I know there are a few people who will say I told you so, but the novelty of Riyadh is wearing thin. The constant need to cover up outside the compound (which is kinda like an estate, or a little village) is annoying and in the blistering heat too. furthermore there is no alcohol and one needs to do some James Bond moves to get a glass of wine. Ah, the days of walking into any corner shop and just picking up a bottle of (insert favourite alcoholic beverage here).
But the pros outweigh the cons, cost of living is negligible as is tax, It definitely beats dashing her Majesty a huge chunk of my sweat and blood.
I was in the UK over Easter weekend and I drank like it was going out of fashion. Barely had one bottle finished, and I would signal for another. The friends I was with watched in amazement as I downed 3 bottles of wine with amazing ease.
Absence really does make the heart grow fonder, I had dinner on Easter Sunday at my parents and my heart was not heavy for the first time in a long time. all the reasons why we were not as we should seemed to fade away and i was just really glad to see them. My dad seemed older somehow, that scared me. it was a lovely dinner, there was a lot of genuine laughter, no awkward silences and my dad even referred to my brother's girlfriend by her name. He had called her "that girl" for so long that I had begun to doubt whether the man even knew her name.
After dinner my dad asked me to make him coffee, he always used to tell his friends that I made the best coffee in the world. I don't know what I did differently; hot water, coffee, sugar, no milk. I hadn't made him coffee in ages. As he sipped the coffee, with the usual ceremony of blowing then sipping, blowing then sipping, he asked me how I was. I told him about the heat rash I had developed on my back that seemed determined to buy a mortgage and set up home there. I told him about the my smelly boss, I told him about Mr arrogant and the lousy date, I told him about my fears that I made an impulsive move.
As I talked, I watched his eyes light up, his booming laugh as I picked the adjectives to describe my boss, as I told him about Mr Arrogant. He kept my gaze and as I looked into his eyes, I saw my dad, memories that I didn't even know I had came flooding back.
I asked him if he remembered how my brother and I called my mum honey when we were young because that was what he called her too. They kept trying to correct us but it took a while. Or the time I got locked in the toilet on his birthday because I had thought it was a good idea to lock the door and flush the key down the toilet; I was two. As we laughed, I heard my mum laughing, as I turned to look see what was going on, I saw here gently caress Tokunbo's face. It felt like the angel of God had passed over our home and made it whole again.
As I kissed my dad goodnight, I whispered "I love you daddy" in his ears, words I wasn't sure I would ever be able to say again. I couldn't explain it, it seemed like someone had rewound time and removed all the hurt and then fast forwarded it to the present time.
I spent bank holiday Monday with Mr Brown. he cooked me dinner and it was amazing. I kept looking for signs that it wasn't homemade, If it wasn't he hid it pretty well. After dinner, we curled up on the sofa and caught up.
"Eni has been calling me" he just blurts out. Eni is a friend of mine, we aren't all that closed but when one of my friends pulled out of the skiing weekend, i found someone to fill in just so the ticket did't go to waste. Eni was the only one available on short notice.
"Really" I answered, painfully aware that the green eyed monster was rearing its ugly head. "I didn't even know she had your number"
"She invited me round for dinner"
I turned my attention to the television, not wanting my body language to betray how I was feeling. Did I have any reason to be jealous? Was I just being a dog in a manger? But how dare that heffer just muscle in like that!
"So is that all you are going to say", he asks.
"What do you want me to say" I reply.
"Aren't you in the least bit curious to know if I accepted her invitation?"
"Did you ?" I asked
"No" he replied.
"Good" I answered, it just came out. I saw him smile out of the corner of my eye and then he reached out and pulled me into his arms.
"you too dey pose" I laughed, more so because his accent did not suit the broken English. He smelt like my dad, aftershave and menthol. I snuggled closer.
I had no expectations for my bank holiday weekend, but it turned out to be pretty darn good.