teach, teaching, UAE, Dubai, Saudi Arabia, Riyadh, ESL
 
Jobs often request nationalities which is a pity as many individuals are capable of the same job regardless of nationality, but to discriminate blatantly based on skin color is wrong.

I happen to have a Caucasian face, so this is a case where blatant racism would benefit me, and I cannot deny that certain things in my world are easier based on my skin color but as a developing world society, I feel we are slowly trying to make progress in an area and overlook our insignificant differences.Perhaps the HR manager is so incompetent that their English is so poor to comprehend how offensive this job ad is.

Truly a, "What the..." moment.
 
 
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Gazing out the window over Vietnam
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Relaxing after snorkeling. I saw some really pretty dark blue fish. We rode in a boat made of wood with a noisy motor attached.
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Getting punched in the face by a monkey was the highlight of my trip. Such a busy creature. She jumped on my head, stole my sunglasses. Eventually we just chilled and I gave her an apple to eat. Koh Samui, Thailand.
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Five star resort we stayed in called the Muang Samui, absolutely beautiful. Excellent rates, delicious breakfast and view of the beach.
So, through teaching tax-free with paid accommodation and
plenty of free time has made for quite the year. I have gone on four vacations. I went to the United States twice. I visited
New Mexico, California, Oregon, Washington, Utah and Alaska.
Also, I visited the Buchart Gardens in Canada. It was amazing as normally
working in the U.S. I never have the time or money to visit different states
and try new things like going on a cruise or whale watching.

Also, I was able to visit the coast of Oman this year including Muscat, Sur and the Batin region. After that I had a brief vacation Istanbul, Turkey and visited some old time friends from my early teaching days.My last vacation was to Koh Saui, Thailand in October whereI had an amazing time riding on a motorcycle with my husband. Also, snorkeling, playing with monkeys and eating awesome Thai food.Everything there is so cheap! The massages....

Additionally, I have zero credit card debt as I paid that all off. I have a reasonable chunk of money in savings which part of it goes to a retirement account and the other part goes to stocks. I eventually want to buy a house.

I am also paying cash for my second Master's degree and Doctor of Education.

I just recently got a nanny to help out with domestic stuff and she is amazing. I am not saying all of this to boast or anything, I just feel that working abroad was the right decision.

I have met many interesting colleagues at work. We were discussing trekking through Nepal and Northern Thailand at lunch.

Sometimes culturally it can be very very difficult to work abroad. However, it is so rewarding. It can truly help you build the life that you want. I am truly grateful to have discovered this amazing world.
 
 
This is a great ebook to prepare a teacher for their first teaching experience in Saudi Arabia. It is full of tips and strategies to prepare a teacher who doesn't have an idea of what to expect or what to do when things are not going to plan. It will be especially good for teachers coming from other parts of the world who are used to different teaching and learning norms. Saudi Arabia is a very different kind of country to teach in and Marianne explains through her years of teaching ESL what kinds of strategies work best with Saudi students. I also would recommend this book to teachers in other Gulf countries who may be having challenges keeping their students engaged. The author is very attentive to detail and has a wide wealth of creative ideas and useful websites that would be invaluable. This book is worth the investment, especially if you are finding that situation at work where there is limited resources and high expectations of you.

You can find Teaching English in Saudi Arabia here.
 
 
Top 5 websites in Abu Dhabi for fun to escape boredom


1) www.groupon.ae This is the place
to go for restaurant meal deals, quirky shopping deals and half price on
childcare or a quick course from an institute. FYI somehow the website will not
allow you to pay if you have an HSBC credit card or foreign credit card. It
seems to like the ADCB credit cards.
2) www.yallabanana.com
Nice deals like groupon, only a lot easier to pay for. I used a hair care deal
with a manicure and pedicure for under 100 AED, a steal!
3) http://www.abudhabievents.ae
Has all the fun family events, race car events and upcoming
concerts
4) http://www.timeoutabudhabi.com/ One
of my favorites for restaurant reviews and new things to try in the
city
5) http://www.adnec.ae/adnec/whatson
The expo center in Abu Dhabi is state of the art. It has so many exhibitions
from shopping to cars, wedding, jewelry and hunting. I personally love the
shopping festivals like the “Shams Festival” and “Ramadan Festival”. I like to
get pretty dresses for 250 AED or Abayas for 150 AED.


 
 
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The trees that started it all. Gezi Park Istanbul. Surrounded by anti-government propaganda.
Gezi Park is a large park in Istanbul across from the main square. Last weekend (June 6th 2013) I went there right after the police withdrew from the riots. The mood in Taksim was very festive. Many people were singing and dancing in the street to traditional Turkish music. There were also many people chanting anti-government and anti-tayip chants. I didn't feel threatened or afraid at all despite Taksim looking extremely battered from the riots. Many shop windows were broken and the entire area has been spray painted with anti-government slogans. Some of the local businesses were shunned because they did not help the protesters when they were riots and remained closed. I remember seeing a kebab shop that had the lights off and Starbucks was closed (because it probably was too dangerous to be open/protestors were not buying from them) and the area in front of it was made into a make shift hospital.
 
There were many people in Taksim despite it being a week night. My Turkish friend told me people would spend the night in Gezi Park and go to work the next day. Many people were young, about 20-30. There also were professors in the park. I also saw a few old ladies with head scarves.  It almost felt like some kind of 1960's Turkish hippie revolution.

Gezi Park is quite large. It must have been populated with over 1000 people celebrating, singing and camping in tents. There were stands selling beer, wine and food like watermelon and grilled corn. The street sellers were making good money off this event. Also, young men would randomly sell cigarettes and alcohol. There were pictures of the riots on a clothes line documenting previous events. Also, there were stands with free food like crackers and cookies. Most people were just sitting, talking and taking it all in. Many of the young people and a mix from society are unhappy with the current government because they are not including in the political process.
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Wall down a side street in Taksim, anti-tayyip graffiti.
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In Taksim, on Isticlal Street. Street sellers sell Ataturk tshirts which are a symbol of being liberal as the current president is more religious.
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Tayyip Graffiti on a street to Besiktas. Tayyip Bieber. Tayyip is the current president of Turkey.
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Fox News van completely destroyed by "looters" because the media did not cover the protests. It was on its side used a barricade to block the middle of the road to prevent police from entering and throwing tear gas.
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Written in Turkish, "looters park". There was a lot of sarcasm and humor in the posts by the protestors. It is not very clear who was violent but it is general knowledge that the supporters of the Turkish football team in Besiktas became violent when the police would not leave. Many of the protestors sitting in the park were peaceful university type students.
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Protestors camping in Gezi Park, Istanbul Turkey June 6th 2013.
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Gas masks and whistles for sale on the main street in Taksim.
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Freedom for alcohol and the head scarf. Written on an overturned vehicle creating a barricade in the street to prevent police coming in.
 
 
Wadi Shab is hidden on the Omani Coast in a sleepy village with no restaurant. It is a little more than an hour away from Muscat to the South. On the way there are some opportunities to stop and check out the beaches that have egg sized stones, coral, and sea urchins. The water in Oman is almost always temperate and can have some serious waves. We also saw many camels and donkeys on the side of the road apparently roaming freely.

Wadi Shab is accessible by a small boat to ferry you in the Wadi. It is a good 45 minute walk to get to the pools of water. In some places it is slightly dangerous to walk so I wouldn't suggest bringing really young children. I have seen many people swimming but there were signs posted not to because it is drinking water. There are some small finger sized fish in the water pools with little frogs as well. I even saw a dragonfly. I think this is a special place in Oman to visit and worth it. I took my mother there and she really liked it.
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Hello, I am very curious and I do like apples indeed. I like laying in the sun near the coast in Oman. -Mrs. Camel.
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This camel lying down is a male. They have larger faces. You can see he coat is shedding because of the change of seasons.
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Sea Urchins and Coral washed up from the sea. Oman.
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Beautiful Sea South of Muscat, Oman.
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A boat to ferry you back and forth for a small fee to Wadi Shab, Oman.
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The grand entrance into the Wadi via the little fishing ferry boat. Wadi Shab, Oman.
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Some of the pools in Wadi Shab, Oman. Wadi means, "dry river bed." in Arabic. Wadis are a natural feature in the Gulf as much as rivers and lakes are in the West.
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This pool in Wadi Shab, looks even better in real life.
 
 
New York University in Abu Dhabi has some worthwhile cultural events

I went to a public concert in Abu Dhabi and thought is was well put together.
I was quite surprised at the venue it was held in, Etihad Towers on the cornice. For those of you who don't know about the venue. It is a new addition to the every expanding Abu Dhabi skyline. The marble walls and elaborate light pieces scream 5 stars. They have an mall indoors
with high end fashion boutiques and apartments for sale as well as the Jumeirah at Etihad Towers Hotel. It is a work of art as many pieces are architecture are in the Emirates. It seems like an architects playground
in Dubai and Abu Dhabi.

The concert was free to the public as NYU Abu Dhabi has many free events. The concert was a collaboration at the end with NYU music lecturers from the United States and those posted in UAE. It also had an Indian Phd. student playing a hand drum and several Emirati tabla players.I would say the art and culture scene is suddenly booming in this city with many exciting things happening.
 
 
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The Jordan area in Global Village.
Global Village, Dubai: an excellent spot for being entertained


 Global Village is located on the outskirts of Dubai for the cooler months
of the year.It has many decorated buildings hosting many different countries
of the world. There are the Arab countries like Egypt, Kuwait, Syria, Qatar,
Bahrain, and Saudi Arabia. There is also Iran, Pakistan and China. There are
many other countries as well.


I was a little disappointed that the America and Europe section just carried
Chinese copied perfumes however. I think if they actually got some interesting
products from those continents is would add to the fun.


Overall prices are quite reasonable and there are some interesting things to
eat. My husband tried the pomegranate juice and it was pretty good. I tried
some Turkish baklava and was impressed as the baklava in the Emirates is of
really poor quality. I think Turkish baklava is the best baklava in the Middle
East because they use butter and pistachios unlike oil and peanuts.


There is a variety of food and snacks throughout Global Village and it is a
great place to take the family or tourists to see. My favorite places to visit
are the Saudi Arabia building because they have cheap perfume and abayas.


I happened to see a parade which was really nice. There were people all
dressed up from all corners of the world in their native clothing. I also saw a
concert with some local Emiratis singing. I have also witnessed some Indian
singing performances in previous years.


In another section of Global Village is a fair like area with a Ferris wheel,
games and rides. They have closed down the area this year because someone was
killed by a bolt from the Ferris wheel. Perhaps next year it will be open. If
you are in Dubai for the winter, you have to check Global Village out. It is
like an enormous fair that is great for shopping, food, people watching and
entertainment.


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There is plenty of makeup to be bought at global village.
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The China gate at Global Village with a diverse crowd in front.
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Awesome Turkish baklava. The Turkish area is really great to look at and full of quality products which cannot be said of all the areas. The flooring is also cobblestone just like Istanbul.
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Stunning Turkish lamps at Global Village.
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Turkish chestnuts and corn grilled.
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Bahraini Saffron probably imported from Iran. Cardamom pods and cloves to add to Arabic Coffee and to flavor rice. These flavors along with cumin are very very popular in Gulf cooking.
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Pakistani carpet seller displaying his wares.
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Pakistani snacks. They have spices and tumeric to color them. They look like fried lentils and little noodles.
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GPS Location of Global Village Dubai. Next to Arabian Ranches on highway 311
 
 
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Mutrah, Soug Oman
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Mutrah, Oman. The rocky little mountains are a staple of Oman, usually they are dotted with goats.
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Beautiful Omani silver jewelry
Mutrah Soug (bazaar), Oman


Mutrah is a small fishing town bordering Muscat where cruise ships may stop.
There is some construction going on at the moment which could be a hotel or
an extension to the fish port. Hotels are reasonably priced. Marina hotel near
the fish roundabout is okay.There is a night club that plays music well into
the night and beware the neighboring hotels seem to have a prostitution problem.
This isn't exactly the best thing for attracting tourists to Oman. I had a
good laugh at the fish restaurant which was named, "fishers grilled".
The Omanis have a lot of signs in English that are full of mistakes.I wonder if they
still have a "fartilizer store" in Sohar, Oman.


One of my favorite places in Oman is Mutrah Souq. It is a fairly large souq
located in Muscat,Oman. You can buy a lot of souveniers there like Indian
style handbags, pashminas and Omani incense. They also have fabric
stores,dresses, and silver.My favorite places in the souq are the juice bar
and the old silver stores. They are both located halfway through the soug on
the right. The juice bar has fresh juices like mango, strawberry and guava. I
got the works with icecream and they added sultanas and pine nuts. The silver
stores are usually quite pricey, you can find better deals in the smaller
towns but the variety is amazing. A lot of the silver is replicas of old coins
or jewelry. The silver stores are expertly decorated and it is so fun to walk
inside. It is like a treasure chest.


Omani incense is usually cheap. It is very distinct in its smell compared to
neighboring gulf countries which often stick to oud (agarwood) and perfume
oil. Omani incense is usually a combination of francincense,myrrh, sandalwood
and shells. I find only francincense to be quite strong on its own. It is a
pale yellow color and I have heard the green kind is of a better
quality.Some people also chew on it like gum as it is anti-bacterial.
Incense is an integral part of life in the Gulf and nearly
every house burns it. I guess people used it frequently in the past to get rid of the smell of food in tents or perhaps to get rid of bad smells due to lack of water. The
most prized smell is "oud" which is usually harvested in Cambodia, Indonesia and
India.It is a tree that has been infected with a fungus.
The smell is unique and can be very offputting to westerners. Even Dolce and Gabbana have a special perfume targeted to the Bedouin with an "oud" infusion.

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My favorite store to look at in Mutrah, Oman
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Wow, Omani silver. Don't you just feel like a pirate? Arrr...
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Typical gulf perfume bottles. You choose the oil to put in it. There are traditional scents like Jasmine or Rose and mixes like Chanel Chance or Aqua di Gio.
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Omani silver jewellery in Mutrah, Oman
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Hmm, grilled fisherman anyone?
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One of the "shadier" Mutrah hotels.
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The incense guy at the Mutrah Souq. It seems like a family business. They have everything neatly organized in jars. You may hear them say, "tafadhal" which means, "come on in".
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Omani francinsense. It almost has a smell of Eucalyptus.
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Fresh fruit juice with ice-cream, sultanas and nuts in Mutrah Soug, Oman. It was a meal in itself.
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Behind the Soug, in the local area a man making fresh bread.
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Hmmm. A couple pieces of fresh chicken in a fridge, not the most appetizing.
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Take Al Mina street from Lulu hypermarket all the way to the end.
 
 
Across the Gulf each country celebrates it's national day. Usually it consists of some celebrations at all schools and colleges. Over the years it has become more fancy in the Emirates, I even had custom National Day chocolates this year and there was a theme called, "spirit of the nation".

Our college students went to a neighboring college and listened to music and watched traditional dancing. Many female students and teachers had henna painted on their hands and ate traditional Emirati food. Also, there were vendors selling makeup, handbags and beauty products.

National Day is a festive event and the Emiratis are very thankful and proud to be Emirati on this day. I remember a lecture given and he said in Arabic, "Praise be to God, we have good leadership and they have given us everything, houses."

Young men usually decorate their cars with temporary car wraps with photos of the ruling family and the late Shiekh Zayed. Their cars may say poetry or showing loyalty to the royal family. I saw a large land-cruiser that was covered with a UAE flag wrap and sparkly glitter. It was some fancy car wrap.

There is also an incentive to draping the UAE flag on your house and decorating it with lights. The ruling family may give you a chunk of money.

Usually in Abu Dhabi the corniche is a slow stop with heavily decorated cars and youth all excited yelling out their windows.

Many schools have rehearsed dances performed by Emirati children. They are really cute to watch.
In Riyadh celebrations are not as extravagant. I remember when I was at a university last year we had a Powerpoint presentation in an auditorium and we were given Saudi pins to wear. A Saudi teacher warned us, "Do not go to the bathroom with the pins because Allah's name is on the pin."

I went to Tahlia Street in Riyadh and no women were outside however, I saw some adorable little girls with their Saudi flags. Many young men had their cars decorated as well. I remember their were some young men driving motorcycles with crazy green mohawk hair on their helmets, it was funny.

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Saudi National Day Cupcakes on Tahlia Street. The cupcake craze is in the Gulf and thriving.
 

teach, teaching, UAE, Dubai, Saudi Arabia, Riyadh, ESL