Hey friend,

I know you must feel jilted, and I apologise for that. The truth is, I have lost you and traced the parts of you in my spine to get back. You weren’t easy to lose, though. There were nights where I’d bleach you off my skin, and I’d still find amorphous hints of you in the morning. You are part and parcel of me. I swallowed your blistering sun one day when I was 7, and the white heat knocked me down only to build me right back up. It has been in my stomach ever since, hardening me for life, but keeping my warmth ever ablaze.

 Although you’re situated on a large plateau in the heart of the Arabian Peninsula, you are anything but! You taught me relentless growth with your rapid industrialisation and your denizen’s habit of breeding like rabbits.

You taught me how to colour outside the lines in your city-wide canvas, spacious and stark and thirsty to absorb life. You taught me that my foundation should be strong enough to hold, like the desert, the barren surface overlays an inner brimming life that reaches depths unfathomable to the naked eye.

Your sand dunes taught me to stick to my guns, in that they withstood the test of time. They remained untainted by crass consumerism, Dutch disease, or political and religious indoctrination.

The band of grumpy drivers honking up a storm to what sounds like a crescendo street performance still reverberates ad infinitum. The smell of my mother still ripples in the ether. You’ve engulfed her body, but she sprung out through daisies. No wonder they call you the motherland. The land that mothered me, and the mother that landed beneath you.

I don't promise to keep in touch as often as I should, but I do promise to carry you like a kitschy talisman everywhere I go.