Saturday, August 30, 2014

Expat Wife Life: Missing Who's Missing

summer 2014: laughter, love,
a house full of beautiful babies
 
To expats, missing is a living, breathing, moist and fresh word with long, sticky fingers. It links head to heart, toddling the gray matter so the heart is always thinking. Before each trip, whether traveling to or fro, we haul missing out, rub it off and try not to watch as the object of missing's affections changes.

No matter where we are, expats are always missing someone. 

Summer 2014 it's been this guy:
 
Bob at the Singing Dunes
 
It helps to look forward to the next adventure. For example, also missing is the singing dunes, souk, the folks at Fanar, Arabic. West Bank vistas from Islamic Museum Park, a jog around the Corniche, the-latest-unique-thing-on-display at the Alriwaq exhibit hall, shopping; the adventure that is driving in Doha.
 
Missing is the Call to Prayer that circles the city five times a day, a reminder via regularly spaced mosques to pause in the day's busy-ness to recognize, thank and praise God. Each invitation begins at a slightly different moment - the result is a rich mix of spiritually uplifting dissonance that fills one's senses like just baked bread.
 
minaret, Grand Mosque
West Bay in background
 
I like it.
 
I miss monthly get-togethers with the fabulous Burns & McDonnell ladies and babies, dark early morning skies and the bright upside down moon. Beach sun (although I no longer bask), steamy sand, long sleeved slogs around the Pearl's bay in 115F temps followed by a dip in the resort pool. A clean apartment every Thursday, Fridays with my guy, camp outs at the Inland Sea, treks into the desert.
 
In Doha, celebrity events are comparatively inexpensive (and free). World class tennis, soccer, film and art festivals are accessible. Comedian Gabriel "Fluffy" Iglesias, Yusuf Islam (aka Cat Stevens), and Maz Jobrani have headlined Doha in the last 3 years. There's Mr. Q, Arabic class, the fabulous people at Weill Cornell Medical Center, halloumi cheese at Zaatar w Zeit, family dinner at Turkey Central, Nabil and the Sheikh's museum.
 
 
Dubai's beaches, golf courses, and sites like the Burj Khalifa are an inexpensive 45 minute flight away. It's a quick hop to weekend (or longer) adventures in Muscat, London, Athens, Barcelona, Dublin, Rome, Amsterdam too.
 
Just as life in Doha isn't all sand, grit and empty-shelves-at-the-Carrefour, a stint stateside isn't all perfection. There are weeds, bugs, dirty laundry, trash to take out, cars and dryers that break down, a crowd of babies in the bathroom, high gas prices, a towering, government owned, dead tree in the yard next door.
 
None of which eases this next - rapidly approaching - round of missing.
 
Kansas City Northern Railroad Co.
riding a kid-sized train with three of my babies
I'll be missing them soon
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