And This Was How We Met Them for Dinner

The very first time that Masood and I ever met a blogger in person was in July last year, at her wedding!  Last night, we met another wonderful blogger, ‘liya, and her husband, V.  They were in Dubai for three days, but due to our work timings (which goes on until 9 pm) and the Islamic Peace Convention on Friday, we were only able to meet them for dinner last night – a few hours before their flight back to Canada.  I feel sad;  I wanted to show them around Sharjah.

They were expected to arrive Thursday, early morning.  ‘liya had e-mailed me the name of the hotel where they will be staying at.  So I called the hotel on Thursday afternoon, before their Desert Safari tour.  A very cheerful voice greeted me on the phone, but she spoke so fast that the only word I understood after she was done talking was ‘help you?’  Let’s call her FR (friendly receptionist).

Me: ‘Hi! I’d like to know if a Canadian couple has checked into your hotel this morning.’

FR: ‘May I have their names, please.’

Me: ‘Her name is ‘liya.’

She asked me to wait for a few minutes, while she verified.

FR: ‘What’s her last name, ma’am?’

Me: ‘Er .. I don’t really know her last name.’

FR: ‘What about her husband’s name?  Perhaps the room is booked under his name.’

Me:  ‘I don’t know her husband’s name either.’

FR: ‘Company name, perhaps?’

Me: ‘Sorry, no idea.’

‘liya and I were so excited to meet that we never really thought about asking last names.  She mentioned in one of the e-mails that she always had problems with phones abroad, so I promised her that I will be the one to call her.

I thanked the friendly receptionist and spent a few minutes contemplating what to do next.  Then I saw that Mezba left  a message on Facebook asking whether I had already met ‘liya or not.  I replied asking him if he knew ‘liya’s last name.  I knew he couldn’t reply soon since it was probably 2 or 3 am in Canada then.

I called the friendly receptionist again.

Me: ‘Hi, it’s me again.’

FR: ‘Yes, ma’am.’

Me: ‘Could you please go through your system again and kindly check if there’s someone named ‘liya? It’s very, very important that I speak with her.’

I worked hard to reflect the extreme urgency in my voice, which happened to work because a few seconds later …

FR: ‘Yes, ma’am, there is a ‘liya *then she mentions a surname* who checked in today.’

Me *in all excitement*: ‘Great!  Is she Canadian?’

I had to be sure!

FR: ‘Um, I wouldn’t know that, ma’am.’

Me: ‘But don’t you usually keep a copy of your guests’ passports?’

She asks me to hold for a few seconds.

FR: ‘Ma’am, the system hasn’t updated with her information yet.  She just checked in. I think it is her that I see in the lobby now.’

Me: ‘Oh.  Is she with a man?’

FR: ‘No, she’s not who you are looking for, ma’am.’

Me: ‘How do you know for sure?’

FR: ‘The woman is sitting alone.’

Me: ‘It’s okay, thank you.  I’ve written down the name you told me earlier, and I’ll just call back in an hour and ask for her directly.’

FR: ‘So is she the ‘liya you wanted to speak to?’

Me: ‘I’m not sure, but I’ll call and ask her myself if she is.’

Fortunately, it was the ‘liya I was looking for!

Masood and I went to meet them after work, at around 9:30 pm.  I recognized her right away (from the pictures on her blog).  She’s so sweet, mashaAllah.

Then we had dinner at Gazebo (one of my favorite Indian restaurants in Dubai).  And mostly talked about two things: Dubai and Toronto.  They had paneer tikka and palak paneer, while we had chicken lahori.  We also had yummy mango lassi, and for dessert (though we were all stuffed beyond description) we insisted that they try Hyderabad’s famous qubani ka meetha topped with vanilla ice cream (the link leads to the recipe, ‘liya).

Then off they went to the airport to catch their 1 am flight to Amsterdam.

Masood and I had a really nice time.  Thank you, ‘liya and V.  You guys are awesome, mashaAllah!

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35 Responses to And This Was How We Met Them for Dinner

  1. Pingback: And This Was How We Met Them for Dinner | Tea Break

  2. masood says:

    They are very sweet couple and we had a great time, Alhumdulillah. Blogging is making a world sweet and schmaaall 🙂

  3. Anonymous says:

    nice explanation and superb writing skills….(U have) !!

  4. Leena S says:

    i have met quite a few bloggers over the past one and a half year and its just amazing how we have become real world friends from just virtual ones.
    Btw, you have a really nice blog. I surely will be coming back

  5. I’ve met a couple of bloggy friends in real life and thank God I remembered to ask them their real complete names first! 🙂

    but your experience was a blast..and I’m glad you found ‘liya with minimal problems! 😉

    • nadia says:

      Grace, you were smarter by remembering to ask their complete names 😀 But seriously though, I need to remember that.

      Yes, guess I was lucky that I found her with minimal problem 😀

  6. Aww, this was lovely to read Nadia! Glad you guys had a great time. This time when ‘liya announced she was off somewhere the first place I thought of was Dubai!

    • nadia says:

      Thank you, Smiley! The reason why I knew she was coming to Dubai was because she e-mailed me 😀 They visited Turkey too. I’m looking forward to her travel posts!

  7. Mezba says:

    Yup, blogging has introduced me to some very friendly and nice people. Sometimes I wonder how I ever got to read some of my regulars! 🙂

    • nadia says:

      Yes, that is one of the nicest thing about blogging, Mezba. And even before you meet that blogger in person, you somehow have an idea about their personality through their writing.

  8. 'liya says:

    I think this will have to be my favourite post of yours 😀

    We had a great time with both of you and it was so nice meeting you and Masood. Actually, it was a really perfect way for us to end our trip! We were so stuffed from all the yummy food that we slept for our entire 7 hour flight straight through – that was probably the best flight we ever had (I’ve always had trouble sleeping on a plane).

    V got to ask all of his Dubai questions and I got to see who this Nadia was lol.

    I now realize I should have given you proper info, but it just didn’t occur to me beforehand. I realize that “V” is not enough of a name to follow through with hehe.

    Thanks again to both of you, we loved our first meeting and inshallah hope to meet you both again!!

    • nadia says:

      Aww, thank you, ‘liya (and V). We had a great time with you guys 🙂

      We were also so stuffed from all that food that we spent sometime walking around before finally heading back home, lol. Well at least you slept through the entire flight and got to recharge yourselves to see Amsterdam 🙂

      PS: When the receptionist at the hotel asked me for your husband’s name, I was just about to say “V” lol

      InshaAllah, would love to meet you both again!

  9. Specs says:

    Wow, ‘Liya is like the first blogger I ever really wanted to meet and now everyone I know is meeting up with her but me … I’m JALUS! LoL!

    The story’s very interesting.. I’m sure you guys had fun!

    Oh I wish I could’ve joined my two favorite ladies 😦

    The dessert- yummmm ❤

  10. 'liya says:

    Specs, come to Toronto for your honeymoon!!! 😀

  11. Sharifah ghouse says:

    Salam Nadia… I enjoy reading ur blog.. I got attracted to you when you wrote your experiences in Mecca n medina.. Feel that I was there experience the same feeling when I was there for last rejab.. Inshallah will be performing my umrah with my sis in law who has never been there…pls keep me us in ur doa… May Allah swt bless u n ur fly.. With Salam dua n love…sister in islam

    • nadia says:

      Walaikum Assalam, Sis! Thank you so much for your sweet comments and ameen to your dua 🙂

      You’re going for umrah again; that’s great, mashaAllah! Please remember me and my family in your duas as well. May Allah make the journey easy for you, and accept your deeds and prayers.

  12. Abid says:

    Nice story! Wish I could meet some of the people in my blogging circle 😦

    • nadia says:

      Thank you, Abid! When is your next trip to Dubai? You used to visit each year, right? I remember you mentioned about your Desert Safari adventure – in June 😀

  13. Janit says:

    U were to visit Ahmedabad this time of the year? Any progress? Am awaiting my chance to meet up u guys here. 🙂

  14. Lat says:

    Wow! that must be exciting.Inshallah next time you’ll get to spend more time that just dinner with Liya.

    • nadia says:

      Yes, it was exciting, Lat. But, I also get nervous whenever I am about to meet someone for the first time 😀

      Next time will be even more fun, inshaAllah.

  15. Miss MaryAnn says:

    Awww, MashaAllah Nadia that you were able to meet each other. Your evening sounds like so much fun 🙂

    The dessert looks yummy…nice and gooey, LOL.

    You know, I live in Sharjah…. 🙂

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