Saturday, October 6, 2007

Falling in Love Again

Early this morning I opened the door and fell in love with Abu Dhabi all over again.

The feeling came just in time, as I was beginning to miss home a lot lately. I haven't told anyone about this small bit of melancholy I've been suppressing. In fact I was surprised by how much I've missed home recently, because I love living here.

The homesickness started about three weeks ago. It was the morning after M and I had a big party. After the great fun and late night, we woke up and made a big breakfast. The smell of coffee brewing, of bacon and sausage on the stove, combined with the luxury of all of us sitting around lazily in pajamas and the house still sparkling with new glasses and a platter or two purchased for the event...well it all reminded me so much of Christmas morning that a great feeling of homesickness came over me. Like a tidal wave.

I think the prolonged hot weather played a part too, for I knew it would be crisp and cool in New Hampshire then. Meanwhile in Abu Dhabi the air was still heavy and the temps were still hitting 104 or more.
Since that morning I've been using some of the spices we use during autumn - cinnamon in particular - to give me that feeling of autumn in New Hampshire.

This morning, a Saturday, I was up at 6:30 a.m. I had to drive our eldest to his college-entrance SAT exam. I opened the front door for the newspaper and sweet-smelling, mild air hit me immediately. It must have been about 70 degrees. The air was light and clear with the gentlest breeze. I love Abu Dhabi again.

Separate from that: yesterday I heard an expression I've never heard before. A South African neighbor said raising her three children - now 7, 5 and 3 years old - is "a dead lolly." She meant it was really manageable.

Something I cannot get used to here is that people always ask how much you pay in rent. Back home we'd never ask how much someone pays in rent or how much their house costs. But here, in Abu Dhabi, where the price of rent is all the talk as prices rise nearly as often as we breathe, it is entirely acceptable to make that inquiry.

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