So, I never finished my blog entries about the roadtrip, but the short story is I drove through the Northeast mostly on interstates and finally arrived in Framingham aftermiles on the road. Since then I have sold my car; spent a week in California helping my grandma get ready for her move to San Diego and attending my friend Debby’s wedding in Oakland; and have packed and/or acquired hopefully everything I will need for my big trip!
Packing has been a bit of a challenge but I have it down toduffel bags of exactly lbs (the airline limit), a carryon exactly lbs, and my laptop messenger bag. My mom is coming to the airport with me so if I have to take some stuff out to get under any limits or whatever she will be able to take it home with her. I have my tickets printed out, seats selected (aisles on both flights, and so far no one next to me on either of them, just how I like it!) and have even checked in for the BOS-AMS portion. Of course, “check-in” doesn’t seem to do any good for international flights when you have to check bags, since you still have to go to the counter when you get there, show your passport and give them your bags, and have them print out your boarding pass for you; so, online check-in is kind of a waste of time! It will be about 7 hours to Amsterdam, two hours in the Amsterdam airport and then 6.5 or so hours to Abu Dhabi; I should get there 6:45pm local time on Thursday the 13th. I still don’t have a work visa yet, and my school director assures me this is not a problem and can be straightened out when I arrive. I sure hope he’s right, because there isn’t much I can do about it at this point!
For those who may be wondering, I wound up packing mainly just clothes, a couple of pairs of shoes (you can’t get clothes there in my size easily, but shoes won’t be a problem), a few teaching books, a set of nice sheets (having been informed that those are expensive in the UAE, plus it’s nice to have my own familiar ones), a few toiletry things I might not be able to get there, some DVD’s, and my laptop. That’s really it, or at least that’s the major stuff. I really tried to avoid bringing anything I am fairly certain I’ll be able to get when I arrive there without too much expense.
I got an email from my flatmate; she has actually been there for 3 years and she is from New Zealand. She seems really nice and hopefully we get along well. She told me that our place is right behind a large mall called Khalidiya Mall, and from what I can gather about the neighborhood it seems like it will be pretty convenient since it’s right in the center of the downtown area.
Having been so wrapped up in the packing and moving, I have thought little about my actual job, which is kind of silly since it’s what I’ll mainly be doing there! I suppose since I have already taught before, that doesn’t worry me as much; on the other hand, I’ve never lived in Abu Dhabi before. Guess that’s about to change in the next couple of days!