In a recent article the NY Times listed 10 blogs you should bookmark. At the bottom was the Expats Blog. The qualification was that you are an expat and blogging your experiences in another country. Yeah, that’s me. So I applied and was added to their list. At this point I am the first and only one to blog Saudi Arabia. Cool. In some ways it’s not so unusual. This is not a tourist destination. If you web search, there aren’t a lot of sights to visit. There are no T-shirts to buy. And most of all, the bar for tourists to enter the country is very high. You pretty much need an invitation to visit. There’s enough oil money that the country does not need tourism. And the conservative religious culture discourages visitors. There’s no alcohol and no pork. All women wear an abaya when in public. No women may drive and on and on. If you come to visit, you will pretty much have the Red Sea to yourself to snorkel or scuba dive. That alone is worth the price of admission. And yes, Jeddah is the gateway to Mecca. Millions upon millions of worshipers come through the airport each year on pilgrimage. The visas for visiting Mecca are highly restricted as there are so many millions who wish to come. And forget about visiting Mecca as a non-Muslim. It’s not permitted. Bottom line – the Expats Blog is for folks who want/need on the ground information that may not necessarily be in a travel guide.