Monday Funday

-I mean. It was not a fun day but it was okay and that will do fine for me. Alhamdulilah!

-Can I recommend a book ya’ll? The Good Immigrant edited by Nikesh Shukla. It’s a collection of essays about the 1st and 2nd generation immigrants and the bakwaas they have to face in this day and age. These essays are funny, angry (rightly so) and truly very relatable. I actually reccomend the audio book for this one because each author actually narrates their own story so you literally hear it straight from the horse’s mouth. There will be at least one story that you can relate to or a name you recognise. When I saw Riz Ahmed was on there for instance, I had to get it because I fancy him am familiar with some of his work.

-One story in the book really resonated with me. As some of you know because I don’t shut up about it I have now been trying to publish my book for coming up to what? Three years? It is an axiety inducing process because as one author points out in TGI, we get to a point after we have experienced a stream of rejections by literary agents where we start to shrink our dream of being published, we water it down until the concrete absorbs it and it ceases to exist. She goes on to highlight the shocking lack of opportunities for aspiring writers who are female, of colour and over 30 and guess who ticks all those boxes?

Me.

The frustration of it all makes me want to jump out of the window. But for now I shan’t give up. That being said, I do dread the day I run out of fuel for this dream of mine to become published because without writing the void inside of me will remain hollow and I cannot fill it with food anymore because the physio guy said my knees are overloaded with my weight 😭

-I have plenty of ideas for the second book I want to write but the frustration of not succeeding in finding an agent for the 1st one makes me think well what’s the point? I know, I know, I should write for me not for agents. Ergo, I thought maybe sharing a couple of details from book 2 can increase accountability and actually make me write it? Its a new idea not the one I posted about previously. But I am thinking my couple (for lack of another word for them) will be called Sid and Umayma this time. I’m not sure what Sid is short for yet. But I have a thing for that name and really want to use it somewhere. Go figure. Oh and its untitled for now.

-Korean dramas anyone? My cousins made me watch one (Oh my Venus) under duress claiming I would fancy the guy. Told them he didn’t have a beard so no way I would. And 16 episodes later… I fear I am a smitten kitten. Damn good actors and their black magic ways.

Disclaimer: I am not basing Sid on this guy. Though it will be hard. He’s clouding my judgement rn.

-The Greggs Vegan Sausage Roll is hype.

-Finally, my nani is home alhamdulilah. She is alhamdulilah better as well. She can’t walk without a metal frame at the moment but inshallah kheir.

-Hope your Monday went well!

Talk to me.

Tam x

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Question time

-Can Will Smith marry me already? Because hubba bubba.

-How do I tell a friend they’re being selfish without offending them?

-Why do I keep getting close to people that literally don’t give a crap about me?

-Is changing my phone number a good idea at this stage in life?

-What is my calling in life? Coz man dunnooooo.

-Why are work underpaying me compared to colleagues of the same gender in the same position as me?

-Why am I so gullible?

-What is the actual wisdom behind removing your profile picture when you break up with someone? 😂

-Why are cats so nonchalant?

New beginings?

-first and foremost shout out to everyone who messaged and stuck by me this past week whilst nani was in hospital, makes you realise who cares bout you in life *tears!*

-whilst she is still not 100% and still very much fragile, alhamdulilah we are praying that she is on the right track and on the mend, pray with me ya’ll *sigh*

-i am tired.

-i feel like the cat is sick now which is reeking havoc in my mind…

-it’s 3:00 am

-my brother got married today mashallah – that feels bizarre to say, my mind is suddenly flashing back to when he was a kid like i’m in some lame movie… pretty sure i changed this kids diaper at some point in life…

-today was the nikah ceremony, the actual wedding party is TBC inshallah but for all intents and purppses its done, he’s actually gone and gotten married and i have a sister in law…

i remember carrying this kid when he was born for crying out loud.

subhanallah

may Allah swt grant them happiness and pave the way for them to a life full of peace of mind and stability.

End of week jitters

-I feel seriously gross inside right now. I am petrified for my grandma’s health and I am making up insane scenarios in my mind of all the carastrophes that can occur. Terrible I know. But silence, loneliness and this time of the night will do that to a person, you know?

-I don’t even know how work will go tomorrow given that my my mind is occupied with the latest update re my grandma. Evidently the chest pain she was experiencing may have been a minor heart attack which is terrifying to me. She’s sleeping in the hospital tonight for monitoring and further tests.

-I want so bad for everything to be okay again. I need something strong to knock the sadness right out of me. Now. But I find myself with nothing and no one. The ability to function has been temporarily halted for me.

I hate this.

A simple favour

Not the movie… thought it’s a good ‘un. I meant I have one to ask of ya’ll.

Could you shoot my grandma a duaa? She’s in hospital at the moment and she is not feeling so great.

Aside from a mass duaa plea. I find my hands tied with what I can do for her.

It’s not serious inshallah but she’s fragile and very weak and it scares me to see her like this.

Tam x

January Jibberish

-Ya’ll remember that Malaysian airline that went missing in 2014? Well my dad followed the story pretty closely when it was going on and he woud tell my little sister all about it. She was very young at the time and noticed how sad he was that the flight was still missing. She would ask him everyday if they found it and he would always sadly reply; no they haven’t. Then one day she drew a plane that said Malaysia on it and woke my dad up and said, “Baba good news! I found the Malaysian plane!”

-That story makes me smile till this day. Hopefully it made you smile too. And if didn’t, then you is a miserable sod – what can I say?

-I am dreading work on Monday having been off for 2 weeks. You get so comfortable when you’re not working. Sigh. When’s my knight in shining armour gonna get off his ass and come buy me out of a job save me?

-If I get married that’s the first thing Ima ask the bugger you know. Like bro where the f you been? Some time keeping this is.

-I have noticed a growing trend around me lately. Arab bashing. It’s interesting how many people hate on Arabs these days thinking their own race is free of fault. I got sucked into it briefly when someone asked me if I would marry an Arab and I said no. My personal preference being Asian guys (God knows why, coz man are they a pain in my ass.)

Sure, some Arabs are proud and obnoxious, but loads are kind and Arab hospitality is next to none. Genetically, I am more Indian than Arab. Nevertheless, I identify with both cultures especially that I flopped on the Hindi count and my mother tongue is in fact Arabic. That being said my friends are always telling me I am the desi’est Arab they know. Brap.

The point is. All races have their own mess ups. Arabs are supposedly obnoxious. Brits are supposedly cold but punctual. The French are supposedly rude. Turks are supposedly arrogant. Somalis are supposedly abrupt. Indians are supposedly stingy. Pakistanis are… ahem. Lowe it innit, bare Pakistanis read my blog and know where I live. I don’t want the hate mail lol.

Stop race hating. Makes you a prick. Look at your own tribe before cussing the neighbours. Nuff said.

-My friends have been trynna convince me to join muzmatch forever and I think I am finally tempted. Only problem being is I am a conversation junkie. I will get sucked into conversation and essentially forget the reason I am on there in the 1st place; matrimony. Lool!

-I can already see it:

Thirty-one year, opposite of a fair and lovely advert, cannot reach the top shelf of a super market, not so domestic goddess – but hella kind and forever turning a new page with God seeks…

…tall (if you make me fall for you I can let go of this one but then we both won’t reach the top shelf of the supermarket)…

…dark haired and stubbled (this is a must, if my beard is bigger than yours we have problems) fella who wakes me up for fajr not coz its romantic but because my alarm is fed up of me and the adhan clock is actually telling me ki bhai you is going to hell anyway so jao.

…with a steady income coz this ain’t no fairy tale and love ain’t putting the barfi on the table ygm? I am willing to work part time and not ask for money for me, just fund the house and kids for the love of God #reasonable

…with a sense of humour because you need one to live with me, just trust me on this one.

…and an open enough mind to know that I ain’t living with your Ammi cuz. It ain’t happening. I will probably spike her water with laxatives whenever she pisses me off, you feel me bruv? Repeat after me; distance is healthy.

and must drive coz… man’s tired wallah.

Bonus points; speaks another language and is good at maths (don’t even ask, the heart wants what it wants innit)

I mean. The personal ad writes its self, no?

The Syrians of Istanbul and other stories

Syrian Istanbulians

-Istanbul is a gem of a place, it truly is. If you haven’t been; go. You will not regret it. The views are amazing. The culture is immense. The food is divine. The people… well, it’s a pick and mix. You get biggots, you get cold ass gits, you get nonchalant people but you also get some decent folk.

I guess that’s the same for any place though huh? My take on it, based on my own experiences in the few times I visitied Istanbul? Bearing in mind your experience will be different…

The Turks populating the touristy areas / hotels are hella nice to you because essentially they want your buck. The Turks of Bebek and Levent are slightly more “high class” and will now and then show interest in you because they like to indulge in some culture. It helps that they’re the ones that speak English too.

The rest of the Turks I encountered were not so nice. Be it the guard at a mosque who screamed his head off (in Turkish) at a Chinese lady for taking putting her shoes on at the wrong place, or the taxi driver who snapped at me for asking him (in Turkish might I add) if he needed to see the adress for my destination or the dumass woman who worked at the airport who insulted my mother for not following an instruction she gave her in Turkish!

Ultimately, if you work at an airport, or a restaurant or a tourist attraction, I feel like English should be a non negotiable because of how universal it is. Smiling and kindness should be a non-negotioable. And not yelling at people should be a non negotioable.

I was told by a lovely Turkish girl I met in a Starbucks in Bebek that Turks come across as cold because they don’t speak English and thus don’t know how to communicate with you. Fair enough I suppose but I feel that said Turks feel that you don’t need any other language on your hand other than your mother tongue which is just a depressingly obnoxious belief to harbour within yourself.

Thank God I know some Turkish – it made some locals like me a little better for making an effort to learn their language which I got applauded for when I told them it was self taught.

Anyway. I digress.

I wanna take a moment to give a shout out to the Syrians of Istanbul. Because even though I encountered a lot of racism because of them (some Turks treat you like crap because they assume that you being Arab means you’re a Syrian immigrant who’s stealing their jobs and taking over their homes – even if you clearly don’t look like a Syrian) my God do these people deserve a medal.

The Syrians I encountered in Istanbul have fled war, moved somewhere where they’re essentially unwanted and severely discriminated against but did they let that crush them? Hell no. They mastered the Turkish language and worked for the local stores of Turkey, luring in the Arab clintel for their Turkish bosses using a combination of how similar they look to Turks, their newly acquired language, Syrian charm and the famous Arab hospitality.

It also helps that some Syrian men are painfully attractive.

Love them or hate them, you cannot deny that the Syrians of Istanbul are responsible for a significant boom in revenue from the travel industry acquired from Arab tourism alone.

I can’t believe she actually did it

A few years ago, I knew a girl who came to England from Australia to visit her extended family on her winter break. Let’s call her Lubna. Lubna wasn’t conventionally good looking (i.e. not skinny!) but she had wit, charm and confidence.

Lubna missed her ride home so her relatives sent someone, who was a close family friend and happened to be near the area at the time, to pick her up from the airport and drive her to them. Let’s call him Taha. Taha was successful in everyway possible, oozed charm and lets just say life was overly kind to him in the looks department.

Lubna and Taha hadn’t seen each other since childhood but they recognized each other instantly. It was a long journey and I guess they must have had the mother of all catch ups because by the end of the drive, I guess she decided she saw something in him that she liked enough to want to be with him. I guess Taha saw something in her too, not what he usually sees in girls; good looks. But there was definitely something about her. Taha also came with baggage; children from a previous marriage and a poisonous ex-wife. So maybe what he saw in Lubna was a distraction. I’ve no idea.

Taha and Lubna spent most of their time on her trip flirting and I guess it was obvious to everyone they were into each other. She went home eventually and they kept in touch. Promises were made, a summer engagement was planned then a wedding.

The thing about long distance relationships though is you have a lot of space to overthink. And sensing that Taha was wavering and suddenly pining for his ex-wife, Lubna came back for another trip to work things out. But she wasn’t Lubna anymore, she had lost an ABUNDANT amount of weight I guess to fit Taha’s idea of what is desireable. He was impressed enough to decided to give it another shot. But then she went back to. Australia and I guess Taha ghosted her again, giving reasons of religious incompatibality as an excuse, until the relationship fizzled into nothing. Again.

Lubna became severely depressed and because she was a friend I worried for her health. I watch her transform from this ray of sunshine into a messy and muddy puddle of darkness. I remember thinking to myself Taha has ruined her for any other man forever now.

And if you’re wondering Taha was absolutely fine.

A year down the line, I heard that she was getting married. I was shocked. I know people move on. But she was just so in love with Taha that it made no sense to me. I figured she was in her 30s and it was a calculated decision rather than an emotional one. I thought this will definitely end in disaster…but it didn’t.

I met up with Lubna in Istanbul, which is why the story is so fresh on my mind, she has three beautiful children. She’s happy and she speaks so fondly of her husband. Does she love him? I have no idea. But she’s happy and when life gave her lemons she made lemonade, instead of squeezing them into Taha’s eyes which if you know me well, is what I would have done.

And if you’re wondering, Taha is an absolute mess. No wife, he lost all his good looks with age, he is on medication for depression and works like a robot.

I learnt several things from that story; calculated decisions can sometimes lead to positive conclusions. Being dictated by emotions isn’t always a good thing. Not eveything you want wants to be yours. And I guess that men and women grieve differently. Women will mourn the loss of a man for a good while but when they move on, they soar. Men will be absolutely fine after a break up but when said woman is settled with someone else it hits them like a ton of bricks.

31 and 2019

Another year is coming to a close and I find myself a year older and a century wiser… and sadly a few centimeters wider. Damn you birthday cake.

Yaas. I turned 31 this year. But its all good because I am reliably informed I still look 21. I mean I get ID’d everywhere which is a little ridiculous, frankly. But I am told I will grateful for this gift at 40, which, oh dear God, is 9 years away.

As much as I complain about it, I have sort of made peace with the fact that I am old. And if you don’t think 31 is old then, holla at me when you turn 31 and we’ll see if you feel the same.

Its not the age that’s the problem. It’s what you have accomplished by said age that’s important. I am sad to say that for me the answer is not much. That’s why I think instead of resolutions this year I think I will have a word to try and live by. And that word is remarkable.

I kindda wanna be remarkable this year in whatever I do which sounds obnoxious but trust me, its healthy in my head.

If you could be a word this year what word would you be?