One Month in The UAE
Yesterday marked one month that I have been in the United Arab Emirates. What a month it has been. From my 10 day “vacation” in Abu Dhabi to my move to Al Ain, it has been a roller coaster ride in cultere shock and a upward climb in patience.
Last weekend I got my hair braided. I found a salon called Nail Corner in Al Ain (funny thing is they do not do nails) there are three Ethiopian women that work there and they do braids, weaves, cornrow and blowouts. The prices are very good. I got medium sized box braids and it was only 85$ including hair. As with any black hair salon I had to wait about 2 hours before they even touched my head. They do not take appointments, you just walk in. The finished product took about 3 and a half hours to do, which I consider pretty fast, most of the time there were two women were working on my hair. Just like the rest of the UAE there are no addresses, you find places by telling people what landmarks they are near them. In this case the salon was in such a little nook that I had to have someone show me where it was.
Saturday night my molar filling fell out and I was freaking out because I had no idea how to get to a dentist. I went on Facebook (my best friend out here) and asked people in the area if they knew anyone. The dentists here are located in the hospital so I went to see him. I was shocked at the fact that I when I called they said I could just come in that afternoon. I went to the hospital, registered and went to see the dentist who saw me right away. Since I didn’t have my health card with my insurance information yet the doctor did a temporary filling that should last a week (it also only cost 15$). I will go back soon and get the work that I need done.
***I just called the dentist and I have an appointment for Saturday, which would be like having an appointment on Sunday in Canada because the work week starts on Sunday. I hope it goes well. Funny thing here is that everything is tied to your cell phone, so when I made an appointment at the dentist I got a text stating the date and time of my appointment, I find that kinda cool)
I received my apartment last week and that is a bit of a disaster. The place that we have been assigned is not appropriate and I spent 4 hours at the ADEC office trying to get a new place. We were told that we would be able to move in a month or two. So I am debating if I should stay in the apartment with the bare essentials or move in with a friend who lives a bit farther out. Decisions, decisions…
****I have decided to stay in the apartment and pray that they are serious about letting me move in a few months. I am honestly just going to get the essentials to live there. I have scoped out a bedroom set (bed, two side tables, dresser with mirror), a fridge, stove, a couch and a coffee table). For now I think that is all I need. I had two women come the other day and clean and it smells much better than it did when I first arrived. The worst part is the bathroom; there is no tube just a square of a shower. I cannot really complain because I am not paying rent. I just find it a little unfair that some people get these luxurious new places and I get this place. I guess I just have to pretend I am on HGTV and flip the apartment. I swear if I had money I would get the bathroom redone.
This weekend I am suppose to head to the IKEA in Dubai (it is closer to me than the IKEA in Abu Dhabi) to check out what they have. The priority right now is curtains. Some of the girls in my building are just going to dry clean the ones that they have, but I think I am just going to throw them out. They are old and musty and remind me of the apartment before I moved in so they have to go.
Thank you so much for your comment:
Zan—I agree with you I do not let them go usually they do not ask again. If they do I know that they really have to go). The other issue here is that there is no break in between classes. The students have five 45 minute classes in a row with no breaks or recess, so honestly I am sure that they will have to go to the bathroom.
Katrina—That you for reading and always commenting! It is always so nice to know what people think about what I am writing. The teaching supplies are nonexistent. I have had to buy everything to use in the class from whiteboard markers, to paper to even a printer (another teacher and I split it and I keep it in my office). I have been told that if I need anything to ask the student to bring it for me. I asked for food coloring and I was told to ask my students to bring it. This also goes for the curriculum resources.
The lessons have to be flexible because there English is still not the best and they are so slow when they work and the class time is short. Some classes the girls work well so it takes them 15-20 minutes to do the activity when another class may take the whole 45 minutes and some groups with still not be finished. Let us just say we are on week 5 and I am on week 2 of the curriculum. I spoke to a few Education Advisors and we were told that even if1/3 of the curriculum gets done it is better than nothing. Once again thank you for your continued support, it really means a lot.
Billie—Thank you for reading! Honestly I have not had any racist here yet. I do get stares from men often. I have rented a car and at one point I had to cover my head because I was getting so many stares while I was driving from other drivers. Women are allowed to drive here but most of them are driven and I rarely see women driving.
Have a great weekend!