Thursday, February 28, 2008

Rolling up the Rim

So it's that time of the year again with Tim Horton's Roll up the Rim to win cup craze. You all know what I'm talking about, unless you're from the deep south, in which case I feel sorry for you (for several reasons).

But anyways, I have a problem. Possibly psychological. I can't wait to finish my drink before rolling up the rim. I have to do it way before I finish my drink, maybe even before I start. You see, I can't very well enjoy my cup of (insert drink name here) unless I know whether I've won or lost. Losing after drinking it leaves me with an empty feeling, but knowing that I've lost beforehand gives me an opportunity to recover from my grief whilst drinking.

I have bought 3 liquid beverages so far this season, and have yet to win anything. I will report on any future successes. I don't even want the car or TV or big prizes. I just want a free tea :D

okay bye.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Confessions of a Hijabi trying to beat her Quadrapop score.

I am on the subway, head lowered staring intently at my cell phone screen (I am attempting to beat my already ridiculously high score on Quadrapop - akin to tetris). My mind is completely engrossed in perplexing thoughts of which piece to place where when I briefly lose focus and suffer those heart breaking words: Game Over. Sigh, well there's always tomorrow on the bus.

I glance up to survey my surroundings, and find about 4 to 5 people looking at me, some are confused, some belligerent (these are more rare), and some staring blankly as though to signal I am simply the most interesting entity on the subway car. I am suddenly annoyed, even angry that they should stare so freely and without shame at me while I'm just trying to get from one place to another in the city, just like them.

My reactions vary. Sometimes I stare back long enough for them to abashedly look away and pretend not to have been discomfited with my gaze. Sometimes I smile at them, making them either smile back (this is rare), or just tug their lips in awkward angles, their facial expression denoting confusion.

And some days I'm just tired, and I end up looking away first, dejected at not being able to make their stomachs churn or eyelids nervously flutter. Yes, I will admit to the joy of making people step back for a moment and realize that I'm a human being with a small sense of humour, too. Sometimes I tell men I won't shake their hands just to see the look of mild bewilderment on their faces (another secret pleasure).

And you can't blame me. People have their ignorant fun with me (like random strangers asking, "do you speak English?" as a prelude to "do you have the time?") Because heaven forbid I give them the incorrect time due to the fact that I am English impaired.

Another one of my favourites is in the summer when people ask "aren't you hot in that?" I promptly reply "yes, but I'm from the desert. All I know how to be is hot." I was asked that by my employer once in September and this reply made her step back a moment and laugh. Needless to say, she never asked again (success!)

Now some will say this may not be the greatest way to reach out to non-Muslims and come to common understandings and such. But try looking different for your entire life, and constantly being reminded that you are not like us. It's stressful knowing that no matter what you achieve, or how much education you have, some people will always view you through a lens of pity as a common religiously deluded girl. That makes me sad.

This is all I've known: being pushed into the world looking and feeling unlike coworkers, classmates, and the general public. And I won't lie, sometimes I wonder what it would be like to just blend in for one day, to breathe a sigh of relief that your guard can actually be let down for a moment.

But it has never come to that because without hijab, I am the same as everyone else. I'd be drowning in a sea of sameness. And that, more than being misunderstood or scoffed at, I cannot bear.

Plus, it's too damn fun to mess with people. (If any others would like to share their reactions and/or responses to questions they get about hijab, go for it!)

Tuesday, February 12, 2008


I'm not usually a fan of February 14. I find it a little stale that there are only certain days in the year that people are expected celebrate love. And the way we celebrate, controlled by an overarching consumerism of course, is slightly restrictive and unoriginal. Blah blah.

But I won't lie. My mouth is definitely an ardent fan of the holiday, especially the 15th when all the Valentine's day candy goes on sale.

And apparently, Saudi Arabia also has strong opinions on Valentine's, albeit with a slightly different twist than mine.

It's all a little exciting. I've never had to buy flowers on the black market before. Maybe I'd try to buy some just for the thrill of it.

But think of the poor suffering Saudi's! No spicy cinnamon hearts, no sweet tarts, no (halal) marshmallows and gooey chocolates in the shape of hearts!

My heart goes out to them (not on the 14th though, that seems to be illegal).

In other news, when Feb 15 comes to pass, I shall have to report on all the junk that I've bought. Good day.