The thought police are upon us. Beware.
This week has been an interesting one.
At the weekend we tried to be cultured by embarking on an expat desert walk. We packed our bags with water, sunglasses and sandwiches, and arrived at the meeting spot. Rather than asking around and being pushy, we waited, as us Brits tend to do, until everyone else had found a driver. Finally a car pulled up and offered Lee a lift, so in we got. The guy, we soon found out, was a reckless driver and a general nutter (American of course!!). Oh yes, that's right, and it turned out he had not the faintest clue where we were going. A road trip ensued, with music, drinks and far-too-fast-for-comfort driving. After at least a couple of hours, involving many a camel sighting, some off-road bumpy rides and a wee behind a sand dune (I was desperate!), we finally admitted defeat and went home. Even though we never made it to the walk, it was a lot of fun, and really nice to be out of the city. Here is the one photo I took:
There were actually a lot of really beautiful sights such as valleys and layered rock towers, but it was hard to capture them when flying past at 110 miles an hour.
The reason I mention the thought police is because this week I've been firmly reminded of where I am, and therefore what I'm not allowed to say to the students. The list is long, and at times shocking. One of the things we are not supposed to mention is the C word. And no, I don't mean the one that you're thinking of (you rude people), I mean CHRISTMAS. Uh-oh, I went and said it.
After some deliberation on whether or not to act on my phantom stomach bug, I finally decided to go to the hospital, where I was thoroughly examined and given two days sick leave. It was so nice yesterday to sleep in past 5.30am (can you believe that's what time I get up?) and to just relax all morning. We watched Muppet Christmas Carol and opened some lovely presents from family. Then later we had a roast dinner with the people we live with, outside in the sun. We did a secret Santa and all in all it was about as festive as we could've made it.
Despite wishing I could be at home, I still had a really rather good day.
My only grievance is in relation to chocolate, and I will tell you all about it now.
The other day we bought a tin of Quality Street, in the hope of inspiring the festive mood. When I opened the tin, however, I immediately knew something was wrong. There were far too many purples and yellows. I have no idea why, but the tin only contained six different chocolates: the purple one, toffee penny, toffee finger, caramel swirl, the green one and some random one that I don't even know, "chocolate hazelnut crunch". What the F? Where's my orange crunch, my strawberry delight, my VANILLA FUDGE? This may sound insignificant and petty to you, but when even that promise of a little taste of home gets pulled from under you, it's pretty damn annoying.
Anyway, that's about it for now. I hope you all ate and drank your own body weight yesterday and generally had a very merry time (and that it is continuing well in to today)!