat a spicy chicken sandwich, fries, and large coffee at nine in the morning, I highly recommend it.

Texas (Church’s) Chicken

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Texas Chicken storefront, via thefoodtechie.com

This choice was a surprise to me, honestly, but like I said before, I’m trying my best to give an honest evaluation. Because it can’t associate with the Christian faith, the franchise is forced to change its name from “Church’s Chicken” to “Texas Chicken” here in the Kingdom.

Now, this is not the best fried chicken chain I have found in Riyadh, but it is the best American franchise that is here. Really, I don’t even care for Church’s in the states. Typically, I’ll choose a gas station deli over it, if I’m honest, but here it is higher quality.

At “Texas Chicken,” the mashed potatoes and gravy are insanely good for some reason! The honey-butter biscuits are also seemingly better quality than their “Church’s” equivalent. Combine that with an order of 3-piece spicy dark meat to dip in it, and it’s just straight MONEY. Finish it off with delivery, and it just puts a pretty little bow on the meal.

Krispy Kreme Doughnuts

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Krispy Kreme location in Riyadh, via David Cannon.

Now this is just quite simple; Krispy Kreme Doughnuts are hands down the best doughnuts there are, anywhere! If you want to fight me about it, let me know and we will get you on the schedule for when I’m home on vacation. This franchise maintains its high quality of fresh products as it does in the states and it’s honestly impressive how it’s done here.

One thing that is interesting of the locations here is, like McDonald’s, there are so many, but they’re small locations. Unlike their U.S. counterparts, the locations here in Riyadh do not make the doughnuts in house. They are made at a nearby site and transported as needed the various locations. The fresh quality is still maintained, but without the tempting and iconic “Hot” sign. Which, for a fat kid like me, is essentially a “Bat Signal”.

Well there you have it! The five best American chain restaurants that have made their way to Saudi Arabia. Be sure to check out Part 2: The Worst 5, which will be published very soon!

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My Interesting Friend and Her Podcast!

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I have been obsessed with Psychology for a while now, it is very interesting to me the way people think and interact and why. That’s where my whole “trying to know everything in the world” started. I saw a book called “Subliminal” by Leonard Mlodinow and that was the beginning of my adventure to know all things. Now my book shelf is filled with the writings of; Jonathan Haidt, Sebastian Junger, Susan Cain, Malcolm Gladwell, and Simon Baron-Cohen to name a few. It is an impossible task, to know all things, I am aware, but I am enjoying it.

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I used to live in Houston, Texas when I was younger, and I have a lot of friends from there I keep up with. One of them is Kelly Stewart. Kelly and I went to school together, and after I moved, as it often happens, we didn’t speak as much. A while back, I can’t remember when, I was scrolling through LinkedIn and saw where she posted a podcast about Industrial and Organizational Psychology. So, I immediately subscribed and listened. The I-O Podcast is interesting and informative, and I would recommend it to anyone who is employed and wants to better understand human behavior in the workplace. It features guests such as; Eleni Lobene, Ph.D., S. Morton McPhail, Ph.D., and Talya N. Bauer, Ph.D. Click here to find out about I-O Psychology.

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My friend Kelly Stewart is the Host of “The I-O Podcast” within the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology (SIOP). She has worked as a project manager and assisted organizations like The New Orleans Police Department, LA Tech University, and Medical Clinics in the Louisiana area to develop cost effective solutions for recruitment and retention by analyzing data and research. She went to Texas State University for undergrad and is a I-O Psychology graduate of Louisiana Tech University.

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We have recently been talking and in the future, we may team up on some things, maybe I’ll be on her podcast, maybe she will write a blog on Generally Specific. Who knows. Either way you should certainly subscribe to her podcast BELOW to be enlightened on topics of interest within or related to the realm of Industrial and Organizational Psychology. As always subscribe to Generally Specific for updates on blogs and have a wonderful day!

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CLICK HERE TO SUBSCRIBE!

TMCG: Wiseman’s Hell

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I am not sure what The Man in the Yellow Hat (MYH) does for a living.

Perhaps he is independently wealthy, since he has a Fifth Avenue penthouse and a summer house amongst locals who sound like they took elocution lessons from the Donnie Wahlberg school of Downeast Studies.

One of these friendly yokels helped MYH dig a hole in his backyard, the kind of hole Shia LeBeouf would dig to find lipstick.

Curious George filled the hole with water, and MYH said that was a good thing, because he dug the hole to make a pond. Yankee neighbor looked on approvingly, as if the pond would soon be filled with migrating trout.

A pond the size of a trampoline.

A pond that had disappeared entirely by the next episode and was never spoken of again.

Which was fine, because they had to go to Antarctica anyway.

Why does everyone enable MYH’s delusions? Why do they suffer the presence of Curious George?

Do they expect to be included in the will?

Indeed, MYH must be rich enough to have an entirely kissable ass, because the eminent Professor Wiseman lets him bring his monkey along to gleefully destroy whatever scientific project she pursues.

Curious George has been to space twice (so far) and to the bottom of the ocean. In Antarctica, Dr. Wiseman marooned MYH and Curious George on an ice floe, telling them to take pictures of penguins.

MYH was so prepared for Antarctic survival that he had to be reminded that he wouldn’t find any igloos.

I think the check had cleared, and therefore Dr. Wiseman was trying to kill them.

Complete plausible deniability. “They were taking pictures of penguins,” she’d say, wiping away tears, “How was I to know they would get trapped in an ice cave? Nobody expected Curious George to eat his face!”

Cue the madcap dash to the penthouse, where the will would most certainly be found.

But no. Curious George and MYH survived and brought back pictures of penguins, which were vital to science, since absolutely nobody could find pictures of penguins posted on the internet by the millions.

I could sense Wiseman’s disappointment. It was palpable. Her plan had failed, and she could see her life unfold before her, nothing but gratifying the whims of a rich madman and his pet monkey. Forever.

No doubt Professor Wiseman envies the dead.

 

-Professor Zac Showers

Wanderlust, Kindness and Homelessness

This is a long story, but if you read it I feel like you may be glad you did, so buckle up.

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Last Thursday, November 9th, I was at work and got called for mutual aid just outside my jurisdiction. We responded to a man who threw a brick through a windshield and threatened a woman. When we arrived, he had already fled into the woods. Myself, Chief and Asst. Chief were on scene holding it down until the county units arrived. When they did, we went back in service and headed back to the city limits. On our way back, we came up on a man walking North on the side of Highway 167 carrying a heavy-duty trash bag and a back pack. He looked the same age as the man from the previous call, so I pulled in front of him and approached him with caution to ID him. The suspect from before was said to be armed with a knife and “all methed out” according to the person reporting the incident so, as with most situations involving people who could likely be under the influence of drugs, I was ready for anything.

 

 

When I asked the man for a driver’s license or state ID he very quietly informed me he had none. Sometimes when you’re identifying someone, for whatever reason, people don’t have their ID on them or anything to prove who they are. When this happens you get their name, DOB and social security number so you can call it to dispatch and make sure that they are who they say they are and don’t have any warrants. When I asked him for that information he advised me that his name was James Martin Lloyd and I’ll leave his birthday out of this, but he gave me it. He said that he didn’t know his social security number and that he had never had any form of identification because he has been homeless for most of his life. After calling what I had into dispatch nothing came back, from Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Tennessee, and Mississippi. Dispatch widened the search parameters while I contacted the deputy on scene to get a better description of the suspect in question. The homeless man, James, stood behind my car with the other two officers with me. After getting the description from the deputy and no positive results from dispatch I determined that after I had a look in his bags to make sure that he didn’t just change, I could let him go and go back to work. My chief waved me over to the side and said to take the man north just past our jurisdiction just to help along his journey. She gave me her credit card to buy him a meal at Hardees on our way out of town. After checking his bags and finding no clothes matching the description of the suspect, we loaded up in my car and went through the drive-thru where he ordered a mushroom swiss burger, fries, and a cherry coke. We barely exchanged 10 words during the ride, partly because he was very timid and soft spoken, but also because the cage in my patrol unit makes it hard to understand anything said from the other side.

 

 

When I got to the jurisdiction line I decided to go a bit further to the gas station up the road. We got out and I brought his food to a picnic table telling him to sit down and eat and I got his belongings and sat them next to him. I asked him if he needed anything and he was hesitant to tell me, so I went in and bought an assortment of water, snacks, potted meat, medicine, and a few Ziploc bags with my own money. I say my own money, not to brag, but because I didn’t clear it with my Chief to use hers and because I noticed something after the interaction. I noticed that I didn’t really check the prices on anything before buying it. I only spent like $36 so it’s not really a big deal but I realized after the fact that in most cases when I’m buying something for myself I always try to find the cheapest option, I am on a police officer’s salary after all. It was odd. I brought him the stuff i bought and sat down at the table and asked him if I could ask him some questions and talk or if he just wanted me to leave. He said okay, and we talked for about 15 minutes.

 

James is a slender, tall man around 34 years old. His skin was in terrible condition because of being in the sun all day and not having a place to clean up. He was wearing black shorts and a light blue t-shirt, had long hair and patchy facial hair, both lighter in color like a dirty blonde. He spoke with an accent that almost sounded British, but later told me that it was because of his teeth, they were in bad shape because of his situation. In his back pack he had a few items of clothing, socks and shirts, and a book that I didn’t get the title of. In the trash bag was trash and some half empty coke bottles and half eaten protein bars. It was apparent that he did not litter because of all the trash he had with him, which I thought was cool. Just as you wouldn’t throw trash on your bedroom floor, he doesn’t litter along his journey because the earth is his home. He seemed like a prideful man, didn’t ask for anything and was skeptical of accepting things from me and even hesitated when we offered him a ride. May be because he doesn’t trust police officers, but from the homeless people I’ve encountered they all are kind of prideful and don’t ask for help unless they need it. There is a difference between actual homeless people and begging pan-handlers.

 

He told me he was going to St. Louis and when I asked why, he said “St. Louis Good, Florida Bad”, which I found funny because Florida is a garbage place. The whole time I talked to him he spoke in short sentences, communicating like I would imagine an alien would. It was like talking to someone from another planet, probably because he doesn’t really interact with many people and it was apparent that he was a little nervous because I am a cop. He said he has been stopped a few times by law enforcement and hadn’t had a problem so that is good. He said he was coming from south of Ocala, Florida best he could remember and had been travelling for almost 3 weeks he thinks. I did some rough math and that averaged to somewhere between 20-25 miles a day. So, I asked him if he hitchhiked at all and he said every 2 or 3 days someone comes and offers him a ride, he said never purposely “thumbs it”, but he doesn’t always accept the offer. The conversation got a little deep when I asked him why he was homeless. I did not press him to speak to me, I assure you.

 

James said that at an early age, maybe 9 or 10 years old from what he can remember, he left home and never looked back. He said that his parents were abusive and that he remembers just leaving one day, with nothing but the clothes on his back. I was taken aback, I asked him how, how did he make it this long without either being picked up by some form of authority and put into the system through DHR or died because of the lack of any formal survival training, let alone just life skills. He said he learned. He said no one was around, and the forest was his home. My mind was blown. I asked him where he was born when I initially stopped him, to help dispatch with identifying him, and he said he had no idea. Unbelievable to me. After our conversation I told him to hold on and went to my car and got a flash light, pocket knife, old pair of boots and a boonie hat to give to him. I also wrote down my PO Box address, Email, and phone number on a piece of paper and folded it up with a business card and the rest of the cash in my wallet, put it in a Ziploc bag and told him to hold on to it. I told him to contact me if he ever got the opportunity, a post card, email, or phone call, anything. I said I’d love to hear from him along his journey if ever possible. He shook his head in agreement, we shook hands, and as I backed out to leave, he was throwing away the trash he had collected thus far in the trashcan at the gas station.

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This isn’t a story about how I did a great deed and should be praised for it. This is a story about how I was in the right place at the right time in the right circumstances to not only help a fellow human being, but to learn a little bit about myself. If I hadn’t been called to help the County I would have never been looking for a man in that area and even if passed James on the road later I probably wouldn’t have even stopped. Then, he would’ve just continued his journey along the road drifting from place to place just free as a bird. It made me think that if I took the time to follow a whim more often, stopping to talk to someone or doing something out of kindness, maybe it would be a good thing. I envy James in a way. That man has no responsibilities, no taxes or bills. He has no sense of time, just “walking in the sun and sleeping in the moon” according to him. He isn’t obsessed with trivial meaningless things like social media and what silly thing the president said on twitter. Call me crazy, and I realize that I am blessed to have what I have, but there is something appealing about wandering freely in nature. The only thing he must do is survive. He is living like our cavemen/hunter and gatherer ancestors did, working together to live another day without being mauled by a beast or starving to death. It made me think of all the recent mass shootings and acts of violence going on around in this country. Maybe that is what this world is missing, a common mindset of community and survival. Maybe we would stop killing each other and realize that we should care for our fellow mankind, regardless of their status or appearance, to live harmoniously and happy, and cure this sickness we most certainly have. Now I realize that he could just be a man running from something or a murderer that gave me a fake name and story to avoid prison, but I’m glad that I met James Martin Lloyd. It was a good thing. Hopefully he makes it to St. Louis and if I hear from him I’ll be sure to update you all.

Life in the Kingdom: Instagram While They Pray

 

As I write this, it’s a little after 6:30 pm on a Friday evening in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. The first day of the weekend is winding down and the Isha’a prayer can be heard outside from local mosque loud speakers.

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Photo of downtown Riyadh, taken from land mark building; Kingdom Centre

 

For the past thirteen months I’ve been living in the capitol city of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. I work for a company contracted by the U.S. Army to work on the “Modernization of the Ministry of the National Guard” project. This project is only a small part of Saudi Arabia’s “Vision 2030”, in which the new government hopes to stand up several modernization projects across the country. I hope to talk about “Vision 2030” in more depth at a later date.

 

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Street view of Kingdom Centre, downtown Riyadh

 

As I’m sure you can imagine, the cultural differences from the United States to Saudi Arabia are endless. To start, as you may have noticed at the beginning of this post, I referred to Friday as the first day of the weekend. Although you may start your weekend on Friday after work, the work week here is Sunday through Thursday. Friday is the Muslim holy day, and Saturday rounds out the weekend. This, coupled with a seven to eight hour time difference from your friends and family, really throws a kink in many aspects of life I consider normal.

 

The hardest thing for me to get used to, by far, are prayer times. Throughout the day you can hear the Muslim call to prayer ring out from the many mosques scattered across the city. Without fail, anywhere from ten to thirty minutes before prayer time, all businesses close. They open back up about ten minutes after the end of the prayer and this happens five times a day, seven days a week. It begins with Fajr, the dawn prayer, continues throughout the day with; Dhuhr, Asr and Maghrib, and ends with Isha’a, the night prayer I mentioned in the beginning. Other forms of salat (ritual Islamic prayers) occur as well, either weekly or for special occasions like Ramadan and Islamic festivals. You must plan all of your daily activities around these prayers. I’ve been caught many times, on my way to run errands or visit a restaurant, seeing stores dropping their blinds and locking their doors. You learn quickly to check prayer times before leaving home or work to prevent sitting in a parking lot for forty-five minutes. Unfortunately, due to many factors, sometimes you still end up browsing Instagram to kill the time until you can get your tacos.

 

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Nearby restaurants and grocery store closed for Dhuhr prayer on a Friday

 

Then there are differing religious laws, which are enforced by both police officers and religious authorities, that prohibit things that we as Americans can do freely every day. Like meeting your Tinder match (for you single folk) for a drink after work. Yeah, you just broke multiple laws doing that, if you were here. First off, alcohol of any sort is illegal here. My boss and I can’t even order isopropyl alcohol to use as a cleaning agent. Secondly, you aren’t allowed to be in the company of a female in public without being related to her or having a male member of her family being present. Both crimes are cause for being immediately arrested, which comes with prison time and/or harsh physical public punishment. Those punishments are comprised of; lashings, stoning, and extremity amputations including beheadings if it’s deemed a severe enough crime. All of those take place downtown in a spot us Westerners have nicknamed “Chop-chop Square,”. Yes, you read that last sentence correctly! Now these aren’t open to the general public, at least not anymore from what I’m told. Such events are by invitation only to Muslims of status in high political and religious standing, and those somehow linked to the criminal. Personally, I just stay away from that part of downtown no matter if it’s choppin’ day or not. Really puts being single in the USA into perspective, huh? Obviously both drinking and single men and women getting together still happens, and we may get into that when I’m a little surer that every keystroke isn’t being watched. Trust, me these guys will give the NSA a run for their money…. Oops!

 

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All in all, I haven’t felt threatened while being here which is good. Mostly because I make sure to respect their customs and abide by the directives my company security division issues. At the end of this I have no doubt that I will return home to my wife with a great new-found appreciation of the basic freedoms that we Americans have. Until then, I will try to learn what I can about this different culture and find things to enrich my time here and share with all of you.

 

-Author: David Cannon Follow David on Twitter

Colin Kaepernick “Citizen of the Year”

Someone please explain to me how anyone is upset Colin Kaepernick was named “Citizen of the Year” by GQ magazine.

Between yesterday and today you’ve probably seen that GQ has Kaepernick on their cover and an article following talking about how he was named Citizen of the Year. A lot of people are unhappy about it. For the life of me I just can’t wrap my head around people’s emotions on this topic.

Yes, I’m aware of the comments Kaepernick has made. Yes, I’m aware of the kneeling he’s done, the clothes he’s worn and the trend he may have started. I’m also aware of the job he no longer has, the boycott of anything NFL and the struggling TV ratings. I’m also aware of the fact that he turned 18 in 2010 and has never registered to vote. He has never voted.

I’m aware of all of these things. Naturally, some people are going to agree with him and some people are going to disagree with him.

Here’s the way I look at it and it may not be the popular point of view. GQ magazine has named Kaepernick Citizen of the year over what could be hundreds of millions of candidates. Yes, we’ve seen the popular response which is “Why not JJ Watt? He raised 37 Million dollars for Hurricane Relief!” My answer is simply this. It’s GQ Magazine! This is not in any way, shape or form, going to have any effect on my life. I have never in my entire life read GQ Magazine. It’s like if the NRA decided to name Super Soaker 2000 water gun the “Gun of the Year”. Who cares? It’s a title awarded by a magazine company. GQ magazine sales are not what they once were. Add a little controversy, now everyone is talking about them. If you agree with the award then great! If you don’t, that’s also great! But what is not great, is the constant back and forth of who’s right and whose wrong.

We need to relax more. Our culture is too high strung. The media knows this and plays off of our feelings and emotions. Everyday, people around the world are going to have different views of different situations. People are DIFFERENT. That’s never going to change.

Sometimes in life, you’re going to get things your way and sometimes in life, things are not going to be the way you would want them. Accepting that fact will save you a lot of stress, pain and heartache.

One last thing. Be kind to one another.

Introducing Life in the Kingdom: A Southern White Boy in a Foreign Land

Hello All,

Starting Wednesday, November 15th, And every other Wednesday after, a new Thread will be added to the blog. One of my best friends, David Wagg Cannon, lives and works in Saudi Arabia and i asked him if he wanted to write some about that. David and I graduated high school together and have been friends ever since. He accepted and sent an intro for himself and his contribution ideas for Generally Specific that you can read below with his photo.

 

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“To be honest when I accepted Zac’s invitation to contribute to this blog, I was hesitant. Then I quickly realized it was my first opportunity to use the Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism I spent six years getting. Yeah, the very one I haven’t utilized since graduating in 2015, and leaving my internship as Producer and On-Air personality at a local radio station.

This isn’t my first trek into the world of blogging. My last venture was a semester long requirement for a media class I was taking. Naturally, because I was required to do it, I put in just enough effort to get a good grade, and the corresponding credits. With that in mind, it’s not hard to fathom that this blog has already out paced the above mentioned.

Essentially, I’m here to add a little extra variety to the great content that Zac and Pate are already publishing. My main thread will be titled, “Life in the Kingdom,” because currently I am at the beginning of a second, one-year term contract working for a military contractor in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

Over the course of this thread I will take you into the various aspects of what it’s like to be an American Expatriate (Expat) in the Middle East. From time to time, at Zac’s directive, I may branch off to hit another topic now and then, but my focus will be this thread. Over the first couple posts I will go into cultural barriers I’ve faced, the nightmare that can be international travel (especially from a Middle Eastern country to a western country), and even the most dangerous aspect of my day to day life (which will shock you). From there we will see where this vast desert land takes us. I’m always open to suggestions or questions, so please feel free to blow up the inbox!

So with that, grab your shemagh, sunglasses, and water bottle cause it’s always a hot one when you’re living “Life in the Kingdom!”

 

Get ready for a fun new addition, as always share the blog with your friends and hit us up in the inbox.

-Zac