where is home?

We just got home from a two week trip…ah…home. Yes that sentence, although confusing, is technically correct. This is the eternal problem when you are living as an expat outside of your home country. It gets very confusing when you are visiting said country and then talk about home when you mean the new place you are living, but everyone you are talking to assumes you mean your original home country. Or home-home as we would probably say in South Africa. And so it goes. Even I get confused in the end.

So where is home? Well the old saying goes “home is where the heart is” but in my case I have to say “home is where the cats are”! And so for the meantime it is Dubai. And it was great to get home and see the little monsters, and sleep in my own bed. We spent a few manic days in Johannesburg as we always do, rushing around trying to see everyone and do all the admin type things you can only do at home. And then we escaped to a small town just outside Kruger National Park, and vegged. Ate and drank way to much and caught up on sleep and reading. Heaven.

It’s always a little disconcerting to go back as a visitor to a city you have lived in. Staying with friends or family (thanks guys) is great but living out of a suitcase is not. And you notice how much has changed, and how much has not. There is plenty wrong in South Africa and lots that could be improved, but here are a few things that I enjoyed about the place (in no particular order):

  1. Weather, and nature. So nice to be surprised with a cloudy, rainy day for a change.
  2. Humour: Stu and I seriously laughed out loud at some of the adverts on TV. We seldom see ads like that in the Middle East, it’s not easy I guess with so many different cultures all mixed up together. The new Kalahari.com ad is my current fav. Have you seen it? Hilarious.
  3. Gees” or Spirit in English. As it’s Rugby World Cup time the place is awash with green and gold – everyone learning the Bokke Jive, and not a whole lof of work being done on game days. Fantastic.
  4. Being understood: I am pretty used to no-one ever spelling my name right the first time in Dubai(especially when talking on the phone) and having to dumb down my language at times so that people get me, so it’s really nice when people understand your accent and your slang.
  5. Eating out: still affordable, and what a selection of great restaurants. Fabulous.
  6. The Gautrain – amazing to be able to zip from the airport to Sandton in 15 minutes and miss all that traffic. The view from the train is one I have never seen, winding through the back of Kelvin and past some farm land – felt like I had landed in completely different city. Bizarre feeling.
  7. Sleeping with the windows open. No aircon, no dust. Yippee.
  8. Wimpy breakfasts. Nothing more to say on that. Just great.
  9. Drinking a glass of wine in public over a lazy lunch. Such a treat.
  10. Good dry wors. Although Spinneys does a pretty decent version here there is nothing like the taste of a great dry wors, best eaten whilst sipping a sundowner on the terrace.

And there you have it. Back in Dubai and happy to be here, but always a little sad to say good-bye to family and close friends for another year. See you all next time, Inshallah. Until then, have fun!

p.s. the summer seems to have loosened it’s grip here at last, happy days!

One Response to where is home?

Animal Rescue

If you would like to contribute a few dollars towards my TNR work with stray cats I would be most grateful

what you missed