August 27, 2012


Work has started again and all my friends are back, which means life is falling back into a routine. The routine consists of work, followed by laziness sprinkled with lots of bitching about work. A lot of the complaints blame the specific school or the culture of schools here or the culture of here in general. And while there are definitely some valid reasons to blame each of those scapegoats, I also think people just enjoy a good bitch session.

I would elaborate on the bitching, but it's probably against the confidentiality clause in my contract.

I do think that it's detrimental though. I noticed it a lot last year because once I got fired, my friends and I were bitching about different schools, people, etc. And since I no longer had personal investment in their issues (beyond general empathy, which, let's be real, is a department where I'm lacking) I could see these "issues" objectively. Which meant I could see how redundant the complaints were and how there was zero accountability in the bitching and how it never seemed to help the situation.

Is it going to be mean when I start pointing this fact out? There's probably great therapeutic reasons for bitch sessions... Maybe... I would like someone to find cold hard facts to back that theory. Then I will be all for it.

August 23, 2012

What a drag

My air conditioning is still not fixed. But that was to be expected.

The first of my friends from last year is back. I am much delighted by her return to my life because she feeds me and makes it less sad when I drink alcohol. This morning she and I went to breakfast and made jokes about the people who don't take their sunglasses off inside. ("It's so sunny in here!") It reminded me of the amusing days when I used to listen to similar indoor-sunglasses mocking from my ex.

Who is a huge pain in my ass now that he's an ex. Last night I had to leave the bar I was at because he cannot accept that we are broken up and was annoying the shit out of me. I can't decide if I should call him and yell at him for ruining my night or just let my anger simmer. He was a great, fun boyfriend. But as an ex-boyfriend, he is the absolute worst.

August 18, 2012

Ineffective is an understatement

Well, the air conditioner is still not fixed. I know that the maintenance people have been in the apartment because they have moved chairs around so that they can use them as ladders. One chair has a footprint from some ineffective man who does not know how to fix air conditioners, but knows how to make his presence conspicuous.

Thus I'm still at my friend's apartment. An apartment to which some other maintenance people have keys. Earlier the doorbell rang out, followed by the door opening before I had time to move the five steps from the living room to the door. The men did not seem to have a purpose, per se, and just stood there being confused for a moment before excusing themselves. And since I was clothed in my scandalous Western clothes (shorts and a baggy tshirt,) the doorbell rang again five minutes later, with the door opening simultaneously. They pretended that they were confused and did not realize it was my apartment again, while giggling like school children.

Then I went to the mall and ogled at the fact that it was so empty. Summer and Ramadan combined to make the place more or less deserted. And walking through a food court that isn't serving food, even though it's 5pm, is fantastically surreal.

August 12, 2012

Off to a strangled start

I arrived back in Abu Dhabi at roughly 2am yesterday morning. I got to my apartment to find that the air conditioning was still not working. So I dumped my stuff and headed to my friend's apartment since she had been letting me stay there before my America trip and I had the key to her wonderfully cool, albeit Internet-less apartment. I'm currently sitting in the building's overly cooled hallway, stealing Internet from my other friend who lives across the hall and thankfully did not disable her Internet while she went away.

I have the password because it's the Internet that I used to pay for. Yes, I am sitting, huddled in a blanket, in the hallway right in front of the apartment that I first lived in when I came to Abu Dhabi. It's almost like life has come full circle. Except that last year, I was let into the apartment by the man who'd picked me up from the airport and I knew that I was living with one of my best friends and I was so happy to finally have a job. It was an infinitely better night's sleep than I could have in my current sauna apartment and I got to unpack, unlike in my friend's apartment where I am forced to yet again live out of a suitcase...

But this year I know way more than I did back then, so I'm not overly bothered. On the flight over, I was next to a teacher who was coming to Abu Dhabi to teach for the first time. And next to her was another teacher who was coming for the first time. And they were both sharing what little details they knew about life here, clearly clueless about what to expect. I smiled fondly as I eavesdropped. At one point, she mentioned how ridiculous she heard the driving is, and I inadvertently chortled. She glanced at me, but I immediately tried to look like I was insane. I didn't want her to think that I had first hand knowledge or opinions about Abu Dhabi!

Mostly because I have no good advice to give anyone. You just have to live through it, really. Usually, in the end, you realize that absolutely nothing is in your power, so knowledge or advice is kind of useless. For example, it's Ramadan right now, thus there is little chance my a/c will be fixed before that ends. And even then, who knows.. I was never given maintenance people's numbers, nobody is at the school to answer the phone, and I highly doubt my principal will ever read that email I sent him. But it'll get sorted out. Somehow. Eventually. Maybe. Insha'allah.

And I'm totally fine with that limbo state. Or at the very least I know that I should be fine with it. All right, I have some highly humorous advice for anyone moving to Abu Dhabi to teach: don't sweat the small stuff.

August 09, 2012

Back to the desert

I'm going back to Abu Dhabi tomorrow night. I didn't realize I was going to be so upset about it. I haven't cried manically or anything, but I'm just feeling very much in a funk. Tonight I went out with two good guy friends for trivia night and it was just a normal time out shooting the shit, but it was great.   I have some really awesome friends here.

And then there's just the city. I overheard a guy say something to his friend about the "loca cavrona" and I miss overhearing Spanish. Even the subway rides, listening to my overly ghetto music choices, surrounded by people I feel a solidarity with solely because we share that which is New York life. The people watching is improved by the empathy of that kindred connection. I get New Yorkers in a way that I will never get Abu Dhabians.

My friend who convinced me to go to Abu Dhabi with her just got a job teaching in the Bronx. I have never been more jealous of a person in my life. She gets to stay here and start that life, while I have to go back to the desert and continue that life for at least another year.

My life there isn't that bad. And I know part of it is probably the return to obligations and not being on vacation... it's really not that bad. I'll be just fine.

August 07, 2012

The end is nigh

I go back to Abu Dhabi in a few days. I feel like I still need to squeeze in so many things. One last time with one last friend. There are some people that I just didn't have time to see for a proper hang out and they probably hate me. I also recognize that I need to do a better job of keeping in contact with people while I'm gone.

I also need to just cut some friends off the list.... is that mean?


But maybe I'm at that age where it's important to just have the close ones. There are some friendships that I think I just maintain out of guilt. Because I know they need me in some manner and even though I don't particularly feel close to them anymore, I feel an obligation to still be there if they ask me to be. I'm an utter failure at saying no to attention from people, even if I would rather just stay in the apartment and play Civilization all day.