As I've mentioned 18 billion (or so) times before, Dubai is a transient place. People are constantly coming and going. We've said goodbye to many people in the 18 months we've been here. It's a strange position to be in, I must say, to constantly have to build up your social circle, your family-away-from home. It's hard enough first time round, but having to do it over and over, well it's a tad monotonous.
You finally find people you like, that you connect with, you share these moments with, then suddenly they're gone. Sometimes it feels like it would be easier to just be hermits and forget about the whole friend thing, but then you'd slowly go insane.
I realised when I was at playgroup this morning, it's almost like being single again. With my closest Dubai friend leaving the country soon, I looked around the group of women and their kids and took a deep breath. Gotta put myself out there again. After being in a romantic relationship for more than 16 years, nervous chatterings at the church playgroup took me back to being in a nightclub aged 19.
I noticed a lady on her own, Darbs and her little girl were playing trains next to each other. She was alone. We struck up a totally uninteresting conversation about trains. Then we started chatting more and even started replying with "Yes! Exactly!"The conversation flowed effortlessly. Wow, I thought to myself, she seems really nice. I let my mind run away, imagining dinners, BBQs and other social events together. I turned to help Darbs with something and turned back and she was gone. I spotted her talking and laughing with someone else. Was it the nasty stench of cheap Nescafe on my breath? Was my interesting conversation completely boring to her? Man, it sucks and playgroup doesn't even serve any G&Ts to help ease the nerves!
I was chatting online with another expat friend recently about the inevitability of saying goodbye when you're an expat. You forge these tight bonds and then it's 'See you later!' Most of them you'll probably only ever see again on Facebook.
Anyway, the vacancy sign is currently up and hopefully positions will all be filled soon for quite some time.