Monthly Archives: February 2015

things are heating up in Al Ain…

2015-02-13 18.07.58How can you have a bad weekend when you have churros and chocolate?

I’m pleased to see that Al Ain is booking more social events — or it could be these things have happened before, and I’m just now noticing it.  Either way, we’re finding more fun stuff to do — yay!

As for my headline, it’s literally heating up.  It’s Valentines weekend, and we’re back to putting on the a/c.  Um, this kind of sweating isn’t what one hopes to be doing in February.  That said I need to stop because I could be stuck in a blizzard, and this is much better.

So, as for this weekend, we had a food truck festival in a local park.  Apparently, a group of food trucks were shipped in from the U.K., and they’re touring the UAE — this weekend it was our turn to have them.  It wasn’t anything spectacular, but it was fun to get out on a Friday night and mingle with expats and locals.  Bands played, vendors sold us food and drinks, and people were forced to chat with one another while either standing in line or looking for a chair.  My kind of night — especially since we added shisha and bevies near the Rotanna pool later on.

2015-02-13 18.16.25 2015-02-13 19.13.33 our cute lil food boys.  Cheese man was working his buns off getting all the grilled cheese orders right — his sandwiches were our favorite.  Pizza boy had fun with his customers while pulling hot pizza out of a flaming oven in a truck.

2015-02-13 18.10.23  The Indians next store, however, probably didn’t like having pizza people as their neighbors — we can buy Indian food on any corner here, so people lined up for pizza not naan (although did have some yummy naan and butter chicken Thursday night — hmmmm and may go get some again later today).

2015-02-13 19.15.39 2015-02-13 18.39.29 Cute younger boys were fun to watch too.  Jalen, Sangita’s son, never ceases to entertain, even when sipping a soda.  And, I don’t know who drooled more that little boy staring at the pastries or me. Of course I want whatever was in the middle row.


2015-02-13 18.28.01 2015-02-13 18.02.35

Shannan looking good in the daisy dress — we both ended up buying the same dress and almost wore it on the same day, but whew! last-minute wardrobe change  (and a warning text) spared the crowd two hotties — our little town can only handle so much excitement in one day.

Today, I’m taking it easy — maybe I’ll go to the pool, maybe not.  It’s so nice to just chill and not worry about anything, which is great because I could be thinking about how much I’d love to be home with my loved ones.  It’s Joe’s birthday and Valentines today, but instead I’m relishing some much needed rest and relaxation (the work week leading up to this was more stressful than normal, but we’re good now).

And, of course, I miss and love you all!

Happy Valentines Day, my habibity  and habibi — let’s hope I got that right (for all I know I’ve mistranslated that into something sinful).

And a big ole Happy Birthday to my luv muffin — see you this summer.




Why I sometimes come home with a headache…

What? Another post so soon after posting yesterday?  For starters I’m stalling.  I’m getting observed this week, and I really don’t want to go back to creating differentiated packets.  I have just two more to whip up, but damn I don’t want to.  The other reason I’m in here is my head is pounding — even after two advil (and some Panadol from the school nurse earlier today).  Today was not one of my better work days.  Nothing horrible happened, and it certainly wasn’t my worst day at work, but the girls were more preoccupied with their social selves than their academic souls.  I’m sure my headache exists for other reasons, but I’m blaming it on my girls.

The good news is my bad days here aren’t like bad student days I’ve had at home (but mark my words a tamer bad is still bad). No one will come to school here with a gun, girls don’t pass out in class because they’re drunk or pregnant (although they do sometimes faint), and they don’t knock over tables in the process of a beat down —- but they do occasionally throw water or pull hair.

As far as I know no one has cussed me out yet, but I’m still in the very early phase of learning Arabic, so maybe someone’s tossed a bad word or two my way.

A bad day for me is when they’re just not having it. For whatever reason English is not what they want to be doing, and since they’re from here and I’m from somewhere over there, it’s really easy to tune me out. I think because they also come from large families they’re just naturally loud —- with a capital L. OMG, when these girls get going it’s full-fledged shrieking and yelling. The chimpanzee section of the zoo is quieter.

Proximity teaching doesn’t help once they’re in full swing. I stand next to the talkative table, and as soon as I look at the rest of the class, boom! they’re at it again.

Thing is I can’t stay mad at them because a. I know they don’t understand much of what I say; b. they’re in the same class room all day long and just want to be girls; and c. they intersperse continual compliments with their unintentionally rude behavior.

Here’s a typical bad-day conversation:

Me: X why aren’t you working?

X: Miss you are so beautiful.

Me: Thank you. Did you know you’re even more beautiful when you’re working?

Y joins in: Miss you are so nice.

Me: Watch me get mean…get back to work.

Move on to another loud table.

Z: Miss your eyes are like the sky.

Me: Thank you, can you put yours to use and read that passage for me.

Z tries to read whatever and gets a few words right.

Her buddy stares at me (mind you they’ve had me for 6 months now my eyes should no longer be a novelty): Miss why you no put make up on.

Me: Child, let’s work on that sentence.  How do you ask that correctly?

Another student: Miss I want your eyes.  Give me your eyes (and I’m pleased she said your).

I move on to another table.

“Miss, I love you.”

First table now breaks out into the Barney song: I love you, you love me!

And it goes downhill from there until I raise my voice, make them stand, sit, stand … you know every damned shut-the-ef up tactic I know. I get them under control for five seconds.

“Okay girls now give me your verbs.” I think I’m so clever, but no that only gets them laughing.

And then it begins again.

We totally live for our weekends….

DSC06431Cheers!  yeah I know this is a cheesy photo, but hey look at that background.  I’m by boats and water with lots of food and bubbly, sitting outside in February.  Okay, so I’d be able to do this in Phoenix too, BUT no azure water there.

I’ve been busy working and, well, playing.  The weekends are not meant to be wasted, so I’ve been getting to know all the varieties of fun in my new land.  A few weekends ago I got to go to another Emirate wedding.  This time for one of my students sisters.  As always the women were stunning and the food was abundant.  I will miss being brought chocolate, tea and perfumes.  It’s going to be a rude awakening when I go back home — WHAT no one is bringing me anything luxurious?  I have to pay for said items?

I’ve also taken up an Arabic class (I’ll write about words I’m learning in another post) and discovered a few new fun spots here in Al Ain.  One night after Arabic class Shannan and I went to a Syrian restaurant others raved about (for anyone moving to Al Ain it’s Al Taahi near the Rotanna), and oh my goodness it exceeded our expectations. It’s a tiny place, but the owner is amazing, and he loves to take care of his guests.  Let’s just say we walked out of there round bellied with loaded goody bags and the best pomegranate juice I have ever had.

I’m glad I’m discovering more fun spots in Al Ain because every time I go to Abu Dhabi I turn a shade of green envy.  Yes my friends apartments there are so much smaller than mine, but they’re in Abu Dhabi in a high rise, and, well, hello?  I want that.  That said more events are being planned here, so Abu Dhabi buddies are coming to Al Ain for weekend fun too.  It’s all just an hour and half drive away — so humdullah we have the weekends!  Overall, I’m lucky because I get to live in three worlds here — Al Ain, Dubai and Abu Dhabi.  So the green side of me needs to just pack it in and remember to relish all that I have.

Last weekend was all about being a girl — even when you’re a few months shy of 50.  One night I cackled it up with some friends while we made homemade pizza and brownies, the next we spent it shopping at the new Yaz Mall, which I love (and I’m not a mall person).  OMG we had so much fun shopping (and, of course, eating), and then later two of us sipped cocktails while throwing our little fashion show in our hotel room versus going out.  Sometimes it’s just fun doing the girly girl things.  Besides, we all whooped it up the weekend prior at a lovely Al Ain event — an all you can drink wine and eat tapas party at a private pool area at the Rotanna.  It was beautiful and quite the event, which then led to a night of dancing and more fun.  Wish I could post all the pics, but I want to keep my friends, so just know we rocked it.

This weekend I joined some friends in Abu Dhabi and went to a Friday brunch at the Intercontinental, the hotel we all stayed in when we arrived in August.  Long story short a very good time was had by all.  Today begins a diet because I’ve inhaled an ungodly amount of calories.  How much you wanna bet I cave and order delivery from Jaimile, the Syrian, before the day ends…

10940508_928195643859290_4756163527732125575_n There’s this restaurant at Yas mall where your food is served to you from a roller coaster.  It’s a fun thing to do every now and then.  We’re easily amused.

10821946_927359580609563_341956857_o DSC06430More Yas mall pics.2015-01-22 22.04.37 I’m attempting to show off a wine stain, but I picked up the wrong side.  and why I think this is hilarious is beyond me, but look no cavities!  I cropped out my friend in this pic because I didn’t ask if she’d be okay with me posting a pic that included wine, but she’s absolutely gorgeous in this shot and I need to send her this photo.

10987461_10204327251195548_9073591497902023896_n Brunch!

2015-02-06 17.06.52 So, we’re being photobombed by a Scott. Lord, I have a big head.

2015-02-06 17.00.44 2015-02-06 16.34.43 2015-02-06 13.54.31  2015-02-06 12.19.23 2015-02-06 12.18.51 2015-02-06 12.18.16 Kaylene if you’re reading this.  I took the Jameson pic just for Kelly.         2015-02-06 12.17.17 2015-02-06 12.16.43 2015-02-06 12.16.35So yeah this brunch thing is pretty damned yummy.  The one we went to included three restaurants and different drink stations, so you mingle around, nab a little here, a little there, and then have one of the waiters roll you to your cab.

10966675_10152718704167877_471379682_n 10979367_10152718707637877_1585316406_n10965363_10152718708152877_2068198112_nnotice how small that beer is.  Um, and before that are jager bombs.  I thought I was past the days of doing anything with the word bomb in it…

And where I’ll be tonight — sipping green tea — after I’ve finished my lesson planning.

DSC06425of course I’m posting it because I like my black and white and pink.  Again, I’m easily amused.  And, now, it’s back to work.  I have some worksheets to type up.  The whole work thing can be a downer on Saturdays…

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