The rising mercury signals two of the things I dread the most about expat life in Dubai. Firstly, the insane summer temperatures accompanied by the feeling that each time you open a car door, it feels like you are opening the door to your 220C fan assisted oven; and secondly, the ‘goodbyes’.
A few weeks back summer definitively arrived with all its bells and whistles of its burning breeze and sticky humidity. One always holds out (against all hope I might add), that there will be a forgiving dip in the relentless heat, and when it doesn’t happen, the hope quickly fades, and a collective sigh and shoulder shrug voices our resignation to a baking, hot few months ahead.
Unlike learning how to adapt and adjust to the guaranteed blazing summer temps, it is not so easy to adapt and adjust to farewells: it just never seems to get any easier. Perhaps it is because we know summer is a given, a certainty, guaranteed. We know to expect it. We know it is unavoidable. Saying ‘goodbye’ to friends is different. Friends leaving is not always a given, a certainty.
Almost 11 years in the sandpit and summers now feel a lot more different to those of our carefree, early, toddler years. With nothing to worry about other than finger painting and building sandcastles, moves were triggered by job requirements and possibly homesickness.
Now, in secondary school, moving tactics come into play. When is best to move? Y7 or Y9? Which year will make the transition to schools easier? What happens if you miss those windows of opportunity? What happens if your kids don’t seamlessly slot into each year group?
I should take a leaf out of my kids’ book……keep a wide group of friends.
That is the nature of the beast that is expat life. Given the choice – I would choose the scorching temps every time if it means we get to keep our friends.