We arrived about a week ago, but I had to blog about the last few days in Amazing Thailand before i could write about being back “home” in the UAE.
Mary Ann is back at work. I am trying to find my way around the apartment we have in the Faculty Housing complex on campus. This is the biggest place Mary Ann and I have ever lived in together. I still make a wrong turn to the kitchen or the bathroom sometimes. It has two big bedrooms and three bathrooms. The master bedroom and bath combined are as big as our apartment was in LA when we first got together. The kitchen looks like a restaurant kitchen. The combined living and dining room is huge. It is a little weird in some ways. One of the bathrooms has no toilet, another has no shower, but the master bath has it all including of course a bidet. I still have not used it, don’t plan to either.
They supplied everything we could possibly need. Furniture, linens, cooking utensils and the list goes on. The university pays for our electricity, so we keep it a cool 25 degrees. Outside it is always between 40 and 50 degrees. For those of you still stuck on Fahrenheit, 50 degrees is halfway to the boiling temperature of water, HOT.
The campus, while situated off in the desert, away from town, is very green. We have big trees in front of our place and plenty of birds. Exotic birds I have never seen before. There is a species of blue birds here that is not endemic to Sharjah, but the ruler likes them so he imported a bunch.
We go to town twice a week in transport supplied by the U to do our grocery shopping. We have nixed the idea of leasing an automobile (for now) because neither of us want to drive here. One of my assignments is to find us a driver so we can go to Dubai or Sharjah center for more shopping. We really do not lack anything, but I want a bike so I can get around campus like I did when I was in University. I was skinny then, and I think the bike helped keep weight off. Anyway, I need the exercise. The Faculty housing has a big pool and rec enter, so I need to swim and bike or I am going to look like I do not want to look. The food in Thailand was so good that I put twenty pounds on, bummer.
We have free cable,(60 channels) and the library has all the novels and DVDs I could ever want to avail myself of, so the temptation to veg out is too strong. I also want to take a class this fall, in what i’m not sure, but I can take two classes a semester for free.
We got home at the start of Ramadan, so the campus is deserted and things all over are rather quiet. Ramadan starts and ends with a week called EID. No one works during EID. So, Mary Ann basically gets two more weeks added to her extremely generous six weeks vacation. Her trip to Thailand covered the first EID. She immediately started planning for the next one. We are gong to Nepal! I have to go back to Thailand for more dental work in November, so she is planning another week off before I go to Chiang Mai, and it looks like we are going to Borneo. Borneo? So far all I have read about it is that it will be, well, different.
Now, any of our friends who want to experience the UAE, see the magnificent buildings and malls in Dubai, get caught in a traffic jam with Bentleys, ride a camel in the desert, we have space for you! Come visit! Fly Emirates! (do NOT fly Gulf air, yuch). Once you are here you can take inexpensive side trips to Morocco, Oman, India, Nepal, any of those destinations are about $350 R/T from the Sharjah airport, ten minutes from our apartment. We welcome you! I’d suggest doing it in winter months, and no, you will not need a jacket.
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