Here in Dubai I am staying with a doctor from Panama, working at the American Hospital. Last night, we went out for Yemeni food (a first), and joining us was one of his co-workers, Ron, who is an American.
Ron has an interesting story. Probably in his mid to late 40s, he grew up in Chicago, lived and worked as a doctor in Seattle, Virginia, Arizona, a few other places in the US, then lived in Saudi Arabia for 2 years (from which he has some fascinating stories), and has been in Dubai now for 6 years.
So over a bottle of wine our discussion gravitated mainly to negative things such as problems in the US, discrimination here in Dubai, and other things that are quite easy to sit back and criticize while doing the whole sitting at a dinner table and drinking wine thing. Fed up with all the negative talk, I had the discussion switched to more positive things, and so Ron busts out the most feel good story I've probably ever heard.
Ron's parents are from a small island in the Philippines. When he was working at the University of Chicago in the 80s, by some miniscule chance, he met a girl from the same island that was also living in Chicago. They dated for awhile, he had to move to Seattle, so it ended there and he never really looked back.
Early this year, his mom passed away, so he went to the funeral which was on his home island in the Philippines. Low and behold, and unbeknown to him previously, when he showed up, his girlfriend from 18 years ago was also at the funeral. He said when they saw each other they embraced and it felt like 18 years ago (people from this small community were staring uncomfortably at their hug, as he said).
Anyways, he went on to tell how a few years after they broke up in Chicago, that she went back to the Phillipines due to a death in her family, and for various reasons, she never returned to the US. She ended up opening a shop on the island. Since it is such a small island, this girl was actually a good acquaintance with Ron's mom, but Ron's mom did not know that they had ever dated or even knew each other. In fact, in several trips Ron made to the island in the 2000's, Ron's mom took him to the girl's shop twice in an effort to introduce the two (since she knew they were both single) but both times her shop was closed so the connection was never re-established. So, however, in the end, his mom did succeeded in re-uniting the two, but at her funeral.
Anyways, it gets even cheesier. She goes on to tell him how she never really loved anyone since 18 years ago, and had been thinking about him. He brushes it off a bit, goes back to Dubai, but then they start communicating by email for about 4 months after the funeral. I guess they hit it off again, and so he proposed to her and they are getting married soon. He even extended an invitation to me to the wedding in the Philippines in September (guess I won't be going haha).
Now there is a positive story worthy of telling.