For the last couple of weeks we have been very busy trying to get ready for the end of school. We haven't wanted to deal with the lingering stress of summer school like we did last summer. We wanted to enjoy our summer which meant we had to put a little work into things in advance of summer (there's probably a lesson in that somewhere).
In addition to the stresses of school, there are the stresses of moving. We have a good sized apartment, but we have no storage rooms or closets or unused corners in which to pile boxes or packed suitcases and the suitcases and boxes are most definitely piling up. In addition to the packing, there's the stress of sifting through all those things that you don't want to move. Two years later, and we're still unloading much of the furniture and other odds and ends we had mistakenly purchased at the beginning of our sojourn. It would be nice to sell some of the stuff, but, after having gone through the experience of owning it, I don't think I could bring myself to charge people for the experience.
|This is what we got rid of this time (and I don't think we're quite done yet).|
Then there's been the stress of my trip to Texas and Florida. I'm starting my doctoral program this summer and there's been a little bit of anxiety associated with that whole experience. Given the choice between traveling half way around the world and staying home with a good book, I'd probably enthusiastically declare my desire for world exploration and then retire to a bookish life under my covers. I'm always glad to have those adventures, but I'm not so good at enjoying them before or as they're happening. Most of the pleasures I enjoy in life are retrospective.
Oh, and then on the day we were to take off for Florida, I got in my first Abu Dhabi traffic accident. There are advantages to driving an SUV, but the ability to easily see small cars pulling up on your left is not one of them. I completely missed a car in my blind spot as I pulled out onto the street
Ironically, the accident was one of the least stressful moments of the last few weeks. Once I confirmed that the other driver was OK, everything kind of fell effortlessly into place.
The other driver's English wasn't great. He kept saying, "No problem, no problem." And if it weren't for his incredibly calm demeanor, I would've said he didn't understand what he was saying to me. There was not the least bit of bluster or fist shaking that usually accompanies the post accident adrenaline spike. He had completely accepted what happened and the only thing left to do was call the police. Every accident, no matter how small, has to be reported and no body repairs can be done on a vehicle without a police report. When the accident officer arrived, there was almost a calming ritual to the experience. He began by shaking each of our hands and greeting us. He then took pictures of the damage to the vehicles and explained what I needed to do next. There was more hand shaking and then we parted ways. I've had beach days with more stress.
Julie's reaction to my accident was unexpected. After she made sure I was safe, she told me she was glad it happened. "Maybe, this will teach to to take a little more care as you're driving around on the other side of the world." She obviously felt this was a lesson I needed to learn before I spent too much time on my own.
Obviously, I didn't get much rest that night. Liam and I caught a taxi to the airport at around 11:30 in the evening and everything played out the way it was supposed to. Traveling with Liam is one of the most uneventful experiences of my life. He's a pretty low key traveler. He doesn't complain and makes the most of any given situation. Apart from how long it took to get from Abu Dhabi to London and the general discomfort of the economy seats, the trip couldn't have gone much better.
And yes, I took the liability coverage when the rental place pitched it.
|This is Liam at the outset of a great adventure. I wouldn't say he was indifferent.|