The first thing I feel is pure joy - that other westerners will experience this fascinating country.
Immediately afterwards I panic - what if they don't like it here? What if the housing search/school search/friends search turn out to be really hard for them? What if, in the middle of the night when they can't sleep, these very nice Abu Dhabi newcomers wish they'd never laid eyes on Flowers in the Sand, Abu Dhabi? What if they hate my blog for making the move sound so blissfully easy?
(I am not overestimating the importance of this blog, nor am I trying to say that it made anyone decide to move to Abu Dhabi. Rather, it's that many people have told me they feel positive about moving here and that that is because of my blog.)
The truth is, my own move to Abu Dhabi was anything but easy. About ten days after we arrived, my stomach hurt so much I was often doubled over in pain. I described this in my journal as akin to "...being fired upon at close range, with a 22-calibre handgun, about every 20 minutes - round the clock..."
The heat, the vastly different style of dress, feeling I could get absolutely nothing accomplished, and living in a hotel with six children for over a month were among many contributing factors to my new gastritis.
But, of course it all worked out. And it was definitely worth it. For me and my family.
Yesterday I met for coffee with two readers of my blog who've just moved to Abu Dhabi. While they were quite different (from each other) and are in different situations, both were so nice and so interesting I know they'll make lots of friends. And have lots of stories.
I hope they have blogs, because no doubt their stories here will be different from mine.