Wednesday, 6 April 2011

12 more sleeps

To be able to leave the UAE, your work visa needs to be cancelled. This has now happened in my passport and best of all, I have my passport back. There's nothing holding me back now apart from the 12, soon to be 11 more sleeps. I've got heaps done and my apartment is looking bare with much gone and the rest sold and ready to go. It helps being one of the first to leave.

My cleaner had her last visit today and went off with some bags from my cupboards as well as a few clothes and bit and pieces. She was really thrilled to be given my drag bag, the suitcase that housed my computer and resources as I travelled about. To me it was past it's use by date, I didn't need it and it was beginning to look tatty. To her it was a means of carrying her clothes home when she visits her family on her biannual visit in July/August. She told me it would save her having to buy one.

You see Cora and I are the same age only we live very different lives. Her life revolves around working to send money to her family in the Philippines. She works in a school and gets paid very little so this is no mean feat. Living here can be expensive so picking up work from people like me is the best way for her to manage this and send money home. I am amazed at how industrious these women are, many work 12 hour days then clean for others. Cora is one of the luckier ones in that her hours aren't that long and she gets some time off.

Many of the things that I see here, many of the stories I'm told, shock me a little. Well it actually shocks me more that I have come to accept this as the way it is. I suspect I've been here long enough and a change to a place that seems at least to be more egalitarian is a good idea. Maybe I'll write some of the stories I've been told when I am at a distance, I know I have a couple of travel ones to include. Keep watching this space. 

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