Thursday, September 23, 2010

Jumping through hoops

Today was official Run Around And Get Stuff Done day for all the new faculty at the university. All morning long we went from office to office to take care of paperwork and fees and photocopies. We ran into the same people - fellow new faculty members - over and over again as we all rode the same merry-go-round of bureaucracy.

Mercifully, most of the offices we needed to visit were located in the same building, albeit on different floors, serviced by what is quite possibly the least efficient elevator ever. We happily made our way from PR to HR to PR (again) to Traffic to the bank, back up to PR (again), back to the bank, to Traffic (again), to PR (AGAIN), and then Magdalena had a meltdown and it was all I could do to put her in the stroller and wheel her screaming all the way home. I really enjoyed the part where we had to pass through the grand, domed area of the main building on campus with its extraordinarily high ceilings and marbled floor. Magdalena's cries echoed there quite impressively. I bet all the new students standing there participating in orientation thought so, too.

With all that taken care of, we now have UAE residency for Jeremy (the girls' and mine will follow...soon, I hope), health insurance and accompanying miscellaneous benefits, a bank account at an institution whose name includes the word Islamic (I'll have to think of someone really Islamophobic to share that information with in a nonchalant, devious manner) (and if that person is Mormon they're about to learn that their own church has a bank account there as well), and a driver's license in progress.

The thing about the driver's license is that it cost a whole lot of money to procure. I was always one of those people who was all, "Good on other countries for charging a lot for a driver's license. Way to make sure people really want it and are really responsible before they can get one!!! Yeah!!!" Now I think it sucks. Hmph.

Next up: buying a car. I am torn between choosing something like an Avalon or giving in to the "drive the biggest car you can so that in the event of a wreck you don't get smashed to smithereens by someone else driving the biggest car they can" logic. There are a lot of wrecks here, it's true. I just don't know if I can drive a big car. Especially not an SUV. I hate SUVs. But now I might have to drive one. At least I won't need to wrestle with the whole foreign oil dependency issue because in the UAE it's not really foreign oil now, is it?


(And if anyone has an idea of the kind of car I should get, please share.)


Brittany Cornett said...

i wanted a station wagon with a vintage looking wood panel but justin wouldnt have it. there are options that are between a suv and a car (i like trunk space). Good luck.

Liz Johnson said...

Totally not foreign oil... in fact, you're being uber-chic by BUYING LOCAL if you drive a gas-guzzler.

Mexico City very much operated on the "biggest car wins" philosophy, and I drove a VW bug (which I'm pretty sure is made out of aluminum foil and masking tape). It was slightly terrifying. I say go with a giant beast, especially if the (local) gas is cheap. You'll get used to it.

Fromagette said...

Liz is right, you would totally be buying local. Now you can feel green, right? And driving a gas guzzler wouldn't increase your carbon footprint because the gas/oil doesn't have to be shipped anywhere.

As for a large car, I learned how to drive on a 12-seater van. You can do it.

sarah said...

you should get a Hummer, big and sturdy :)

Craig said...

You know my opinion. Get a big, heavy car to protect all those precious passengers against all the crazy UAE drivers. It's not like you have a long commute every day requiring you to economize. And gas is relatively cheap there, right? Besides, if you average out the Corolla you've been cramped in with a new big car you net out to a medium size.

Craig said...

Oh, and Avalons are for old people. Ask Blair.

Dana said...

bridget, you either have to drive a beemer or a mercedes, or if you're going to go the suv route, opt of the porsche.

Lark said...

I say, "When in Rome..." If everyone else is driving a SUV, you might as well partake too. When living in Tucson, I really wanted my next car to be conservative and not a gas guzzler. Now that I'm in Vegas I say, "Bring on the Big SUV!" I'm dreaming about the Ford Expedition with an extra long cab. What happened to me? Vegas is sadly rubbing off on me a bit.
Good luck.


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