Meeting? What meeting? I got up, got dressed and went to breakfast ready for the meeting and immediately started hearing rumors that there was no meeting. The message was a mistake. I ate breakfast with Kara and Abby and Abby’s family. Kara waited until everyone was away from the table to tell me she had told ADEC and TeachAway that she wasn’t staying so I guess her decision is made. I think she’s going to regret it because she never gave herself a chance. She arrived Sunday night, spent Monday hiding in her room and decided Tuesday to go home. I realize this isn’t for everyone, but I think if you’re excited enough to get all the way here, you should give it a couple of weeks.
This morning at breakfast I tried the oatmeal. They serve it cold with almonds, raisins and cottage cheese. Not a lot of cottage cheese, but a little. Beef bacon is an abomination against nature. Tried it twice and it was just nasty both times. Still working up the courage to try the foul madames. Everyone assures me that they are some sort of beans, but the name alarms me. The hummus the hotel serves probably frightens Transylvanian vampires from here, it has so much garlic in it.
Anyway, everybody at the table was confident there was no meeting, but I ran down and checked, just to be on the safe side. Plus, I’d gotten all dressed up. I picked up a blouse for 19.95Dhr at Carrefour (under $5.50USD) that is perfect for teaching and matches everything I brought with me. As predicted, there was no meeting, but the schedule for the police checks was out. I was set for 7:45pm. Then I buzzed up to the breakfast room to let a few other people know. Communication has been difficult with ADEC. While I was flitting around, I sat for a while to talk to Precious and Sylvia? Sharon? Yeah, I’m good with names. She walked to the Marina Mall last night! She walked. I could barely walk to the front of the cab stand, it was so hot and humid. We walked out of the mall and it felt like when you open the dishwasher after the wash cycle and you get that whoosh of steam only it was the whole world. She walked in that. Eep.
We were scheduled to leave for the police station at 7:45pm. Then I got a message say 8. I went to the lobby at 7:45 to be on the safe side. We didn’t board the buses until 8:30. Then we drove to the station and sat on the bus until 11. We’re seriously on Mayberry time here. When they took us in where we were sternly told not to talk. I was sitting between Karen and Jennifer and we got the giggles. Then a guy came into the room and asked for the first four. The room had seats around the wall and then rows in the middle. I ended up along the wall and when he called the first group from the seats right inside the door, the women “next” all jumped up and moved to the seats they left. So we did too. When the guy came back, he saw what we’d done, laughed and called the next bunch. I ended up at the seat just inside the door. The woman across from me, very quietly and laughingly, informed me that she was going to jump the next time he came back and I, very quietly and laughingly, told her I was going to fight her.
Well, then I’m waiting and I see this woman start to jump up so I looked at the window behind my head. The guy told her, “not you, them!” pointing to us. So I laughed at her and we headed into the next room where they had us sit down again, but on softer chairs. In the regular way of the world, there were fifteen guys in the room, four doing fingerprinting, two observing and nine just hanging out. They seemed very amused by us. When it was my turn, I sat down and the guy typed in my name, yet again forgetting my last name. For some reason they keep assuming my middle name is my last name. Must be something in the Arabic. Anyway, he put my name in and said to look at the camera. Then he said, “Say cheese.” We’d been giggly all night so I cheerfully complied. He laughed and I started laughing too. Now the Abu Dhabi police have this picture of me laughing. I bet it’s the happiest picture in their catalog. He was really gentle, but he was replaced by another guy who was really rough. I kept thinking, Sweetie, I’m a kindergarten teacher not a convict.
When I went to leave there was a grim looking guy at the door who held up his hand in the international symbol for stop. Being the reasonably easy going person that I am (added to the fact that it was nearly midnight,) I wasn’t at all alarmed. Apparently, the bus had gone to get gas. Not surprising since it sat there for hours with the engine and the air running.
Eventually, the bus returned and we waited on it until the rest of our group finished so we could return to the hotel. At the hotel, the second group, which was supposed to leave at 10:45 was waiting. It was midnight. I hope they’re working on their logistics because the next two groups are twice the size of this one.