Ever since we moved to the UK, I have been thinking how great it would be to move abroad.
Unlike some of my Bakuvian girlfriends, also married to foreigners, I have never experienced what that might be like- to be an expat. I met my future husband back in Baku and, for a brief moment, he was an expat. However, as soon as he proposed to me, he whisked me away.
And chucked me straight into the real world. I did not get to experience lazy afternoons near a pool, over a game of Bridge, sipping Piña Coladas, while discussing part-time volunteering work with poor children. Nope. Not me.
I did not even get to use any of my background or language skills in London. I got thrown into a big, fast city full of people who did not care if I spoke any Russian; and whose English was a lot better than mine. So I had to get a normal job, just like the locals.
But why am I talking about this now? Oh, yes. Husband got offered a little consultancy work abroad.
Not a proper expatriate package, not a long term contract. Just a quick trip for a week. Somewhere rich and hot. A kind of place where locals are not too keen on infidels.
So I got excited, because- who knows? It might lead to more opportunities, open more doors...What if he met someone who liked him so much they would ask us to relocate? Bridge games, Piña Coladas and volunteer work could, after all, be my thing.
Yet, part of me suddenly felt uneasy. Because, I know what expat life is like. I know how different things can seem in locations far away, where the air is hot and humid and girls are tanned and cheap.
-You are not going to be blyadying, are you?- I asked him, using the Russian word for a "whore"-something we just do between ourselves.
But really, what is the point of asking that question? It is just like those silly USA entry clearance forms:
- Have you ever been involved in a terrorist activity?
- Oh, now that you mention it, yes I have indeed! My name is Bin Laden. Shall I spell it for you, officer? B for Burka....
So yes, a pretty pointless question. What do I expect him to say?
‘Yes, I will jump off that plane and land right on top of some local girl’?
Or: 'No, of course not, darling'?
And before you start giving me lectures on trusting my man...come o-on! We say in Russian: “Trust, but check. “ Let me translate: Trust, but don’t be an idiot. Things can happen.
But mainly, it just got me thinking. He is only going for a week, and I am not entirely comfortable with the thought. I know there will be heavy drinking. I know there will be all expenses paid. I know there will be young girls and men who think it is OK, as long as far enough from their real world.
Would I really want us to relocate somewhere like that for a while? Probably not, to be honest. I complain about my boring suburban life in the UK. About ridiculous mortgages and lack of exciting social life. But in a way, boring is OK. I am used to this boring now, and boring feels like home.