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Under Construction

“Sure, where there is a will, there is a way. Too bad there is construction going on on my way.” - Loejse (Dutch Fictional Character)

My first week in Dubai I knew I would never be late for work. At least, not because I overslept.

The first morning I awoke in my bed in Dubai, it was approximately four in the morning. I looked out from my bed straight into the distance where I could see the lights of the city. I did not have curtains yet. I have huge picture windows in my bedroom. One faces the south and the other, the west. To the south is the sand for about one quarter mile and behind it the city; directly to the west is another new building under construction, and beyond that, more new buildings under construction.

By about 5:00, I decided to get out of bed. I knew there was no more sleep to come, so I might as well unpack. I put on some yoga clothes and began piddling around the house. I noticed a bus full of construction workers drive up. About ten minutes later I walked back into my bedroom. I was grateful I was dressed.

The workers were right outside my window. I could have opened it and had a conversation, using our inside voices. I stared, briefly shocked at how close they were. They looked at me. I walked out of the room.

We went on like this for several days. I needed some curtains. I heard IKEA had cheap curtains that would fit our windows. I would get some then. If I wanted to get real curtains later I would find an upholsterer who made them, and do so when I had time to decide what I wanted, or find some while I was shopping that I really liked. For now, before I had ever been to the store, I thought IKEA would be fine. The search for curtains began. I finally purchased some, and I fully recognize they are a temporary solution to the problem at hand. But even though they keep out the lights and the eyes of others, they don't solve the construction problem.

"I want to go back to the Marina," Kelly said one day. "It's nice there. And it's finished."

I burst out laughing, but the truth to her comment was disturbing. Everything around us was under construction. We live near the new school, so we will be close when it is built. Around the old school, our current building, everything is being torn down.

Exhibit A - the top photo is our neighborhood. My co-worker and new teacher coordinator extraordinaire, Jen, took that from the roof of her building. The plot of land closest to the viewer, is where the new school is being built. Today the board announced it will open in the fall of 2010. All the way in the background of the photo, slightly right of center, is Ski Dubai, the ski slope in the Mall of the Emirates. One side of our apartment building, Kelli and Adam's side, looks out at Ski Dubai. Our building is between the new school and Ski Dubai.

Building name?

Sheikh Rashid? The New Building? R441? Dubai Real Estate Wasl building? It's near the Mall of the Emirates...It's near the Golden Tulip Hotel...the little one, on the inside road...It's near Jasmine Moon...across from Chicken Al Mumtaz...

"... ah, yes. Chicken Al Mumtaz. I am coming."

Because Dubai does not use an address system and the majority of the roads do not have names, getting to our building in a cab, having items delivered, and receiving services has been a challenge.

Exhibit B is the view from my balcony. Exhibit C is the view from my bedroom window to the west, and in it are the construction workers from the first morning. Exhibit D is the view to the south.

Sometimes, I see a bright light in the sky and I get excited because I think it is the moon. More than once it has been the light on a crane. There probably will not be a time when I live here, in the building with no name, when something in my neighborhood is not under construction. So, I think of it as I do students' learning - it's about the process, not the product.


Courtney said…
I love the photos... it is so nice to see where you are living. Is it feeling like home?
Its beautiful and it was shown on your pictures posted in this article. Nice work.

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