The Journey To Eternal Sunshine Journey To Eternal Sunshine - Page 16

"The Four months went by very quickly and we jumped on a plane and was whisked away to the Middle East. On arriving it was Eid (Islamic Holiday), so starting school was delayed by a few weeks. We had moved into our new apartment and my dad had purchased me my first PlayStation, which quickly distracted me from the harsh reality that I was 3 and a half thousand miles away from what I had known all my life. There were small instant perks and distractions like having a bigger bedroom, spending days at The British Club with our new friends and exploring a new place and culture.

Life was not that bad, I still missed home. I was told that we would only be out there for a year, so I was thinking of that when I got sad or lonely. That summer, we did not get to return back to London, but in that time between March 1997 and December 1997, I made some friends and slightly started to enjoy life here in Abu Dhabi and saw the perks of being able to go to the beach, and have more freedom seeing as it was a safer place than the UK. Looking back, the UK definitely has its perils for a young adolescent and because of this, I wasn't able to roam the streets and hang out with my friends; which I was able to do here in Abu Dhabi.

At times I did feel lonely, however, I did have 4 siblings to keep my company - although the majority of them were much younger than me and Sadiece and I didn't get on very well - I knew they were still there and that helped.

On starting school, I was received very well as they knew I was coming and I know everyone was eager to meet me as I was too. However, there was a bit of a culture shock as teaching methods were different and on the first day, I kept hearing the word "Yallah!” (Hurry) from students, and teachers - which was very different to the UK, where I understood everything that people were saying and there was never a strong language barrier, especially in the classroom.

Although there were hardships, I settled quite quickly and soon started to feel like this was home, as other people in my family such as Grandparents, Uncles and Aunts visited quite often, which definitely made it easier to cope over the time we were settling here."

-Cornel Holland