Saturday, November 28, 2009
I don't exactly know what Eid is, but it seems to happen twice a year and we get about a week off. This time, it coincides with U.A.E. Independence Day so we get a week and a half off. For those who may think that I hardly ever teach and have tons of time off, it isn't true. It only seems that way. Believe me, after the two-week semester break in January, I won't have any time off until my two-month summer break in June.
Because it's a longer break with the combination of the holidays, I'm not really going too far away. Thursday, (known as Thanksgiving to Americans) we just hung around the apartment most of the morning and went to the beach for a few hours in the afternoon. Yesterday (Friday), I left my wife and kids at home to go on a long hike though some canyons in Oman with some friends that we went camping with a few weeks ago. That was pretty nice, but in the end, I think it took a lot more out of me than I originally thought. The hike was a pretty physical endeavor, but it felt like the sun really took it's toll on me. There was a lot of beautiful scenery that I tried to get with a camera. I tend to be into speed photography which is take out the camera every couple hundred yards, point, shoot, and hope I got something worth saving.
Today, I woke up not necessarily sore, but a bit tired from yesterday. I felt fairly refreshed, but I can tell you that I sure slept well. I didn't do much because I was waiting to get in touch with someone that I went hiking with yesterday so I could buy her sofa set. Most of the day was spent hanging around but in the late afternoon and early evening I went over to her place, decided that I wanted her sofas, and went to the post office to hire some guys to move them for us.
Now, back in the days when my wife was accepting rides from strangers, she went to pick up 13 boxes that we had shipped ourselves. Luckily for her she had her escort to negotiate with the guys who owned the trucks. In my case, I was very fortunate to have the woman I bought the sofas from come with me to negotiate with the gentlemen in the trucks via Arabic. From what she said, you can negotiate in English but then you can expect to pay twice as much. There was a bit of back and forth with the Arabic with me starting to drive away at one point when they wouldn't agree to our price but in the end we agreed to 200 dirham ($55). After picking it up and delivering the furniture I was warned that there would be some complaining afterwards and I should give them another 50 dirham as I slammed the door in their faces. That seemed to work.
So far Eid has been good. We have tentative plans to go camping over the next week and plans to have some friends over. The kids had a great time at the beach and I really enjoyed the hiking yesterday. Even with all that, I'm pretty confident that when I go to work a week from Sunday, the highlight of the holiday will be getting the sofa set.