It was a wet and miserable Thursday evening. I had pulled a muscle in my back and was inbits.com! I was particularly cranky and not in the mood for cooking. So I went into the local restaurant after school to be served my dinner....no cooking or washing up involved. As I waited for my meal to arrive I took up the newspaper. There, emblazoned across the front was the headline
Teachers being lured to Abu Dhabi.
I immediately began reading about how our young teachers are being enticed to the idyllic world of Abu Dhabi, where they will earn double what they would get in Ireland, if they ever manage to get a job here in the first place, which is highly unlikely! It went on to list all the advantages to living in the Middle East, namely glorious sunshine all year long, tax free wages, free accommodation and free flights home.
I wept into my Chicken Caesar Salad! Granted when I went there in 1999 it wasn't due to a downturn in our economy
In fact I missed the whole feckin' Celtic Tiger while I was away!
Rather I went for the craic. And now as I looked out at the rain streaming down the window, I could have cried....what do I mean "Could have?"....... I did!
My first year in Abu Dhabi was probably the best fun of my life. There were 33 new teachers from all parts of the world starting in my school, so we were all experiencing this new life together.
When I got home I looked up my photos, to depress myself even more. I came across these photos of one of our first parties there, held in Jonathan and Owain's apartment in 2000. We are all now scattered all over the world. I am still in contact with a large number of us, but am curious to know what everyone else is up to.
Michelle Batey and Barbie!
Gerardine O Dowd and Owain
To all those teachers considering heading off to the Middle East I say
Go! Now! You won't regret it.