Tuesday, 23 December 2008


Hello dear reader,

So, I am in Jordan visiting my parents. Why is it that the moment I set foot on this arid and peculiar land, I am instantly gripped by the impulse to drink a litre of vodka and throw myself at the nearest man in a dress that resembles little more than a handkerchief whilst dragging on a cigarette and raging incomprehensibly about feminism and democracy and freedom of speech...?

Anywhoo. My mother has been giving out my e-mail address to suitable young men of similar dual-heritage. This fills me with The Rage. In addition to this I am attempting to keep up my morning run whilst out here but the attention received from over-sexed young men is becoming a little unbearable. This also gives me The Rage. As does my decision to give up smoking proper. I can see the headlines now: Nicotine-Deprived Brit Slays Twelve. Horrific.

Occasionally, whilst driving round Amman, I am suddenly struck by the peculiarity of my situation. It is the sort of a sudden clarity you get when you are able to blink the tears out of your eyes or when you put your contacts in. It is the sort of clarity that is striking because of the abstract smudginess of the experience directly preceding it. I am never going to understand what it is like to wake up without a profound sense of confusion regarding one's own identity. Neither will I ever understand what it feels like not to feel obliged to constantly battle the subtlest forms of chauvinism and racism, forms of these things that are so subtle that they are only picked up by the over-sensitive mixed-race women of Muslim decent such as myself. I am a constant raging, rowing, point-proving ball of fear and confusion and dissatisfaction. I lurch from one row to another, from one confidant to the next, being constantly disappointed at the stupidity and ignorance of people I could otherwise potentially like. I get to know a person and they seem enlightened and interesting and interested and then they go and ruin it with some flippant comment regarding race or religion or gender, or worse, they ask me to speak some Arabic, "Oh go ooooooooon!", they might as well be shouting CLAP MONKEY, GO ON MONKEY, CLAP whilst I grasp my little symbols and stomp about with that vacant and tragic look on my face that only creatures subjected to this humiliating display of servitude can capture. Awful.

I take anti-anxiety medication to try and subdue all the rage and fear but alas- my doctor is unable to grasp that the problem isn't the hard-wiring of my mind but the fact that I exist in perpetual limbo when it comes to my identity, that I am forced to exist on the periphery of everything and that every row, every disagreement or run-in reminds me that fundamentally, dear reader, no one thinks quite like me. And this makes me sad and this makes me scared and lonely and angry. And so it occurs to me how truly wonderful and astute my mother is and just how well she actually knows me and how much I love her for trying to find me a man that thinks just like me.

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