Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Landing... and freaking out

They can explain culture shock to you. But there is nothing like experiencing it. Because as nice as it is here (as warm as it is here, and palm-treed and impeccably sunny) as many Starbucks and The Gap and things like that I see around me that are familiar, I am not at home. Even more important, I'm not going home. Not anytime soon anyway.

This is home. That's the part that's hard to wrap my head around. Everyone told me I would feel like this for the first couple of weeks. It's just that this - no matter that I chose it, no matter that I wanted it, deep into my bones, and still do - is just so much more freakish and unsettling and weird and odd than I expected. I even found myself buying a copy of The Secret yesterday, if that is any indication as to the emotional roller coaster I find myself on at the moment. I mean, really. The Secret? In April, 2008?

Plus, there are cockroaches in my hotel room. Quite a lot of them, actually. It's beyond upsetting. But there are zero hotel rooms in Abu Dhabi at the moment, I am told, and the option is immediate fumigation. Not an option I feel is the best option, but the only one I am being presented with at the moment. I have to wonder if the people who came here before me to start this newspaper (read: higher ups) would have been placated by the word "fumigation," and I am inclined to think 'no, I suspect not.' Developing...

One more thing: I made it to a mall yesterday. Don't ask me to tell you the name, I can barely function here. It was smaller, by a lot, than say Bayshore in Ottawa or Masonville in London, yet it had four or five lingerie stores in it. So now, every time I see these women walking around covered head to toe in black, I can know not only are they listening to an iPod or chatting on their cell phone, they are rocking some serious fundie undies as well. There are always layers, aren't there?

Pictures and more upbeat posts to follow, I promise. Blogging, it turns out, feels grounding.
Also, the comments function is unregulated here, so feel free to make this site as interactive as possible!

10 comments:

Hutch said...

Ottawa already misses you AM! Have you tried naming and befriending the roaches?

val said...

Hey Anne Marie

Thinking of you often. Things will get better as the days go by.......please post pics.

scott said...

Hang in there AM. I'm sure things will become more natural soon. I think naming the cockroaches is a good idea. Then they can be more like pets!
take care,

Robin

Krista said...

thanks for the heads up on your new blog

best of luck with the new position and new world

i'm quite looking forward to your take on things in Abu Dhabi as you settle in and get over your fumigation -- ack!

best,
krista

Ken said...

Broadway Ave never looked so good as it does now! But soon you'll be able to call it home there as well, I'm sure!

Carla said...

Hello Ann!
I imagine it would be quite different but you'll adjust in no time!
(I hope that you bought the Sex & the City series...the girls provide great company ;)
-Carla xo

Pam said...

Hey AM,

Glad to hear you made it safe and sound! It's nice to know you have the Gap and Starbucks to comfort you! Well...and the roaches. :)

Pam

Flo said...

Annie you didn't need the book, the Secret is...its all in the name of having material for the story telling. What better than roaches and lingerie...preferably not together..well that does paint an interesting picture as well...well better than crabs and lingerie, now that would be really bad... but I digress. If you can make it in Woodstock, you can make it anywhere baby! I have no doubt in my mind you will be a local celebrity in no time.

Susie McQueen said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Susie McQueen said...

Dear Abu Dhabi Ann,

I'm happy you're getting settled. I love reading your updates.
Take care of yourself.
Hey, just to let you know...the Jays swept the Red Sox over the weekend. When are you going to your first sporting event in Abu Dhabi...camel racing?


Susie