Monday, September 26, 2011

Jet Lag, Humidity and My First Day of School

We made it back to Abu Dhabi without too much trouble. There was a little confusion in Chicago where we needed to turn in our American Airlines boarding passes issued in Madison for Etihad boarding passes issued in Chicago, but after a wait and another trip through security, we were on our way. The flight was 13 hours and seemed a little rougher than the trip to the US - probably because of the timing and the fact that we'd made the trip only 2 weeks prior. So, keep that in mind when you come to visit - you'll want at least 7 and better yet 10 days to make the flight worth your while. And you can stay on a visit visa for up to one month if you really want to experience everything. ;)

The good news is that the Abu Dhabi temps are coming down a bit (today's high was only 100F and yesterday only 98F), but the bad news is that the humidity seems even worse. For example, I hung some t-shirts and a pair of linen pants on the drying rack outside before I left for work this morning (7:15am) and when I got home and brought them inside, they were still damp (6:00pm)! I've moved the drying rack inside for the next few weeks until things improve.

More good news. The building management came by and re-did our garden area. Not sure what I've shared but over the course of the summer we've gone from everything green to everything dead to things coming back from the dead to everything dead again ... all because of a faulty water timer that no one could seem to keep fixed. I came home to find everything cleaned up and replanted where needed and looking pretty good. Now, if we can just keep the water timer in working order, we'll have a really nice place for the winter.

And I went back to work on Sunday (remember our work week is Sun-Thurs). We got back home about 8pm on Saturday night, quickly unpacked and I was in bed by 10pm. Luckily, I slept soundly through the night so getting up for work wasn't too bad. Today was a little rougher as I woke up last night around 1:45am and tossed and turned for at least an hour, but all in all I'm doing pretty well. The jet lag when we first arrived in Jan was the worst for me on day 2 and then gradually got better, so I'm happy to be feeling pretty functional after only 2 days back.

And good thing too because this week at work I'm attending a five day course entitled, "Introduction to Aviation". Can you imagine that with a bad case of jet lag? :) Actually, the course is really interesting and the instructor is extremely knowledgeable about the industry so I'm learning a ton. I'm also in a class with about 25 Emiratis (I and the instructor are the only non-Emiratis in the group) which is providing another learning experience for me to better understand the culture. The only issue is that I stick out like a sore thumb as everyone else is in National Dress (Abaya and Sheila for the women and Khandoura and Gutra for the men). Good thing I did some shopping while home! :)

So, I'm slowing getting into a new groove and I feel a bit like I'm starting all over trying to manage a full time job and stuff at home (especially without a microwave, dish washer and clothes dryer). I guess I've gotten a bit used to the housewife life and now need to get back my time management skills. In the meantime, we may have to order out a few extra times per week. ;)

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