So, after a fairly good sleep I woke pretty early and went down to check out the breakfast buffet around 6.30am. Every conceivable breakfast desire you might have (and some you’ve never thought you might need!) is catered for and is included, as the hotel provided by ADEC really look after you. The staff are super-friendly too!
I went for a swim and lay out in the shade for about an hour, dozing in the warm 37º breeze, returning to the pool at regular intervals to cool off again. My back is playing up a bit after the flight, so I returned to my room to chill and stretch it out.
Around 12.30pm, I ventured out again as I didn’t want to spend the whole day in the room -as lovely as it is – and took a taxi to Yas Mall. The heat had risen to a balmy 49º. Air conditioning is welcomed.
The mall is huge – kinda like Westfield Stratford (for those of you who know London!) on steroids. I found and imbibed my first UAE Starbucks and found another of my all-time favourite American stores, Potterybarn. I resisted today but can’t promise that my new flat out here won’t have one or two lovely big lanterns or cushions from there!
I watched the roller coasters at Ferrari World for a little, but didn’t ride today (my back is threatening painful spasms at the moment and a 360º loop or a ride on the world’s fastest roller coaster – Formula Rossa, with a top speed of 239 km/h or 149 mph – might just put me in traction. Not a good look for my first day of orientation on Sunday.
I am back in the room and have set the air con to 21º, which is perfect when the heat outside is in the 40s.
I’ve had a message from a couple of the other teachers who I have connected with via one of the forums prior to leaving the UK and will try to meet up later to add friendly faces into the mix.
Day 1 hasn’t been too shabby at all, and I am looking forward to another relaxing day tomorrow where I will most likely stay around the hotel and get mentally ready for the orientation – there will be so much to take in over the next few days and weeks, that I’m glad I was one of the first to arrive from Group 1 this year.
I hope that my blog posts and comments in the forums can help other EMTs as they prepare for the trip out to the UAE and life here.