The airport wasn’t even five minutes behind me when I saw the monstrous billboard advertisement by Heineken.
Holiday troubles are part of the tradition, enjoy them.
Accurate, I told myself as we whizzed on past, weaving through the onslaught of mopeds and scooters. Mario Kart, but with more traffic. But this wasn’t a virtual reality. I had just touched down in the Indonesian island of Bali and this was not a drill. Due to the severe rainstorms and flash flooding that had unexpectedly hit the UAE, causing mayhem across the entire infrastructure, it was a miracle that I’d arrived at all. Delayed flights, and cancelled ones too, I’d made it! Despite the sleeping pills, the turbulence kept me awake, and I was still jet lagged, still on California timing. I needed a coffee. Or maybe an Aperol; I was finally on holiday after all, and surely, if the billboard was in fact right, I’d already encountered my share of ‘holiday troubles’. Bring on BAAALI!
Have you ever seen the film, ‘Just Friends?, where Ryan Reynolds explains the ‘friend zone’,
“The ‘friend zone’ is like the penalty box of dating, only you can never get out. Once a girl decides you’re her ‘friend,’ it’s game over. You’ve become a complete non-sexual entity in her eyes, like her brother, or a lamp.”
Not for the first time in my life – I have found myself relegated to the friend zone. I have become like a lamp.
A couple of months ago, while I was round at one of my friends apartments for one of our ‘Come Dine With Me’ dinner nights. Catching up, we were all talking about our latest gossip and what we’d been up to, and when it came to my gossip which was distinctly lacking, I made no qualms to hide how fed up I’d been feeling lately.
A few weeks ago, I was at Dubai’s tacky somewhat-but-not theme park, Global Village. I won a giant flamingo on some little ducky fishing game (and when I say giant, I mean GIANT), went a ride on the highest swings, and was then happily chomping my way through a chocolate chip ice cream cone dusted with sprinkles. “I am literally living my childhood dream.” I thought to myself.
If you were to play a word association game, and someone shouted out ‘CHRISTMAS!’, the word most people would probably shout back in return would be, ‘JOY!’ or ‘HAPPINESS!’, however, I am here to argue that this is a common misconception. I mean, you might subliminally know the words to the majority of your Spotify Christmas Playlist, but have you ever actually listened to the lyrics? Well, deck the halls with antidepressants because here’s a compiled list of the 22 Saddest Christmas Songs of ALL time*.
A good friend of mine once told me a story about an ex best friend and her who’d had a bitter and upsetting fall out. I don’t know why the story always stuck in my mind – maybe I resonated with it a bit. Either way, we were walking through the train station, when she told me that she had recently read an article comparing the turmoil of falling out with a best friend, to grief. The article discussed the importance of recognising that a major relationship in your life has effectively died. “As with any death”, she told me, “you need to mourn it.” I always dress in black anyway.