Powered by Blogger.

Friday Fragments: Episode #2

 Friday, September 16, 2011

Friday Fragments is hosted by "Mrs. Fours" at Half Past Kissin Time. Wanna join in on the fun? Check it out here. Basically, you take bits and pieces of your week and list them on your blog. The bits and pieces would each be too small for a regular blog post, but put together, they make Friday Fragments.

So, today, I've spent the last 2 hours people watching at the mall around the corner from my apartment. Here's what I've noticed...

  • Letting kids run wild seems to be the norm here. LOTS of parents allowed their kids to run around the mall - especially the food court - freely...no stopping them, no watching them. I guess there's no worries about people snatching your kids. One man let his two boys run around the entire food court while he stood (his back to them) and talked to a friend. The only time he actually paid attention to them was when they somehow got on top of the counter where people order their food.
  • PDA isn't as illegal as we've been told. Before moving here, we were told that even holding hands was a big no-no. I've seen so many people - Emiratis, Expats, Nationals, everyone - holding hands, putting hands on their mates' butt, snuggling, etc. I even saw 2 men holding hands (at another mall).
  • There is a HUGE popluation of Asians here. Most are Filipino. They are treated the worse here by Emiratis (the whole "lower class" status Filipinos have here), but they are some of the nicest people.
  • Despite the fact that showing too much skin or wearing tight clothes is frowned upon, some women still choose to wear it. I've seen women wearing tank tops (complete with bra straps showing) or EXTREMELY tight jeans.
  • I guess the whole "guys in pink" thing isn't taboo here. Saw a guy carrying a pink backpack. And before you ask, there were no kids with him. One day this week, we even saw a man driving a pink SUV.
  • The Emirati men who wear kandoras (seen in the pic below) are very confident of themselves. They walk with this...I don't know, swag? I guess that's the word. I've seen some attractive Emirati men. Never thought I'd find ANY man in an outfit that looks like a dress attractive, but there you go.

That's my Friday Fragments for this week. Have a great weekend!



Friday Fragments: Episode #1

 Friday, September 9, 2011

Friday Fragments is hosted by "Mrs. Fours" at Half Past Kissin Time. Wanna join in on the fun? Check it out here. Basically, you take bits and pieces of your week and list them on your blog. The bits and pieces would each be too small for a regular blog post, but put together, they make Friday Fragments.

So, on to my Friday Fragments...

* Obama is well-liked here in Abu Dhabi. I'd venture to say they love him. Sometimes, when replying that I'm from America, the first thing they'd say is, "Oooh! Obama! He's a good man. I like Obama."

* There are no street names here which makes getting around kinda hard for a newbie. It's all about landmarks. Now, what happens if the landmark is taken down, I have NO idea.

* Driving here is gonna be a challenge. Besides the fact that they have no street names, they have these roundabouts that seem impossible to figure out. And then, some of the people here drive absolutely CRAZY. Really. I've rode in taxis where we had to hold on for dear life. And we've had several close calls.

* They like speed bumps. They're everywhere. Seriously. No exaggeration. I mean, I understand being about safety and all, but EVERYWHERE?

* I have keys for everything in my apartment. Every room has a key. Even my living room and kitchen. So weird. My fridge has a key, my nightstands, dresser, vanity, and wardrobe (like a moveable closet) all have keys.

* The outside of my windows are dirty. I'd clean them, but alas, I can't. Not unless I wanna fall nine stories to my death. Nope. Windows will stay dirty. I wonder if they'll have window cleaners. Hmm...

Well, that's it for my first Friday Fragments.


Busy Busy Busy - Part Dos

 Thursday, September 1, 2011

Remember that advance I mentioned a few weeks ago? We got it last Saturday. YAY! I must admit, any bank accounts I've had in the past have NEVER looked that good. And this will pretty much be a normal occurance (my account looking good, I mean). They deposited the advance as well as the furniture allowance. Needless to say, it was time to do some shopping. Who knew furniture shopping could be so draining! Going to different stores, pricing the items, trying to bargain with the dealers...more work than I thought it would be. I decided I wasn't going to go to a lot of different stores for shopping. I've gotten my furniture/appliances at 3 stores...each offering something pleasing to me. So I'm happy. This was definitely a lesson in bargaining. I watched one of my friends do her thing, talking the store owners down from the original price. Of course, I made mental notes. Those mental notes came in handy when it came time for me to talk the owner at the final store down. I was able to bargain my way down to 1500 dirhams ($400 USD) cheaper than what he offered. Thanks KaLinda!

I now have what I need as far as furniture and appliances are concerned. I've decided not to furnish my whole apartment right now. Since it's just me, I can take my time. Now, all I need are the little stuff like dishes, bathroom decorations, towels, pots/pans, etc. I went on and bought a real mattress...not just a cheap one. I have never splurged on a mattress before, so this will be my 1st nice one. Everything will be delivered by next week. Then my apartment will be move in ready. Of course, I'll miss this five-star hotel and the awesome treatment, but I'm happy I can move into my apartment.

The schools here are a bit different than in the US. They have KG1 (like US preschool), KG2 (Kindergarten), Cycle 1 (1st - 5th grade), Cycle 2 (6th - 9th), and Cycle 3 (10th - 12th). I found out I will more than likely be teaching KG. Not sure which one, KG1 or KG2, or whether I'll be teaching both. This should be interesting. I am so not a Kinder teacher. And KG 1? Three - Four year olds? They're so little! But wherever God puts me, I'll be ok. I'll adapt. The awesome thing about KG is (1) all KG LTs (Licensed Teachers) are partnered with a KG Arabic teacher and (2) their days are shorter than Cycle 1 - Cycle 3 teachers. Sweet! I pray God blesses me with a partner teacher I'm going to bond with. Someone who will be helpful and awesome. And who will teach me Arabic. I want to be friends with my partner teacher, not just coworkers.

I'm going to tell you the truth. I definitely see God's favor upon me since I've moved here. Don't believe me? Here's my evidence:

  • I was blessed to be on one airlines for the duration of my flight to Abu Dhabi. Many people ended up having to switch airlines at one point, thus having to pay more baggage fees. I didn't. One airline flight and only $50 fee cos one of my bags went over the 50lb limit. Plus, we only had one layover that lasted less than an hour.
  • Besides being absolutely gorgeous, the hotel my group (group 2) was put in has free internet for the teachers. If I'm not mistaken, we're the only group out of the 3 that has free internet access the whole time we're here.
  • I got the keys to my apartment three days after my arrival. There are people who are still waiting to know where they're gonna live.
  • They told us singles were gonna have 1-bedroom apartments. Mine? 2-bedrooms.
  • I found out that not only is my school new, but it's also only about a 10-minute drive from my apartment. There are teachers who will have to make a 30-40 minute drive to work everyday. And they're school may not be a new one.
These are just a few examples. Why has God chosen to shower His favor down on me? I have NO idea. But I praise Him for it. No matter what comes my way during my time in Abu Dhabi, I'm ready for it...good or bad. I have chosen not to complain about anything nor will I worry about the challenges. I'm not here just to be here. I'm here for a purpose. My focus will be on God, who will in turn help me stay on that purposeful journey. I have many lessons to learn...some easy, some hard, but it's all for building my character.

The first day for teachers is this Sunday. We're supposed to get our official school letters and maybe meet our principals. I'm so excited about this school year. I will keep y'all posted!


About This Blog

This blog is all about my adventures while living in Abu Dhabi. Come along with me for what will be an awesome experience. Sit back, relax, and enjoy the show!

Total Pageviews

Blog template by simplyfabulousbloggertemplates.com

Back to TOP