What? You can't be serious! A week? Already? WOW! I have never felt more at home than I feel in this country! I often find myself just staring at the things going by and wondering why on earth I didn't do this long ago!
Don't get me wrong, I miss my family and friends, biltong, rain, the smell of braai's and surprisingly birds. I have seen only two birds here and tried to snap a picture but they flew off too quickly!
When I left SA I really only had one fear of coming to the UAE and that was, not ever wanting to go back to SA to work and/or live. Each second I spend here makes me wonder of I ever will...
This last week has been crazy!
We have simply not stopped, from Orientation, to medicals, to malls (there are malls EVERYWHERE - and they are about 3 times the size of Gateway and the Pav, almost on every 3rd street corner!), school operation talks, furniture shopping, furniture pricing and so much more! It honestly feels as though I have been here for months not only just 7 days - does make me wonder how much I used to get done in a week now! hahaha...
Our training venue for a few days this week: New York University - Abu Dhabi Campus
This week has been somewhat of a stress for me! Besides the medical which we had to undergo - this was a walk in the park for me naturally - my VISA was lost/misplaced/disappeared/dropped or any other possibility during my 2 hour stint at the medical centre, and added to that I celebrated my first birthday in AD! Celebrating "alone" - no family - was weird but thanks to my awesome new friends here we were able to share a drink together at one of the hotel spots! I also stopped off and spoilt myself to a virgin cocktail and slice of French Chocolate Roulade.
I also hired myself a car, which arrived on my birthday (somewhat of a present and a loads of freedom)
My VISA still has not been found but the wonderful people who we are surrounded by, have been very good and assure me it will not be a problem!
For me, in my mind, I thought that it would pose a much larger problem but thanks to the awesome team here it may not. It has also prompted me to shed some tips on documents and overall how things work here.
HINT: for those reading this blog as a information guide, or readers who are coming over or wanting to come over, here is some of my advice...
I have scanned more documents this week than I think I had done in my lifetime.
It is unbelievable how easy it is to do things here - surprise Curtis, it is a 1st world country! I mean I cashed a cheque for 20000 AED and no one even looked at me funny when I simply popped it into my shorts pocket and walked off, I will be honest, not ONCE did it cross my mind (in the 4 hours post cashing that I spent in the mall) that I had it on me or feel threatened. Was awesome! We should feel like this everywhere!
My cheque! Felt like a millionaire!
I have also learnt that there are a menagerie of people who are constantly negative and I have learnt to totally distance myself from them. This is in NO way a shameless plug but I have read numerous blogs, liked numerous FB pages and read pages and pages of comment of people that were here and been bogged down by negative stories and scary situations.
Know this: you will only get the truth from me as I am the horses mouth! :)
There are however two FB pages which I find amazing for those that have accepted a job and are coming over.
SA2AD/EMT Teachers and the one from our recruiters Teachanywhere.com, there are many many more but I find these two are the best! I have also joined one for the region I am going to, but that is strictly for us Westerners.
Anyway back to this week. Being the shop-o-holic that I am, I have had an absolute blast at checking out different stores to find the best deal on furniture that I can. One difficulty is that many of these places do not deliver to the Western Region but hey, thanks to my Dad's awesome bargaining skills, I have been able to waggle a few deals - as they say in DBN!
Some of the items I may buy dependant on what my apartment looks like and whether it is furnished or not!
We are moving out to our regions tomorrow to a closer hotel and to see our apartments, once I have received keys I will have 5 days to move out of the hotel and into my new home!
Some EMT's have already moved out. To my awesome friends in other areas, Good luck! And we must keep in touch!
Tomorrow at 12 well move out of our awesome hotel here in Abu Dhabi and move to a hotel in our new home cities until our apartments are ready! I cannot wait, as I desperately need my own space - don't get me wrong this hotel and hotels in general are awesome but I need my own space!
My stay in AD has been great and I look forward to visiting it soon from my new home, Madinat Zayed.
Our Hotel on the left - Intercontinental Abu Dhabi - (Logo shining)
Fountains in front of our hotel and the Ethiad Towers (Blue outlined tops) on the right!
Until next time....