Saturday, November 21, 2009

Close enough

After returning from my grocery run (in which, strangely enough, I ended up buying a really hot pair of shoes), via one of the female taxi drivers, with whom I had a nice chat, I decided I wanted to spend what remained of the daylight swimming and reading at the Hilton. I found myself, air drying on a lounge chair under a sky spangled with pink cotton candy clouds, reading one of Kathy Reich's books I picked up in the teachers' lounge, and enjoying the not-warm, not-cool evening air. And I had to admit, things seemed pretty much like paradise.

Okay, I don't work at the best school ever. (We have it pretty well down in primary, but the secondary could use some help, especially since Tony's decided he's got to leave.) But then, I'm not the best teacher ever - I don't like getting caught up in paperwork, and when the day's over, I just want to go home and relax. My kids have fun and enjoy art, and for now, I can live with that. And so what if Stephanie kind of scares me. My Dark Lord and Master REALLY scared me for the first four months I worked for him.

Okay, so it's a far cry from Korea, where I had a world-class public transportation system and amazing food at my fingertips. I like the Emiratis a helluva lot less than I did the Koreans...but at least there ARE Koreans here (I know...I ran into some at Asiana one night, and met one of my half-Korean students' mothers this week, which got me all excited). So Bundang puts RAK to shame when it comes to what we're going to do this weekend...but honestly, how many weekends did we actually spend in Bundang??? Hell, once I became friends with Ange & company, I was going into Seoul every weekend - sometimes three times in a weekend! So why shouldn't I start spending more time exploring Dubai?

Here's the thing - I could tell you about all the things that are wrong with life here, but what good does that do? I'm here. I can get all the essentials I need for life. I get to teach art to anklebiters, and they all love me. I have my own two-bedroom apartment, with room to dance, and this apartment is just a short walk from a beautiful beach resort where I can sit and watch the sunset. I've got that beach, the mountains (which I can even sometimes see), and a desert full of rolling sand dunes. I have friends to cook for and who make my apartment more than just a place I sleep. I may not make a doctor's salary but it's more than I've ever been paid, and more than sufficient for my means. I can travel, I can belly dance, I can sing fricking karaoke.

Ras Al Khaimah may not be paradise, but it's close enough.

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