Friday, November 13, 2009


It's Friday night. How do I describe the last 24 (give or take a few) hours? Let's begin at the end. I just finished watching the first season of The Office, which I downloaded off iTunes this week, in solace. I tried doing so earlier tonight, but I was pretty tired. I know this is going to come as a shock, but I had yet another late Thursday night...I came home around 1:30, but didn't go to sleep until 3. The difference between this week and most others is that I didn't go to church...I volunteered to do a belly dance workshop for the BRI'ISH SCHOOLS OF THE MIDDLE EAST FES'IVAL OF THE PERFORMING AR'S. Except we're calling it "middle eastern dance" (the preferred terminology by a lot of dancers, anyways), because the concept of belly dance may just be too challenging for the conservative parents (and possibly our patron, the sheikh), who will be coming tomorrow to watch the performance.

Never let it be said that I'm afraid to start trouble.

I've never taught belly dance before. Well, I've showed a few moves to a close friend or two, but never to a stranger, and never to adolescent girls. I was sort of uncomfortable with it at first - I introduced the basic isolations, which are not as fun. Once I showed them their first combinations, though, we all started thinking how cool it was, and really got into it when we started the choreography (four combinations, all told, taking up about 40 seconds of our allotted five minutes' performance). One of the girls was quite good, the other two did well enough and enjoyed themselves, and that's all I really want. Well, that and not offending anyone tomorrow...I can positively say there are NONE of the even slightly provocative moves in the choreography, but if any of the kids start singing "go bananza, shake ya body like a belly dancer" (gee, thanks Akon) tomorrow in front of the parents like I heard in the corridor today...I just see potential for this to bite someone in the ass. Probably me. Probably during a hip circle when my booty is sticking out behind me.
There was a drumming performance and free dinner tonight, and I texted a few people to see if they wanted to join, but everyone was still too hung over from the previous night's debauchery. And I couldn't be bothered with flying solo amongst the BC (British curriculum) staff, although they made me feel very welcome and never took the piss out of me once (which sort of made me miss OUR British people). Then - after my nice long nap - I ended up at Melissa's (one of our British people) apartments, and remembered that even MORE, I miss having conversations that meander around lots of different topics and don't focus predominately on one person. After I was there for a while, Socrates came over, and had to go and ruin the new potential to have a more interesting conversation by bringing up her camera.

Let's have a little flashback to earlier this week. Tuesday was silly staff day in secondary - the kids had to raise money to get the staff to dress up in silly costumes. Well, Melissa brought her expensive camera with her, and during the course of the day, it managed to transfer ownership in one way or another (it's unclear whether she left it in her classroom and it got lifted, or whether it fell out of her pocket when she went to change for her staff photo). It is suspected that it ended up in the ownership of some of the Emirati kids, that apparently are disliked by the rest of their year group (read: grade), but there is no evidence, and when they were questioned, nothing was gotten out of them. Well, she wants to drag the police and the parents into it, and Paul, who is head of that year group, was explaining to her that without any evidence, the head of secondary didn't really want to take it any further. To which my friend was adamant that if the head didn't have the balls to do it she'd go over him and get our principal involved, that they'd lean on the kids and they WOULD get her camera back.

And at that point, I opened my mouth and started going on about how it's not fair to do that to the kids (I don't particularly think it's fair to do it to the principal, either, he has enough to deal with and I think he deserves a break from our traumas), that you shouldn't turn them against each other, that even if these kids aren't liked, that WE are the adults and we have to act like it and set the example, and that using them against each other and encouraging that sort of discord is how shit like Columbine happens. And I was told that I'd sing a different song if it was MY 400 euro camera. Not true. I'd be pissed and feel violated and I'd store it up to bring out at a later date...but I'd - in essence - let it go, because at the end of the day, that's all you can do in a situation like this. And when I asserted this, I was told that she wasn't in the mood for it tonight and that I could leave. Which I did, a few minutes later, but not because I can't agree to disagree. I left because I was sick of hearing the Emiratis villianized, which was the course the conversation took after I was told I could leave. Don't get me wrong - khaleegis are not my favorites of Arabs, but recirculating the wrongs of the last couple of weeks is no healthier than recirculating air on an airplane. It stops you from seeing the good, and it's hard enough to see the good as it is.

But I couldn't help but feel a bit of a funk over the dismissal. In spite of the fact that I was a little bored, I played the part of Wing Girl admirably last night, and coached her with the advice that seemed to make sense from Why Men Love Bitches, which I finished earlier this week. She asserted that she owed me big time at one point, so to have her get cross with me so easily...

...admittedly I was being a little confrontational. I have been this week...

...was a bit of a slap in the face. And so I came back over to my apartment and watched The Office alone, appreciating the variety, the witticism, the many shades of American humor at its finest, missing Babysis, Tori, Evil, Sara, Bronte, Azhaar...basically those people who have been to the mattresses and back with me, those who let me get a word in edgewise and would actually care enough to ASK about my belly dance workshop at the other RAKESS, and who, in spite of my propensity for total bitchiness, or possibly because of it, love me all the more. Emptiness is NOT loneliness, Billy Corgan, it beats it anyday, but can't hold a birthday candle to the friendship I have with you guys. Love you :*

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