August 28, 2014
I am ready for the weekend. One more day and I'm home free...home free meaning I have two days to myself. We
are to have dinner and drinks in the Tourist Club Area tonight after work. Other than that, I have solo time to visit
the local hypermarket and the Marina Mall. I am anxious to use the washer and dryer. It's such a luxury having the machines
in your own home. I don't need to carry my laundry bag up and down the stairs. The machines appear pretty high tech.
The door will only open if the machine is turned on. Otherwise, it is locked. I brought my own laundry detergent and
fabric softener. My coworker said she used the washer earlier in the week and it took two hours for the wash
to finish. She may have set the load to heavy wash or something. The students are trickling in as we speak. I am having
to start my breakfasts and lunches early to beat the rush. The food court employees are always scrambling at the last
minute to get the food prep ready. Dinner starts at 6PM, yet they are running around at that time putting food out
and warming stuff up. It's a bit annoying. For someone who likes to eat early like a senior citizen, it can be a bit
frustrating. If it says dinner starts at 6PM, you better prepare all of your food offerings before that time.
Dinner time should start right on the dot. People say it's the culture here, but it's really not. None of the employees
are local citizens. They are all expats from every where else. So is the U.S. the only culture where we value timeliness?
Shanghai was all about being on time too. I should just calm down and let them work themselves out.
August 25, 2014
Freshmen students arrive today followed by upperclassmen students arriving later in the week. It's all about
welcome week this week. There are a couple shuttles to the local "Walmart" on the weekend. I am going to hop on the shuttle
for Friday morning and another one to the mall for Saturday afternoon. As for the sleeping, I do not have a problem
falling asleep. I wake up every couple of hours or so and go back to sleep. The gym was a bit busy this morning.
Next week, the campus will be very busy because the Fall semester starts next Sunday. There is no Labor Day holiday here.
We will be working through the day. I am slowly getting into my routine. So far, I have not seen any of my neighbors.
I did, however, see two kids playing in the hallway the other day. It was just too darn hot to be outside. My colleagues
say this is actually cooler weather. The summers are known to hit as high as 135 degrees. We are actually in the low
100's right now and the humidity is not so bad. I still don't get it. I am sitting across from my fellow countryman.
So far, so good...I'll report any hiccups along the way.
August 23, 2014
I have arrived. The weather is crazy hot and humid. It is seriously a sauna 24/7. Right when we got off of the
airplane, we already felt the humidity bursting through the jetway. I only stayed to shower in Frankfurt and left
the hotel room. I was too anxious to leave. Luckily, it was only a 4 hour connection versus 7 hours. The campus is
quite impressive. You have pretty much everything at your finger tips. There was some delay in getting us checked in
but it has been smooth sailing since then. This month will go by quite fast...I hope. I am glad Lufthansa upgraded their
angled seats to 180 degree flat beds. The angled ones were not so bad on the connecting flight. I skipped out on
dinner to catch up on sleep. I am not a fan of the pushing carts.
August 19, 2014
You save a lot of money by not having drinks and alcohol at the dinner table. It really reduces the dinner bill
to almost half. Drinks nowadays are about $10 and above. That's how much a starter costs. Don't believe the hype.
Alcohol can only get you so far.
August 15, 2014
I gave in and treated myself to a chicken biscuit sandwich from Dunkin' Donuts. It was a pretty good sandwich.
The chicken was super moist and seasoned right. The biscuit was very buttery and soft. I did not expect such a
great biscuit sandwich from Dunkin' Donuts. I asked for two packets of honey to go with my sandwich. Always add honey to
your chicken biscuit sandwiches. Honey with biscuits just makes it all better. The General was good, but kind of
pricey for the food we ate. We ran it all off this morning on the bridge. Because of Patrick, everyone agreed to do the
run. Domenic kicked our butts last night. He loved having us stand on our hands or head.
After class, we were treated with a food truck right outside of the yoga studio. We didn't think it was legit, but
ended up buying the goods from them. Let's find out tonight.
August 14, 2014
Housing for next weekend is still up in the air. However, I was told earlier this week that we may end up
staying on campus after all. I would much prefer the on-campus arrangement because we won't need to deal with hailing
taxis and commuting back and forth. Granted, the campus is on a desert island with no other businesses nearby other
than some fancy hotels along the beach that are not within walking distance. It will literally be an oasis in the
middle of nowhere. I am fine with that. This will be my third trip to the emirate. I have seen what I needed to see
already. No tourist destinations for me this time around. Instead of heading to Dubai for the weekend, I will stay
on campus and catch up on my reality TV. Yes, thanks to Chi Chinh's Cox cable subscription, I can view my shows
online. The VPN comes in handy when I am overseas. I was seated immediately despite everyone else waiting for a table.
Everyone seemed to be waiting for a table for more than two people. The dinner was quite fast, not because we ate fast
but the servers were quick to replace us with another party. I wanted to walk north and try the ice cream sandwiches
or even Red Mango but was too lazy to walk one block up. The whole day was sort of draining for some reason. Gene
even had to step out to freshen up because the building's air was super muggy. Instead of meeting P and the guys
uptown for a dinner, I chose to stay behind to watch my shows. Lizzie is stirring it up. Just drop the whole
"no one came to my birthday dinner" deal. Okay, people didn't want to come and so what? It's really okay.
Don't cry about it and blame it on your husband. Tamra really does play both sides of the playing field. Vicki just
needs to stop screaming. Her screams are becoming an annoyance to my viewing pleasure.
August 13, 2014
August 12, 2014
Last week, I went upstairs for a meeting. The meeting was held in a big conference room with a big oval table
that matched an oval shaped ceiling above. All around the big fancy table were these plush chairs. They were
super comfortable. My ass and back were supported in ways I could not imagine. I had no idea sitting in a chair
can be that comfortable. After the meeting, I went back to my office and asked the admin to buy me cushions for my
lower back and seat. He found a memory foam cushion for the back support. The seat cushion was similar, but it wasn't
a memory foam. He bought the cushions and they were delivered two days later. My office chair looks all funky now with
cushions all over the place. The chair resembles a poor man's replica of the fancy plush chair upstairs. I do feel a lot
better in my lower back and derriere. Everyone needs seat cushions. I have been deprived all of these years.
August 8, 2014
It's finally Friday and I have a few more hours to power on through before the weekend officially starts.
No summer hours or any kind of flexible work hours for us other than the 35 hour work week.
August 7, 2014
If you ever make it to the AMC theater on the UWS with lounge chairs and reserved seating, note that you can
buy seats in the last row that are reserved for the handicapped. The theater leaves open spots for the handicapped
person to sit next to people who do not need a wheelchair. Select two seats that are together if you are going with a
date and voila...you have the two best seats in the house. The last row is pretty cool because you have no one
next to you and behind you other than your date. "Guardians of the Galaxy" was okay. It had the potential to
be better because Chris Pratt could have had more one-liners to make the audience laugh. Instead, the jokes were
kept to a bare minimum. Speaking of which, the dude lost a lot of weight for the role. He seems to gain and lose
weight just like that...without anybody's business. Must be nice to have personal trainers at your hand and feet at
all hours of the day. So we won't be assigned to on-campus housing after all. The units won't be ready until September
1st, which leaves us stuck in hotels for either the entire duration or part of the trip. I am ready for the weekend.
August 6, 2014
Why does 5 Seconds of Summer keep appearing on my iTunes radio playlist? They even have them back to back in
some instances. It's really annoying. All of their songs are pretty annoying. All they do is scream and pretend to
be cool. Apple, if you are reading this, please stop bombarding me with this boy band. I can only fast forward so
many songs from the playlist. I was eating my dinner as I watched that annoying lady getting stoned to death as
she stood there wrapped against the tree. She even spoke up and asked the perpetrators to please stop. It was very
sad and graphic. She didn't even get a proper burial. The Nora chic is pretty messed up. She cannot continue with her
job. She lost all of her family in the sudden departure, yet she is working for the government to assess everyone
else's claims. She is unfit for the job. The girl just wants to go to Miami with the police chief. I didn't get the
whole shooting in the chest deal. Can someone enlighten me? When asked whether she is sure to move forward with the
divorce considering the other party may return, she said, "He had a sexual relationship with my kids' pre-school
teacher. I would like to proceed."
August 4, 2014
Happy Birthday, tdanger! From now on, look behind you before opening the door and always carry cash on you.
Cash will make all your troubles go away.
August 1, 2014
Happy 60th Birthday Mom! I called her this morning and she said she pretty much forgot about her birthday.
Her grandson had to remind her the night before. Too many birthdays last month and this month...Yesterday afternoon's
happy hour was surprisingly fun. From now on, I should implement a limit of two drinks. Three drinks kill me. Luckily I had some time
to nap before dinner. The walk to dinner was excruciating, but after getting some spaghetti and water in my system,
I was 90% back to normal. I thought about sleeping in this morning, but had to man up. Tomorrow is a run on the bridge,
exchange of keys, early brunch with Henry, experimenting a recipe, and a Vietnamese movie at the closing screening.
This summer has been good to us. Let's keep those 80 degree weather coming.