Moving In and Starting a New Job… the SAME TIME

Here is my timeline for the past week……


Spent my last day at school before having the students, and then had to hurry out since I was getting EVERYTHING delivered to my apartment (appliances, furniture, etc)  I had told both stores to NOT deliver until after 5.  Hmm…started getting calls at noon asking where I was.  Gotta love those communication barriers!  Needless to say, once I got to my place at 4:30- I got everything delivered.  The only issue was there is apparently not a ready-made outlet in the laundry room.  Therefore, dryer sits sadly unplugged and unusable.  Also, no outlets in either bathroom???  Least of my concerns at the moment.


Yes, I did it.  I braved IKEA for all the little gadgets and stuff.  I still stand by my dislike of their furniture- but they do have a nice price for the little things!  I also liked their café….yummy lunch!  Got back to hotel for my last night of 5 star treatment.  Sigh….I should also mention that at this point, we just received an email that we are to ONLY have gas cookers- no electric stoves.  And yes, the stove I just had installed is indeed electric.  hmmmm


MOVE IN DAY!  All the big items were moved over, so this was about stocking up the fridge and moving over all my clothes, etc.  I finally arrived at the apartment at 2 and spent 3 hours setting up and “prettifying” the place.  I must say, it looks awfully cozy.  The only problem is that NOBODY has moved in this building yet, and I have NO Internet.  By 7pm, I was one lonely girl.  The place was oddly quiet and having never lived alone ever- this was not a welcome feeling.  I also nearly forgot that my first day of teaching in the Middle East was mere hours away.  Hm- probably should start processing that?

Saturday- and early Sunday

Up every 30 minutes worrying….sigh

Sunday morning

We will title this part of the move as “Ali’s Meltdown.”  No bueno.  First thing I do is try to turn on one of my fabulous new lamps that I bought at the souk, and it nearly explodes. I guess trying to plug 3 things in one outlet is too much for this place to handle?  After fumbling around BEFORE COFFEE to fix the breaker, I proceed to the shower that only shoots water straight out….no little cascade over my head- just straight out at me.  Grrrrr….that and the drain is set higher then where the water falls, so is therefore NOT DRAINING.  Did I also mention that I still have no internet.  On top of little sleep and the stress of moving compiled with the stress of the first day of school left shattered nerves and a very teary call to my husband begging to bring me home.  Not my finer moment.  Nuff’ said.

Later Sunday

Finally got to school (no thanks to our late taxi driver) and met my kids.  Gotta say with the reputation that comes with the students here, I was very pleasantly surprised.  They are a lot lower with language than I anticipated, but for the most part, well behaved and very loving.  Beautiful children this country produces!  I will have to rethink the curriculum however.  Thank heavens I have such a wonderful team of teachers and coaches to collaborate with!

And Even Later Sunday….

(still feels weird starting the school week on a Sunday!)

Taxi was a “no-show” but just as well.  We have a fabulous teacher near us that has added us to his morning commute.  YAY!  Wasn’t looking forward to going home to another quiet, lonely, internet-less night.  Thank heavens for friend, beer/wine, and pizza!  Found out that I have to replace my electric stove with a gas one.  Decided to ditch the stove and put my dryer in the kitchen.  WHY NOT?  I’ll just get a toaster over.  It is just for me after all!  We also enjoyed the floorshow of the maintenance men trying to fix the plumbing in my apartment.  Turns out, it’s a much bigger problem than anticipated- but I did manage to talk one of them into hanging up my beautiful mirror from the souk! They set up to come back Monday…..



Much better day at school.  Things are coming along.

Even better was at the end of the day when I get that call- INTERNET!!!!  Once I got home, the internet, plumber and electrician were ALL here getting things in order.  Got the internet up first.  SO HAPPY!!!!!!!!  Turns out I am the first one in this complex to get the internet.  On the other side of the coin- my ceiling may cave in because of a huge leak on the floor above me.  Why no meltdown here?  Cuz I have internet!  I will sit here checking email, Skyping, and updating Facebook whilst watching the plaster and water come on down!  Ha- I kid……I hope.  Needless to say, I will have several repairmen here in the morning.

What I Have Learned This Week

Being independent does not mean having to do things alone.  It means knowing who to ask to help you, not being afraid to ask and then finding people to stand with you and laugh about the crazy things going on around you.  Life is so much better when you keep your sense of humor about you.

More to come……

17 thoughts on “Moving In and Starting a New Job… the SAME TIME

  1. The plus side of not getting the stove/oven is that you won’t have to worry about storing pots and pans! Plus I am sure you could always cook/bake in another apartment with some friends if you needed/wanted to. I wonder if you could get one of those little camping stoves that works on propane so you could do something small if you wanted to. Something to consider! Ooohhhh…maybe an Easy Bake Oven for brownies! 🙂

    I am also happy to see that Ikea is slowly making progress with you. You don’t have to love the furniture, I generally don’t but they have so many other things to fill the void. I love the duvet covers because they are reasonable in price and you can change up your room in minutes when you want to. Plus who can say no to the meatballs!??!

    It is nice to hear that you are learning to laugh it all off and take it in stride. Life is so much more fun when you learn to dance in the rain instead of waiting for the storm to pass. We all know how well you can dance Ali, so don’t be afraid to shimmy the stress away. 🙂

  2. Your writing left me with a few tears, Ali… A journey with so many unknowns,,, You re-discover your inner strengths, know-how that I believe are always present, yet (for me, anyway) in my complacency with time, place, life, I forget they exist!!! So, bravo for you!!!

    Your idea for a toaster oven is a great one… think could work for you!!! I’ve seen a few at Fry’s that actually can roast a chicken!!! Then, later on, if you think you do need a stove, you can do so!!! And, yes, Ikea has very reasonable prices… and, I do like a lot of their furniture…but never have tried the meatballs… add that to my list to do!!!

    So glad you have Internet now… for me a sense of connectedness… and, that you are part of a car-pool… again, that connectedness to other teachers!!! Do you also have this for the end of day as well as morning??? Hope so!!!!

    Thanks for sharing your life with us, Ali!!!! Also have to say I loved Lisa Elliott’s post!!!-especially “shimmy the stress away!!!”

  3. Wow, what a week you have had! I am so glad that we can all communicate with you again. We can’t be there in person to help you through, but I hope you feel all of our love and support coming your way. I am sooo proud of you working through all of these problems. I am sure that once you saw all of the faces of your new class, you realized the important reason that you are there. I hope they make you smile everyday!

  4. Kindred Spirit. I moved into my friend’s place, and the bathtub drain didn’t drain, then my cat got sick and threw up everywhere. Few days later, her new a/c stopped working. A few days after that the drain under the washing machine flooded the kitchen, laundry, and my bathroom….twice. This was all in about a 10 day time span, I guess things happen closer together in the Eastern Hemisphere. Maybe someday it will all end and normalcy will kick in.

  5. OMG. We are twins! Had the same sort of week…managed to persuade them about the internet and got the techie out but he set it up incorrectly and they have been trying all week to get to the bottom of the problem. When I got here I dropped my phone and then ran over it with the car! it took a week to die but die it did, mid conversation with Tom. I got a new one but it will only speak Arabic! I was upset about not being able to speak to the family and I’d had a number of trying days. -Go to bed and drop off, only for the bell to ring at 10.45pm. I stumble down the hall, muttering only to find that the furniture delivery man has brought my sofa and chair. He had this ridiculous smile on his face, as if the only thing you need at that time of night, when you have a 5.15 start the next morning, a three hour commute and a twelve hour day before you, is vistors carying new furniture into your apartment. He then told me he needed delivery money and appeared to be astonished when I said that I hadn’t got it! The best bit is me trying to be graceful in a abaya and sheila, while carrying an armful of papers, markers, various other pieces of equipment and a laptop bag. My sister has avised roller skates. I feel like a nun: WHoopi Goldberg withpout the big hair!


  6. Hi Alison,
    I am interested in traveling to AD for a teaching position, but I have a lot riding on leaving my current position. I would love to really get an honest view of what life is like, how the teaching compares to the states, etc. I would greatly appreciate any time you have to email:
    Hope everything is going well!

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