We've been planning for Meenal to come to Edinburgh and spend time with us from the time we started the podcast in September of last year. But, as you might remember, she started preparing for her final exams in October and they just got over last Thursday. Anyway, it was totally worth the wait. Or was it?

I'm not sure anymore because this girl is a) embarrassing b) talkative and c) making me share my space with her. Let's examine each of those points, shall we?

Yesterday, on our cab ride home, our elderly taxi driver asked Meenal how it feels to be back home. To that, she said, "What do you mean? This is my first time here" and laughed in his face. You know, the characteristic high-pitched Meenal-laugh that you might be familiar with from the podcast. Then for some time, both Meenal and I lost context of Shane's conversation with our cabbie as we started giggling in the back seat. However, the giggles stopped the minute he asked Shane, "So your wife studies medicine in Prague?"
WHAT THE FUCK, right? I know. But it's easy for people to not notice me because I'm invisible to the naked eye. So Shane told him that his wife was indeed a blah-ger and that seemed to fascinate our cabbie. "I could be a blogger", he said.

"I mean, I've driven so many drunk people around, I could write the best blog if I wanted to. I've accumulated many stories over the years", he said. Great idea, we thought, until he opened his mouth and started describing those stories to us. That's when Meenal turned to me and said in all seriousness, "He CANNOT be serious. He wouldn't be a good blah-ger". You'd think that's what I found embarrassing. Oh, you haven't heard anything yet.

So our friendly cab driver who probably heard Meenal crush his blogging dreams then focused his attention on her. He asked her if she was looking forward to eating haggis in Scotland. She crushed him further by announcing that she was a vegetarian.

"A vegetarian? In Scotland?", he asked. "But haggis...", he murmured. "So you still eat fish, right?" was the next question. Followed by, "Not even boiled fish?". I'm still not sure what that last question was about but moving on, after the poor man realised that some vegetarians don't even eat fish, he said, "I had a vegetarian dinner last night. Yeah, I ate cabbage and potatoes. But I also ate ham with that so I guess that doesn't count as vegetarian". Looking back, I feel that he may have been more embarrassing than Meenal.

When we arrived home, we realised that he didn't accept card payments and since Meenal was the only one with cash on her, she handed him a note and accepted change. Except, when he gave her a note with the picture of a fish on it, she said, "I'm sorry I can't accept this. It has the picture of a fish on it and I'm a vegetarian."

The poor man looked so confused that I wanted to give him a hug. He really didn't want to offend this crazy Hindu lady. And our Madam Meenal took her own sweet time to tell her that she was joking. Yeah, that's when I left the car and pretended as if I didn't know her.

And what's even more embarrassing is the way she makes me act when I'm with her. At lunch, I was making faces and laughing with all my horse teeth and gums jutting out of my mouth when a man at the counter looked at me with a genuinely concerned expression on his face. Like he wanted to slowly pet my hair and ask me, "Are you okay?"

I wanted to shout out to him that I'm not a crazy person but that would have been counterproductive.

From the second she landed, there hasn't been a moment of silence in my life. She's always talking, and talking really fast. At one point, we crossed the portrait gallery here and she was talking about how much she likes portraits and enjoys spending time analysing the themes certain painters tend to go for. While she was on about it, I was thinking that if someone were to paint a portrait of Meenal, they'd have to fashion it in such a way that her mouth is constantly moving on her portrait. I wouldn't be surprised if she talked even in her sleep so her portrait wouldn't be an adequate representation of her without a constantly moving mouth.

Speaking of sleeping and talking, when I walked into the living room this morning, my eyes had trouble adjusting to the dark. I couldn't see if she was awake so I tiptoed around her and stood at the edge of the couch trying to get a glimpse of her face. She remained silent throughout my performance and then screamed, "HELLO". It was like a corpse came back to life to make friends with me. Who even does that?

And then there's all the space she's taking up. She's not, in fact. She's the perfect little kid who you can take home to meet your parents and know for certain that they'll love her. Except, I'm not that kid and I don't share. The minute she came in, I gave her a house tour and told her what all she was allowed to touch. That list included exactly 10 items. And I'm sure you're wondering what the shower situation is like. She's allowed to wash her hands and face at the kitchen sink once a day and she can shower every three days. Oh, and obviously, I don't share my shower gel so she has to use dish soap.

She's very handy in the kitchen, chops vegetables real fast, cooks amazing food and even cleans up after cooking.

So I kind of want her to stay forever and do all those things for me. I could maybe even train her to clean the way I like things to be cleaned. I could make her do the laundry. Since she likes exercising, I could even get her to exercise for me. The possibilities are endless with this kid. I might actually try to lure her to stay on by offering more dish soap.

Anyway, that was just Day 1 and I'm learning so much from/about her. I'm so happy to have her here despite the fact that she's embarrassing, never shuts up and uses up all my dish soap. She's like a little pet puppy that I want to carry around in my purse although she's the one who could quite literally do that with me. She'll be here for an entire week and I'll take you along on all our little adventures.

Have a great weekend, you guys! I'll see you on Monday :)

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