Sunday, December 21, 2008

Tea Time 2

It's after 2 am when the driver pulls into the compound. My eyes sting and I feel the deep pitted nausea that comes with a long haul flight. My body hasn't a clue what it wants, having had its clock truly shafted in-flight. I clamber out of the car and I follow the big bulky man who plucked me from the airport. He is my work representative sent to deliver me safely to my new dwelling. Now he has done so, he leaves me with the key and a small pile of luggage that is now the total sum of my life. I stare at the back of head as he walks out the door. 
"Now what?'  I poke around in the tiny apartment, beginning with a search for the stairs. There must be an upstairs...surely. The only feasible space for a staircase turns out to be full of shelves and spare linen. One would be pressed to swing half a cat in here. 

On the kitchen bench is a "new arrival" basket, stocked with various foreign foods that I promise myself immediately I will never touch. Not ever. I am tired and yet hyped by the realisation that I have indeed arrived in the middle east. There is a window in the small lounge-room and I open the slats of the blinds, and stare out into the night. To my right, I can see a crescent moon atop of a mosque, silhouetted against the arabic sky. I feel I have landed on some other planet. I carry my things into my room, and without changing, I collapse on the bed and fall into a dream filled,  fitful sleep.

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