American’s In The Middle East


Various Dubai Stories

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(Stella: Our neighbors kitten)

When we left Tampa, we missed a lot of things.  One of those was our cat.  Our neighbor, who shared the balcony had an amazing kitten.  We got our kitty love in by buying treats and sharing her as a pet, at least a little bit.

So getting back to Dubai.  We still were waiting for the school to give John his residency stamp.  They kept telling him excuse after excuse.  So we needed to decide what to do next.  Honestly, our reserves weren’t a lot and every month we were using our savings, or a big portion, to pay rent.

John had taken his TEFL classes online and had just received the 6 certificates.  With those in hand, I redid his CV, and started to hit every ESL job I could find.

It didn’t take long and we got numerous replies back.  Places in China, The Czech Republic, and Russia were among the choices.  Of course, we had to research the places, and John had Skype interviews.

He was nervous on each interview.  He hadn’t done a whole lot of teaching yet, but of course since that time it’s changed a lot.

There were quite a few offers from China.  We had to admit it was exciting to think of seeing Asia.  It would be another continent, and new territory.

However, as I researched I found a few disturbing things.  The pollution was quite high there.  But more so was the fact that you needed a bachelor’s degree to teach.  The places we talked to had said nothing about this government requirement.

Not only that, but I found reports of teacher’s being arrested who didn’t have the right credentials.  I asked the place we had been dealing with and they simply said, “Don’t worry about the degree we have a way to handle it.”

I worried at that point, and we both decided it wasn’t worth the risk to take any of the offers.  China was off the table.

The Russia interview went okay, but we weren’t excited about the cold weather in Russia.  Thankfully, they didn’t offer him a job.

Another school in Vietnam wanted him as well.  We almost went with that one, I can’t remember the exact reason we said no.  However, another school in the Czech Republic wanted him.  Now this was something we gave serious consideration too.

We had also talked to a school in Egypt by this time.  Though they didn’t offer him a job.  It was implied that when you land, show up and we will hire you.

We were down to the two choices.  In the end the fact we had connections in Egypt made our choice for us.

It was at this point we began packing up and getting ready for another jump.  Off to Egypt and a new world.

On a side note.  I didn’t want to write this part of the story, but it’s only far.  You know how guys find farts so funny.  Well on more than one occasion John or even my son Ryan have farted and left me in the stink.  When someone walks up and smells their not so nice scent, the person thinks it was me.

Have you ever heard of the phrase sweet revenge?  Okay so yes women do sometimes have gas.  One night we were down in the little shop in our building.

We had a few things to buy, and my stomach was feeling somewhat upset.  In my defense I didn’t think it would smell.  But as soon as I allowed the gas to pass, I knew I needed the bathroom.

I turned to John, no smell as of yet, and said, “Hey I have to go up and go to the bathroom.”

He said, “Sure, I’ll be right up.”

When he came upstairs, he told me that the guys at the register had thought it was him.  They had given him dirty looks and mumbled a few things.

You know sometimes things happen.  Ma3lish my habibi!  (Sorry my love).  Come to think of it, I don’t think he’s done the old fart and leave trick since though.

Next time I’ll talk about our arrival in Egypt.  Culture shock and trying to learn how to cross the road!

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