In which Family Little City relocates to Abu Dhabi…
With just a few weeks’ gap in between, Family Little City has moved from the capital of one Gulf state to another.
You may wonder why, having spent so long leaping through administrative hoops trying to leave Qatar, anyone would rush back to start the whole process again in Abu Dhabi (hereafter AD, because living in Doha spoils you when it comes to typing short city names), just a few weeks later?
You can thank the super-early start of my kids’ new school year for that. Not to mention the fact that my new employer is understandably keen to get me on the ground and up and running as soon as possible.
There may only have been three weeks between Mrs Little City (Mrs LC) and I leaving Qatar, and us all arriving in the UAE, but arriving here feels like we’ve passed some sort of newbie expat graduation exam, with questions like:
- How many suitcases can you fit in a rented Toyota Rav 4?
- Your son Amnesiac wants to read a certain book. You have been living out of 15 suitcases since July: which one is it in?
We did the giant leap of moving to Qatar as wide-eyed newbie expats three years ago; moving ‘down the road’ to the UAE is but a small step in comparison.
The exciting part is that there’s a new city to explore, new friends to make, new places to go and things to do.
The comfort comes from knowing that there will be many things about life here in AD which, after living in Doha, won’t strike us as unusual; from the constant heat, autumn humidity and occasional sandstorms, to mosques, minarets and muezzins.
Men in thobes (known here in the Emirates as kanduras), ladies in abayas, the call to prayer as a constant soundtrack. Architectural wonders standing proudly around a lengthy Corniche…it is at once both familiar and new.
I’m looking forward to getting our bearings and finding new places to get some of our favourite things, like the sweet tea karak which fuels life in this part of the world, all those new shawarma joints, and the fried meat pie hawawshi, which were a couple of the many culinary high points of our time in Doha.
We can unpack those cases later; we’ve got some exploring to do!