Monday, January 20, 2014

Real vs. Make Believe

One of the hardest things I find about every relocation is deciphering which relationships are real, and which are purely superficial fluff. I'd like to say that in my many moons on this planet (hello 33), I've become a better judge of this, but it seems like that is not the case.

Despite my claims of being a good judge of character (exception: the men I date) I've come to realize that I can't tell which relationships are going to make it through the year, or hell the month, and which are going to fade away.

I'm dealing with that right now. A friendship I thought was real, is now over, despite me thinking it was solid.

I fucked up, I know I did, and I hate that it's on me that this is over. I hate that I can't fix it. I hate that I can't win back this person's trust.

I'm a fixer and well, I can't fix this. I hope in time I can repair this friendship to something recognizable, because right now it's FUBAR.

Here's to starting off the new year in a really frustrating place. Blerg. 

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Where were you a year ago?

I can tell you exactly where I was - my flight had just landed at Dubai International airport, and I was in the middle of a million emotions.

You see, a year ago, to the hour, I stepped foot in my new home for the first time. It had been an emotional 20-hour journey - leaving home, my family, my friends, the man I was in love with - but I wiped my tears and got off the plane.

To say this has been an enlightening year would be an understatement. Moving to a new city always is, but this wasn't just a new city, it was a new bloody continent, 12 time zones from home.

Most of highlights have come in the form of travel. This year I made it to Singapore, Vancouver, Tunis, Houston, Copenhagen and London. Four continents, one year - not bad.

The work has been challenging and mostly fulfilling. It's been quite the change going from a small agency to a behemoth of a company. I went from working with six of my favorite people in Vancouver to a department of more than 200. I'm still blown away by all of the nationalities the company represents and how much exposure I have to the world outside of Dubai.

The lows have been mostly personal. From the end of my relationship, to the knowledge that life goes on without you, sometimes being away from home and alone really sucks.

Despite everything, I can honestly say that my regrets are few and far between. I'm ok (today), and that's a pretty good feeling.

It blows my mind that it's already been a year, and at the same time, it feels like I've been here forever. Funny how time can play tricks on you, isn't it?

So there you have it, an EXACT 365th-day post from the Middle East. 

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Copenhagen Vacation Highlight: Copenhagen and Clarity

I fell in love with Copenhagen, and though I did nothing cultural (aside from drinking the local beers), I couldn't have enjoyed a city more.

So very walkable, and easy going, the city was beautiful. See?!

View from the 21st floor. Thanks new phone!

I was lucky enough to find an affordable hotel in central Copenhagen, so nothing was more than a 20-minute walk from me. The air was so fresh and I'll even admit that I missed the rain. The weather was so Vancouver, it was comforting. And though the city was expensive, there were ways to enjoy it without spending a ton of money.
Me and just one of the canals.

And canals! They make everything so pretty.

As I roamed the city streets, I had yet another a-ha moment: This is why I moved. A weekend in Copenhagen would have been unimaginable back in Vancouver, not to mention unaffordable.

The thing I love about travelling solo is it gives you a ton of thinking time. Time that isn't filled with the obligations of daily life. Time that is yours and yours alone. In those thoughts, I realized how lucky I am. How special these moments are, exploring new cities, experiencing new things, seeing everything and nothing. Copenhagen helped remind me that I really like my life, that the choices I've made thus far, though some questionable, have led me to this moment and this place.

Easily one of the best weekends of my life. Easily one of the most memorable trips I've ever taken. Easily of the best cities I've ever visited.

So yeah, to say Copenhagen has moved up my list of cities to move to would be an understatement. 

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Copenhagen Vacation Highlight: The National

After arriving in Dubai I realized something: very little good music comes to the sandpit. Missing regular concerts, I decided early on that I would base my travel destinations on interesting music / events in places I've never been to before.

The National playing in Copenhagen was the impetus of my trip. They were my excuse for visiting the city, they were my excuse to run away from Dubai for the weekend.

And they didn't disappoint.

The sold out show was in a relatively small venue, but full of very tall Danish people - my calves got quite the workout from being on my tippy-toes the entire time.

So there you have it, only my second show of 2013, but I'm happy to say it was a memorable one.


I Should Live in Salt
Don't Swallow the Cap
Bloodbuzz Ohio
Sea of Love
Afraid of Everyone
Conversation 16
Squalor Victoria
I Need My Girl
This Is the Last Time
Apartment Story
Slow Show
Pink Rabbits
About Today
Fake Empire

Mr. November
Terrible Love
Vanderlyle Crybaby Geeks

Friday, November 08, 2013

Copenhagen Vacation Highlight: OkCupid Does it Again

I've made a habit of using online dating sites to secure cute tour guides in various cities. In Berlin and Amsterdam, my trick worked quite well. Copenhagen put those experiences to shame.

When I met my tour guide for dinner, we began the obligatory first date conversation, 'what do you do?' 'how do you spend your free time?' you know, the usual. I explained to my date how I have a podcast. He asked the name and I explained the name and its origin - given that English wasn't his first language, I wanted to ensure the pun got across.

He proceeded to bring out his phone and show me our page.

Great, at least he can use Google effectively.

A few minutes later I was taking a photo of the beer I was drinking and I told him about how Corey and I drink beer each week and I was capturing the moment in part, for the podcast.

"Iris, I know you drink beer each week. You and Corey talk about it."


"Iris, I've listened to your podcast. That's why it is on my phone."


Apparently I was on a date in a foreign land with someone who had listened to our podcast.

When I've told people this story, they've immediately said "Stalker". But it's simply not possible. This guy didn't know my first name when we met at the restaurant, my profile says that I have a podcast but when you search 'podcast', we are not anywhere near the first thing that comes up. There is simply no way this person could have known that I was a co-host of this particular podcast.


So there I sat, enjoying sushi with one of our listeners. In Copenhagen.

What the what?

Needless to say, this blew my mind. The whole experience blew my freaking mind.