I spent a month in Lebanon helping Jessica get her life back on track, including pushing her to see a real psychologist every day. Ida left for Denmark after five days, knowing I would be safe and that all my feelings for Jessica were over now.

During my time in Beirut, I met Hassan. This Lebanese tourist guide had studied architecture in the UK and, due to the crisis, couldn’t find a job in his country. Now he had a job offer to work in Abu Dhabi and was planning to leave in the next few months.

Hassan had a long-distance relationship with his girlfriend he had met during college time in Nottingham. They planned to live together in Abu Dhabi since Sarah was banned from travelling to Beirut and Hassan to Israel. They were also planning to get married, so Sarah could acquire a residence visa in the UAE to find a job there. There was another problem since their countries couldn’t receive them; they needed to find an alternative, a neutral country, to get married. They ended up planning a wedding in Northern Cyprus and inviting me.

Northern Cyprus is a territory in the north of Cyprus island that has been only recognized by Turkiye as a sovereign nation. The rest of the world considers it a Turkish-occupied land of the Republic of Cyprus. I travelled there after my businesses ended in Lebanon and attended the wedding of Hassan and Sarah.

I arrived at the Ercan International Airport, which only holds flights from Turkiye. There is a rumour on the island that Russian flights will land in Ercan soon.

I stayed in the Club Simena Hotel and rented a car to visit the island’s northern part. I didn’t try to go to the south because it is impossible for any non-EU passport holder after entering Cyprus island via Ercan Airport.

The Internet connection was not strong, so I tested several places to see which one offered the more robust connection. I found a vibrant nightlife, but I didn’t feel I wanted to party hard.

After spending some weeks with Ida and facing the whole Jessica situation, I missed her a lot. After finishing working hours, I spent some time walking on the beach and texting her. We discussed having a long-distance relationship before planning any further so we would have plenty of time to understand what we were feeling.

I met many Russians here; some of them were tourist, but most of them came recently after the Ukrainian invasion. They were super lost. They didn’t support what their government was doing, and due to the war, they lost houses, jobs and family members. They were drinking to not only forget but to accept the fact that, given they are Russian, no one cares about their suffering.

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