I met Dominique in London, the last stop of my solo trip of visiting Ireland and Northern Ireland of UK. It was at the Travel Joy hostel (one of the best hostels I have ever been in - happy hours, open mic nights, salsa nights, cheap Thai food, complimentary Haribos and soft drinks at all times in Chelsea, London). I was sitting on a bench, minding my own biz, munching on a sad Edamame salad, and she heyed and waved at me to have me sit right next to her. I thought "huh, she's outgoing." But once I sat next to her she was suddenly very intrigued by her phone, so I had to actively engage in asking her questions to get the flow going. It was not until later I found out that she thought I was a girl she met earlier and then realized "shit, wrong person" after a closer look.But I was glad she thought all Asians look alike so we could become friends.
What made us instant friends was that she spent the last year in Asia (China, Japan, Thailand, etc.). After all, most westerners choose to go to Europe instead. She would tease me and give me answers like "you would hate me for this but my favorite country in Asia is Japan. And, because Chinese are... 不文明 (rude, uncivilized)", and then looked at me jokingly for my reactions. I only laughed and side-eyed her. We talked a bit more, and I asked if she wanted to tour around London with me tomorrow, and she agreed.
Dominique woke up very early the next morning, and I didn't have to worry about starting the day late. During breakfast, she commented that she was"shit" at buttering toasts, so she would just yell "mum" whenever she needed her toast to be buttered. Being great at directions, she did all the mapping and guiding. She was also very carefree, and I could make all the traveling decisions - how I love travel mates like her. In general, I enjoyed travelling with Dominique a lot - she had this amusing nonchalant attitude towards everything. I picked up phrases from her like "it's whatevar (Aussie accent)",”doesn't mattar (Aussie accent)” and "it's all good" ever since the trip, because of the funny amount of carelessness displayed in those phrases. Even though she was nonchalant, she was still attentive of my track and kept me close company during the walking tour, and I did the same for her. She was very keen about taking pictures for other people (me), but not for her own. She repeatedly commented that she always looked horrible in pictures, just like her mother. At the end of the day, I learned that she had no plan of where to go next, so I invited her to come to Edinburgh before my semester ends. And she did.
She stayed in Edinburgh for three days. She was as pleasant as always - no preferences whatsoever and very accommodating. We climbed the Arthur's Seat and made some cool meals together. During the Arthur's Seat climb, she talked about how she had this semi-involuntary sexual intercourse with one of her hosts because she thought he took great care of her and she was gracious of him. We discussed the inneccessity of that thought and she agreed that she would never do it again. We stereotyped each other's' countries a lot and made horrible jokes about them, but it was entertaining for us.
It was quite enjoyable to see her struggle through the process of making strawberry santas and Stilton broccoli soup - she was suspicious that me making her help was "trying to make her a better woman", which I explained that cooking is just generally a good skill to have. We laughed and joked about splashing the milky soup all over ourselves and making strawberry santas that looked like drug addicts in their withdrawal phase.
We only sorta kept in touch after her Edinburgh visit - this girl is constantly travelling and my communication with her had been spotty due to whatevar reason. Oh well, it's a shame, because I quite miss her.