Tomorrow marks 6 months that we've lived in Abu Dhabi. Thinking about how I should commemorate this occasion, I began reading through old blog entries and as I read about our travels and adventures I began to realize that we have left out a big part of the story here. Sam recently described life in the UAE to a friend back home using the old saying “long periods of boredom punctuated by moments of sheer terror.” Okay, maybe “sheer terror” isn’t accurate for us; “exhilaration” would be a better fit, but otherwise you can get the picture – even life in the Middle East can’t be interesting every moment. So, while we wait for another opportunity to travel or be exposed to some new cultural phenomenon, we go about the business of living in Abu Dhabi, a town I imagine having the same amount of charm as a Miami suburb. Now that the initial culture shock is over, now that we know that we can’t get lost, now that we’ve seen the local sights and we know there are almost no restaurants worth mentioning, now what?
Well, we live.
And this is the part we’ve failed to document. A day in the life of Sam and Shannon in the middle east—
Yesterday I woke up to the sound of my alarm clock and fumbled in the darkness to turn it off without waking Sam. I then began my morning routine which is nearly always exactly the same – dragged myself to the kitchen to make coffee, looked out our balcony window for signs of the sunrise while waiting impatiently for the coffee to finish brewing, sat with my coffee and muffin and wrote in my journal, woke up Sam, got dressed and ready for work, fought traffic while listening to my iPod set on shuffle, sat through meetings, sent emails, wrote reports, watched the clock slowly make its way to 5 pm, fought traffic (and a headache) on the way home, looked for a parking spot, changed clothes, spent 40 minutes on the elliptical, washed my hair, poured a glass of wine and made salads for dinner (because we’d eaten too much lately that is not salad), watched a bit of TV, chatted with Sam about various news articles we’d read and relayed the minutiae of our days at work (he had taught two English composition classes, bought some new pants, and played indoor soccer after work with some colleagues), did a load of laundry (darks), read for a bit (me – Edgar Sawtelle; Sam – Harry Potter book 7—I know, finally!), turned out the lights by 10 and was asleep in seconds.
That’s it. No glitz. No life lessons. Just life. And tomorrow will be about the same.