Archive for June, 2013

And here I go..

Does being in a relationship make a woman dumber? I am starting to think so! It hasn’t been 4 months since I met the man I’m dating now [who, to be fair, has taken me home and introduced me to his family – including his mother and daughter – on that most American of holidays – the 4th! – and not just as his plus 1]. Alas, I have already devolved into the “we” mentality of a wife/a fiancée/a girl-we-friend.

Before the 2nd week of April 2013, my one true passion was NPR. I thought about smart “shows” on the radio [Radiolab, The Ted-Radio hour, Wire Tap with – my “loverlie”- Jonathan Goldstein]: Being smart. Thinking smart. And writing smart. About people, what makes them, what breaks them and what ticks them [off]. Race relations. Islam, homosexuals and Chinese women. Of Italy, of working on my craft, about reading as many “All facts considered” books as I can so I can appear more learned than I am and/or my humble day-job declares [the old “Samad Miah” complex.. of the immigrant’s need to ..

desperately be wearing a sign, a large white placard that said:


Or, in the absence of such a placard, the desire to drop names and quote quotes from, say, such renowned works of fiction as “White Teeth”; about old men who found out:

“..that the inclining of one’s head, poising of one’s pen, these were important, so important. It was important to be a good waiter, to listen when someone said Lamb Dawn Sock and rice. With chips. Thank you.”


That was before April 2013. The pre-Trojan era, as I would like to call it [wink wink nudge nudge :-)]. Now all I think about is my weight [hoping on the scale morning and night, in an attempt to see I haven’t crossed-over the dreaded 5 pound threshold]. I worry about the food I eat. The cloth I wear. How many hours before bed to apply my Clean & Clear® dual action moisturizer [which is da bomb, by the way, I highly recommend it for all skin resembling “yeNebir Qoda”!]; so I don’t sniff a hint of it the next day on my pillow. And what hair oil to use so my skull doesn’t dry-out [and starts “mebunening”, like yeDukem asphalt] from the sun.

I think of tooth pastes – most whitening! [Green] Tea types – better source of antioxidant! And body lotions – texture/smell/feel! I wonder if I should learn how to bake. Or how to swim. Or how to drive – so I won’t be found lacking when the need arises. I browse the lists of things to do in Seattle that come with free-parking. For restaurants that offer healthy options. And try to figure out what to cook/where to go/and what to do so the next date isn’t as costly as the last one was. I think of schedules [his and mine]. Colors. Other women. I keep an eye out for the movies he likes. I flip through the pages of the books he loves quoting from. And pounce on programs I know he would find impressive, so I could share it with him [and, by and by, prove I got more going for me than meets the eye]. In re-living the moments I spent with him, I dissect words and try to read between lines. I review behaviors and look for patterns. I Google emotions and reactions; best ways to communicate concerns and red-flags to be wary of.

I look inward, too, sometimes; shamefacedly.. almost on tip-toe.. “the same way adolescent vegetarians scurry by butchers” [as Zadie Smith would say]. I think of how, the longer I lived in this country, the less intelligent I seem to become. How, the more I doubted myself, the less coherent I am. And how the quick-come backs, the witticisms and the perfect lines occur to me long after the subject has been chewed tasteless. It worries me; this tendency of a woman’s – of throwing all of her into a relationship – and not being able to think of anything else when she finds herself in one. And I feel guilty for seeming to have turned into an almost glass-is-half-full person. [A person who no longer says “If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that” the way she is brought up to, but makes plans weeks ahead in the hope that she will live and he would still be around. This person who sees options & opportunities and not always hand in hand with consequences. Can hope to enjoy pleasure without punishment. A future! – not tainted by the fear of loss].

Even when I think these things [look inward, that is], I think of them in & with relation to him. Would he feel he has been robbed when he realizes I’m not as smart as I write?! Would he consider me a little too dependent when finding out that I don’t have much of a life outside work [so should I join that gym? Register for that course? Make myself less available]?! Is letting your guard down another way of setting yourself up for a disappointment – a heart-break?! And, ofcourse, classic abesheet: would he go and would I wish I hadn’t made mention of him, written about him, hoped?!

But he will come again..
And there I will go ..

June 6, 2013 at 9:39 pm 6 comments

No “dim sum” for me, thankyou

I don’t eat out often [it’s cheaper & healthier to cook, work at a restaurant that offers free fancy-food three times a day and been driven around and done that the first few months I came to America; resulting in an epic weight-gain that took 3 years to shade]. In the few ocassions-a-month I do eat out, I try to tag along somebody who does it more often than I. This is especially true with Asian food establishments, Chinese food for example. My fear isn’t just being judged for coming as a minus plus-one. But that they would spit in my food unless they see somebody with a slanted eye next to me, and felt kinder towards my shade of black. Plus politely asking for forks can only be cute while sitting next to, and conversing pleasantly with, somebody who knows how to work them chopsticks [is good in Maths and has atleast a black belt in one or more of the Martial arts]. Otherwise it would appear as rude as refusing to use your hand to eat Injera – it just isn’t done! All that, ofcourse, pales by comparison when, seeing the “quality” of their products and their inability to spell ingredients even on the most authentic-looking imitations, one stops to consider what one is putting into one’s “hod Eqa” by reaching for an Oriental cuisine.

Apparently, I am not the only one who view these folks, and their cheap, spicy, yummy treats with suspicion. David Sedaris, my favorite gay American [a never ceasing reminder that not all gay men have to be like my least favorite gay American, Dan Savage, who – according to South Park’s definition – is more of a faggot], has written a book entitled “Let’s Explore Diabetes With Owls”. It’s a collection of Essays in which he included one on the sanitation problem and eating culture of the people in the People’s Republic of China. He entitled it “#2 to go”. The number, I am afraid, doesn’t refer to the numeral on the menu. Which brings me to the “warning” part.

This story isn’t for the faint at heart; or the weak-stomach-ed. If you have a tendency to dwell on and are given to nausea at the thought of gross stuff that may find it’s way into your food; you’d wanna make sure you read it atleast two hours before you eat; and 4 after you did. That way your body has digested whatever you have consumed and isn’t likely to pound your chest and squeeze your throat muscles until you have ejected acid-covered bits of whatever you stuffed down earlier. And if you are planning to get a take-out from your favorite Chinese take-out place, or even plan to eat at one within the next 6 months; you would wanna skip reading this essay altogether. It isn’t pleasant, save for this blogger; who prides herself for being from a country where people don’t take a dump in the bushes unless they have to; and have the modesty to cover their mouth or nose before hocking a loogie. To think their kind finds my kind inferior continues to be a mystery to me.

If, by the end of this reading, you find yourself wanting to protest “but a China-man in America won’t surely behave like a China-man in China”, I say unto you “look at how the Ethiopian cabbies in your area drive”. Old habits die hard, especially when they involve the most private things you do in the most private of places. It has also not been lost upon me how publishing one of his Essays in full could be an infringement on Mr. Sedaris’ copy-rights. However, seeing how dozens of his short-story readings being posted on youtube didn’t seem to diminish his fame and fortune, hopefully this won’t either. I dedicate this story to that special friend who first brought to my attention the existence of Chinese dog-farms, the various discussions we had on “exotic” food, adventurous eating and the list of things we were willing to try. May you realize the moneky-brains weren’t the worst thing that could happen in/to a Chinese Cuisine next time you found yourself craving for a freshly-steamed shrimp dumplings!

#2 TO GO
By David Sedaris
From “Let’s Explore Diabetes With Owls. Essays Etc.” (more…)

June 1, 2013 at 8:19 pm 4 comments


The blogger tries to think outside the box, or wonder why she sometimes can't.

Life quote:

"I will speak for you, Father. I speak for all mediocrities in the world. I am their champion. I am their patron saint." - Antonio Salieri, from the movie "Amadeus"

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June 2013

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