Sunday 9 November 2014

Continental confusion

It's funny when you've grown up in a place, just the hint of cool in the breeze, the scent of jasmine in the air or a certain shade of the sky can tell you exactly what time of the year it is. The heaviness of humidity is always February, cool breezes and bright blue skies mean it's April, salty warm air means December. Straight away my internal compass is set.

In Dubai, I seem to spend a good amount of my time confused. Especially when the school year begins in Septemeber. The amount of times I've thought "Is is almost Easter?" and realised it's actually October. Or "Christmas must be soon" and it's June. Pretty much all of the time I need to stop and consciously think about what month or time of the year it is. Days, months and years blend together. They often feel topsy-turvy or upside down.

For many months of the year the weather is blistering hot and you dream of a cool breeze and being able to sit outside again. Just when you think it will never end the temperature drops dramatically and then it feels almost too cold. Ridiculous really when it's hovering 30 degrees, but after months of searing heat that coolness in the breeze brings goosebumps to skin with thin blood pumping below it.

The way you adapt to your environment can happen quickly, but the memories can also run deep.

A friend here and I often laugh about how we feel indecent if we venture out with our shoulders bare or knees exposed. Dresses that I once wore and felt were modest are now gathering dust in my wardrobe.

In Sydney, I wouldn't even think about wearing jeans for four months of the year, but they're pretty much year-round apparel now. It's amazing how quickly your mindset can change.

When the time comes to move again I wonder if I'll be still be caught in cross-continental confusion.

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