The sun is shining this morning, and after almost 2 weeks in the southern part of the UK I can tell you its quite unusual for their summer so far. Mostly we have had rain, and occasionally some very hectic winds, but after the Dubai heat and dust we really haven’t minded at all. Green is so pretty!
At the end of March I had the opportunity to travel to two new, and interesting places. Lagos (Nigeria in case there can be any confusion) and Beirut (Lebanon).
It was with much trepidation that I approached the first trip. After being promised (perhaps threatened with some might say) a business trip to Nigeria in 2000, and after having what felt like a gazillion injections in preparation for said trip, I never actually went then, or since. I had managed to dodge the bullet a few times, but I could put it off no longer. I wasn’t sure what to expect. People who have been to Lagos either love or hate it, there seems to be no middle ground. Friends of mine have expatted there, and say “never again”, yet I met an Irish lady recently who couldn’t wait to move back there, children and all. The stereo-types are numerous; I wasn’t sure if I would be conned, kidnapped or mugged, or all three. I was very aware that I needed to “be prepared” and so made sure my immigration contact was arranged, as was my driver. I had local phone numbers for emergency contacts I had never met (from friends) saved just “in case”. I was ready!
Merry Christmas to all of you from a sunny, and slightly chilly (yes really) Dubai. It’s almost time for that fat old guy in red to make his annual visit – although we don’t have a chimney – what to do?
If you are travelling over the period I wish you safe travels and happy holidays. And may 2012 be a prosperous and wonderful year.
If you travel much on business then you probably also suffer with the over-plastic syndrome. That is, one loyalty card for each airline you may ever have flown with, one for each hotel you may ever have stayed in and perhaps even one for each car hire company you have ever hired from. If you are very careful and extremely organised you may manage to always stay at the same hotel chain when you go somewhere, or even use the same airline, but for most of us we end up collecting dribs and drabs of points here and there. And then you move countries and lo-and-behold all the miles you collected on your previous national carrier become null and void as they expire into uselessness before you know it.
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.