Moving on…

19 Aug

No, thank heavens we are not moving just yet!  We just got back to the Land of Sand 8 months ago. SO not ready to move on yet.

But as is always the case, friends new and old move on from this most transient of cities far sooner than we will ever grow accustomed to. In the last few days and hours we have found out about 2 friends that will be leaving us soon. The stories about how they got to the point of leaving are always completely bizarre but not at all uncommon.

I met her* in the playground. She has a darling little guy who is the same age as Luka and over the past few months I have gotten to know her. Our families shared a meal at a mutual friend’s home not long ago.

Sadly, their tale reads like the tales of countless other people who arrive in The Land of Sand bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, ready to make and save some moolah whilst completing a 2 year working contract. The story of their leaving goes something like this: Husband applies for some leave to travel home with his family over the summer, leave is granted, whilst on holiday he gets a call to tell him that his contract has been terminated 6 months early(for reasons he may be unaware of or none in particular) so he needs to head back to pack up, he has a month. The family rush back, pack, have a masalama(goodbye in Arabic) party and are gone. Thanks for coming!

Unfortunately the legal system here is still in its infancy. It is not worth trying to stick around to fight what may appear to be an unjust dismissal and the problem is further compounded by the fact that one’s visa is terminated and one therefore has to leave the country within a month. I have even heard of a family who lived in our compound who were away on holiday, got the call and were told not to bother coming back to pack up, their stuff would be shipped to them.

Apparently a house move is high up there on the list of stressful things to do, according to the head doctors so imagine the stress of losing your job, moving country, being unemployed and having to a month to get used to the idea. It’s tough.

What we all realise about living here is that we could be next, so save your pennies, keep your options open and don’t get too comfortable. It doesn’t  happen to everyone and there are people who live here for many years without any of those problems but it happens often enough to keep you on your toes. 

*she remains nameless to protect her identity

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