G'day from Cape Town, South Africa
Working at the Al Ain Women's College for the past three years has had one particular peculiarity that I thought of recently. That is, when the summer holidays begin, most of your friends (HCT and elsewhere) head off to exotic international destinations in a variety of different airlines from Dubai or Abu Dhabi. Expats really are a spoilt bunch.
I've never worked anywhere else where, as soon as the summer break begins, everyone heads off to an international destination. Like rats off a sinking ship. Or in this case, people wanting an escape from the 50 degree heat, the strictures of the local culture, and of course, take the opportunity to see loved ones and old friends.
Christina and I have done more travel in the past three years than we have done in our lifetimes. Canada, Hong Kong, Oman, Germany, Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Scotland, England, Cyprus, Jordan, Syria, Holland, and now South Africa. This time will be different though.
Instead of returning to our UAE home and our friends and colleagues, we will finish our journey at our Australian home ... a spacious four bedroom house in one of The Alice's best streets with a view of The Gap and the pristine MacDonnell Ranges, sparkling blue skies, and a very laid-back lifestyle.
I wonder how very ordinary it will seem after being a globetrotter for these past three years. Alice Springs with 25,000 people and 1500 km from the nearest city compared with Al Ain with 400,000 people and Dubai and Abu Dhabi a stone's throw away or Muscat a little farther. Will we find it a disappointment?
I'll tell you later, but right now I have to help Christina plan our tours of the Stellenbosch vineyards and go for a steak dinner at the Protea Hotel's restaurant. It's a tough life, but someone has to do it and who better than an ex-expat?