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week 1

Hmm, where do I begin?

We havent met with ADEC yet and have had free time daily except for when we had physicals. Internet isnt so expensive in this hotel but Ill only have it intermittently as I am spending as wisely as possible.

This has been pretty much a mall and cab week. Weve been learning about the cabbies-who sometimes take the long route in order to get more $ out of us.Cab rides run us between 5 and 8 dirhams which is about 2 dollars going to the mall closest to us. We took the bus for the first time yesterday. It is only 1 dirham and on Fridays weve found that it is PACKED like a sardine can. Also, Friday is the most crowded day as the laborers are off of work.There seem to be so many men here.

Weve gone to a couple malls-Al Wahda and Marina mall. Today I finally went to a Souk. I enjoyed it more than the mall because it felt more authentic. There are abayas abound and now when I see ladies out, I will know more about their financial status based on the intricacies of their clothing. Initially, my thinking was to find the cheapest abaya available. After all, its just a black covering, right? Not so! I still have to decide how much Im willing to pay and how many I want. Maybe 5. I will be wearing them to work and maybe out sometimes. I wonder if the day would seem different if I wear it out and about.

When Im out, everyone looks at my foot. Some point and some ask about it. Ive been doing LOTS of walking and my bone feels great. My feet are another story. Both of them become sore for different reasons. The left bc of the operation and the right just because I have flat feet and I need VERY comfortable shoes. I wont be wearing the sandals on a daily basis.

But back to shopping, as its all Ive been doing this week,lol. The malls are abundant with shops. They wear everything we do-under the abayas of course. We were surprised to see mini skirts and short shorts in some stores. They have stores we are familiar with and many more. It will be hard not to shop,shop,shop!

Food is a little different. You cant find many things that we eat back home. So far, they taste the same but do cost a little more. I got Jiffy peanut butter and some jelly for in room snacks along with some other things as I dont want to eat out lots. Its easy to do and they have MANY American food restaurants here. Ive eaten Shwarma which is a chicken dish. I cant even really describe the taste but it is good and Ill be eating it again-its inexpensive as well. Today I ate something Asian-garlic chicken. It was spicy but oh so good. Also some type of bread,thin like a pita and it had fresh garlic pieces on it. HMMMMM. It was yummy!

Last night we went to a house party. I was a bit of a wall flower. I talked to a few teachers who began last year. I also talked to a guy named Jamal who was born here but he is African. He speaks Arabic, an African language, and English which he learned by speaking to other E speakers out and about ONLY since 2002. His English was very good. He tried to convince me that it would be easy to learn Arabic and I felt like a dumb American for only speaking one language and any excuse I tried to give him sounded like like that-an excuse.

Speaking of Arabic. There is a man here who only speaks Arabic and he greeted me today. I wanted to respond in Arabic but was afraid that I wouldnt say it correctly . I plan to be prepared the next time I see him! I do really want to be able to hold a conversation before I leave this place. I also met another guy from here last night who told me he "learned English from the streets",lol. He was too funny and nice. He had two phones-one for work and another for "mission impossible ish",lol. He was hilarious and we (myself and other teachers) had a blast with him and his friends at Trader Vics. Hes definitely the go-to guy for whats going off in this city. There will even be costume parties at the end of the month. Maybe we will be able to check something out. Ive figured that I will continue to step outside of the box as I have become a hermit and if Im going to up and leave my country, why come here just to sit around and work-even if I do love working.

And that brings me to work. We are ASSUMING orientation starts Sunday but no word as of yet. Maybe a note tomorrow from the front desk. Im not anxious about it. I know it will come soon. We did, however, get our medicals and that happened so quickly I hope its an indication of things to come. Im seeing little ones here and wondering if they are an indication of the kids I will be with. I wonder how the parents will receive me. Only time will tell as each teacher has a different story and most of them are conflicting on some level.

Everyone has their own truth.

Hmmmm. . .what am I missing????

Oh, Im on a mission to keep a clean place. I washed my own sink full of dishes rather than wait on the maid service to do it. If I stay in a hotel apt that would be included in the services and although it is wonderful, I dont want to become (more?) lazy. It is easy to become spoiled here so it would seem.

I am trying to hook up with photographers here. There is a club and someone I met who knows a photographer. I need to learn more and Im sure will will be a bit easier when I am walking more and more. Also, its hard to take pictures of some things because I dont want to impose and its hard not to stand out with this big camera I have. Also, how many pictures can one take when they are mostly going to the mall?!

I think thats all for now. Tomorrow we are going to the Mosque and I will be able to take pics there. Also going to get my Marriage cert translated so that I can be ahead of the game for getting my other half here. By the time he arrives he will have surely been missed!


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shwaya arabi

Being here for so long makes me feel like I should be speaking more Arabic. Some people here will ask you why you don't know more.I even had a rude guy tell me how he speaks English and that I should be speaking Arabic. Im sure it didn't cross his mind that he has many opportunities to practice using English because that is what is used everywhere. In regards to Arabic, not only is it not often used in public places but there are different dialects so words I learn at school may have no meaning if you are not Emirati.  Anyway, I started my list with about 70 and have and will add to it as words cross my mind.Im sure when school starts again Ill remember some more!
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Brace yourself.

It's coming.

Piles of things with nowhere to go and an impending deadline. You have a million things to do so you begin the arduous task of figuring out what to keep and what to let go of. In the beginning, it seems easy enough. Maybe you don't have lots of things. In which case, the above picture will never be you. In most cases, however, just get your tissue ready. Or your bottle of libation. Whichever suits your fancy.

Let me start with the process of letting things go. Because I am so smart, I began paring down months ago. It felt good and I was so proud of myself for being on top of things. After that, I began to walk around my house and think about what I would post things for when the time came. I decided I didn't want the hassle of bargaining so I would post things for a ridiculous price. Satisfied that I had time, I continued on with daily life. Fast forward some months and we get the paper work. It is so confusing that I set it aside and figured …

Moroccanoil Soap

If youve read this blog for any length of time, Im sure youve gotten your laughs off my Moroccan bath experience. As crazy as that was for me, i believe I will be going to get one again, though at a much better establishment!
Today, I ran across this product

 And while waiting in line for a price, an Arabic lady gave it the once over, looked inside, and nodded her head in approval of what was inside. After seeing it was only 9.50 dhm, I got another. Once I try it, I will certainly give a review! In the meantime, here is information about the product-or products like this:

Moroccan Black Soap and How To Use It

The black soap is part of the traditional hammam ritual. It is the first treatment in oriental public bath. With a texture of butter, this natural vegetable paste based with black olives is rich in vitamin E.
It is obtained from a mixture of oil and crushed olives, soaked in salt and potash. In the nineteenth century it was used as a product of Dermatology and later became a real b…