my new pet. I really have to name her though. I know it’s been a while. There’s so much I’d like to share with you, but I’m exhausted. The job is tough considering all the new I’m adjusting to. I pretty much have to change everything I know to make it work. I’m not complaining. I’m just sharing that it’s really, really hard doing this while also adjusting to living in a whole new world. I do still love my students (even on their bad days, and they have them), and I know that I will, eventually, settle into some sense of normal.
For now though I’m busy adjusting. I had a few low days these past two weeks — missing everything about home, especially since I now realize how easy it is since I know everything there. BUT, I’ve also had some great days. I don’t regret coming here at all — although there are moments when I just want to scream. Take for instance my cable drama. I’m still tapping into my neighbor’s wifi (allegedly with a capital A they’re coming on Wednesday. Um, allegedly they were supposed to come on Saturday then Tuesday, and I’m still waiting, so we shall see). Anyone thinking about doing this really needs to prepare themselves to be tested on everything imaginable (and some you wouldn’t even think about it). The stress the first few weeks (probably months) is unreal. This is a wonderful country, but it is way different from what you know. My version of logic and their’s are polar opposites. I’m in their world now, so gotta do it their way. I knew this coming here, but knowing it and doing it are two completely different things.
That said there are so many unexpected wonderful moments too, and I am learning so much good. I saw my first camel crossing the other day — hahahaha you’d think I saw a leprechaun I was so happy. The old man who sweeps my carpool buddy’s parking lot always greets me with a warm smile. I miss him on his off days. The other English teachers I work with are all amazing and interesting women. I love listening and talking to them. Sometimes I get to sit at a table with my students and just talk to them. I love learning who they are. Many times a complete stranger will make the day by either taking an interest in me or openly sharing a bit of themselves.
I went to Abu Dhabi last weekend to visit with friends and do some shopping at a Souq (Arabian market). A completely covered older lady sat at a jewelry maker’s stall with her grown son and daughter. I was lugging this 3-foot wooden camel I bought (my new pet, who I think I’ll name Sheika, but I’m up for suggestions), and the lady said nice while pointing to my camel, who wasn’t too pleased with me carrying her by the neck. We stopped to talk to this family who turned out to be from Saudi Arabia. The lady didn’t speak much English, but her children translated. She was as interested and delighted to meet us as we were her. While I love the stuff I bought and the fun I had with my friends, that 10-minute chat was the highlight of my trip. As an American when I think of a fully-covered Saudi Arabian woman, I don’t think happy or friendly. Well duh on me for that! Hello? But, you see I’m learning — even things I didn’t know I needed to learn.
There’s also the expat community, which I’m so glad to be a part of. I’m making wonderful friends. I’m lucky that some live in the same building as me, so woo hoo on that! I got off early today because Eid is on Saturday, and we have Sunday and Monday off, so woo hoo to that too! Although, on to a negative, the schedule changed. Originally we had Tuesday off too (calendars are not to be taken seriously), but I’m looking at the extra work day as a day for me to catch up. The students say they won’t be coming in at all next week, so FINALLY I can get some better lessons together. whew! Anyway, back to the good stuff. Tomorrow I’m going to Dubai for a few days, and I cannot wait. Beach, shopping and good food and bevies with friends. Soooo, the only adjusting I’ll be doing this weekend is having fun, and maybe popping a few advils in the mornings. I’m tired — had fun at my neighbor’s last night — so I’ll stop writing for now and post some pics that show off some of the good.
Desert sunsets and camels — can you ever get too much of this? Turkish lights. I bought 2 . need I say more Shisha and friends dancing in the desert more sun photos because it’s something I will never get bored of. And that’s it for now. I’ll be sure to write more about Dubai and post pics.