It starts every year. It starts slowly you see.
The Expat Exodus is an annual event — and it’s free. It’s either free for the taking or a small charge that is nominal, there’s so much to choose from its almost farcical.
First people start with their boats, their cars and then move on to their bicycles. They snatch their kid’s toys and all unnecessary obstacles. As the weeks roll on they are selling blankets and breast pumps, clothes and shoes. Next comes hair dryers, air fryers, and everything else they can afford to lose.
The fishing equipment they’ve used once is gone. And so is the ping pong table made in Saigon. The potted plants will be snatched up so quickly you’d think it was cannabis or something else as addictive.
They barter and shove “Next please!” they shout. I must. I must — have that ugly couch!
They line up for miles to pick through the debris, of a once glamorous life like you see on TV. The sailboats, the yachts, the bubbly brunches and more; have been carefully chronicled on Facebook galore.
They came to this oil country dollar signs in their eyes, they bought Tiffany, Louis, Cavelli and Valentino. “Is there gold on my lip?” they ask with a smile. No worries mate, it’s only my joe. Let me lick my lips and wash down with prosecco.
Oh, don’t we wish the good times could go on forever. Yaallah — be a dear and go get the driver. The housemaid will carry the suitcases to the car. As they mentally prepare to go back to their flat in drab cold London, or boring St. Pat.
How do we go on without rose colored glasses, around the clock helpers, and dirt cheap gasses? Not to mention the around-the-world trips, the absence of jerks and all the other many, many, perks.
For years, the stories they will tell of their time in the desert and the land of the surreal – gold plated cars and tigers on leashes — champagne, cavier and aqua colored beaches.
Good bye UAE. We will miss you it’s true. But maybe now we can be a big fish too. We are not Sheiks, Sheikas, or live in ginormous palaces, but the children of countries just as rich in heritage, and history, with families who love us.
Khalas — we are finished! Shukran, we say. Thank you, thank you UAE for allowing us to stay.
pic by Brooke Laundry