With the recent flurry of holidays, mourning and celebrations, I haven't had much of a chance to reflect on the year that has passed. It was quite an eventful year for me, yet at the same time, it feels like I have been here for much longer than the 8 months I have been back in the UAE.
The beginning of 2005 started with a few interviews in Dubai, while I was here on holiday visiting my family. I headed back to Montreal knowing that I already had an offer from one of the companies. All I needed was the contract...which took a couple of months to finally be sent to me. When I finally got it, 2 months later, there was a mistake, so I asked them to revise it. That took another 10 days or so.
I strongly believe that everything happens for a reason, and during those 10 days that I was waiting for my contract to be rectified, I got contacted by another company I had interviewed with when I was here in January. They told me that they had a new position available and that they would like to continue the interview process. A week and two phone interviews later, I had another offer, a much better one, in a better company that seemed much more professional. So, after much debating and hesitating, I said bye bye to Company 1, and hello to Company 2.
I had a month to settle everything in Montreal and move back here. I gave in my notice at work (which was one of many hard things I had to do there, because I genuinely loved my work and my colleagues), sold everything I could possibily sell, shipped 9 boxes and 2 suitcases of clothes, books, CD's, and things I simply couldn't part with, threw away more than 2 dozen garbage bags of useless stuff, gave away around a dozen garbage bags of clothes to the Salvation Army (not just my clothes...my sister's and brother's stuff was there too!), dealt with taxes and utilities and boring paperwork, and finally said goodbye to the many friends I had accumulated over the past 10 years.
The first few weeks in Dubai were hectic to say the least. I still had doubts about my decision to live in Dubai all by myself, rather than in Abu Dhabi with my family. Dubai seemed like such a foreign, scary place. I stayed in a hotel in Bur Dubai for a month, until I found my own place. The commute took an hour on average each day (each way). I might as well have stayed in Abu Dhabi! Work turned out to be a pleasant surprise. I enjoy what I do and the people I work with, and I am learning a lot. But I am still in awe at the long working hours and crazy days.
Within a month of arriving here, I found an apartment, bought furniture, bought a car, and finally settled into my new life in Dubai. The 7 or so months since then have gone by in a blur, interrupted only by a 2-week holiday in September when I went to Mexico for one week and to Montreal for another week.
I have also finally managed to kick the habit of biting my nails (after 27 long years!) and got rid of my eyeglasses and lenses after successful (knock on wood) Lasik surgery.
All in all I think my move back here was a good one on 2 levels: my career and being closer to my family. I do miss my life and my friends in Montreal a lot, but I sure don't miss the cold!