Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Home in Doha

Well, it's summer here. (And technically everywhere else in the Northern Hemisphere if you want to get picky about it.) But summer in Doha is different from anywhere else I've ever experienced summer.

Here in Doha, virtually all the Western expats flee the summer heat. The day after school was out, half the people we knew were leaving town headed for one destination or another. Most were going home.

Home. It's strange to think that this place where I live is home, but only a temporary one. Yesterday, as I was pondering what to change my Facebook status message to, I briefly considered, "Lori is tired of feeling like she lives in temporary lodging." Our house is wonderful, but it still feels like it isn't really "our home" yet.

We haven't painted, something that makes a huge difference and warms up a home. There are still, over a year later, boxes that we haven't even opened. (They are all in the extra bedroom. We know what they are, but we just don't need them. Mostly old photos and things.) I'm still living with curtains that Hubby bought from the people that were here before for convenience, but I haven't found anything I liked, so I live with ones I don't. It seems like so many things don't have a "place" but with no closets, that's to be expected, I guess.

We have made some strides. In the past few months, we've either bought or been given some furniture from friends who were leaving town. The best purchase was a set of two shelving units with doors. They fit perfectly in a little alcove I have and are now serving as my pantry. Rearranging some of the other furniture has helped make the place seem less...empty.

I think some of the reason we haven't really invested more time and money into making this place feel more like a permanent (or at least long-term) home is that we would like to move into a compound. Compounds are kind of like gated communities. They have pools, gyms and other facilities, but the best part is that there are lots of kids usually. In our neighborhood, there are no kids, at least not that we can tell. Everyone drives in and out of their gated driveway with very little contact. We'd love to have a neighborhood where the kids can walk to a friend's or just go out and ride their bikes.

The problem is that most of the compounds are way above our price range. We already pay a little extra over and above our housing allowance and really can't afford to go much higher. Moving to a compound would probably mean moving to a smaller place (goodbye 5 bedrooms/5 bathrooms with a loft!!), but would be worth it if the kids were happier.

So in the meantime, we wait. We live in this house, but I don't think any of us think of it as a home yet. Maybe that's something that comes in time, or with enough effort and investment. I don't know. Even if we move, I don't know if that will feel more "homey" to us. I hope that by the end of summer we will have made a decision whether or not we will move or stay here. I think that a year and a half is long enough to wait to be at home.


stacey said...

i am always amazed how we seem to be in the same place emotionally so many times! good to know we are not alone!

Holly said...

I hope you manage to find some ways to make your house feel like home soon! :)


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