Pollen is in the air; new life is budding. It’s that time of year where you’re exhausted and antsy at the same time. If you’ve also applied to teach in the UAE, you may begin to doubt your sanity because this year your spring fever has gone haywire. What you don’t know is that you may have contracted Emirateitis. If you’re experiencing any of the following symptoms, don’t worry you’re not going crazy. All of us who’ve applied have it.
- It’s 10 p.m., you can barely keep your eyes open and you have to get up early for work, but you have to read just one more entry or chapter on the latest UAE-related thing you’re reading. Two hours later you’re still reading.
- You created an online shopping cart at Abu Dhabi Ikea just to see what decorating your apartment will cost —- and, yes, you’ve done this before your actual interview.
- You (if you’re a woman) realize how daring your wardrobe is —- everything seems to show off your collar bones, and wow do you really wear skirts that short to work? You also become fascinated with abayas, and realize for the first time ever how freeing they could be.
- You mumble your version of Arabic phrases —- you don’t even know if you’re making the right sounds, but in your head you’ve got this!
- You rent movies that have scenes from the UAE in it. You make the mistake of renting that horrible Sex in the City movie and you yell at Samantha for being true to her character, but so obnoxiously disrespectful to your home to be. You’re ashamed for her.
- You compare just about everything you do now to the way you think you’ll be doing it this time next year —- from cooking to driving to teaching. You’ve become bi-worldly.
- On Thursdays you tell everyone if I were in the UAE this would be my Friday. On Sundays you say I’m so glad I’m still here because today would be my Monday.
- You’ve become a Facebook freak way more than any of your students have ever done on all their forms of social media. You now belong to so many private groups that you have to click on “groups” to see them all —- before this you didn’t even know groups existed. I was so bad with this I accidentally joined an Alice Cooper fan page because in my Abu Dhabi, ADEC frenzy I didn’t notice all ‘A’ groups were popping up.
The best part is ‘Emirateitis’ is not a disease; it’s a new way of living. So, go ahead and share your symptoms. It’s all good, we’ve got this together.
About Bettina Bennett
Bettina Bennett is currently a Cycle two and three educator here in the UAE. She is also a Teach UAE Magazine Blogger and Guest Contributor.