Published: November 12th 2010November 12th 2010
Well Im two weeks down and Im still travelling a mile a minute, so unfortunately not had much time to relax by the beach and sip cocktails. Hooowever, I have accomplished many things in this time of which I will break down for you guys.
As most will know I'm teaching in schools and after arriving here and filling in forms etc, I got to go straight to my school, its very hectic and unruly, not in a uk, kid stabs a teacher way, but in a lets all run around laughing and not listen to whats being said way. First thing you notice is how friendly a lot of the children are, they always come up to you and shake your hand and ask your name. Next thing you notice is how overweight a lot of the kids are too and how unaccustomed to exercise they are. Warming them up for drill with a 100m dash nearly sends them down with heat injury and dehydration. Anyway the first couple of days in school I was helping out with the lessons along with my team leader and a local Emirati instructor. We teach grades 8 to 12
but you can have 17 year olds in grade 9 or 10 because they get held back and repeat a year if they do poorly ( in school, not on our program). Watching the kids attempt drill is comical, they are really good at doing the movements whilst standing still but you get them to march and it resembles something more like the conga than a parade march, but most put the effort in which is the main thing. This brings me onto my first lesson which I asked to conduct as I wanted to get stuck in. I was teaching the grade 9s a lesson on role models and taking them through a group task. In this case was a grid square of cones and they were given a map, split into pairs one of them blindfolded and the one who could see had to direct the other kid through the grid. The lesson went really well and i had a good laugh with some of them. So the teaching side of things is going really well, I have a good school and some good kids who always make me laugh every day, whether its Ahmed Ali in grade
8 who is about 3ft tall and thinks he's 50 Cent, or Mohamed in grade 11 who marches like a robot theres always something to enjoy.
2. Paperwork/ Apartment
You can't even begin to imagine how many forms you have to fill in to get things sorted out here. Now i know why it took so long for me to get out here. However I'm getting there, i have my residency visa now at last. I've had to fill in forms for my UAE id card where they took prints of all my fingers, palms and even the sides of my palms; they love to keep tabs on you I even had to give them a copy of my passport to get a sim card! Like i said though its getting there, I can now apply to get a UAE driving licence and everything should be complete. Then there is my apartment, i had to pay 3 months rent up front ( about 3,000 pounds) and over here you have to give them post dated cheques for the year in my case its 4 over the year so 3 months rent at a time. I tell you now
though it was worth it. My apartment is amazing (personal opinion) and its fully furnished so saves me a lot of money and time. Im just starting to get settled in after a 3 hours cleaning session today which didnt go down to well after sinking 12 beers the night before during our regular Thursday frolic. But just to rub it in I love my apartment there are shops just around the corner, I have a swimming pool behind my block and a free gym. Most importantly Subway delivers to my place for free!!!
So there you have it, as I said Ive been getting up at 5am to travel to Abu Dhabi for work then getting back in the afternoon and going out and filling in forms then going to bed so my exploring hasn't been that successful YET. I have been to the Dubai mall though and saw the Burj Khalifa both are huge. You need a small loan for a shopping trip to the mall and it has an aquarium and an ice rink. Also visited the Corniche beach in Abu Dhabi and swam in the sea which was so warm it was untrue. Apologies for
the mammoth post just wanted to summarise as best I can, I will be updating more frequently from now on and hopefully have some tales of Sun, Sea and sand. Until then to anyone who is coming out to visit ill leave you with this, crazy roads where no one indicates, random tyre explosions from the heat and undercover police cars are red Audi R8s. There are roughly 30% of the world's cranes in Dubai building, and males greet their close friends by touching noses.