Here There and Everywhere

Expat wanderer

Selling My Car

I have a darling little car, I bought it in Doha six years ago. Aye, there’s the rub. While the company agreed to ship the car for us, Qatar won’t accept a car older than 5 years old. My sweet car has less than 40K km on it, has been lovingly maintained, and I totally love it – I was outraged at Qatar. But being outraged at a bureaucracy is a loser’s game, it isn’t going to change, the rules aren’t going to be excepted for me. So I had to sell the car.

I looked up the blue book price, and I knew my car was better than that, but these are hard times for selling a used car. I just put it out word-of-mouth, and within a week, I had my buyer.

She came. She sat in the car. She said “I will take it.”

I said “but you haven’t even driven it!”

She said “I can look at you, and look at this car, and I know it is a good car.”

We talked about a price. We agreed to a price a little higher than the blue book price, a little lower than I wanted. We were both happy.

She paid me in cash.

When we went to transfer title – this is Kuwait – the administrative section was closed! It wasn’t supposed to be closed! The area was full of Kuwaitis, Jordanians, people like us, wanting to transfer title. Fortunately, the woman knew another administration place nearby, so we went there, and after the normal finagling, the title transferred and all was completed.

We really wanted this woman to have the car. It has so many good years left on it, and this is a good woman.

AdventureMan laughs at how quietly all the decisions were made, all the negotiations done. The day after we sold the car, we got an SMS from the buyer saying how happy she was, and asking God to bless us richly. We feel already blessed, having sold the car to a fine woman.

May 26, 2009 Posted by | Community, ExPat Life, Family Issues, Financial Issues, Interconnected, Kuwait, Law and Order, Living Conditions, Relationships | 9 Comments

Shutting Down

Yes, I’ve been busy. Yes, it involves movers, and bureaucracy, and parties, and the normal getting-ready-for-summer activities.

But the reason I’m not blogging a lot is that I’ve been shutting down, emotionally.

Here is a truth about me. I handle bad situations by shutting down. If I feel too much, I just get overwhelmed and don’t function. When I was packing boxes – and sighing – I could only pack a couple boxes and I would have to go lie down. It wasn’t physical so much as emotionally draining, packing up a life. I can’t really even begin to think about starting up a new one; I just need to get through finishing up this one.

So I just pack away all my grief with my household goods. Honestly, it works for me. I probably appear cold and unfeeling. The unfeeling part is true – I can make myself not feel, or at least postpone the feeling part. It gets me through the tough parts. I think it helps me survive. You go on automatic pilot. You go through the motions. You are only half there.

For me, the hardest part is being around people. Keeping all the feelings shut away is hard work! It’s exhausting! Or maybe it’s the scorching heat, but I come home and cannot stay awake, I have to take a nap. I wake up feeling better. I read late into the night – late for me. It’s OK, when I count up the nap sleeping with my night sleeping, I am getting enough sleep.

I have a very few good friends who know exactly where I am emotionally, and they shield me. We talk as if life were not going to change drastically, and for us, it won’t, there will still be the e-mails and visits. When I make a good friend, she/he is a friend for life. They don’t ask too much of me right now, but they are there to protect me when I need it. They are getting me through the tough times, and these are tough times.

When I get to Doha, I will start feeling again. I will allow the grief to seep in slowly, I will cry a little when no one is around to see, and slowly, slowly, as I grieve, I will also be engaging in a new life – slowly, slowly.

The Qatteri Cat is going through the same thing. He has built himself a little hidey-hole back in my old project room / Little Diamond’s room. He crawls into a pile of pillows and comforter until he is invisible, safe, warm, and sleeps. When he is awake, it is too depressing for him – his territory has changed so dramatically, none of the old reliable places are there.

So we comfort one another.

May 26, 2009 Posted by | Adventure, Community, Cultural, ExPat Life, Family Issues, Interconnected, Living Conditions, Qatteri Cat, Relationships | 17 Comments