So we’re back in the sandpit and just about coming up for air. The journey back was bearable. Obviously none of the children felt the urge to sleep during the first six and a half hours of the flight, but twin 1 and big brother nodded off as we came in to land. Power napping I think it’s called, though the ‘power’ was somewhat lacking when we woke them both up ten minutes later. Both lacked a degree of oomph and were less than impressed at swapping a plane for a bus as we’d landed so far out of Terminal 3, we may as well have flown to Abu Dhabi.
The ‘courtesy’ bus did about 56 laps of the airport before dropping us in Arrivals by which point we’d forgotten we’d been on a plane at all and had no idea where we were. Fortunately, someone at the front of the queue still had their marbles, so we shuffled sheep-like in convoy, hoping that our purpose would become clear shortly. There was the usual ‘grunt, shrug, grunt’ greeting waiting for us at passport control and a complete lack of loan buggies in any of the racks. So far, so predictable.
And then things looked up. As we approached the carousel, our suitcases were already circling for us and when we stepped outside the terminal, our car was ready with air con blasting. When you’ve left Birmingham at midday in torrential rain and 14 degrees, it’s something of a shock to the system to be greeted by 39 degrees at 2am. You’d think we’d be used to it by now, but we still look like virginal tourists, dripping in sweat and diving into the nearest possible air conditioning at every opportunity.
I think the twins have actually completely wiped Dubai from their memories as they’ve spent the last 24 hours looking utterly dazed and confused. They’re happy to see all the toys they’ve forgotten about, and wreak havoc in a whole new home but there is no sign of any familiarity.
Twin 2 has finally decided that walking is in fact a good thing and is confidently tottering from room to room. The open plan spaces help hugely, as do the application of numerous stair gates by Daddy whilst we were gone, which prevent unauthorised adventures into the utility room and up and down the many stairs.
Other than that the only noticeable change is that I have developed the early onset of expat senility. Having spent the best part of two months away from my home, I seem to have completely forgotten where anything lives and how anything works. It took me at least ten minutes last night to locate mugs and teabags and then I had a serious dilemma as I couldn’t remember which water we used for drinks – tap or bottle? It’s at times like these that I seriously wonder if I’m safe to be left in charge of three small children.
I think the same thought may cross their minds from time to time too…