2019: Seventy-Eight

It’s already Shits’ last day.

Day 5: Shopping day. Headed to Rigga and Deira City Centre (mall), then headed to Atlantis, the Palm using Metro, Tram, and then Monorail. After that, visited La Mer Beach project – and ate pizza for dinner.

Highlight: Going in Monorail over the Palm. Finding Cheetos Cheese Puffs (a product we thought we would only get in America). Ate really good falafel.

Today was a day we spent a lot of time talking. And even if he might not admit to this, after we spent December 2018 together on campus, if anything, I think I realized that Shits and I can talk about everything under the sun – to spend time. It’s easy to converse, easy to gauge opinion, and honestly, even if we hold different opinions on things, it’s very respectful and enjoyable.

Today was also when my parents really took their host game up a notch – my mother was slightly better so decided to accompany us around a tour of where I grew up – something I did not anticipate at all.

I miss being a kid. I was fortunate to have a luxurious, happy childhood – and Dubai, for me, remains pleasant exclusively because of these memories. I can feel the cool sand of the sandpit in my apartment complex between my toes after the sun sets. I can still hear the apartment people yelling at my friends and I for playing football and cricket and hitting balls into their path. I can remember falling off my cycle – a lot, and losing my balance, and scraping my knees in the worst possible ways. And I can remember coming down to the grocery shop to get my mother things.

I remember hiding food I couldn’t consume, or rather, didn’t want to consume, and lying that I had eaten it. I can see my parents’ disappointment, my dad’s especially, when they found out I lied.

I can also see their faces of joy when they used to come home and see me chilling on the sofa or reading in my room. Or when they passed by me playing with my friends. And I can remember hugging them when they were standing, but only being able to hug my dad’s knees and my mother’s waist.

Shits got to see all that.

I had fun hosting him.

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