Expats are like cats
While visiting with my expat friends in Ras Al Khaimah they suddenly became worried because they could not find their cat. Even though I am a cat lover, I did not understand the concern because they were in a closed environment, which meant the cat could not get out and was just hiding. Another expat friend with a small child explained their little boy was having a hard time adjusting and his sleep routine was off. It was then I realized how much I had in common with the cat and the little boy. I too was having a hard time adjusting
Like the cat, I just wanted to find a safe, warm, comfortable place where I could curl up and hide. Unlike the little boy, I did not have parents to shop for furniture, make arrangements for deliveries, and decorate the house all while preparing to start a new job. Unlike the cat and the little boy, I understand I am in one of the adjustment phases while acclimating to a new environment. Just two months ago, while sitting in my very comfortable home of fifteen years, I explained to my husband that we would have a difficult time while adjusting to our new home in the UAE. But, that intellectual discussion did not begin to capture the reality.
Duck out of water is the best description of my current state. I am an urban dweller living in a suburban desert. I am a westerner living in the middle-east. I am everything opposite. A twelve hour plane ride took me light years away from my reality. The most familiar things are the local McDonalds and Dunkin Donuts. Who knew that one day my heart would be soothed by the sight of the golden arches or the taste of an overly sweet donut.
Intellectually, I know I will adjust, but like the cat and the little boy.… I want to go into hiding while my parents take care of everything.