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Hotel living

pool selfi

I’m down to my final nights.  I’ve essentially been homeless since the first week of June, but let’s be real I haven’t really been homeless.  I’ve had my own bedroom and bathroom at Shannan’s, and then I spent a little over a week at Michelle’s in Virginia, and now I’m in my hotel room at the Danat in Al Ain.  Plus, I still own my house in Arizona (although that’s finally going on market before the end of this month!).  So, the correct thing to say is I’m living out of my suitcases.

While checking in  I ran into a family I moved here with — shout out to the Dafoes!   We were in the same hotel when we first moved here, and looks like we’re in the same on our way out.  Now, that I’m at the end of my journey here it feels like it just started while at the same time feeling like a lifetime ago.  Spending my final days at the Danat will be fun though.  I have friends here (and friends who will visit), a pool, several bars, a balcony and a comfy bed — minus all that stress of jet lag while being a new hire.  OMG it’s such a relief to be finished with all of the paperwork.  All I’m waiting on here is my EOS.  Time to breathe before I begin the new hire stress in Belgium.

I’ll be suitcase surfing for a while now.

Thursday I’m off to Germany for a week (woo hoo!  can’t wait to see my family.), then Amsterdam, then a stopover night in Iceland, then Virginia, then Phoenix for two or three weeks (depending on my travel orders) and then it’s back to hotel living for however long it’ll take for me to find my next home.   When I finally get a lazy weekend in my new home it’ll be epic — perhaps a blog post about how happy I am to be home alone in my own bed, wherever the hell that home is.   Mons?  suburb of Brussels?  somewhere in between?  or to the right or left of the base?  who knows?  All I know is it’ll be near all this green…


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Cooler temps, bicycle paths, canals and lakes, old pubs …. woo hoo!

But until then it’s back to enjoying room service, valet parking, pool and spa time!


Where I’ll spend most of my time!

core crunc

Banana daiquiri core crunches!


every now and then I’ll splash a lap!


We’re melting!


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It’s that time of year again where you literally become a shrinky dink when you walk outside.  If you smell something roasting, it’s you.  Both in Phoenix and the UAE temps are hovering around 120 F, which is never a fun thing.  In the UAE we have the added fun of humidity, Ramadan (which includes hungry, thirsty, cranky drivers), and covering one’s arms and legs.  Not that I’m complaining (okay maybe a little).   Luckily, we also have a/c powerful enough to chill indoor skating rinks and ski slopes, so all is well.

I’m back from my time in Virginia and busy doing the exit tango.  For those of you who will one day leave the UAE remember the best way to handle this is play circus music in your head while you’re running from one place to the next to get your stamps and signatures.  For those of you not in the UAE wondering why we do this:  A. we want to leave legally and, most importantly, B. we want our End Of Service gratuity (which will be a pretty sight in my bank account, until, alas it melts away too).

I was in our main office on Sunday, and I totally wished I could play my mental circus tune out loud.  Hahaha I kept running into the same people I know (hey Sangita!) while dashing back and forth amongst corridors to get our signatures.

The good news is the visa in my passport is cancelled, as is my emirates ID, so I don’t have to panic wondering if my passport will be back in my hands in time for my July 6 flight.  It’s now official:  I have 30 days to leave the country (of course I can always come back for a visit).  The countdown is on.

It’s my hope that I will be finished with the close-out process by this Thursday, and I’m thinking that will actually happen — inshAllah.  I see a celebratory Iftar in my near future.  Then all I have to do is show up to work, play with my pals here, pack up my last suitcase and meet my family in Germany.  17 more days!

I’ve been so busy I haven’t had time to wax all nostalgic yet, but I’m sure that’ll happen next week when I’ll have time to relax and enjoy my last days here.

As for news on the Belgium job, I got an email that my travel orders paperwork was submitted yesterday.  I don’t actually know what that means, but I know it’s a good thing.  My official passport is being processed at the state gov office, which is also a good thing.  And, I have a tentative class schedule and rosters (teaching 11th grade English and ESL). So, I’m sensing I’ll be making my move to Belgium early August.  This means I’ll have just a few weeks — maybe two — in Phoenix before I leave, but I’ll be back for Christmas.

So, there you have it.  I’m melting (wish that included my fat, but ugh I’m still eating more than I burn), but things are getting done.  There’s an actual finish line in front of me, and right behind that another starting line.  Come on lands of cooler temps!



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