Cruisin' Round Town...

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I've come to find that Yanbu is a pretty interesting little town.  First off Yanbu is an old city...I'm talking 2500 years old.  According to Wikipedia., "Yanbu served as a supply and operational base for Arab and British forces fighting the Ottoman Empire during the World War I. It remained a small port town until 1975, when the Saudi government designated it as one of the country's two new industrial centres (the other being Al Jubayl on the Persian Gulf)."
The "Old Yanbu" part of town houses the ancient ruins along with a wide variety of buildings.  Very few Westerners live there.
Our neighborhood has a wide variety of nationalities as well, and you'll find most of the Westerner's here.  There are two compounds (one nearer to Old Yanbu...Arabian Homes and the other The Cove.)  We live in a neighborhood known as the Royal Commission.  We are not a compound, but just a bunch of homes mixed with Westerner's and locals.  (both of our neighbors are Saudi)
It's very hard to find info about Yanbu, let alone any photos...so, I'm hoping to change that.  I know that I have to be careful what I take photos of, but I'll do my best to show you where we live.  Good and bad. 

Please forgive the quality of some of my pix....they were taken from the car and at times while we were moving.  :)
Also, by clicking to view the entire album, you can see comments about the photos.

Most of the time we drive around (aside from the heart attack state over the insane drivers around here) and I find myself in two states.  The first is:  WOW!  look at that!  The other:  WTF??  On one corner you'll find a gorgeous mansion, then on the next block, you'll find four houses that are half built and deserted.  It's pretty comical. What I have come to find out is that there is no such thing as a line of credit here.  Funding for buildings are in cash...and when they run out of cash, building stops until they can come up with more money.  So, you see A LOT of unfinished buildings around here!
The city is in the process of creating a beautiful park area near the sea.  It has all kinds of playgrounds, gazebo's,  picnic area's...it's going to be lovely. 

When I walk from our home to other houses in the neighborhood, it's easy to see the lack of care for the buildings.  They are crumbling, some are uninhabitable, the landscaping is not maintained, lots of garbage around.  However, whenever I enter someones front gate, you can see what people have done to make their homes beautiful.  Most of us take great pride in our yards (obviously you know what Matt has been up to with ours).  The inside of the homes are identical (some with more rooms than others, but otherwise, identical) and the furniture is nearly the same as well.  But, each, of course, has it's own unique style.  It's fun to visit other families and see their homes. 

All in all, Yanbu is a nice place.  At least I think so.  We have tons of parks and playgrounds for the kids, the Red Sea is just blocks away, and best of all...I've met some fantastic people.  Do I miss the comforts of the States???  Hell yeah.  But, I came here KNOWING that this is nothing like the States and I didn't expect it to be.  (and for all you future wives who may be headed this way...all I can say is...keep an open mind.  honestly.  accept that it's different...and frustrating at times, but it's a hell of an experience.)  I may not agree with the lifestyle here (most of the time), but I must admit, it sure is fascinating.  We're gonna be just fine here...just have to make a few adjustments and get creative with things to do.  :)   


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