forushande: my (bananenweizen-fueled) review

Taraneh Alidoosti as Rana Etesami

Not heavy. Intense. That’s how I want to describe Forushande (The Salesman). Only when the end credits started rolling did I allowemyself to breathe again. The film is naked and honest without being either raw or banal.Read More »

there will always be expats

When all else fails, there’ll always be expats. I admittedly spent my first six months in Rostock pointedly avoiding them unless I specifically needed something from them, opting to seek out connections with Germans instead. It was hard work but kind of paid off. Then I got complacent. Then the seeking out connections with Germans part stopped. And without expats, I had no one. Read More »

sorry for the inconvenience


The vitriol sometimes emitting from otherwise decent, educated folk – my friends – when their fun is interrupted by demonstrators is shocking. One friend railed against how Occupy was being inconsiderate and getting in the way: her friend was having a wedding at St Paul’s Cathedral, London and asked the occupiers to leave but they declined and even saw it as a media opportunity for their cause. A former classmate wrote a pissy post on Facebook about how Occupy Frankfurt was ruining his one-day trip to the city.

News flash: Social change isn’t meant to be comfortable or convenient. I mean, fuck.

time to grow up, methinks


Time to grow up, methinks. I wanna claim that 24 is still wet behind the ears – in many ways that is very true of me – but observing what people arondme have achieved and the milestones they have passsed by the time they were my age is rendering that claim more baseless by the second. Damn these amazing ppl who have set the bar incredibly high for me. Then again… thank god for them – that I have someone to look up to and learn from. In a sense, my baby-of-the -family syndrome continues beyond my interaction with my family. Is that problematic? Fuck yes. It’s coupled, I believe, with a mild Asian deferall to my elders and ‘betters’. I need to learn that maturity is displayed not in loud arrogance nor in emotional outbursts posing as passion; rather, it shows itself most eloquently in poise, well thought-out response, and an economy of both words and emotion. Maturity means listening, reflecting, then acting in a purposeful manner. Clearly I have someone in mind…

winds of change

Most of the time we bumble our way through life, trying to get through the day or week or month, with a more or less vague idea of what lies ahead. But sometimes something happens and a switch is flipped in our minds, telling us, ah, something big is happening. Sometimes we are self-aware and reflective enough to notice these moments of change – turning points, points of no return – as they happen rather than long after. Sometimes we can foresee potential turning points: for example, before going to Sweden for an exchange semester I knew in advance that it could be something really special. I’d even counted on it to be a make or break opportunity to change course.

This time around, however, I was caught off guard. It all started when my colleague probed the idea of accompanying her to Denmark in order to assist with a workshop she was organising. Um, need she ask?! It was technically for work but I’m inexperienced enough to consider work trips adventures. Especially because I would shoulder little responsibility. And because it was in a beautiful location in Denmark. So, an adventure? Yep. An adventure that became a personal milestone.

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