Friday, August 26, 2011

When the bloom is off the rose

The master bedroom
(all the bedrooms have the exact same bed)
I've heard a lot about culture shock in the lead up and introduction to this adventure. It was addressed in the two pre-departure webinars, and again at orientation.  The stages (for those of you who missed out on all the presentations) develop over time... we start out positive (in the euphoric/adventure/honeymoon phase), then dip into anxiety (where we feel anxiety, uncertainty, confused), drop further into rejection (loss of enthusiasm/homesickness), and then move back up with adjustment (recognize & accept the differences - adapt & adopt the local culture).
Belle's freshly cleaned bathroom

This last week, I've definitely progressed into the second stage.  I'm moving out of my hotel accommodations into my apartment, which is exciting but also very stressful.  My hotel is over a 2 hour bus ride from my apartment or a 230 Dhs cab ride.  That can make it taxing when you need to go to the apartment every day during a week but it isn't yet livable.  On Sunday and Monday, I ordered the furniture and appliances that our apartment needed and then I went to the apartment on Tuesday to make sure I could get in (the first time we visited the exterior door was locked) and check the condition. We (the other residents) were told it would be cleaned prior to us moving in. Sadly, this did not happen, so on Tuesday, I spent several hours procuring cleaning supplies and began cleaning.

The view from our living room
at sunset
On Wednesday, I spent several hours at the apartment cleaning and waiting for the beds and mattresses to arrive (the first scheduled delivery).  After their arrival, I headed back to the hotel for a late dinner and to pick up more cleaning supplies for Thursday (the apartment is brand new, but it had lots of construction debris, dust, and markings on the walls).  Thursday was a miserable day. For those of you who know me well, you know that I loathe house cleaning and this was my third straight day of it (did I mention that I am excited to hire a maid as soon as I begin my regular pay?).  This was not the worst part though.  In the US, when you order from one store, the deliveries usually come together. I learned yesterday that in the UAE, the deliveries come by the distributor/manufacturer (meaning I am getting THREE different deliveries).  The first delivery came around 4 (I had been told all the deliveries would arrive between 11 and 7).  After two calls to the store call center, I was asked to please wait until 8:30 for the second delivery to arrive. Did you notice the present tense earlier? I'm now supposed to receive our stove, refrigerator and washing machine on Saturday (the day I am moving into the apartment for good).  The living room furniture is scheduled for delivery on Monday.

After dune bashing & camel riding...
before sand boarding.
Today, I am off to get the soft goods to finish preparing the essentials - pillows, sheets, dishes, etc. and tomorrow, I move. All of this preparing has made me miss my family more and recognize how much I depend on Rob to steady my nerves, be the voice of reason, and his overall know-how, Mr. Fix-it fabulousness.

In a few weeks, probably even in a few days, this will not seem like such a big deal. I'm going to be happy to present my family with our functional new home, and they will be able to help me finish preparing and personalizing.  It will be good.


Marianne said...

Where is your placement?

Mrs. Beaudin's classroom said...

Okay Jazz, you're still better off than what many of your friends will be facing next week. The end result for you will be something exciting and new, where you'll be appreciated. Will that happen with me? Not so much.

When do Rob and Belle leave?

Jasmine said...

Marianne, I am in Al Ain.

Mary, I miss you so much! Maybe Jeri will make silly faces at you across the hall during the switch up times. I'm still working out when they can arrive. I am hoping soon - but it is tough with the gov't being closed for the Eid this coming week. (It is the weekend here already.)

Jasmine said...

I'm feeling more positive than the post sounds, but I'm trying to document the WHOLE experience - not just the lightness & sunshine. ;)

Erica Wilson said...

Breathe, dear Jasmine. Breathe. Like Mary said, you will be appreciated where you work. I'm reading a book that states being appreciated at work is part of our self-worth. Remember that. You will be making a difference. Kisses, love.

Mrs. Beaudin's classroom said...

Erica Wilson, I guess that leaves me with "squat" in the self-worth department. I hope you are getting some where you are my dear. (self-worth, I mean.)

Jasmine said...

Mary, you are appreciated by those who are paying attention. Promise.