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Places: Middle East, Places: United States, Thoughts

Who wears short shorts?

FullSizeRender_2Last Monday, I nearly had to drag Wafiq to the airport. Let’s just say Austin knows how to party really hard and Katie + Wafiq haven’t been on that level in a long time.  Because I was sick throughout the weekend I had the blessing in disguise of being able to avoid most “welcome back” shots and sugar filled free drinks.

Wafiq, however, wasn’t so lucky.

By Monday, we did manage to make it to the airport on time. I was wearing these fluffy black shorts and a stripped, sleeveless, sort of crop top shirt, with my big hoodie hanging around my shoulders.FullSizeRender_3

I’m not telling you this because I was overly impressed with my outfit choice, quite the opposite. I had to put on whatever clean clothes I had left, which left some unimpressive options.  I’m telling you what I wore because there’s a little story associated with my clothing choice that I wanted to get written down.

The family we happened to be sitting by at the airport terminal was an Arabic family. This excites me because it reminds me of the last year I spent abroad. I feel like we have a bond. They have no idea. And probably think I’m just some drunk American smiling oddly at them and their family. Maybe even a little scared.

Anyways, the family consisted of an older woman wearing her headscarf and a younger man around our age with a toddler running across the chairs.

Remember, Wafiq was feeling like death and thought he was seeing the light to guide him into afterlife so I took initiative and went to find food. As much food as possible. Because food is the answer to everything.

When I came back he moaned and groaned for a little while and later told me: “I have to tell you something”.  Real serious. It’s been on his mind since we sat down so he had to get it off his chest.

While I was walking around to the 3 different restaurants in front of our terminal the little boy asked his mom [in arabic] if I was “haram”. I think his exact question was: “Is that girl more haram because she is wearing shorts or more haram because her tummy is showing?”

For people who don’t know, haram is the word Arabs or Muslim’s use for naughty.

{More technically – I found the definition on the all so trusted website Wikipedia: In Islamic jurisprudence, haram is used to refer to any act that is forbidden by Allah, and is one of five Islamic commandments (الأحكام الخمسة‎ (al-ahkam al-khamsah)) that define the morality of human action.}

Basically, it’s like Christian’s shouldn’t have sex before marriage or swear or be mean to thy neighbor.. You get the gist: Naughty.

When Wafiq told me this I laughed out loud. Literally. He was surprised at my reaction but then he kind of chuckled too.

I looked at this cute little boy trying to learn his ropes and be a good, nice, respectful young man. At 5 years old. He wanted to know. He wanted to follow the rules. For all we know, it could be one of the first times he’s seen legs in public.

If this family recently came from the Middle East, I’m sure seeing my legs (along with the rest of the girls at the airport) was a bit of a shock. So I understood. And it made me giggle. Also, if I’m being honest, it made me SO happy I can wear shorts again! I mean 100+ degrees, black pants?! Come on!

Wafiq said if he didn’t feel like he was slowly passing into his death he would have politely told the woman that I am not haram because I am not muslim. I can wear shorts. I thought this was a very mature and responsible response to the comment.

I knew it kind of bothered him, more than me. I’m used to it, I lived there a year and a half. But even while we were in Dubai he was very protective of the locals comments and actions. So I understood his reaction.

But for me, I thought it was cute.  When I was little I remember asking my mom if she says swear words in front of her mom. Because they’re “old”. Can she say swear words now?  Of course my mom said, no. Never. Swear words are always bad. You won’t ever want to say them, only naughty people do.

In reality, swear words are necessary forms of communication. But you aren’t going to tell your 4 year old child that. Or maybe you will, that’s up to you.

I will say, if the roles were reversed, and another person came up to me.. A child or an adult, and made a comment about this woman wearing an abaya I would explain to them that the woman chooses to wear it. This is how she is comfortable and confident. And that’s all the matters.  Even if it’s not the same as us. There’s nothing wrong with that.

But, what I love about America (because there’s SO much and I thank God everyday) is that you can be whoever you want. This is what I missed!! The arab woman wearing her abaya, me wearing shorts, and the couple making out before saying goodbye are all A-Ok in the States. I LOVE it. I love that you can be any way you want and it’s ok. Maybe not for that specific lady, but she’s in America. That’s what we represent. Freedom baby. That’s why she can wear an abaya at the airport and I’ll still smile to her, because I’m so happy she can wear what she feels comfortable in. And I can walk next to her wearing what I feel comfortable in. Short shorts.

I think as American’s, because we have so many choices and there are many varieties of us, we need to love all the different forms we come in. All the different ways we dress, look, and act. Because it’s all ok. As long as no one is hurting anyone, we’re on the right track <3

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Driving: Dubai vs. The United States

I’ve been eagerly waiting to write this post. EAGERLY. I’m considering this a Public Service Announcement to all American’s.IMG_5564

Driving in Dubai vs. Driving in America. It took me a long time to figure out why driving in America was giving me such terrible anxiety. I was SO nervous every time I had to go somewhere. I would plan out the shortest route to each destination before I would leave the house. Google map the closest drive thru coffee shop and calculate which roads would have less cars. Make sure not to go at a high traffic time. I would get my coffee back to the house and I was the happiest person on the planet. I made it. And this is in Maple Grove, Minnesota! A suburb! Imagine driving in a city?! I couldn’t!

When Wafiq got to the States I was relieved. Now he can start driving. But pretty quickly I noticed when he was driving he also seemed anxious or nervous. Then I thought, ok it’s not just me being crazy, something’s weird here. What’s scaring us?

This is my conclusion (and I think I nailed it):

In Dubai, people definitely have road rage. And they tailgate. And there’s people that are confused or lost trying to drive. All the issues you find on the road’s here, you’ll find there. BUT it’s different than America. In America, people tailgate in the neighborhood roads. People passionately hate you if you’re in their way. People are personally offended if you slow them down. And this.. Is scary.

Americans are in a hurry 24/7. They’re in a hurry to punch in to work every morning. They’re in a hurry after school to get home and have a quick nap before they have to hurry to work. They’re in a hurry to pick up their kids from school, or daycare, or soccer practice. They’re in a hurry to get coffee on their break from work before someone notices they’re gone. American’s are ALWAYS in a hurry! So when you slow them down… they passionately hate you, their whole day is ruined, they are maximum annoyed.

In Dubai, if there’s someone going a million miles per hour behind you on the highway and you don’t move out of their way they’ll probably flash their lights and go around you looking all cool and bothered. But it’s different. They don’t hate you. They’re not hurrying anywhere. They’re just bored. And enjoy driving fast. You didn’t ruin their day. In a twisted way, you probably made their day. They got to drive fast and figure out a way to pass you aggressively.

And in Dubai, that really only happens if you’re in the fast lane on the highway. In America, about every single car is in a freaking hurry. No matter the road. No matter the location. No matter the person. No matter the time.

This is why Americans are fat.

Just kidding. That’s a joke. {But.. Hurry = Stress = Weight Gain}

I was pulling up to a stoplight on a road that’s maybe 30 mph. Not a big or busy road by any means. And mid afternoon, not rush hour. Apparently, I pulled up to the (red) stop light too slow for someone who was waiting for me to pass.

I noticed this because he came flying by me as close as possible blaring the horn for a good 5 sec. As I looked over to see what was happening, he made sure to drive very close to my window and lean as far over as possible to make 100% sure I saw him give me the finger and scream “F*&@ You!” for another good 5 sec.

We made eye contact.

He hated me. Really really hated me. I could see it in his eyes. My face looked like a confused dog that tilts their head just a little when they see something they don’t understand. {If you have a dog, you know this look –> That was me.}

I looked at this super pissed off male specimen and re analyzed the situation. How could what just happened make this guy passionately rage at me? Go out of his way to make sure he ruined my day. Make me as angry as he was. Go through the same hell I just caused him. Have the same God forsaken day he’s now going to have because he was delayed 1 extra minute on his lunch break. How?

Because he’s in a hurry. I slowed him down. And that’s enough.

It’s a goal of mine to not fall back into this mentality. Americans, we have a BIG problem with this. Slow the F@&$ down! Look outside. Listen to music. Do whatever you have to do.

I understand when you HAVE to be somewhere on time. That was the case for me working as a real estate agent in Dubai. But one thing I learned is that sometimes you’re going to be late. Apologize. Try better next time. And maybe, next time you’ll be late again. Happened to me all the time with back to back appointments. Late, late, late. Sucks. But apologize, relax, and slow down. In life. Slow DOWN.

After living in the Dominican Republic and living in Dubai, where I had to interact with people from countries across the WORLD I have story after story of examples of this exact problem. American’s rush everywhere. All the time. In every aspect of their lives. And it’s more noticeable for me now than ever before.  It’s extremely unappealing + unfriendly.

Now, I would like to make things clear –> I’ve since become confident in my driving. I have a new way of looking at it: Katie – Changing The United States. One Road At A Time.

I’m slowing people down and when they passionately hate me, I think to myself “it’s for your own good. You’re welcome.” <3IMG_5937

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Culture Shock: Back in The United States

Culture Shock: a sense of confusion and uncertainty sometimes with feelings of anxiety that may affect people exposed to an alien culture or environment without adequate preparation (Webster Dictionary).

This is hilarious. I can’t believe I’m addressing this. When I came back from the Dominican Republic a few years ago I remember the study abroad organization sent me an email warning me about “culture shock”.  At that time I was going to class walking a little slower, carefree, and not worried if I was late – because I was so used to having that laid back attitude you’ll find in the Dominican Republic. But that was about it as far as “culture shock” was concerned, and I was loving it.

When I came back from Dubai, about a month ago now… I was tired for a week. Trying to fix my schedule. Then, my sleep was back on track and I felt happy.

But there were weird anxieties I guess I wasn’t expecting. For example, driving… Why does that give me anxiety?!  The roads in Dubai are the same as they are here! Going to the store and talking to the lady checking out my groceries?! What?! Hi.

Anyone who knew me before I left for Dubai knows this is strange. I talk to everyone! And I like it! I drive 18 hours home to Minnesota! This doesn’t give ME anxiety!

I assumed I was going to experience culture shock at some point, after all I was out of the country for a year and a half… But I didn’t know exactly how it was going to affect me.  Or how noticeable it was going to be. The socially awkward, scared of the check out lady, and driving to the gas station fears were unexpected.  And annoying.

I determined these anxieties come from the difference in people. America vs. Dubai. They want to talk to you here. And say hi. And say have a nice day. And what are your plans for the weekend? And have a good night. They scare me.

This wasn’t happening in Dubai. You don’t talk to the waiter, or the cashier at the grocery store – because there’s not that same personable feeling you’ll find in America. People aren’t bothered to talk to you and if they do it’s probably something you don’t want to hear. And if you try to talk to them, they get confused –> frustrating.

And driving in Dubai? I didn’t have to drive very much and when I did, everyone drives like they’re lost so you can get away with anything.. Here, people know where they’re going! And I don’t…

Then, it’s having conversations with people who ask about Dubai –> I don’t want to. But it’s also weird to skip over it and talk about anything else. Usually, they throw in their opinions when they hear that it wasn’t my favorite place. But their opinions are so wrong from the real reasons I didn’t like it. And I struggle with defending Dubai and the Middle East or just letting it go.. Letting the people go back to their jaded conclusions OR trying to straighten them out? And how do you do that in a short conversation? I’ll need all day!

The worst one, returning phone calls. I procrastinated on maximum levels about seeing people or calling and catching up. Probably because of the dreaded “How was Dubai?” questions.  How the heck do I answer that?  Ummmmmm, it was nice… ?! OR the “What now?”  questions. Ummmmmm, got any ideas?

Add it all up = anxiety.

It’s an unexpected adjustment being back, for sure, BUT that does not take away from how incredibly happy I am to be in America. I feel like a huge, billion pound weight has finally been lifted off my shoulders and I can sit down, look outside, and not think. Just breathe a happy, light breath. A very fresh, flowery breath actually. And that’s the feeling I’ve been craving and dreaming of for a while, so for it to be happening is better than anything! For now, you can find me smelling the flowers, catching the rain, and staring at all the nice people <3flower

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I recommend..., Places: Middle East

My Top Ten – WORST of Dubai

It’s only fair – If I tell you what I LOVED doing in Dubai for the year and half I lived here, I also tell you what I should have AVOIDED. Here is my list of the WORST activities from my times out + about in Dubai. I actually had a hard time remembering the bad because I tried so hard to erase them all from my memory! POOF! So, in no particular order…


Top Ten WORST of Dubai

1. Clubs: Don’t go. Don’t go. Don’t go! If there’s anything I regret it’s going to a “club” in Dubai – even once! I hate I spent any money at any of them, ridiculous! And by clubs I’m also referring to the popular “beach clubs”. No. No. No. NO! If you want to be a rock star > I suggest you book a flight to Thailand, party like a king for the night, and fly back to Dubai for the same amount of money you’ll spend at a boring, lame, fake, stupid “club” in Dubai. I can’t!

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2. Restaurants: Ok, obviously not all restaurants – but you have to do your research. There’s A LOT of restaurants that SUCK SO BAD and cost a fortune! WAAAHHHHHHHH! WHYYY?!?! Erase!

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This was at a GOOD restaurant – “Claw”.. Thought I should disclose that info.

 

3. Concerts: I know this is contradicting my favorite > seeing Drake in concert… But most concerts = bad crowds. I wouldn’t spend money to go again 🙁IMG_4204

 

4. The Park: No dogs + 2 billion people…..? No.

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5. Public Beach: Not the place to be. Unless you like weirdo’s staring at you + sharing the beach with the same population as China.

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6. Summer: This applies to anything outdoors in the Summer. (And when I say summer – I’m referring to March -> December) It’s just TOO hot. I think I tried to fight it and continue on with my day to day activities and my weekend plans.. But that’s a bad idea. Torture! The sea water is HOT. The car is HOT. The ground is HOT.  The sky is freaking CLEAR! Even thinking about it makes me want to cry a little. Like a frustration cry.

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7. Movie Theater: In the Middle East all the theaters CUT OUT scenes in a movie. Too much violence? Kissing? Swear words? = Cut! I saw this movie that I think was probably rated PG in the States.. It was with Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore, and they went on vacation to Africa – anyone remember it? Great movie. Anyways, at the end they kissed (I think). It was a romantic comedy and in the end, grand finale, they kissed, and what happens?! It’s cut out! That’s one example, of many, why I hated going to the movie theater in Dubai.

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8. Grocery Shopping: This was unavoidable but I wish it could have been different. Really. The grocery stores are inside Malls. No quick and easy run to the grocery store. You have to find parking at the Mall and then make your way to the grocery store.. And from there the list goes on. Don’t even get me started about grocery selection.

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9. Coffee: This goes out to all my Americans! You’ll feel my pain! WHERE IS THE DRIVE THROUGH COFFEE?! Where?! Last time I went INSIDE a coffee shop for a quick coffee they insisted I “take a seat” as they handed me a menu?! NO! No menu! I want coffee and I don’t want to sit! To go! TO GO!

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10. Mail: Don’t do it… I said, don’t do it! Mail is a problem I’ve been struggling with since my arrival. I’ve given up. There’s no hope. I think there are several nice items on the bodies and in the pockets of many people around the world – because it sure isn’t with me. Even though yes, it’s 2015… Forget it. Lost cause.

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Myth Busting Dubai

Myth Number 1: Dubai is not safe

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I’m not really sure where the idea that Dubai is not safe comes from. Probably the generalization of the entire Middle East. Which makes sense – I’m sure countries in war zones are a bit on the unsafe side. But Dubai is not a war zone.  For me, Dubai feels safer than anywhere else I’ve lived.

For example, I can go for a walk around the Marina at night without worrying about a shadow creeping up behind me. Or, I can leave my purse in the car seat (by accident of course) where people walking by can see it and don’t have to worry it’ll be stolen by the time I get back. Or, I walk to my car all alone in the parking garage and don’t have to worry James, the killer physco path, is hiding underneath it ready to rape and murder me.

Do these things happen all the time in the United States? No. But you’d be lying if you say it’s not a pretty consistent concern. (Probably depending on where you live too… fine.)

Can I say these horrific crimes don’t happen in Dubai? No. But I can say the fear is SIGNIFICANTLY less in Dubai than in the United States.

As a matter of fact, I met a pretty young lady one of my first weekends in Dubai that was from Lebanon, if I’m remembering correctly, and she was studying in Dubai. She asked me all about the United States and how diverse and adventurous it sounded – being the proud American that I am I had to ask her: “Why didn’t you decided to study there instead?”

Because I was so new to Dubai her response was a bit shocking. She told me with a  < helllll no> face that her parents would never allow her to go to the United States to live, it’s so DANGEROUS!…. What? Did I hear her right?

Now it makes sense. Those physco path, murderer, mental crazed, phedophiles, don’t appear to be lurking around the streets as much in Dubai. And let me admit, this is a huge relief – I didn’t know I ever felt unsafe in the United States until living here.

Now, is there a chance that the Middle East war zone could spread over to Dubai? Maybe.. And that would be unfortunate wouldn’t it? But those crazy people could also attack the United States tomorrow too, who knows. The world in general aint that safe is it?

Myth Number 2: Women

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This is a big one. I’m not even sure what angle to attack it. “How is it being a woman in Dubai?  You know, cuz of how women are treated over there” << I actually get asked this question <<

But what exactly do you mean?  Are women getting abused? Yelled at? Ordered around? I’m not sure what treated badly is referring to. I’m assuming hearing that women in Saudi Arabia aren’t allowed to drive + they’re required to cover their hair in public places sets the tone for the whole of the Middle East.  They’re “treated badly”.

Here’s what I’ll say – Dubai is not the rest of the Middle East. I’ll say it again and again and again. Mexico is not the United States. Ukraine is not Holland. UAE is not Iraq. So when you hear about women in Iraq or Saudi Arabai or wherever they are talking about women, take into consideration their location. Women in war zones probably have a hard time {so do the men I’m assuming}.

Women in Dubai is another story, they get treated like gold! Ok, maybe not gold — That may only apply to the gold digging women, whom bounce around here with their big ol boobies out and pumped up lips like this is Las Vegas or something. More power to them. Can’t hate on a girl workin her hustle 😉 😉

But the average working women, they appear to push through to wherever they want to go. I’m sure in some business settings men dominate the force, but from what I can compare to what I’ve seen in the States… America has some work to do. Women being “treated unfair” in the workforce may apply more to the workforce in America than in Dubai, just saying.

And, if we’re talking about the rules in Dubai regarding the covering of women’s hair, legs, shoulders, not being able to drive, or any other extreme regulation everyone believes women are ordered to follow. Let’s just say it’s exactly that – extreme. The women in Dubai that chose to cover their hair, chose to cover their hair. They would feel uncomfortable any other way. No one has told me to cover my hair. And driving? I mean no one cares if women drive in Dubai (unless they’re just that bad, then I care). I wish they did put some emphasis on this because I wouldn’t mind having a driver escort me to work every morning??

As for covering shoulders, legs, arms, eyeballs, ect. This only really applies if you’re going to a state office – Dubai Land Department, Dubai Municipality Court, ect. Even then, they might not tell you anything if you walk in there skin barring, but out of respect for their culture it’s probably a good idea to cover those legs. Also, if you’re walking in the mall and you don’t want the creepiest human stares in the world looking at you, then I would cover your legs. They’re hot legs after all, very irresistible. << Most importantly, the choice is yours.

To be crystal clear, in no way has anyone been mean to me, treated me badly or unfair because I’m a woman. If anything, it’s the opposite. I can say this about Dubai and Bahrain. Which I definitely can’t say about the States. ^^Poof! this myth up in the air to evaporate into the clouds and rain back down on us another day.^^

Myth Number 3: Arab Money

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Ok, yeah some arabs have lions as pets. Or a garage full of cars that have doors open towards the sky. A maid to cook their food, a maid to do their laundry, and a maid to put their socks on. Fine. That’s true. But that’s some arabs. Not all.

After living in Dubai I can’t even say I think most arabs live this lifestyle. Of course some do, but so do some Americans in the United States or some Mexicans in Mexico. Right? In my opinion, Arabs going about with this lifestyle tend to show it off a bit excessively? (Dare I say that) Which means, it gets around like wild fire and now there’s rap songs about Arab Money and children with dreams of some day owning a pet lion. It’s an awesome theory and I guess something we can all booty dance along to and strive to be, but it’s a little strange. Now, thinking of them as show-offs… that’s another story 🙂

To defend Arab’s in the best way I can possibly think of, I will say this – the culture puts A LOT of pressure on the amount of money your family has. And when I say family, I mean family. You’re not making money for yourself, you’re making money to represent your family name.  You have to make the MOST money – to keep the family proud. (“My oldest son is a surgeon, my other CEO of Bank-Central, and my daughter is marrying the Prince”)

I was even thinking, of all the myths I could try to bust, this is the one that will irritate the most people in this culture. It’s the most sensitive subject you can touch on and the one that they’ll most want to argue against and be offended by.

Doing what you love, donating to a foundation you believe in, working for a non profit, adopting a child in foster care, are all things that don’t carry as much significance or success in this culture as simply making the highest dollar. Which could be why Arab Money is what you see so much of. Showing it off is what’s important. It gives you status and significance. You’re not worth anything if you don’t show that you have something. 

In realty, I don’t know if Arab Money is as lucrative as the myth we all hear about. Because a lot of people here live with their parents until they get married, and even then might not move into their own home, maybe they save their first couple years of paychecks to buy that pet lion or fancy Ferrari. And Lord knows it’ll be up on all social media outlets as soon as they do << Must be that “Arab Money”.

Sorry to burst your bubble on this one.

Xx

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Post-Friend.

I feel like I haven’t posted something in a long time, with Juliana taking over I kind of forgot about my blogging duties.

Post-Friend. I think that’s what I’ll talk about in this blog.

Post-Friend. Aka: Juliana visiting for 3 weeks, then leaving.

The view from my apartment pool, with Juliana

The view from my apartment pool, with Juliana

Due to the amount of people that have dropped notes to me the past week or so, since Juliana has left, I’m guessing there’s some concern about my emotional stability after her departure.

The view from my apartment pool, without Juliana

The view from my apartment pool, without Juliana

Most people knowing Juliana and I were each others only friends for quite some time (if we’re being honest here), then having her visit me in Dubai after a couple months separation, staying for 3 weeks, followed by the inevitable good-bye… I can see where the concern came from.

Which is why this blog came into existence.

Having Juliana was obviously a blast, and that blast flew by so quickly you could barely feel it. For me, traveling/moving/living in Dubai, whatever you want to call it, had some adjustments that took awhile to get used to. One of the major adjustments I struggled with and still have to work on, is finding and remaining myself.

I know this sounds silly, even for me I kind of laugh out loud when I type it… Finding myself?

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Because I’m so strange, all over the place, and kind of weird, what could I possibly mean by finding myself? Does anyone really find themselves?  Especially the weird ones? Probably not, but I did feel like I found and recognized my weirdness in the States and am having trouble doing that in Dubai.

Can someone say identity crisis!?!

For example, there is a constant struggle to be confident in my abilities, personality, and thoughts. For some reason, this has been hard for me. I tend to forget how to feel comfortable and confident, or say what I want to say, have honest conversations, or even be the weird and goofy person I am while I’m here in Dubai. I find myself resorting to the shy quiet girl that’s insecure in every move I make…  Not all the time, but it’s something I have to work at avoiding, whereas in the States it used be easy peasy and my normal.

Now I feel I should make it clear… Finding myself doesn’t mean sad, depressed, dark, and sleepy.  Puffy eyes and crying all the time. No, no no. Thank the good Lord, no. That time has passed.

All of this leads me to Post-Friend.

When Juliana AND Leeann (holy toledo, what a surprise!) came to visit it took me just one single day to feel like myself again.

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Not only did I feel confident, comfortable, and most importantly myself around these two sophisticates … They helped me pull that version of myself out around everyone else.  I think before they came, I felt SO far away from home.  Once they were here I realized I haven’t dropped off the face of the earth. I’m still here, just on the other side.  My parents, friends, Bernice, country music, America, organic food, hippies, $5 bottles of wine in the gas stations, Chipotle, and reasonable rent prices are still with me. Just over there in America.  And they aren’t going anywhere.

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Even after Leeann left, and then Juliana, I felt recharged. So rather than being sad or depressed, I felt and feel great and ready! Ready to really get into work, ready to be my cray cray self, and ready to explore this place in a different, more comfortable way.

I needed both Leeann and Juliana more than I realized. And thank God Leeann came because the three  of us together can sure make a lot of progress (and chaos) in a very short amount of time. I’m so grateful for the both of them, and I’m so grateful for the three of us together.

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So. Post Friends… I’m still here, and actually walking with a little pep in my step for the time being. Talk to me in the smoking hot summer and I may have another story.  But for now, you can find me sitting on my couch watching The Real Housewives of Atlanta after work, in Dubai.

Toodles!

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My Sweet Sweetness Bernice

Look at that face!

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I told myself before I moved out of the United States that I wouldn’t blog about my dog, Bernice, until I could write that she was with me. I would put a photo of us happy and together.  Unfortunately, being reunited with my little girl didn’t come as quickly as I was expecting, and enough people started asking me where she was that I felt I could no longer ignore the inevitable update post.

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I want to start by saying Bernice is my daughter.  I don’t know what it’s like to have a human child, but Bernice is the closest thing I can imagine. I didn’t have any family in Austin, and I lived alone. Bernice was my one super loving constant. Friends, boyfriends, jobs, people, acquaintances, money, apartments, everything always changed. But no matter where I went, who I was with or what I was feeling, I had my goofy girl Bernice.

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People used to tell me that getting a dog would be more of a burden, being single and always busy, a dog would be too big of a responsibility. But it was the opposite, and having responsibility is a good thing. I would choose not to do anything I couldn’t bring my Bernice to. When I had to work, she got to play at a babysitters house. By far the best decision I ever made in my life so far was getting Bernice. So as you can imagine, leaving her was a hard thing to do…

BUT I told myself, people have to leave their children all the time.  It can’t be easy for them, but they do it… So I convinced myself Bernice would be okay without me for a little bit. As much of an adventure for me as it would be for her. And I was right, this little dog is so happy with my parents.  I skype and get videos sent to me of what she’s doing… I’m sad, but she’s in happy land. She has 2 other dogs to harrass at all times and she gets to play in the snow with a nice big yard everyday. Snow being her new found toy. (And Minnesota doesn’t appear to be getting rid of it anytime soon?!)

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Always hungry. Like mother like daughter ;)

Always hungry. Like mother like daughter 😉

So why hasn’t she come to Dubai yet?  I would bring her tomorrow if it was up to me. I wouldn’t wait. But I’m trying to decide what’s best for her. I want her to travel as little as possible, so I want to make sure I’ll be in Dubai long enough to make her travel worth it. Which for me means, I need to find a job I can picture myself in for awhile… Then I need to get a place to stay I can see my sweet Bernice comfortable in, after that I’ll bring her. It could be a month, it could be the end of the year. I have to think about what’s best for this little creature and go from there.

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But don’t anyone worry. We’ll be reunited eventually.. And I’ll annoyingly ask to bring her everywhere I go….  Attend dog parks far too often… And baby my Bernice embarrassingly in front of people again in the future. And I can’t wait for the day I can tell you about it 🙂

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Me and Bernice_02162012_

PS. My parents probably hate that they are long term babysitters, but what would we do without them!?!

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