Thursday, September 15, 2011

Random Thoughts on a Thursday Night

I am home. The house is quiet. Jeff is out with some CNA-Q guys tonight, a much needed adult-conversation-type night for him, and I am home. A much-needed quiet evening at home. The dishwasher is on, and lo and behold, I nearly jumped up in shock when I walked into the kitchen tonight to find a surprise wash machine installed... a surprise wash machine that works (for now, anyhow). So that is on too. Documentary Heaven is loading up a video for me, and I'm slowly working my way through an entire pot of organic peppermint tea. Life is slowly beginning to come to a new normal. It's good.

Jeff and I have successfully navigated our first full week of teaching. The week has been quite wonderful for him. He is still very much in awe of his new reality: classes of eight students, minimal behavioral problems. It's a long shot from some of his ghetto-like teaching experiences back in Hamilton. For me, the week had a rough start. I started out with three students. Three, well, duds. I was questioning everything as I worried about Kaiya's daycare situation, grew tired of our reliance on drivers and lack of freedom, and wondered at all the new college policies I was trying to learn, and emails I was trying to wade through, all while trying to scramble together lessons for my overwhelmingly enthusiastic and motivated students (insert strong sarcasm here, in case you didn't whiff that one...)

But the tide has turned. On Wednesday, new students joined my class... 6 of them. And today, another three. Bringing my total to twelve 19-20 year old men. (That total's not going to change... right, Darren?) I am no longer weirded out by men in thobes. It's all cool. And the duds in my class are now greatly outweighed by positive, sweet, respectful, and quiet (for now) students. I'm suddenly motivated to teach again. Amazing how that happens, huh?

We also bought a desk and an office chair. No more putting my back out while leaning over a coffee table composing emails. Unfortunately, our internet connection has become more and more spotty, but we'll get all that sorted once we get our residency. Heck, we are going to party once we get our residency!

And I have to share some of the strangeness of life here.... It's Thursday, the end of the work week. So we celebrated by going to TGIFridays, all three of us, for an early dinner before Jeff went out. As we entered, the mostly Asian servers were singing "Happy Birthday" to a table of Western expats. This was then followed by a funky recording of the same song in Arabic. Once we were seated, we looked over the menu, while listening to a variety of American pop. The Black Eyed Peas "Imma Be" came on, and the song was about half over when it was interrupted by the Muslim call to prayer, also broadcast over the speakers. I turned to Jeff and said, "This is so weird." We are quickly becoming accustomed to the strangeness of life here, and the contradictions in the every day.

And finally, some photos. Because we all need some. They aren't necessarily "new," but they offer some continued impressions of life here.

A very common laundry detergent here

Starbucks (and high-end coffee shops in general) is very popular here. Thank goodness!

Well, they say it's good for you!

Mmmmm... who needs bacon when you can have "Breakfast Beef?" You know you want to try some...

Haagen Dazs is also popular here. The Arabic version of the sign.

A very cool (and HUGE!) building in Education city, near where we live.
Peace out, friends. Have a good weekend!


Robyn said...

I love the beauty soap...I trust that you are now making it apart of your nightly routine. ;)

I do wonder what it smells like though? I mean, REALLY?!

Anonymous said...

I am glad you have decent students ,who is watering that tree every day?Name of that soap made me think it is something else .Mom

mariaborito said...

yes, going through many adjustments. how is kaiya doing?
i'm anxious to talk to you but still have no internet. i'll write soon.

Rose said...

Love the description of your Thursday night. Wow.