Way back in June of 2008... I posted a brief snippet of life in Doha that included the name of a lovely woman that I had started dating. Immediately after posting I was summoned to her office and berated about posting her name. Her position within her company was of a sensitive nature, and she utterly refused any coercion to allow me to post anything about her… including any names, images, or personal details.
And hence… [NAME REMOVED] was born.
Over the past two years, [NAME REMOVED] has been a constant feature of this blog: as a friend, a girlfriend, an ex-girlfriend, and a travel buddy. Our relationship has varied from loving and caring with drinks on the balcony while watching the sun drift below the skyline, to each of us telling our respective friends how much of a whore the other person is. But as chemistry teaches us… everything must come to an end.
[NAME REMOVED] was shafted up the ass by a multitude of incompetent and cowardly bureaucrats, and was kinda forced from her job. She’s spent the last few months looking for a new position for her multitude of talents. Thankfully she was able to nab yet another dream job in the UAE, and is scheduled to leave in just a few days. Everyone has already agreed to come and visit her… mostly because her extra bedroom has made Abu Dhabi and Dubai super cheap… IKEA, pork, and prostitutes anyone?
I could write volumes on some of [NAME REMOVED]’s eccentricities: bossing me around like a servant, making me read aloud my blog entries to her even though she knows how to fucking read, her total inability to cook meals a starving dog would want to eat, forcing me to do her nasty-ass laundry, or her love of coffee enemas. But instead I’m going to take this space to give thanks for having her in my life.
[NAME REMOVED] was an architect of where my life is now. She was the one who first convinced me that traveling a little scared around India could be a life changing experience. She pushed me to take the rugged path of adventure. She taught me how to not drink the water. She extolled the theory that the extra money for an over-the-water bungalow or a private train cabin was worth it. She taught me you can never have enough hand sanitizer. She relished in the idea of slowing down to enjoy the journey. She celebrated the virtues of carrying a magic bag. She showed me that foot massages are a necessity of a happy life. She did not teach me how to ski.
But please don’t get the wrong impression of [NAME REMOVED]… she is still, absolutely, 100%, bat-shit crazy. [FOR THE RECORD, I HAD AN AWESOME PARAGRAPH HERE DETAILING JUST ONE OF [NAME REMOVED] MANY INSANE BEHAVIORS... BUT SHE MADE ME TAKE IT DOWN... OLD HABITS DIE HARD]... because God I wish I would have.
That being said, I’m saddened to see her go. She’ll only be a forty-five minute flight away, but distances tend to stretch over time. For the past week her friends and I have spent our free time helping her pack and edit her belongings, stealing all the best house wares for ourselves. The students that she has devoted her life to help have all said their goodbyes. Her friends have bought her going-away and birthday dinners, we’ve taken all the leftover booze, the flat is empty, the “miss you already” cards have all been opened. Most of the tears have already been shed.
Happy Birthday... and Goodbye [NAME REMOVED]. Be safe. Have fun. And make sure you find some time to laugh.
With all my love…