My mum and step-dad have left. After a fabulous three weeks staying with us, they flew home last monday. The next time we meet will be in mid August.
Of course I will miss her and I am already looking forward to our next meeting when I and the girls escape the Dubai summer heat and head for the UK. But, and I don’t even make a secret of it, I am thoroughly enjoying having the villa back to ourselves. I need to stress at this point that my father-in-law was staying with us for the whole of February, so in fact in the past two months we’ve only had five nights without visitors!
Now I consider myself to be a good hostess (I’ve got so used to sharing my home averaging about seven sets of visitors each year), but sometimes tensions can start to run high when guests stay. Were we living in the UK we’d get together with family or friends and maybe stay with them for a couple of nights. Everyone would enjoy each others’ company and be on their best behaviour. Being thrown together for weeks at a time and having so many guests is unusual – except for expats....
Visitors are part and parcel of expat life. But it’s not always easy. In truth, when you’ve got guests, your life is not really your own. They might be on holiday, but you are not. In addition to your normal household chores, work, caring for the children, keeping up with after school activities, homework and play dates, let alone exercise; you’ve suddenly got to incorporate the needs of your visitors.
Not all guests are the same. Some are more needy than others; some more independent; some more adventurous; some want to fill every minute of a planned itinerary; some more chilled out and happy to laze around the villa; some simply want to use the villa as a hotel; some are more helpful; some are downright lazy.
As a host it’s up to you to put the ground rules down immediately by letting your guests know how much time you are able (and willing) to give them and whether you are happy to play tour guide, cook, maid, entertainer and driver. Admittedly, I cannot help but feel a sense of responsibility that they have a good time.
In some respects with family it’s easier now because they have been here so many times that they are less concerned with sightseeing and more concerned with seeing the girls, just tagging along and helping out.
And of course, I consider myself very lucky that I have so many visitors - far rather that than not see them at all considering the distance. If that were the case then this blog would be all about loneliness and feeling isolated.
Even so, I make no bones about it - it’s nice to have the place back to ourselves at last. If the fancy takes me I can put my knickers on my head, chain smoke and dance all night to Boney M – unlikely, but I’m happy in the knowledge knowing that I could if I wanted.
About this blog...
I set up this blog to reveal what real life is like here in the UAE - the good and the bad. I'll chat about what I've been up to, Dubai news and developments, my thoughts about expat life here (and in general) and reports about my holidays and adventures in the region (travel is my bag after all).