When her cousin Nadia returns from Sydney, Ellie is suspicious of her arrival. Nadia says she wants to cash in an investment Ellie made for her so that she and her husband, Ahmed, can buy a flat in Sydney. Nadia would also like to borrow money from Ellie to top up the down payment on the flat.
Ellie is hesitant. Her investments are largely tied up and she has cash-flow issues. On top of the money complications, there is a background unease associated with a terrorist attack on the Manley ferry in Sydney. Does Nadia really want the money to buy a flat? And where is her husband Ahmed?
The financial stalemate between the two women forces them to dig down into their shared past. They find a need to understand the young girls they once were in light of the women they have become. Their pasts are haunted by ujaj, bitter water, which still forms a gulf between them.