Sunday, 19 August 2012

A compound full of feral pussies?



There is an element of sweet innocence in the older generation that i admire. They simply don't see things the way we do. My mother in law is a good example of this.

A long time ago, when I had only been married to my husband for a little while, we sat in the in-laws' sunny conservatory sipping tea. My mother in law was playing with a niece of mine. It was time for the child to gather her toys and go home, and my mother in law asked, rather loudly, if she remembered her pussy.

I tensed in my armchair but managed to compose myself. My English was good enough  to know the word Pussy. However, it was not good enough for me to appreciate that my mother in law could be using that word so freely, without a slightest hesitation, when talking about cats.

'Did you remember your black pussy?!' She shouted to my niece, and I winced, hiding my face in the tea cup. What about the stripy one? She asked and at that time, i just had to leave the room.

Since that day, many years have passed. I feel that we know each other well enough to discuss many things.

'Look', I said to her the other day, when i heard her use the word again, pointing out a 'pretty pussy' in the neighbour's garden to my baby.  Can you just add the word cat after the pussy? That is all I am asking! Just say 'here is a pretty pussy cat'. 

Mother in law pretended she saw no double entendre in that word. Fine, i thought. Two can play that game. As i sat there feeding my baby porridge this morning, i explained to her what noise a cat made, and how many cats we see in Doha every day.

'You tell nanny how many pussies we have in our compound!' I said deliberately loudly. 

'Oh. Really?' Mother in law's lips twitched a little. She wanted to laugh but kept her cool. 'Totally!' I said. 'It is like pussy central! Feral pussies, you know. We have all sorts!' I paused, getting ready for my own version of 'From dusk till dawn' Chet Pussy's speech when my mother in law stopped me. 'Enough, enough!!!' She exclaimed. Point taken, me thinks.

Sunday, 12 August 2012

The fifty shades of (expat) home.

I have been very lazy with my blogging recently. The last posting does not count, as it was written to be submitted somewhere else, and rejected as potentially viewed as judgemental. So I used it here, since I personally really liked it! Did not want it to be wasted just because this other website only publishes nice, inspirational pieces. To be honest, it made me sad to realise that, even though they liked my style, and asked for an unpublished piece, the general mood of their site isn't something that I could ever be suitable for. Which made me wonder if i will ever find a place that i, together with my silly jokes, bizarre sense of humour and general messing about would fit into. Maybe one day.

In the meantime, this is my home. My pages where i can abuse anyone I'd like, confess anything I want and laugh at whoever i consider worth laughing at.

And speaking of home, this is the reason i have been lazy at blogging. I have come back home for a summer break:away from Doha heat. And when i say home, I for once am not talking about Azerbaijan. I mean the UK.

It is quite difficult and confusing for expats, as I have discovered, what city and what country to call home. Many bloggers blog about this, and that, sadly, is another downside of being an expat-we tend to blog about similar issues. Boring, really.

For me, it used to be obvious. I was from Baku, I moved to the UK...i spent years adjusting, getting used to the new place, making new friends...and missing home, of course. And what now? Whenever i say "back home", I could mean Azerbaijan, or I could just as easily mean England.
Because, what this summer vacation made me realise is that, surprisingly or not, England is very
much home now. And it is wonderful to be back. Comfortable and relaxing, happy and busy (seeing
the family and friends we have missed so badly).

And yet, it is becoming more complicated even after such a short period of my expat life. The other morning, thinking about someone i know back in Doha, i suddenly realized that i miss it. I miss my new home in Qatar. The new friends, the kids in the compound, my big car and the gorgeous mirage on those steaming asphalt roads. Oh, crap, I thought. Here we go. As if it was not enough to have two countries, two sets of friends and two cultures to miss; now i have another set to add into the equation. Because, and this is the saddest, most frustrating reality of the expat life- once you relocate somewhere for work you know that, however long you live there, the time will come to say goodbye. And you will have one more home to miss.