As hubby prepares to depart for home six weeks ahead of me, I find myself teary, sad, melancholy, and reflective. I reflect on this feeling of “missing him” even before he goes. They say absence makes the heart grow fonder, but in this case his presence has made my heart grow fonder. After 20 years of working and only having evenings and weekends together, the last 10 months of togetherness has brought us closer. Even though I have been working, living in a small town in a foreign country has eliminated a lot of the usual outside activities. Here, we do everything together.
They say that expat couples who come here (UAE) either get stronger or they break apart, because there’s very little space… not physical space, because there’s lots of that, but there is a shortage of personal space. He can’t go off motorcycling with his buddies and I don’t go out with “the girls” like I would do at home. Our free time is spent together. When outside distractions are removed, we end up focusing on ourselves… and it’s been wonderful (most of the time J)
My heart is heavy with his impending departure (14 hours and counting). This I feel after only 20 years together. Even knowing that we’ll be together again in six weeks, doesn’t make it easier. Like a true Venutian, I tear up while the Martian is busy making sure that I have everything I will need. He has stocked up my medicines and food supplies. He has asked the neighbors to keep an eye out for me. He’s even encouraging me to hook up with the other ladies for something to do.
Six weeks and counting.
Living in a small, desert town with few canned entertainment venues makes one seek out new experiences. Consequently, whenever there is a chance to do anything, one tends to jump on it. A few weeks ago, some friends went to a Sting concert in Dubai, and I mentioned that I’m not a big fan. Their response was that we don’t get that many big stars here, so when they come to town… they go.
Most of my life has been spent living in a “big city” environment with every kind of entertainment imaginable ranging from free outdoor concerts, monster truck shows on up to major opera performances. When anything you want to do is available, it leads to a kind of laziness, because all we have to do is pick from a menu of options. So when the options are limited, one can either bemoan the dearth of options or one can create something or do something different.
So I’ve been creating and doing. I’ve climbed a mountain, been to the top of the world’s tallest building, snorkeled in the Straits of Hormuz, written (very) short stories, hosted Scrabble nights, and the all time favorite… hanging out at the Hilton Resort and Spa.
Next week we go to the World of International Music where there will truly be musicians from all over the world. Next comes English Horseback riding and kayaking in the Persian gulf. Wow… sounds so exotic, but its standard small-town stuff for Ras Al Khaimah. Actually, I’m currently nursing a butt abrasion from the horseback riding and hope to get to kayaking before it gets too hot. Have no idea what will come after that … but when it does… I’ll be ready.