Dubai's Desperate Housewife

Trials and traumas of a full-time mum in Dubai

Posts Tagged ‘when friends leave

The ghosts of mummies past

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So we’re two days back at school already and the children are nicely settled. I, on the other hand, am having a bit of a problem: I keep seeing the ghosts of mummies past.

Au revoir, dear friends, au revoir.

Au revoir, dear friends, au revoir.

I don’t mean real ghosts, obviously, but the essence of old friends who’ve now left Dubai. 2013 was a bad summer in that I lost too many friends to the siren call of ’home’ – but my mind doesn’t stop expecting to see them here.

It could be a car – a white L-reg Nissan Armada on (the old) Emirates Road, perhaps – or the shape of a tall blonde woman scurrying to pick-up. It could be the laugh of a brunette in a Prado; the place where I always helped my friend get her pushchair up the steps; or a corner of the school where I usually ran into a particular friend and exchanged hurried greetings (not to mention a full report on the Justin Bieber concert) as we walked our separate ways.

I understand that their lives have moved on but, for me, the landscape of school without their presence is weird. Five minutes ago they were here; now they’re gone.

Transient friends. It’s the penalty of expat life, I guess.

Written by mrsdubai

September 3, 2013 at 9:30 pm

Carpe Diem – or missed opportunities

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If you’re anything like me, you read and research voraciously. You think, as you browse the internet, “one day we’ll go there, do that, try that. Wow, that looks like fun. We’ll do that one day, when the weather’s better, when the kids are older, when we have visitors, when we’re not so tired…” You bookmark them on the iPad, tear out magazine pages, create “things to do” files.

And, sometimes we get around to doing those things, but often we don’t. We forget about them, or we do newer, more exciting things – let’s face it, in Dubai there’s always something newer and better to do than last year’s theme park, shopping mall or penguin-cuddling experience.

We never even made it sky-diving together!


I was thinking about this the other day as a dear friend left Dubai for good last week. Of course we did the drinks, the girls’ night at Rivington Grill, the teary goodbyes and the “see you in the summer”s, but it’s taking my brain a while to catch on that, after three years of top-notch friendship, she’s gone.

In the back of my head I’m still planning things we can do together. Dinners out, pool barbecues (now the littlest children are old enough not to be a liability), weekends at Zighy Bay.

And then it hits me like a sledgehammer that those weekends at Zighy Bay? They won’t be happening again. There’s no point planning a barbecue because she’s seven hours’ flight away and up to her knees in Cotswolds mud.

And it made me think: When I come up with these ideas, these plans, ideas for things to do, we should just do them. Stop waiting for a better day. Stop procrastinating because, before you know it, your friends might be gone. Carpe diem, friends, carpe diem.

Written by mrsdubai

April 9, 2012 at 5:54 pm

Expat kids: When friends leave

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When my son is in pain, I feel it, too.

And I don’t mean in an empathetic sort of a way: When he’s in pain, I really am in pain, too.

I first noticed it when he was six months old and he rolled head-first off the bed onto the hard bedroom floor. While he recovered after a long burst of screaming, I had a headache all night. You could discount that as brought on by the stress of the accident, but it’s not the only time it’s happened.

Last week, I let DS have a Polo mint in the car. I know, I know, you don’t need to tell me what an idiotic decision that was. Two minutes later, as I hit 130kph on Emirates Rd, I realised there was no sucking or crunching to be heard from the back seat. Just a muffled, “Hurts. Mummy, hurts,” as DS clawed at his throat.

Pulling over and ripping open the back door to check he could still breathe, I felt the choking, burning pain that getting a Polo stuck in your throat would produce. I could even taste the mint. My psychosomatic sore throat lasted long after he stopped complaining about his. (DS survived – though he won’t be having any more Polos till he’s at least 30.)

We had joy, we had fun, we had a season in the sun...

But it was last night that I’ve felt the most pain on behalf of my son. At 8am tomorrow, his best friend will be on a one-way flight to the States. DS and his buddy have known each other for a year – and, in a two-year-old’s life, that’s a long time.

Best Friend lives about 10 houses down from us; the two boys are in the same class at nursery, and they play in the park together every single day, squealing with excitement when they see each other.

Last night, I couldn’t sleep because I was so sad for DS. Today, when we said goodbye to BF and his mum for the last time, she and I both knowing we’ll never see each other again, I shed a quiet tear.

But how I’m going to break the news to DS tomorrow, when he realises his friend is no longer there, I’ve really no idea.

Written by mrsdubai

October 16, 2011 at 9:30 pm