Monday, December 29, 2008

Transit in Heathrow

I look up as they walk into the business lounge.
I stare

There are two of them: one in the black gear; the other one in your classic Khaliji*-on-vacation garb.

She’s wearing designer sunglasses. In the lounge. Deep in the heart of Heathrow, where there is no sun.

Her hair is covered with what resembles a black turban, decorated with flashy beads. Her bangs are hanging out over her forehead.

She’s wearing a pink coat, brown shirt, and blue jeans. And lots of pearls. 4 pearl necklaces. Even her belt is made of pearls. The color of her platform shoes matches the color of her nail polish: brown. Her purse is designer. I stare at the smug expression on her face. Her attention to detail reignites my hate towards my ‘own people.’
Everything matching. Everything exaggerated.

I wonder if she realizes how ridiculous she looks.

She gets up and walks over to the buffet. She looks around at the other passengers, a smile on her face, expecting to catch her admirers’ gaze. I wonder if she’s disappointed when no one looks up. Everyone in the lounge is either European or North American. If they were to give her a passing thought it would be: “typical Arab.”

She slowly saches back to her seat, giving invisible admirers another chance to take a good look.

I’m well aware that I am staring at her.

It is then that I notice her massive pearl earrings. The watch she is wearing is blindingly bling: pure gold encrusted with diamonds. She speaks: “that looks like good cake.” I notice her braces, and it hits me like a brick wall: she’s only a teenager. A teenager that looks 28 years old, until she opens her mouth to speak.

The 2 women glance at me. I momentarily look away.

An Indian woman in uniform approaches them. She works at the lounge. She hands them a plate of cake that has been warmed up.

I’m appalled. Arabian Princess can’t warm her own cake, so she gets someone to do it for her.

Just like home.

At this point I have to look away because my mouth is gaping in disbelief. The Indian woman was not thanked for bringing over the plate of cake.

I wonder if I have just been gone too long; my days in Texas causing this fire of racism towards those I am supposed to be part of. I realize the other patrons at the lounge don’t notice the things I notice. And I realize they probably feel nothing towards them. They are just 2 passengers who happen to dress differently.

But its because I know their kind that I am this angry.

Its because I know that they truly believe they are better than anyone else in that room; that somehow they are superior.

Fucked. Up.

*Khaliji: the Arabic way of referring to someone from the GCC countries (Saudi, Bahrain, Qatar, Kuwait, Emirates, and Oman)

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Today's Read This-

The new baby Jesus

Friday, November 28, 2008

Mourning Mumbai

My beautiful India

Through these halls: gunshots, grenades

I pray

(*from Times Online)

Tuesday, November 18, 2008



Today is one of those days where I woke up, stared at the alarm clock, and couldn't fathom why I've taken a job that requires me to wake up at 5:45 am every day.

I want to stay at home and do nothing.

I want to go back to the days where waking up before 9:00 am was considered EARLY; the days where an hour long coffee session was required before I attempted to even wash my face.

Those days are long gone. 3 years to be exact.

I miss everything about Austin.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

"We can make people out to be whatever we want them to be, as long as we don't know them - not even know their names."

Meadows Coffee Shop
12:26 PM
January 23, 2004

The Power of the Boobs

Remember this?

Only in a city such as Barcelona will you find =

-A middle-aged man who appears to be heavily intoxicated standing about 2 inches from Tanya´s face on the metro. I'm not quite sure if he´s looking at her or staring off into space. He then proceeds to passionately pick his nose while swaying back and forth. All the while I can feel Tanya´s discomfort escalate while she tries not to laugh. Right before we exit the metro I notice that he turned around, put his hands down his pants, and proceeded to ´adjust´himself for quite some time. We got off at the Éspanga´stop and laughed for 15 minutes.

-That men, both locals and tourists, have the courage to pretend to have a conversation with you, when in reality they´re actually talking to your breasts. The only eye-contact appears to be directed between nipple number 1 and number 2. I wonder where this fascination comes from...

-That while walking back to the residence a couple who appear to be in their late sixties, both with white hair and dressed stylishly, are holding on to each other tightly. They look into eachother´s eyes and kiss passionately. I smile to myself and continue walking.

-Also on the metro..I step on and notice a woman in her 20's, dressed in pink from head to toe...she´s wearing cheap, faded polyster and on her head is a stylish scarf. Her eyes are full of sadness as she watches a man who appears to be her boyfriend get off the metro right as we get on. He appears to be unphased and taps the window of the train goodbye as we slowly start to move. Her lower lip quivers and I know she can feel me watching her. The tears pool in her eyes yet they don´t manage to escape. I know how she feels...I know what it´s like to hold them back. I am trying to force myself to look away because she knows I'm watching. But I can´t. The tears pool again as thoughts run through her mind. I finally manage to look away for a few seconds. When I glanced back I noticed she had regained her composure. She got off at the next stop.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

The Arab Veronica Mars

Someone I know told the story of a girl who got married back in May, 2006. A few months later, she started suspecting that her husband is cheating on her. She even warned him against it. Finally, she decided she’d had enough, and was going to go out of her way to catch him in the act.

She told him that she was going to spend the weekend with her cousins at the family’s beach house, which he gladly encouraged her to do. She spent the night at her cousin’s house in the city and made plans with 2 of her friends to spy on him in the morning. The friends are ones who wear Niqab (the face is covered, only revealing the eyes), which proved great for spying purposes (she wore one as well). In the morning, they drove to her house and waited, equipped with a video camera.

A few minutes later, the husband got in his car and drove to the local hospital. A nurse got in the car with him. The wife followed them to the nurses’ housing, which is comprised of a group of apartment buildings within walking distance from the hospital. Keep in mind this is all caught on tape.

A few minutes later the girl realized her husband won’t be coming out anytime soon, so she ended up calling her father, her uncle (who happens to be a lawyer), and her cheating husband’s brother (who happens to be extremely religious). She asked all 3 of them to come meet her.

The 3 of them took the bride, along with the video camera, and knocked on the apartment door. The cheating husband carefully opened the door, only to be pushed back by his father-in-law. The bride stormed into the room, camera in hand, and found the naked nurse in bed trying to cover herself with the sheets.

The bride demanded a divorce, which the groom initially refused to do because he didn’t want to pay alimony. But after she threatened to release the video and create a scandal, followed by a harsh beating from his super-religious brother, the groom agreed to divorce her. Since couples here are divorced in court, the judge decided to sentence the groom to jail (I don’t know how long for). After all, he cheated on his wife, and they had proof of it.

The most amusing part of listening to this story was the reaction of the other audience members in my office. Sure, they thought the bride was awesome and ballsy. But the most interesting response was the fact that they kept repeating that this poor bride was only married for 8 months before she got cheated on. It was almost as if it would have been more forgivable if he had waited, say, 5 years.

I realized then that I shouldn’t be too surprised. Many men cheat on their girlfriends and wives. These men aren’t just Arab men – it’s a universal fact that some men will cheat. So why am I so surprised that these men, who 99% of the time are forced to marry their women (and vice versa), cheat?

I’m not.

I’m surprised that their wives expect it – and are waiting for it.

Almost like it’s forgivable.

On another note:

Here is a picture of my favorite married couple.

Think any of the locals that marry cheating bastards are this happy? That was a stupid question.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Who, me?

I suppose I should tell you a little about myself.

I am a dreamer.
I spend a lot of time in a different state of mind – which helps my non-existent acting career.
I am also an actress. It’s just the way it was supposed to be. I was born into a family of actors and celebrities. This might justify why I always feel my life is some sort of movie – it would make a good one too.

I’m emotional, but you’ll never see it.
I’m sarcastic…sometimes even funny. A lot of times I can be brutal.
I’m a social butterfly. I love to laugh and be happy. There are times where I love myself, and times where I am self-destructive.

I’m spontaneous. Not in the “ooohh, let’s go crazy and camp in the desert tonight” way. But in the “Today I’m quitting my job and moving to the other side of the world” way.

I want to do everything, and be everyone. And I probably have (in my mind).

I’m border-line crazy. It keeps my life interesting.

I had a stalker for a few years. He’s been laying low lately, partly because he doesn’t realize that I now live on the other side of the world.

I’ve had my heart broken, and I have broken hearts. And no matter how many emotional shutdowns I’ve had, deep down I’m a sucker for love. But I won’t tell you that. Instead, I’ll just make fun of the situation, because it’s the only way I can deal with it. The truth is, it would be nice to be with someone I can stand still with for a little while.

I suffer from an identity crisis. I was born into a race I can’t relate to, even though I speak the language. My parents come from 2 completely different backgrounds, which has contributed to my confusion. Naturally, I spend a lot of time trying to figure out where I fit in this mess.