It’s 2 am and I can’t think of anything better to do than pour another rum and coke during this festive season of Ramadan and put my fingers to the keyboard and update the long-lost, ‘whentherumisgone.com’ which should later turn into ‘wherethehellareyoukirk dot com’.
The great return to Canada and back to the UAE happened last week. Leading up to a very short, crammed and tight week with an 18 hour journey, 10 hour time difference and a serious dose of jet lag, proved to be a lot to take in… at a much slower pace than I suppose I have become used to. Why is that, people ask? I dunno… In Dubai, something is happening all the time. Perhaps because, if you dont get out and see your friends, hold a dinner party, attend a dinner party, iftar, birthday, leaving party, welcoming party… well then you’ll just not be as prepared for Monday night’s festivities when all the other expats have endured Sunday, the start of the week – which revisits the same events day after day until the weekend, where the only difference in gatherings involves the intense daylight and a very large bustling pool and Hawaiian Tropic next-to-no-protection-but-leaves-you-a-gawjus-tan spf!
Calgary… was, well, a little slower and thankfully for me made one week away… a drawn out, relaxing and quality allocation of time spent with dear friends and family. For a North American, Dubai isn’t really a place on many people’s ‘hot list’, and judging by the early writings of my blog when moving here, I don’t blame them. But after a few cocktails and some ‘interesting’ stories, I think I made an impression on most people finding an interest in visiting the Middle Eastern architectural metropolis playground we call, Dubai.
For many of my friends, the fear (that i get every weekend morning I wake up, thinking… ooooooh, what did I do and how have I dodged another potential jail sentence), of my story shocked my new thinking of the Middle East upon my visit to Canada. Look, it’s no breeze, but to visit… sure, there’s plenty to keep you busy… For 3 days… 4, 5, okay a week, if you like some much deserved pool time. It was nice to be in a place where I could come back home and share a smile on my face that things were indeed much better than one year ago and now, I am very much content in filling my goals out here.
Over the year, or years for many people who leave to challenge themselves in far off places, learn the friends that stick around and the friends that don’t. A few surprises for me in my home town of Calgary, but some n0-brainers with some very dear friends who made every effort to make my week back home one worth talking about… full of lots of love, hugs, bevies and some genuine heart-felt laughter. I miss you guys… so much and more than you know. Even more so, is getting to that stage in a friendship when you have endured something like moving away and not being in constant touch, or simply just frequent gatherings… but learning… your friends for life are the ones that will be there, no matter where you go, how long you need to be away and will listen to all your experiences and be even more so the bestest of friends you could ever imagine for… but more importantly, will pick up with you like you never left.
Going home. hrm. Some say you can never go home. Home will never be like the way you left it. A hard concept to grasp, especially when you are in the initial stages of enduring every challenge imaginable with your support group 12,000 miles away. Truthfully, home changes. It’s not the same. Or maybe it is, but it’s not how I left it. People move on, buildings and communities erect, laws change, tv shows change, people change, new rums launch in local liquor stores (and honestly, visiting Canada from the Middle East, I felt I was on a liquor store tour with one popping up every street block), and just like the seasons (excluding Dubai seasons: hot and hotter), everything… changes. It’s the people in your life that stick around and are very excited to see you, hear your stories and make every effort to want to be near you… they are the ones that remind you… what matters, will always be there. My friends and family have had a lot of faith in me, more so than I think I ever had for myself… but hey, thats what our friends are for… to keep you in line and on the right track, because they know, in the end, it will have been worth it and you’ll be damn proud you did it.
I raise my glass to my canucklehead friends and family and thank them for an amazing week back home and the 6 days total of jet lag there and back. I am now, back in Dubai, just in time for the peak of Ramadan where I have already messed up on drinking my coffee, water and nibbling on snacks in the public eye! I dodged the 20th bullet so far.