Monday, May 18, 2009

They do it because they have to

I went into Aramex the other day, to pick up some packages. (Aramex is a service that gives me a post office box in the US and UK, I can order stuff and have it shipped here without disappearing, like both my birthday packages last year) I love going to Aramex because one of my favourite people in Abu Dhabi works there, Tariq. I am pretty sure I have written about him before: he darts around, doing seven things at once, sliding on his shoes across the floor to go faster. He is always happy and full of energy; he has a great smile and is an excellent mimic. In short, he is just about the world's best employee.

I knew he was heading back to India for a month to visit his wife and toddler, a little boy. I saw him a couple of days before he left and he was bursting to get there. So I waited to pick up my packages, thinking I could see him when he got back and ask how it went.

I walked in, oddly, the only customer there. Tariq was behind the counter, in his regular dress. It was like someone had yanked the light out of him. He'd just returned that morning, he said. Clearly a man with a heartache, he pulled out his mobile phone to show me a picture of his (much bigger) boy, the one he won't see now for another year.

"It's getting harder and harder," he said. "I see that they need me."

5 comments:

The Regional said...

you have a very interesting blog. it's the fact that it's made up of random little anecdotes. keep it up. and please don't go the way of Secret Dubai i.e. copy a few lines off a newspaper, insert a witty comment, then click publish.

Trish said...

Oh Ann - this one breaks my heart.

Jayne said...

It really is a sad thing. I remember one year when I only got to see my husband 3 times - it took ages to recover & even longer for us to get used to living with each other 'full-time' again. I hate to think how these guys cope :-(

Dave said...

A sad reality.

Anton said...

This is the main reason why i opted to bring the missus and the toddler with me when i mved in 2 years ago. Although it may have been difficult at the beginning (visas, kish overnights, the weather, finding the perfect nanny), i think we have now gotten into the swing of things.

I feel for Tariq and hope he gets to spend more time with his family.