After months of rumours that wouldn’t go away, my husband’s company hit several hundred staff members with an eviction notice on Thursday. It’s always a Thursday, the last day of the week here. And it’s always a shock when it comes.
I cried! Yes, hands up, I’m happy to admit it – I felt like I’d been punched in the gut. Angry tears streamed down my face. I love our house. Over the past seven years, the frustrated interior designer in me has painted each room in a rainbow of bright colours. The family room ceiling is a skyscape, with white fluffy clouds and airplanes, and on the garden wall I painted a fairytale castle. It amused the kids for all of five minutes, but I think we’ve all blossomed from the love that’s been put into this house and garden.
I knew where we were headed (for those in the know, Meydan South, and for readers wondering, a massive, identikit housing development in the desert, where the company wants to accommodate all crew). I closed my eyes for a moment and saw several images: the huge highways I’d have to drive on, for miles each day, to get my kids to their respective, now further-away schools. Twelve tarmacked lanes of traffic and stress, with idiot drivers who care not a bit about a mum on a school run with small children dragged out of bed far too early, her knuckles white from gripping the steering wheel and teeth clenched.
I also imagined endless construction, the hammering of machines and the high-pitched whine of drills as the developers work on road access to the community and build the compound’s facilities (community centre, shop, pool, etc). Amenities like these won’t be ready until this time 2017. Yes, they open these places in Dubai before these things are built. I thought about all this, and held my head in my hands. How could they do this to us?
Three days on from the eviction email and I’m in a much more positive frame of mind. It’s a free house, with bills paid, and inside it’s lovely. While a sandpit now, residents will, in time, get a small garden growing which will green up (heartbreaking, though, that our current spacious gardens will be ripped up).
No-one is being forced – families can take the money and find their own accommodation if they wish, either to buy or rent. Meydan South will eventually have great facilities, and as for the driving, well there’s the option to change schools. There are safe pathways for the kids to explore, on foot or bike; there will literally be hundreds of children living in the community, who can all call on each other and go off to play, like in 1950s England. Or, dare I say it, Butlins holiday camp.
See you at Meydan South!
Postscript: Perhaps the best news for Mums is that a friend has found a great pub/watering hole just ten minutes away, with good food and prices (Qube Bar at Meydan – which might just make the move totally worthwhile!)