My most topsy turvy week as an expat yet, in which the ground gave way beneath my feet both literally and metaphorically.
There was a…work thing I was going to write about this week in an excited Hey you guys! kind of way, and about how it was great to sign off on something I’ve been working towards for the past few months. I would have thrown in a splash of ‘here’s-a-look-at-the-new-challenges-it-throws-up-in-its-wake’ for good measure.
So I’m glad I don’t blog in haste, otherwise I would have had to have followed that post up the day after with a 48-point-type wtf? reverse ferret special when my week came to a screeching halt.
And then again the day after that with a “hang on a minute…” potential u-turn update, and yet again the day after that…
You’d have been as bored as I was exhausted.
So this post, which has attempted to capture the mood of my week, has been started, stopped, grudgingly restarted, gleefully abandoned, slunked back to like an apologetic lover, tossed around more than a salad on a trampoline…and even then, it’s still not ready.
But sometimes, ‘ready’ simply isn’t going to show up, so you just have to go with what you’ve got.
Opportunity X…or an ex-opportunity?
And what I’ve got / had / maybe will have again* (delete as applicable) is an opportunity. Let’s call it X.
It would mean big, exciting changes for Family Little City and life here in Doha. A new chapter kind of opportunity. One we’d look back on and say “Remember the ‘X’ years?”; that kind of thing.
I can’t even get into the detail of what’s caused all this turmoil; partly because it’s still up in the air, and therefore potentially subject to change again, and partly because – like the briefcase in Pulp Fiction – it’s not really the point.
But the past week has brought to life a number of things I’d only heard spoken of apocryphally about life here in Qatar.
– About decisions being made, unmade and remade overnight.
– About how nothing means anything until you’ve signed on the dotted line.
– About how fast things can change, for impenetrable, unfathomable reasons.
My head’s been all over the place. I’ve been bouncing between the highs of a fantastic visit from my best man and his family, and the emotional water slidey lows of my personal life.
In the end, I was grateful for the distraction of having house guests.
If you’ve ever wanted the ground to open up and swallow you, and wondered what that might actually feel like, wonder no more.
Simply climb to the top of the Jumeirah Sceirah at Wild Wadi water park in Dubai, where we spent last weekend, stand inside a slippery, angled perspex coffin, high above the Dubai skyline, cross your arms and legs (and your fingers), and hope to not die as a monotonous voice counts down from three…
At which point the floor you’re safely standing on turns into a trapdoor and gives way beneath you, propelling you like a watery bullet down a vertical-enough-for-me-cheers drop of unending length. You’ve got just enough time to marvel again at Einstein’s Theory of Relativity, and how those ten or so seconds seem eternal, before you come to a spray-soaked stop halfway to Abu Dhabi.
I’d never done anything like it before, but it is exhilarating with a capital E.
The feeling of helplessness in the face of unstoppable momentum probably captured my friends’ state of mind perfectly, given that they were stopping off with us on the long, slow way back to the UK after 14 years living in Oz (and arriving there in the wake of the coldest Easter ever recorded).
All of which meant they were ideally placed to appreciate my mental state when the metaphorical ground gave way beneath my feet a few days later.
Turns out being propelled helplessly forward by forces outside your control is significantly more fun at the water park, kids.
At the time of writing the situation isn’t resolved either way. So, for the moment, life goes on.
Kid A and Amnesiac are on school holidays, Mrs LC is out of the country for a week on business, and I have fevers to deal with, groceries to buy, and all the other minutiae of daily life to contend with.
And all the time, I’m learning lessons – even if I’m not entirely sure yet what it is I’m learning.
PS – If your week needs a lift, you really should take three minutes to enjoy this Jumeirah Sceirah video, surely one of the strangest promos ever made. Because nothing says ‘spend the day in the sun with us’ better than a funeral and a man giving birth to twins, right?