(All photos are mine except for the Bali postcard and above UAE holiday card)
1. CANADA – 2 years
Stanley Park, Vancouver
- Two years of happiness.
- Fantastic opportunity to write and receive feedback on my writing in a two-year Masters of Fine Arts program at the Univ. of British Colombia
- Free operation – sterilization.
- Opportunity to live with other writers – to be an artist.
- Opportunity to write UBC Writers’ Guide to Fame & Fortune, a marketing booklet with interviews of people in Vancouver’s publishing industry
- Worked illegally as a waitress in a strip bar (kept clothes on).
2 – SAUDI ARABIA – 2 years
Biblical Nabateans History
Saudi Arabian Beauty Contest
- First time I actually was not poor.
- Gold jewellery.
- Good carpets.
- Month on the French Riviera studying French 40 hours a week.
- Taught a princess who shared her life and gave me a gold coin.
- Trip to Paris.
- Two free operations (hysterectomy and breast reduction).
- Watched and listened in wonder to one of Saudi’s oldest and greatest storytellers -who spoke in Arabic – at the princess’s home.
3. INDONESIA – 6 months
Ubud, Bali, Indonesia
- Adult students who worked hard and learned.
- Gado-gado (peanut sauce on vegetables).
- Week in Bali in painting village, Ubud
4. UNITED ARAB EMIRATES – 2 years
Liwa, the Empty Quarter Desert https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Liwa_Oasis
- Two years of happiness.
- Fantastic weather.
- Fell in love with the desert.
- Food – fantastic!
- Had a paid, weekly newspaper column, “Aunt Alice” with Dubai’s Gulf News.
- Henna designs on hands and legs.
- Learned culture from friendship with a student and his extended family.
- On-stage in amateur productions.
- Visited Liwa Desert (The Empty Quarter) for photographs.
- Won photography awards, mostly for desert photos.
5. EGYPT – 1 year
Gurna, villages by Luxor
- Cairo – viewed Ramses II ancient statue downtown by highways.
- Cairo Museum – able to touch thousands of year-old stone carvings.
- Egyptian papyrus painted by a professional artist.
- Horse-back riding by the pyramids.
- Imbaba camel market (‘souk‘ in Arabic) in Cairo.
- Trips to Luxor, getting visually over-stimulated with hieroglyphics.
- Visited Philae Island and Abu Simbel Temples by Aswan Dam.
- Walking atop an Aswan ancient temple’s flat rock roof.
6. TAIWAN – 2 years
Taiwan “Love Hotels”
- Attentive students.
- Bubble tea.
- Excellent technical facilities, developed using DVDs for teaching English.
- First time I saw the Internet used for a Real-Time chat.
- Food – fantastic vegetarian buffets!
- Lived in a brothel (rented a room in a ‘love hotel’).
- Motor scooter owned.
7. SOUTH KOREA – 4 years
Tourist Info re Korea
- Body scrubs – full body, 45-minute massage/cleaning for less than $10.
- Fell in love with university newsletter edited for two years.
- Introduced Dave’s ESL Café, now known as ESL Café, with Log-In Seoul,
- Great fun teaching kids at a hogwan (after school institute) as well as adults at Samsung.
- Korean bathhouses with steam saunas (and body scrubs).
- Photoshop – used a lot for the newsletter.
- Secretary to an international association – travelled free to Hong Kong, Taipei, Tokyo, and Shanghai for AGM and Board meetings.
- Volunteer Editor for Log-In Seoul, an English newsletter
- Webmaster for an international association.
8. OMAN – 11 years
Manah, a walled village being restored
- Cheap gasoline from 2000-2012
- Easy access to Liwa in the UAE, as well as Dubai and Abu Dhabi.
- Exploring – most towns built next to abandoned mud-brick towns, some walled.
- Fantastic weather.
- Good salary that enabled pension contributions.
- Large houses and apartments, with large bathrooms.
- New cars – before Typhoon Gonu in 2007, a Kia cost only $5,000. Car
prices doubled afterwards.
- New clothes – I picked material and styles, then hand-made by Indian tailors.
- No ironing – took clean clothes to Indian cleaners to iron.
- Oil painting on specially cut, round, wooden boards.
- Shared meals and lives with an extended Omani family (landlord), playing
UNO with young kids.
9. TURKEY – 3 years
YouTube video of
- Ankara’s Museum of Anatolian Civilizations – Babylonian stone carvings, Sumer
cuneiform writing, Neolithic, Assyrian, Hittite, Urartian, Greek, etc. exhibits.
- Large Turkish rug.
- Mosaic Museum in Gaziantep.
- Supervisors – two best in my career.
- Well-equipped language center for blended learning (using YouTube videos with overhead projectors and Wi-Fi in each classroom).
10. PORTUGAL – 3rd Year
National Museum of Antique Art
- Cheaper than the USA.
- English speakers – many.
- Food – tasty restaurant meals for ten euros or less.
- International Women of Portugal (IWP) for socializing in English.
- No snow except in mountains.
- Train discount for people over 65.