And you ? How long will you stay ?

When I arrived in Kuwait, I met a french guy. We became friends and four months later, he left. It was the first time of my life I had to deal with the fact that someone I liked had to leave. Not the first time of my life. But the first time since I was living alone in a country without any friends. He was a sort of anchor for me, he was my “Thanks-God-I-am-not-alone” person and he left. Just like this. And then, after, I realized I had to deal with the leavings.

Kuwait : a comfortable country…

The beginnings in Kuwait are a bit hard. Different culture, different language, the airport is really bad and people don’t look like nice. But once you are installed in the country, it’s easier. And once you have the driving license – and a car – life starts to be better.

One day or later, someone will talk about Talabat or Carriage, and you will discover the amazing food-delivery-world. And then, you get the bakala’s phone number and you can have your cigarettes, your Coke or you water at your doorstep.

You don’t speak a good english ? It’s not a big deal, everybody will understand you ! You need something ? People will help you ! Kuwaitis are really generous, kind and nice. I found them really funny and easy-going. Nothing seems hard in their life. They don’t look like tortured by this endless quest of happiness. There is no Baudelaire in their cultural heritage.

… where we don’t stay

But some people can’t handle it. Prohibited alcohol, he heat or the dust. Some people are bored, some people feel they don’t have anything new to discover. There are those who don’t have anything new to learn and those who don’t want to learn anything new. The relationship we have with a country is really personal.

So, there is a lot who leave. Most of the time, I think people stay around three years. There are those who take the plane after one scholar year and other who stay a bit longer. Some stay even if they don’t want to. And some leave and regret it after.

I know some people who are here for years and they don’t complain about it. They don’t live in their country, they go there for holidays. Sometimes, they have to go in another country during the holidays… Because their kids left too.

From where I stand

Always the same question

And you ? How long will you stay ?

I don’t know how many time I heard this question. It puts me in a really not comfortable situation. As if I had to choose, right now, in how many years I will have to leave the country. If I answer for ever, nobody will take it seriously and if I say I don’t know, nobody understands.

Everybody comes to Kuwait with a goal. It can be saving money, so we count how much we can save per year … and depending on the result, we give an answer. Or, a new professional experience so the answer is three years, most of the time. And sometimes, it depends on the husband’s contract so it changes. Between two or six years.

Without any answer

I came alone and I don’t have a financial goal. When it’s about saving money, the goals are never enough and we always want more and more. About my job, I don’t know if I will stay a teacher if I leave Kuwait. And the husband’s contract… let’s find a husband, first !

So, I don’t know what to answer. How long will I stay ? I have no idea. It’s my fourth year, and time went so fast… When I applied in Kuwait, it was without a goal. I never thought that Kuwait will give me something I couldn’t find in France.

When I took my flight to Kuwait, I had nothing in mind. I literally have nothing to lose here. A lot of things to gain and nothing to lose.

I am the kind of person who likes to be somewhere. I am like a tree in a good soil. So, when people ask me how long will I stay, it makes me really nervous because I don’t know. I don’t know how long I will stay here. Every day, I realize that I have habits in this country. I know and I love the perfume of Oud, the perfumes here don’t give me headache anymore. Dusty days are annoying and they make me feel tired but now it’s ok. I live with the sun rhythm, I have my big car and my cute cat.

I took habits here and it’s hard for me to understand that I shouldn’t have too much habits because, one day, I will have to leave.

from where I stand

A life in an ejection seat

At the beginning, I was scared. The visa I have only thanks to my job. No job, no sponsor. No sponsor, no visa. Every year, in February, I am a bit scared to receive this letter saying that they don’t want me anymore. The first years, I had the feeling that I will not stay.

So, I didn’t :

  • buy new furnitures because it didn’t worth it if I stayed only one year.
  • take a membership at the gym because I didn’t know how long I will stay.
  • buy a car because I didn’t know if I will be able to refund it.
  • take enough time for me because I was here to save money ! Nothing else.
  • buy decoration for my flat because I didn’t know what to do with it before leaving.

And now, it’s the beginning of my fourth year. I have my habits here. Now, Kuwait is home and I don’t know how long I will stay.

To be in Kuwait taught me to not be that much attached to people. I cried for one departure and, for now, it’s the only one. I can’t keep anyone here. Even if I love my friends, nobody is irreplaceable and essential. It’s a way to protect myself. I get attach only to people who are born and raised here in Kuwait. They will never leave. I put myself in the position of the one who will leave.

To be in Kuwait taught me me to enjoy the present more. How long will I stay in Kuwait ? I have no idea. One year more, maybe two, maybe for the rest of my life. Maybe, one day I will open a school or a coffee shop. Who knows ? For now, I just stopped to ask myself this question.

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