2. I tried “losing weight” once by not eating for 24 hours. It didn’t work.
3. I almost moved to Shanghai in 2015 but didn’t make the trip to China until 2016, where my work company placed me in Beijing.
4. I learned to speak Italian for 18 months in college and then forgot nearly everything a year later.
5. I cried sitting alone on the eight-hour bus ride up from Downstate New York to Upstate New York because of job that I didn’t get in 2013. (It was my first big interview.)
6. I called the police several times after watching the classic American movie “Home Alone.” The police actually showed up at my family’s apartment. I must have been four years old.
7. I lost my old passport after my first international solo trip in 2013 to Istanbul, Turkey and didn’t realize that my passport had gone missing until a year later.
8. I’m a reality television junkie. Some of my favorite shows include the Real Housewives of Atlanta franchise, Love & Hip Hop on VH1, Celebrity Therapy (on VH1 too), My Big Fat Fabulous Life, America’s Next Top Model (earlier in the millennium), Bad Girls Club, and Mob Wives.
9. I celebrated my first birthday in Eritrea in 1992.
10. During college, I lived in a different dormitory building every semester excluding the last one where I commuted six hours to school twice a week.
11. My parents have palindrome names [A-L-U-L-A and A-B-E-B-A are spelled the same backward/in reverse].
12. I dislike coffee. I really dislike coffee.
13. I was interviewed for a news article in a town newspaper in college. Why? The train that I had ridden home the night before hit and killed a teenager while running across the train tracks with his friends. It was his birthday and he was drunk. I still remember the sound of the “big bump” that derailed my trip home that night.
14. I wore a black bowtie and white suspenders to my high school prom which was a look inspired by an outfit that I had seen on the internet from a Betsie Johnson fashion show.
In 2014, I returned to Eritrea - my parent's native country - for the first time in 15 years. I met some good people, and most importantly reconnected with my family. The memories I made there will last with me forever. This blog is a capsule of my thoughts and observations. It's also a safe space to question identity and belonging. All views here are my own.
View all posts by Ariam Alula