Four Month Expat Update – The Abu Dhabi Honeymoon Ends

Frustrations are rising as the Abu Dhabi honeymoon phase fades away. Everyone in our family is struggling with our new lives in some way. Of course, we knew this would happen. In August, Tiyaanah mentioned how most families crash hard around October when the glitz and glamor wear off. The truth is that October was a very challenging month and we expect these struggles to persist.

Abu Dhabi Honeymoon Romance

There’s something romantic about getting on a plane and resetting your life. Some people get excited about the “unknown.” Not me. I conducted extensive research, so I knew the good and bad that were awaiting us. Instead of being excited about my “new world,” I was mostly focused on trying to forget my old one.

I was thrilled to get off the plane and stay in a hotel. Our family took trips in taxis and visited huge malls. We went to Dubai and ate unique food together. (Read about it here). Everything was so new and engaging, but things got stale quickly.

Abu Dhabi Honeymoon End

The weather is still kicking my butt

Temperatures are now down to the mid-90s (around 35°C). That gives me a lot of opportunities to get the kids outside, or so I thought. Kairo and I were walking outside yesterday, and I couldn’t believe how good I felt. However, once we stepped out of the shade, things changed.

Kairo: Whoa, daddy! This sun is hot. I better step into the shade. The shade is much better. See?

Yes, my doode is composing some wicked sentences. And yes, his analysis is that strong. Oh…yes, I’m bragging, but honestly, I didn’t do much. This kid is even too smart to be my child.

Kairo was dead on. Standing in the sun was too much, so going to the park was out of the question. To navigate the streets, we had to stick to the shadows. #ninjaturturtles #iknowhashtagsdontworkonblogs

We still don’t have friends

I believe that Kairo and Kalel are in the process of making friends with at least three kids. Things are moving slowly, but surely for them.

I, on the other hand, have not met anyone remotely like me.

Friendship profile

Name: Ashanti Kashif Ross
Likes: Long walks on the beach (why are there no beaches here)
Dislikes: Fastfood delivery services that take two hours
Personality type: Snarky, nerdy, intentionally awkward, unintentionally awkward, introverted, pessimistic, and combative

We meet people all the time, but the language barrier is tough to overcome. Even when I do “click” with someone, their accent can easily enhance my inbred awkwardness, leaving little room for our relationship to thrive.

But wait, there’s more.


This isn’t the land of smiles. Folks out here aren’t going to wave to me for no reason at all. In fact, my smiles are often met with stank faces more times than not.

Plus, Tiyaanah is going through a lot. Her job sits at number three on the list of Jobs That Would Make You Slap Yo Momma. (She explained some of her struggles here). I listen to her stories daily to make sure that her sanity remains intact, but neither of us has anyone that shares their positive goals growth or happiness with us. Live in Al Ain is mostly about venting yesterday’s struggles.

Every morning, I wake up to fight off toddler tantrums. Every night, I try to help Tiyaanah find a smile, so she doesn’t go to work looking like the Grim Reaper’s baby momma.

Do I miss America


Most of these problems existed back home too. At least in America, I had more people to meet and interact with, BUT (and this is me being pessimistic) I didn’t know a lot of people that were happy (in my opinion). Most of my friends were A) working way too much, B) Struggling financially, or C) All of the above (I was teaching/tutoring/Ubering, so I’m in this group).

My Abu Dhabi honeymoon phase has ended, but that isn’t a bad thing. I’ve learned a lot about myself over these past few months, and I want to learn more. I know that if I continue to push outside of my comfort zone, I can grow, and that’s why we’re here.

3 thoughts on “Four Month Expat Update – The Abu Dhabi Honeymoon Ends

  1. I love that quote by Kairo 🙂 Smart little man! I wish that I had some advice or encouragement, but I’ve never been in your situation and you’re definitely right about it not being any better here. I’m just grateful for my husband and children. That’s how I get by!

    1. Yeah. I had a horrible problem of not appreciating my “moments” in America. I didn’t live in the present. It took a long flight to wake me up. Even if I were back home, being present would be the most important thing. But there’s so much drama in the LBC. My family is falling to shambles back home (grandpa died two weeks ago and grandma was just in ER). I don’t think I’d be stable at all if we were still struggling to get by. But being present and being supportive of one another is the most valuable thing. I hope to hold onto that knowledge for the rest of my life.

Leave a Reply