While organizing my trip to India, I discovered that my layover spot was in the United Arab Emirates.
“Que interestante,” I thought. “I’ve never been to the UAE before.”
Initially, my layover was supposed to be just a few hours.
But I mean, come on.
I’m literally flying half-way around the world to get to India for Naman’s wedding…
Which, I’m not gonna lie, is cool as shit.
I’m super stoked to see what an Indian wedding is all about.
…and if I’m flying that far, I might as well make a full trip out of it, riiiiiiight?
So I extended my layover in the UAE from four hours to four days.
This part of my trip was made even more exciting by the fact that I now have friends who live in the UAE.
I’m going to repeat that in case you missed how cool I am: I now have friends who live in the UAE.
How cool am I???
I have friends now.
Friends, I tell you!
Although, it may be overdramatic to call them “friends” because three are from my #ESADEMBAfamily (and family has to love you!).
And one is Louise.
Whom I would characterize as less as a “friend” and more as “the-girl-who-won’t-leave-me-alone.”
You see, Louise and I were forced to be roommates during freshman year of college when UMD randomly assigned us to live together.
When I cyberstalked her on Facebook…
Ahhhh, 2006. The advent of Facebook and cyberstalking. How far we’ve come.
…I discovered that Louise was a total and complete band geek.
Ok, I was a band geek too…
…and a theater geek…
…and a choir geek…
…but that is not the point!
The point is, Louise and I did not like each other.
Or more to the point, I did not like the appendage that Louise lugged around with her.
His name was Andrew.
Or at least, she called him “Andrew.”
I called him “worthless.”
Eventually, in a dramatic, marathon breakup…and really, is there any other kind in college?…Louise finally severed her relationship with that man-thing.
For the record, she is now dating an intelligent and delightful young gentleman.
She calls him, “Greg.”
I also call him “Greg.”
Which just goes to show, just because you date assholes in college, it doesn’t mean you are doomed to date them forever. Your taste in men really can improve over time.
And once worthless Andrew was out of the picture, Louise suddenly had a bunch of time on her hands.
Which she chose to spend with me.
Whether I liked it or not.
Over the years, she wore me down. We became friends and we shared some great adventures together, like:
Fast forward to 2015. Louise and I were still friends and she watched as, under the pressure of everyone around me getting married and moving on in their lives, I had an emotional freak out which caused me to break with my boyfriend, quit my job, pack my bags, and move to Spain.
At some point during #myESADEMBAjourney, Louise was like, “Damn, that looks awesome. I want to do that.”
And so she did.
You’ve got to admire a girl who knows what she wants and goes after it.
Admittedly, she tweaked my formula a bit:
She quit her job, packed her bags, and moved to the United Arab Emirates.
And her boyfriend came with her.
Louise is now a music teacher in Abu Dhabi (she never was able to shake that band geek thing).
Which is how I came to have a girlfriend in the Middle East.
Sorry, not “friend.”
So, as long as my flight from Minnesota to India already required a layover in the UAE, I figured I would extend my stay. I would spend a few days with Louise, traveling through Abu Dhabi and Dubai.
What could possibly go wrong?
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