The Idea of Him

They say not to confuse love with the ‘idea of love’. But the same people also say that if you don’t imagine, nothing ever happens at all. So I sit here in 12D sandwiched between a snoring ogre and an overweight grandfather whose beer belly is so big that it makes me unbutton my own trousers. I sit here and I bathe in the idea of you. Tall, kind and handsome. I have never cared for colour. You can be blue black or orange but you must be a sweet talker. Comforting. Intelligent. Creative and patient, with me, with us but also with yourself.

They say not to fall in love with that which someone can offer. YOU must be whole first. Well ain’t that utter horse shit? Show me someone who isn’t broken. Who isn’t keeping a secret. Anxious. Vulnerable. Trying. Scared. I sit here and I bathe in the idea of you. The you who holds me while I cry over a broken dish. A rude waiter. Rain.

They say in love to stay independent. To not lose yourself. I say both Shakespeare and Mr. Fitzgerald would scoff at that. I sit here and I bathe in the idea of completely losing ourselves in each other. Abandoning the old and morphing into the new – a sort of superhuman, if you will. Where listening to you talk gadgets becomes my favourite habit and where my kale smoothie trespasses leaping to the very top of your morning checklist and you gladly welcome it. Where your warmth and hunger become my daily concerns. And my happiness your life’s mission.

The plane begins its ascend. The ogre roars from his nostrils and the grandfather shuffles his stomach like a pregnant woman finding a comfortable position, and I progress my float to a steady swim.

We are in Spain. In a narrow alleyway. Drinking juice and sharing tapas. “And,” you say in excitement, “the iPhone 7 plus is water resistant!”

A Speck Of Dust Inside A Giant’s Eye: Osaka At Night

I went to the most epic salad bar of my life for dinner last night and on the walk back to the station, I got lost having gone the opposite way and ended up in Shinsaibashi, Osaka’s main shopping area. I had been there before but never alone and never this late at night. When I finally arrived home after sightseeing (ahem shopping) for a while, my special friend (hehe don’t ask) asked me to describe to him my favorite sight of the night. This, with a few minor grammar adjustments is what I replied:

To be honest, I liked the look of the luxury dresses in Dolce and Gabbana but all I could think about when I looked at them was the image of the poor little staring boy recently rescued from the rubble in Syria. How can one nation and some people be so filthy rich (myself included) when others not only have nothing but live everyday in fear of their life?

I enjoyed walking through the busy city with my headphones on playing Dido. Do you know her? Her voice is really calm. I felt like my life was a movie. In a way, it was as if I wasn’t really there but viewing it all (the people, the lights, the concrete jungle) from the outside.

Tonight, I saw the most people I have ever seen in my life. There was just so many of them. I wondered about their life and their hopes and their dreams and their struggles. What made them smile and what kept them up at night. I thought of how interesting and unique we all are and how imperfectly beautiful.

I took delight in seeing beautiful women in fashionable dresses and high heels zoom past me on road bikes. Catching just a glimpse of their attractive face with their long straight hair dancing behind them in the night lights felt like the meet cute of a romantic drama. And of course, I enjoyed the heavily cologned businessmen carrying fancy briefcases, lit cigarettes and/or vending machine coffee who flashed me an attractive smile.

Japan is a very fortunate country. I only saw one homeless person the entire night. Everyone seemed happy. Or at least, I only noticed the smiling ones. They were either family members on holiday trying not to get lost or selfie-taking loved ones or Japanese themselves out for a Friday night. Again, because everything was so busy and so full-on, I felt I wasn’t actually there but merely observing from the outside. And for the first time in my life, I enjoyed being alone really really alone after a long time of wishing I had someone.

“…Is this you saying you don’t need no man?”

Haha no. It’s me saying I can handle waiting for you.

The Pain Of Parting Is Nothing To The Joy Of Meeting Again

This post should really be split between several posts because it’s so  heartful – is that a word?

From top to bottom: my goodbye party last night, a few of my thoughtful thoughtful gifts…one of which…drum roll please… IS THE RETURN OF MY BENTO! I know! I can’t believe it either. I am SO overjoyed. And last, snaps of some of my loved ones including  a picture story of my new friend gifting me his (second) best watermelon  (I remembered my camera this time).



I Went For A Walk Without My Camera

When Isaac gave me advice on starting a blog, alongside posting everyday, taking good pictures and making people care was the warning never to go cameraless. Today, I committed the sin.

Only 20 feet from my apartment, I saw the full-grown rice fields and took my first mental picture. In my head, I juxtaposed the long yellow strands with the tiny green shoots cheekily poking out from the murky water only two months prior. Next, I watched as a small yellow butterfly circled around a group of pink carnations and I imagined it keeping still, just long enough for my invisible camera to capture.

And though I’ve never taken an actual panoramic, I spun around slowly, then a little faster downloading the green mountains, the traditional roofed houses and the many black power-lines playing house to the village’s entire bird population. I took it all in and I saved it, for myself, on the desktop of my heart, in a private folder.

A few more steps and surprise, surprise, I was greeted by my friend. He was waiting for me outside of his house. “You late,” he said. I laughed thinking, it’s a Saturday!  “Come come.” He took me to his garden. I watched as his 78 year old hands trembled cutting the vine of a perfectly round watermelon. “This this, number one,” he said. “Camera?” he asked. “Nai, not today,” I answered.

After calling his wife to join us in the garden, he washed the watermelon, scrubbing it with a brown sponge between his tanned and wrinkled fingers. I took a quick snap of this. Staring at the frozen moment I wished to hold hands with him. He reminded me of my own grandfather and the countless times we’d sat together where I played with his smooth fingers whilst he kissed my forehead.

Now the three of us stood around an old bench, beautiful amber wood, just screaming to be photographed as a sharp dangerous-looking square blade attached to a tiny wooden handle pierced through the green melon. Ah, don’t cut yourself I thought as I inwardly videoed the “big moment”. Red. It was so red. And fresh! So fresh that the skin cracked open by itself, begging to be eaten.

I was given the first slice. He and his wife watched in anticipation. Delicious? Delicious, I proclaimed. It was. It  was the sweetest I’d ever tasted.

What Feels Like The End Is Often The Beginning

Top to bottom: flowers, rice field, bento, bento, flowers and rice field, froggy car, fancy granola, my goodbye letters to my students, rice field, real-life Pokemon Go and, bento bento bento.
“The most important thing is this: to sacrifice what you are now for what you can become tomorrow.” ~~Shannon L. Alder

Bye Bye Bento

I first acquired this “bento box” from a lovely Japanese woman who farewelled me with it from her shop, filled with left-over vegetarian lasagna. Naturally, I instantly fell in love. I’d never seen anything like it before and soon enough, a piece of tin became (and I’m being truly honest here), my most prized possession. Often, I would think if I were to choose one thing to keep with me for the rest of my life, it would be my bento box. I day-dreamed about taking to Europe then India. Filling it with love. I don’t even know why I let myself think it was mine. I felt so attached to the thing. I feel so attached to it. It has sort of become a symbol of freedom and happiness in my life. Because every lunch-time, I can get away from the depressing teacher’s room and go outside with my lunchbox.

Today my worst fear came true.

She asked for it back.

So I am forced to say bye bye, bento.


My Big Fat Persian Wedding

Greek. Greek. I mean, My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2. But in my defence, the last thing my mother said to me was, “I love you” and “I can’t wait to see you in a white dress.” So, Greek, Persian, same diff. No hate mail please (hehe).

So the first movie (2002) was great and the second movie (2016) well, wasn’t but that’s okay. Because even though the humour seemed forced and the acting was awkward, it was still funny and relatable to people with similar families. Like, if I had a penny for every time my parents have irritated, embarrassed and hinted for me to get married… well, I wouldn’t be blogging. Hahahoheha I’m joking don’t leave!

Ok so back to the review, there was nothing fresh about the second film. Same jokes, same character, same stereotypes, same errything meaning it wasn’t spectacular but as already mentioned, and I’m sure you agree, because the first film was so amazing, a second movie  basically imitating it can’t be that bad of a thing.

Watch if you really must or just pay my parents a visit.

PS thoughts on the oh-so-blatant photoshopped poster?


The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time


“When winter came, I decided to read.”- Anisa Kazemi

According to Mark Haddon himself, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time (2003) is not based on Asperges nor any other specific disorder, “if anything it’s a novel about difference, about being an outsider, about seeing the world in a surprising and revealing way.”

Which is an accurate way of putting it for it’s definitely not the same as another. Firstly, the chapters aren’t like usual chapters. Instead, the story progresses through prime numbers: 2, 3, 5, 7, 11, 13, 17 etc. Next, Haddon challenges typical story conventions. His chapters are often too short, his sentences too lengthy and his prose/his protagonist, Christopher’s prose, too random. However; that is what I (and many others since he’s won loads of awards) consider so refreshing about it. Haddon’s mystery novel really does make you see in a new way.

Haddon achieves this by comparing most people’s thought processes to that of Christopher’s: which is paying immaculate attention to detail and living in the moment. While most people would be thinking “I’m worried that I might have left the gas cooker on,” and “I wonder if Julie has given birth yet,” in a cow field, Christopher would be inspecting/admiring the different shades of grass and the contrast of the surrounding flowers, sky, animals and architecture against them. In other words, Haddon/Christopher examine the every-day and the mundane so closely and so objectively that they become extraordinary again – since we tend to overlook/ignore them in this busy busy day and age.

I laughed, I cringed, I empathised with the Christopher and I continued to think about him after the book had ended – all the good things. I totes recommend it and so does good ole Ian:

“A superb achievement. He is a wise and bleakly funny writer with rare gifts of empathy” -Ian McEwan, author of Atonement.


If the world were a village of 100 people

I’m probably going to get in trouble for this. I’m breaching copy-right laws but I read this wee book on my self-given coffee break this morning (because I just can’t work as hard as my Japanese counterparts) and it affected me big time. The fact that it was written 14 years ago but still applies most specifically today, for me, holds significance. I hope you too, can enjoy it’s eye-opening message.


If a the world were a village of 100 people 
by Douglas Lummis 

My daughter’s junior high school teacher is
a wonderful woman who sends out an e-mail
every day to her students,
in the form of a class paper.
Among those messages there was one
that so moved me that I want to send it to you.
Sorry if it’s a bit long.

When you woke this morning,
did you look forward joyously to the day?
When you go to bed tonight,
do you think you will be filled
with satisfaction?
Do you think the place you are
is precious?

It is to you who cannot say
“Yes, of course”
that I send this message.
If you read this,
the things around you might start to
look a little different.

In the world today, 6 billion 300 million people live.
If this were shrunk to the size of a village,
what would it look like?
If 100 people lived in this village,

52 would be women,
48 would be men.

30 would be children,
70 would be adults,
among those,
7 would be aged.

90 would be heterosexual,
10 would be gay or lesbian.

70 would be non-white,
30 would be white.

61 would be Asians,
13 Africans,
13 from North and South America,
12 Europeans,
and the remaining one
from the South Pacific.

33 would be Christians,
19 believers in Islam,
13 would be Hindus, and
6 would follow Buddhist teaching.
5 would believe that
there are spirits in the trees and rocks
and in all of nature.
24 would believe in other religions,
or would believe in no religion.

17 would speak Chinese,
9 English,
8 Hindi and Urdu,
6 Spanish,
6 Russian, and
4 would speak Arabic.
That would account for half the village.
The other half would speak Bengal, Portuguse,
Indonesian, Japanese, German, French
or some other languages.

In such a village, with so many sorts of folks,
it would be very important to
learn to understand people different from yourself,
and to accept others as they are.

But consider this of the 100 people in this village, 

20 are undernourished,
1 is dying of starvation, while
15 are overweight.

Of the wealth of this village,
6 people own 59%
-all of them from the United States-
74 people own 39%, and
20 people share the remaining 2%.

Of the energy of this village,
20 people consume 80%, and
80 people share the remaining 20%.

75 people have some supply of food and a place to
shelter them from the wind and the rain, but
25 do not. 17 have no clean, safe water to drink.

If you have money in the bank,
money in your wallet and 
spare change somewhere 
around the house, 
you are among the richest 8. 

If you have  a car,
you are among the richest 7. 

Among the villagers
1 has a college education.
2 have computers.
14 cannot read.

If you can speak and act
according to your faith and your conscience
without harassment, imprisonment,
torture or death, 
then you are more fortunate than
48, who can not. 

If you do not live in fear of death
by bombardment, armed attack,
or of rape or kidnapping by
armed groups,
then you are more fortunate than
20, who do.

In one year,
1 person in the village will die,
but, in the same year,
2 babies will be born,
so that at the year’s end,
the number of villagers
will be 101.

If you can read this e-mail,
that means you are thrice-blessed.
First, because someone thought of you,
and sent you this message.
Second, because you are able to read.

Third, and most important,
because you are alive.

Someone once said:
what you send out
comes back again.

So sing
from the bottom of your heart,
with your body waving free,
and live,
putting your soul into it.
And when you love,
love as though you have never been wounded,
even if you have.

And love the fact that
you, and
others, live
here, in this

if enough of us learn to love our village
it may yet be possible to save it from the
violence that is
tearing it

mr. big under

The word homesick had barely left my mouth when Y sensei organised a girl’s night out. We went to Rajita Italian restaurant which sounds more Indian than Italian does it not? There were five of us. Again, I made the mistake of asking someone what they were going to order and being looked at as if I were a Martian. In Japan, one does not simply order for themselves. Instead, several dishes are ordered to share.

As soon as our two pastas (both spaghetti – as if we hadn’t had enough noodles that week) two pizzas and a side salad were collectively decided, the girl-talk started. Now, I wont even try to document the exact dialogue exchanged as I’m sure you don’t want to read pages and pages of broken English (even thinking about it gives me a headache). So, here are the highlights instead:

We discussed Mr O, the sexy math teacher who we are all secretly in love with but who unfortunately/fortunately for him has a beautiful wife and an adorable toddler. Next, we talked about Mr K aka “Humpty Dumpty” and his very circular appearance and later, Mr H and his pointy eyebrows and super red face. Lastly, we joked about the literal translations of the Kanji which made up their names. A sensei had the most “normal” family name translating to a tranquil title of “blue mountain”. Mr O’s however; appropriately translated to “big under” which as you can imagine, resulted in many an uncontrollable laughter!