Welcome to my irrational hopes and dreams for the future….
My boyfriend will move to Turkey as planned, but will somehow magically finish his degree in one year instead of two (or more, Lord help us.) He’ll move back here and work somewhere for a year, while I finish my contract. We’ll get married and be able to live together and I won’t have to miss him ever. And then, with my end-of-contract bonus in-hand, we’ll move to whatever land he irrationally, idealistically decides we should move to, where he will, against all foreigner odds, open a thriving business. I will raise our four children and visit him at the business. We will travel and our children will see exciting places and be beautiful and smart and worldly. And we will have friends in all the corners of the world, and never want for opportunities. And our children will move around the world and marry interesting people and have fantastic children of their own. And we will grow old together, content in what we have accomplished in all our years….
Cue dramatic, wistful sigh.
I find it difficult to blog sometimes.
I also find it difficult to find blogs that I connect with. (Or that don’t have Disqus commenting. I’m not going to let them track my life just so I can tell you “good story, bro.”)
But I also miss blogging sometimes.
My boyfriend is moving away. He’s going to school in another country, starting in a week or two. And it’s a wonderful opportunity for him and he has to do it. I can’t even be happy for him though. I’m too selfishly saddened by what it means for me…
So I’ve spent this Eid holiday drinking with my friends and giving the curtest replies possible when asked about my boyfriend’s impending departure. Which leads to them changing the subject, usually to talk about my relative thinness, considering my relatively high consumption habits. It is a fascinatingly recurrent topic to bring up, with both male and female friends. Skinny-fat seems to be an unfathomable concept to them.
And then I have another calorie-laden drink to blow their minds even more.
This morning I was reading this article about Syria and I literally started crying when I got to this quote:
Under the Mediterranean, on the bottom of the sea, another Syria exists, one that’s full of life: children kicking soccer balls, teens doing their homework, women cooking, men working, and the elderly sipping coffee. If you visit the bottom of the sea, you will discover another Syria.
It’s the epitome of why refugee situations are so awful. Because these are humans who could be living normal lives, just like us. I know Syrians here in Abu Dhabi who are living normal lives! And it’s disturbing that other Syrians can’t. That there is anyone on this earth who is denied the most basic right: a normal life.
While I was in America, I realized that there are certain things that some people seem to think about my life/the world/Arabs/the Middle East that are not necessarily true.
They think my choices are severely limited in regards to food. While I admit that I was overwhelmed by the insane amount of choices in America, (why does a bodega need fifty types of chips?) I can still get almost everything I want here. People would ask me what foods I wanted that I can’t get here and I couldn’t truly think of anything. Abu Dhabi has a very international population, with cuisine options to match.
They think media doesn’t reach outside America. Countless people asked me if they had “this song” (whatever song that might be) in Abu Dhabi. And I had to remind them that even if it wasn’t played in clubs (as most popular songs are) there was also this Internet thing that carried media all over the world.
They think all people can travel easily. Non-Americans/Westerners cannot travel easily, dear privileged passport holders. People seem to think my boyfriend can just hop on over to the States to meet my family and friends, no problem. And I’m staring at them like, “You’re kidding, right?” So then I have to tell them anecdotes about the numerous people I know who’ve been rejected by the American embassy. And then I have to explain that even Americans have to get visas to visit certain lands.
They think sheikh is pronounced “sheek.” It’s not, it’s pronounced “shake.” I know this is the media’s fault, but seriously, who started that one?
I’ve been back in Abu Dhabi for a few days now. On my way home, I was surprised to find one of my best Abu Dhabi friends on my second flight, the one back to our home. We didn’t get to sit together, but we did commiserate about how miserable the 14 hours flight was afterwards, as my boyfriend drove us to our respective apartments.
I’ve since spent all my time with said boyfriend. We’re quite sickly in love. One night we went out and were grossly all over each other. I remember it and shudder, to be honest. I would blame him for the PDA, but it wasn’t just him at all. We’ve also spent a lot of time cuddling and watching Game of Thrones, to the point where we’re almost caught up. We also almost cooked food instead of ordering in for the hundredth time the other day. One of these days we might actually do it!
I have a to-do list of things I’d like to get done for before work starts up again. (Which is in about a week.) But alas, I fear that I won’t get to any of it because I’m too busy draining all the delight out of the last drops of my summer. Especially as all my friends start trickling in. The friend who was on my flight flew out two days later to go scout wedding venues in Africa. I’ve seen my boyfriend’s friends, whom I also enjoy, but none of mine are in town just yet.
The worst part of summer is most definitely seeing the end in sight… I’m not ready to go back to work, wah!