Welcome to my blog. I write about fitting in, sticking out, and missing the motherland as a serial foreigner.

Maps, mines, and Bear Grylls

Maphead: Charting the Wide, Weird World of Geography WonksMaphead: Charting the Wide, Weird World of Geography Wonks by Ken Jennings
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Just what you'd expect from a book about maps by Ken Jennings: pure, nerdy brilliance. I especially enjoyed how he related the concept of imprinting to humans and the places we grow up in (page 15). Plus, you know he's a great writer since he can make even his super-smart self come across as being totally humble and relatable.

33 Men Inside the Miraculous Survival and Dramatic Rescue of the Chilean Miners33 Men Inside the Miraculous Survival and Dramatic Rescue of the Chilean Miners by Jonathan Franklin

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I feel like I missed out on the whole "Los 33" Chilean Miner thing because the time period in which it took place happened to span exactly the time period in which we were moving our lives over to the UAE. So when the miners were rescued, it was kind of a "huh?" moment for me, rather than a huge big emotional deal. That made me sad, so I sought out this book. I thought it might be fantastic like Alive and Miracle in the Andes (and the situations are shockingly similar, even down to the length of the separate ordeals).

However, I kind of wish I'd just read the Wikipedia article instead. The book didn't really have any additional insight and it certainly wasn't written any better. Oh well.

Mud, Sweat and TearsMud, Sweat and Tears by Bear Grylls

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Uh, yes, I did read this book. In fact, I was the one who requested the AUS library to acquire it (you're welcome, Sharjah), but Jeremy got to it before me. I enjoy watching Man vs. Wild if someone else has it on. I enjoy BG's tweets on Twitter. I enjoyed reading this book. He seems like a really genuine guy who has had some amazing adventures and wrote a decent book about it that sounds like his voice in your head when you read it. No complaints. If I were an adolescent or teenaged boy, I think I would have DEVOURED this book. In fact, there should be a Bear Grylls merit badge that could be earned just from reading it (he is Chief Scout, after all).

Breakfast cereal in the UAE

UAE National Day is approaching