When we moved to Singapore one of our big adjustment mechanisms also revolved around food. Everything was crazy expensive and there was one particular food the kids were heart broken to have to give up. They loved a Pasta-roni boxed noodle meal called Shells and White Cheddar. I told them chances were soon to bone that we would get them so we packed four precious boxes into our luggage. Then we lived in a high rise furnished/serviced apartment that was connected to Great World Mall with a grocery store inside. They had shells and white cheddar! But I was used to paying $1.15/box USD and these were $8/box USD. That made my two dollar dinner a crazy expensive meal and it still had no actual nutritional value. After about 3 weeks of shopping and standing in my kitchen with barely any food to feed my poor children I made a mental commitment to myself. I would buy whatever I needed to fees my family. Whatever the cost. And in six months we would reassess the situation. My family had truely been hungry AFTER nearly every meal because I was trying to scrimp and save and keep expenses down. I didn't buy enough food. I didn't make enough food. That mental release was just what I needed and helped our transition.
Here I sit. Four or five weeks into the Saudi adjustment. And I declare, WE WILL GO OUT TO EAT!! Maybe even a lot for a while. It will help us all.
There are many western food chains here and we love it after the lack of anything nearby in Singapore. The Woodlands was very isolated. So far in Saudi we have dined from Little Caesar's Pizza, Dairy Queen, Chili's and Applebee's. I have seen McDonald's, Subway, Dunkin Donuts and now I will keep my eyes out for more options because I know they are everywhere. And we will try new and local stuff too.
Last thought? God put shells and white cheddar boxes noodles there for us for a reason. My children genuinely needed them. They were only there for three months and I never saw them again in over three years. It's what I call a tender mercy.