Autumn has come to Saudi Arabia. I know this not because there is a bite of winter in the breeze; instead, occasionally the breeze isn’t actually hot. I know this not because the colors of the changing trees surround me; instead, occasionally the sky is blue rather than yellow. I know this not because I need the odd hot drink to warm my fingers; instead, occasionally I need to add a little hot water to the stream of cold in order to keep my shower scalding.
I miss DC with its autumn smells and colors. I miss the ability to get a Pumpkin Spice latte from Starbucks. I miss wearing sweaters. I miss rain which I haven’t seen for months. I miss walking outside. I miss being out at night on my own. I miss being on the street on my own at time of day in fact.
I’m looking at my windows right now, soaked on the outside with condensation because the humidity that burns off during the day comes back with a vengeance at night. In another couple of weeks, the weather here should be lovely, not autumnal, but lovely. Nevertheless, I’m using travel to satisfy my need for climate change. I’m planning an early November trip to Europe with my mom and hopefully my sister, a trip where I’ll likely get to wear sweaters and boots in the rain. Christmas in Ireland will be cold and wet and soaked in the season; heck, I’ll likely be thrilled to return to the warmth of the desert for the new year.
Today was the end of the fiscal year and so therefore the end of a crazy couple of weeks at work. It was also the 6 year anniversary of my father’s death. For the first year ever, my mom, sister, and I were all in different places, different countries in fact, for this anniversary. My sister, alone in DC, had no one to travel to the cemetery with her to deliver flowers and drink a toast. Today of all days, I wish I had been there with her, for her.
Despite the fact that I love my job and love living overseas, some days I wish I led a more normal life, one that allows me to be present for special occasions both happy and sad. Today was one of those days.