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Dubai Diaries: Highs and lows of moving house

enid@khaleejtimes.com Filed on July 14, 2021

What goes through your mind when you have to move house? An expat’s life, especially in current times, is very transitional. We shift residences often, with living expenses mostly being the reason.

When I was growing up in the city, one didn’t hear of such vigorous levels of ‘moving’ as are prevalent today. As kids we rarely saw a ‘moving’ truck or van or neighbors shifting out of their flats. People tended to stay in the same apartments for years, decades even.

As someone who spent almost their entire childhood in Karama, I felt a nostalgic sense of belonging to the area and was always reassured by the fact that I now resided quite near to my childhood home in a block of flats over four decades old.

On my way home from work I would smile at an old tree with a huge canopy of leaves that would be my early morning shade when catching the bus to school back in the ‘80s. I sometimes ordered from a vintage Karama restaurant, Curry Dishes, a favourite back in the day with my parents for its homely food and vibe.

On my walks around Karama, areas like the Shopping Complex always evoked nostalgia — it was the ‘go to’ place for almost everything in a time before malls became popular.

But despite all my sentimental attachments, I realised that one has to think more practically. After giving the matter a great deal of consideration we decided to shift out of Karama (after, of course, seeking out and then deciding against some options there).

At first it was difficult to come to terms with the shift because it was like leaving a piece of your childhood behind. It wasn’t like we wouldn’t ever visit again, but living in an area is so different from visiting occasionally. I would feel like a tourist in my own home-town!

As I sat down for the last time in my balcony I sought out the stars I’m always enchanted by and realised - they would be the same no matter where I lived in the UAE, or the world for that matter.

As I gave my childhood home a glance before going back inside, I knew a sense of detachment had already set in. Life is about movement, my father always says. And change. But you always carry special memories of the places you have transited through, no matter where you go next.

As we went about the process of moving, contacted movers, packed up our personal belongings and disposed of clutter (always a cathartic process) — a slight feeling of excitement as to what the coming experience would bring reared its head.

We visited the new home prior to moving, taking in its vibe, acclimatizing ourselves to its ‘feel’ - which turned out to be pleasantly home-like. And despite my ever-nostalgic leanings, I knew this was something I could do — embrace a new home, a new set of experiences.

I knew it was time to make new memories — food for thought for future nostalgic columns!

author

Enid Grace Parker

A bibliophile and amateur poetry enthusiast, Enid grew up in Dubai in the 80s and loves to add a dash of nostalgia to her stories. She enjoys retro music, vintage Hollywood and Bollywood films and hanging around coffee shops and city bookstores hoping an idea for that once-in-a-lifetime best-selling novel will finally pop into her head.