Drinking Coffee in Qatar
where we are
i envy those
who live in two places:
new york, say, and london;
wales and spain;
l.a. and paris;
hawaii and switzerland.
there is always the anticipation
of the change, the chance that what is wrong
is the result of where you are. i have
always loved both the freshness of
arriving and the relief of leaving. with
two homes every move would be a homecoming.
i am not even considering the weather, hot
or cold, dry or wet: i am talking about hope.
This morning, I woke up to see the sun streaking orange on the Doha horizon.
Last night. Sarah and Mary Howell and I left Kijabe. It had been a muddy, rainy day; and I spent most of it holed up in my house with a roaring fire and last minute packing details and friends coming over for lunch. Fog enveloped us as we drove towards Nairobi, but by the time we reached the airport, the weather had cleared and, besides for a long wait time, the rest was relatively easy.
And now I’m barely awake, and sipping an overpriced cappuccino in a new country, surprised by the contrasts of life here. Our pre-boarding area is making everyone sit according to the row we are assigned so that we can board in an orderly manner. What?? Lines are still a thing? Someone has forgotten to inform the Nairobi airport about this very pleasant practice. Also, the duty free shops are a funny mix of high end fashion items from Prada and Bulgari, fancy chocolates and snacks, and giant bags of Nido (milk powder) and Foster Clarks (knock-off Tang powdered drink), 2 things I bought regularly in South Sudan. Finally, you see women fully covered except for faces and hennaed hands, and other women in leggings and cropped tops, and some women, inexplicably, in high heels.
Between 2 places, observing cultures crossing, fighting jet-lag, using free wi-fi, counting down the hours until I see my family: I’m glad for this early morning, drinking coffee in Qatar, and feeling the tension of living in 2 places and the always present hope of home.