Here There and Everywhere

Expat wanderer

Changes in the Air

“It’s still hot,” I said as we were coming out of the movie, “but can you feel a change in the air? Even though it’s hot, the air is changing, the light is changing – you can feel hints that Fall is coming . . . ”

We had just been to see “The Help,” and if you haven’t seen it yet, you need to make plans to see it soon. It is a really good movie, which will make you laugh, and cry, and remember that it wasn’t so long ago in our country when it took place. (You can read my review of the unforgettable book here.)

The movie is a serious movie, and at the same time, I loved the attention to detail – the hair, the fashions, the manners – all very 50’s, even though it is the 1960’s in Jackson, Mississippi.

I remember reading this book in Qatar, just after I had moved back there from Kuwait. The Kuwait book club also read White Tiger and Half of a Yellow Sun, all of which had domestic service as at least part of the theme. It’s another one of those cultural things we all have in common – how do we treat the people who work for us? How do they see us? Who is raising our children and teaching them values?

In the Gulf, there are horror stories in the papers of servants who never receive their wages, or who work 16 hours a day, sun-up to sun-down, with never a day off. The families who take good care of their servants never make the papers, but I have seen good and caring relationships, lasting many years, between employers and employees. We’re glad we saw this movie, which sticks closely to the book. For a fuller experience – read the book.

Meanwhile, the temperature early this morning was below 69° F, which means that my tomatoes will begin setting once again and we may have a good crop coming before the cold sets in. I noticed, to my horror, I have a decent crop of weeds trying to establish themselves while it is too hot for me to go out and do battle with them. Some of my tomatoes actually continued producing even during the hottest days of the summer; I’m going to have to plant more of those next year. The golden pear and the red pear tomatoes are producing merrily; the bigger tomatoes have stopped – I hope temporarily.

August 16, 2011 - Posted by | Books, Character, Civility, Community, Cross Cultural, Cultural, Doha, ExPat Life, Family Issues, Fiction, Friends & Friendship, Gardens, Generational, Interconnected, Kuwait, Living Conditions, Pensacola, Qatar, Random Musings, Social Issues, Work Related Issues

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