It’s been a week since I last blogged. I haven’t had much to say since the American teacher was murdered across the street. I’ve been wondering what could bring me back to this space.
Coming up in the elevator a few minutes ago, with ice cubes and pop tarts in my shopping bag, I met another American woman who inspired me to tap out some thoughts.
“This shopping for groceries every day is getting old,” she said in a deep-South accent and wearing cut off jeans and a Lynyrd Skynyrd black t-shirt. “My kingdom for a Sam’s club.”
“You might do better to go to LuLu’s Hyper Market and take a cab home, that way you can carry more bags,” I told her. “How long have you been here?”
“Twelve days,” she said, looking tired and frustrated and a bit freaked out. She must have arrived the day of the murder. And like me, she shops at the grocery store across from the scene of the crime where a shrine still exists for the victim.
“It gets better,” I told her.
“I sure appreciate you saying that,” she answered.
“Where are you from?” I asked.
The elevator stopped at my floor, as I walked out I said, “I lived in Huntsville when I was a kid.”
“Bless your heart,” she said as the door closed.
There is no fish more out of water than someone from Alabama in Abu Dhabi. Even the glorious Kyrgyzstan woman I met yesterday is better suited to life in the UAE than this little lady from Sweet Home Alabama.
I wish I had taken a picture with Ms. Kyrgyzstan, who is married to a Libyan man, because she has the most fantastic face I have ever seen. (And much to my surprise, she reads my blog!) But, alas, I was too busy swimming in a pool on top of a mountain during my Indian/British friend’s 11-year-old daughter’s birthday party.
We are all fish out of water here. Even when we’re in that pool on the top of the mountain in the middle of the desert. But guess what? We like it that way. And together we form our own tribe of expat bedouins. We will come and go from this place, and others, at our own pace.
I sense that Sweet Home Alabama is going to have a rough time in the desert. And I continue to lament the “drowning” of Ibolya Ryan across the street on Reem Island.
The whole world is adrift these days. The best you can do is to grab one of the 5 trillion pieces of plastic in our seas and hold on for dear life.