It’s been a few weeks

What does  that mean?  Am I happy?  Do I have nothing to complain about?  Have I come to peace with myself?  Not on your life.  I just don’t  bitch as much.

The exams were done and they were boring.  You sit there for 2 hours to be sure no one cheats.  Then they leave.  The markers mark the tests (you never mark your own classes) and that’s it.  You have two weeks without classes but you DO NOT get leave.  You have to ask for permission to leave and this time will be deducted from your summer salary.  Why do they need you there?  They don’t.  This is a moron school run by morons.  I think the actual running of the school is worse than China (and that’s saying a lot).  They are not organized (the day before the 2nd semester they have a meeting about what to do).  There are not enough books.  There are lots of nonsense emails flying around.  If iyou have a Phd you should be called Dr. Jerkface instead of just Jerkface.  I think getting a PHd is a great achievement but it doesn’t make you a better teacher.  Here they seem to believe that.  To hell with the bunch of them.

I have no “Foundation” classes this semester, which is good.  I teach real students who I am sure have a lack of desire to learn.  My classes are split between 2 teachers so I will find out tomorrow what is up.  I was absent on Thursday for the meeting.

For the “holidays” the official policy was if you didn’t have “official” time off you should be in your office from 9 to 12.  I was told by the head of the department to be there for 1 hour every 2nd day.  No two people get the same story.  Since we don’t sign in I skipped some days and this week I had 2 “official” days leave.

Last week we went to Sur where they have giant turtles who come on the beach at night and lay their eggs.  In June, July and August there might be 100 turtles on the beach.  We were there in the off-season so it was 1 turtle we saw.  It was big.  It didn’t lay eggs.  It’s something to do.  The next day we visited a Wadi (it was okay) and then we went to a desert camp (beautiful).  Here are some dynamic pictures:

wadi bani khalid 1 (s)

wadi bani khalid 2 (s)

wadi badi khalid 3 (s)

There’s nothing like a Wadi.  I have no turtle pictures because they come out a night and the light bothers them.  From the Wadi we went to the desert.

desert 1 (s)desert me (s)

Desert is desert.  You must go!  The stars are amazing and the peace and quiet is wonderful.

This week we went to Dubai in the U.A.E.  I’ve heard so many people say, “you must visit Dubai”.    I suspect these people are mentally deficient.  If you have oodles of money to waste and like shopping then by all means go.  It’s not our cup of tea.  However, it was only a 4 hour drive so we figured we should go.  We saw and went up the world’s tallest building (it was foggy).

a foggy day in dubai town (s)

are we high(s)

Obviously that was a waste of money.  There are only about 15% Arabs living in Dubai.  It’s all ex-pats.  If you’re ever in the neighbourhood, go somewhere else.  It’s a city and I’m sure most of you have seen cities.  The best thing we did was go on a walking tour where we visited a mosque and the lady explained a bunch of stuff to us.  Did she explain enough?  No, of course not.  It could have been a 24 hour question session but it was only 2 hours.  She was good and we both agreed it was the highlight of our visit.

us and moslem guide

Now of course if you go to the United Arab Emirates, you must attempt to blend in.  I got a scarf for my head so I would be mistaken for an Emirati.  Then we grab a coffee at Second Cup.  We see a Garretts stand but figure the popcorn will be stale by the summer when we can give it to my sister.  We look at IHOP and decide to pass on the Blueberry Pancakes but decide to visit the Cheesecake Factory.  In fact, wasn’t cheesecake invented here?

turban and scarf (s)

second cup (s)

garrett (s)

ihop (s)

cheesecake factory (s)

It’s tough to survive in these foreign countries with their strange food.  This mall also had indoor ski slopes (not cheap but must be seen to be believed).  I don’t think we’ll be visiting here again.

So now we’re back and school starts tomorrow.  Oh joy!  Who knows, maybe someone will offer me a job in Malaysia training teachers.  I’m restless and am looking for the perfect job which of course is impossible.  I still like the Omani’s as people and coming here, even with the lousy students, was no mistake.

So we shall see what the new semester holds, and what Shujie finds to do to fill her days.

May the Cheesecake be with you.

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