- We fast for a period of 30 days. We do not starve for 30 days solid, as we only don’t eat from dusk to dawn.
- It is not inhumane and we will not die and it’s not dangerous. Please don’t feel sorry for us, or feel like you have to hide your cup of tea and biscuits from us. We are adults and can fight the temptation of stealing your custard cream.
- We know it’s roasting and can feel the heat and see the sun, and yes its not easy not being able to drink, but we are soldiers and will survive and again we will not die of thirst.
- A happy faster, who wants to let people know that fasting won’t kill or break her…
I counted down the days to my trip to South America. Each day, I ticked of another day and frantically checked the weather praying that it would be sunny and the rain would stop.
My journey to the Heathrow airport was dashed and hurried and I put it down to bad planning and poor time keeping. As I waited to board, I was told that I had randomly been picked for a security check. Lucky me. What had I done this to deserve this honour? I looked at the other two candidates a Jewish businessperson and a hippy with crazy hair and flip-flops. At least it looked like a fair selection and I was the only female Muslim on the plane, so I guess I had to be searched again. The security woman kindly asked me if I minded. If I said no, would she stop and not carry on with the search? No, she would not. So why ask me if I mind.
I ran into the American Airlines plane with little time to spare. As I made my way to my seat, I noticed how empty the plane was. Great I thought, as I was tired and looking to lie down. The air steward came round informing the passengers that the seats at the front were empty and that we could sit there. Given the choice of two or five seats to myself, I chose five and happily moved. Once I had comfortably sat down, I tried to inform the air flight attendant that I had moved seats so that she could serve me my Muslim meal, which I had ordered. I tried two to three times to inform the staff who dismissed me each time and told me they would deal with it later.
I sat down, stared at the pre-historic tiny screen in front of me, and desperately tried to find something to watch. I learnt that some movies I could not watch as the time has lapsed so I had to wait for the next showing. I also could not pause or forward the movie. This certainly was not what I expected from a leading airline, American Airlines and to one of the busiest airports in the world JFK.
During the flight, the airhostess handed out landing cards for the US. I did not have a pen so I could not fill in the form. I asked the airhostess if she had a pen, she replied back annoyed ‘no’. So I asked her, how I could fill it in with no pen, she told me to ask one of the passengers and again informed me she did not have a pen. I cheekily replied ‘great to see service with a smile hasn’t died’. She asked me what I said and I told her. She barked again, she did not have a pen and I said its fine. Later during the flight, she came back with a pen and I thanked her for it.
My first Muslim meal consisted of rice, chicken, and fruit for dessert. It was edible I guess, but certainly was not a gourmet meal. When asked if I would like a drink, I asked if they had fruit juice, I was told by the steward that fruit juice sounded like a great idea but they only had apple or orange juice. Surely, apple and orange juice was the same thing as a fruit juice. Maybe it was a language barrier and in the US it is referred to as something else. My second Muslim meal consisted of guess what ‘Chicken and rice’ again. Surely, Muslim people eat more than chicken and rice. I wasn’t too keen on the first meal and the thought of having to eat the same meal again made me feel sick. I kindly asked the flight attendant if they had an alternative meal or if I could have the veggie option. She told me, ‘no, we don’t have any spare and you will have to eat your own meal’. I told her that surely they should have one or two spares and that I didn’t want to eat the same food twice and I had connecting flight of 10 hours and didn’t fancy rice and chicken four times in one day. She told me ‘you can buy your own food on the plane and this is what we serve’. I told her I paid for a flight, which included food, handed her the food back, and carried on watching my movie. I didn’t hear from the flight attendant again.
Latter when I went to the toilet, one of the air flight attendant stood in my way for a little longer than needed. I heard her tell another steward that ‘I stood in her way as she is rude and I didn’t want to let her pass’ I asked the stewardess if she was talking about me. The other steward replied ‘no, of course not, she is talking about another passenger’. I ignored both and went back to my seat.
I landed at JFK with a three-hour wait for my connecting flight. I thought all was fine and had no idea the drama I would experience three hours later when I tried to board my flight.
I arrived at the gates and boarded the flight. Once on the flight I was informed that I had to go and speak to the manager and leave the aircraft. I was baffled and couldn’t understand why and the flight was due to take of shortly. What was going on?
Once I arrived at the managers desk she asked me what happened on my previous flight. She informed me that the cabin crew had complained about me. I only encountered two members of the cabin crew, so surely this couldn’t be all the cabin crew. The manager asked me if I was violent or abusive towards the staff or I had thrown my food at the flight attendant. I told her I was an adult and not a child. Had I known my cheeky comment would have been taken as an abusive comment or that saying I didn’t like the food option wasn’t allowed I would have kept my mouth shut. I was told that I could not board the plane and I would have to catch the next flight to Rio. I was livid and couldn’t believe what I was hearing. I had spent seven and a half hours on a flight and just waited over three hours at the airport to be told that I couldn’t board. I told the woman I wanted my suitcase and she said it was waiting for me downstairs. Why make me wait three hours for a connecting flight knowing that I will be denied boarding? This was both unfair and ridiculous.
I was forced to catch the next flight to Rio, which was at 7:10pm the next day. This meant I lost a whole day in Rio and my hotel in Rio. I was told that I wouldn’t be entitled to any compensation for the loss incurred to me. Surely, if I were threat as the captain pointed out, then wouldn’t I be a threat on any flight I took. What could I do on a flight? I wasn’t a bloody terrorist for god’s sake….
In conclusion, I wouldn’t travel on America Airlines again even if it was free. I would avoid the airline if you are prone to speaking or making an opinion. It appears that freedom of speech when complaining isn’t allowed in a nation that prides itself on allowing people to speak freely. Take me back on a one way ticket to the UK, where you are allowed to speak freely and an incident like this would never take place. American Airlines, you will never be my number one choice for an airline and thank you for making my journey a nightmare and wasting my time and money.
I sat down slowly in the fancy restaurant and soaked in the lavish surroundings. The whole place screamed glamour and plush. I couldn’t believe where I was. I observed as the waiters, chefs and restaurant owner knew my dates name and shook his hand. I felt like I was on a date with a celebrity, where everyone knew who he was except for me.
I should have been the happiest woman alive on a date with a supposedly millionaire and hotshot. But, why wasn’t I excited and taking it all in. I sat back and looked again at my surroundings and my date. He wasn’t bad looking, not my usual type but he seemed keen to take me out and dressed well.
I noticed he was constantly distracted and barely took note of what I said. Whatever I said was greeted with a negative and I don’t care attitude. His eyes constantly darted around the room and were never on me for more than 10 seconds. He seemed on edge and that made me feel nervous.
The conversation didn’t flow as freely as I would have liked it. I tried to lighten the situation a few times, but he just didn’t get my humour. Did rich men not have a sense of humour?
Shortly into the date the mood changed when I foolishly made the mistake of telling him I had been to the swanky place before. That’s when his attention rose and the questions came quick fire. Who took me there? Why did I go with another man? I had only met my date twice and he had transformed from a calm man to an impatient and jealous maniac. He asked how much money the man who had taken me out before earns. I didn’t know how to respond and felt on edge. No matter what answer I gave, I was greeted with a response. His mood changed more and more and he grew more impatient and swear words flew out of his mouth with ease. Surely this wasn’t how a second date should be? Surely, he should be trying to impress me with his charm and charisma? Should I be blown away by his 100k Hublot watch and his desire to buy an apartment in Knightsbridge? Did that excuse his behaviour and foul language? I stopped for a second and forwarded the situation to a further six months and it dawned on me that this was a man who wanted a mute woman who looked pretty on his arm and told him how great he was. There was no way on earth I could be that kind of woman not even for a millionaire.
His words got harsher and I took the step to leave and tell him I was going. That’s when he really started laying the insults and swearing at me. I didn’t retaliate back and just held my head up high and walked out of the place as fast as I could. My heart was pounding and I walked as quickly as I could along the busy street trying to get as far as possible from the restaurant. I couldn’t believe what had just happened. I looked back at the situation trying to figure out what I did wrong and how this man thought it was justified to swear and speak harshly to me. I thought back to other situations where men had spoken in an abrupt and rude manner towards me. Was I at fault? Was I doing something wrong? I could have stayed in his company and allowed him to speak rudely to me in the hope that he was having a bad day. I was lucky I figure out what he was like on the second date. Some women don’t know what a man is truly like before it’s too late and they have fallen for him.
Everyday a woman will be either physically or mentally abused by a man who tries to belittle her or make her feel worthless. It’s up to us as women to hold our heads up high and believe in our own self-worth. No one has the right to undermine anyone ever, but we can control how someone makes us feel and walk away from a situation before it gets out of hand.
“When I shop, the world gets better, and the world is better, but then it’s not, and I need to do it again.
(Confessions of a Shopaholic-the movie)”
― Sophie Kinsella
I like to think I am a fashionable woman and well-dressed majority of the time. I would describe my style as quirky mixed with a girly charm. I am not girly in manner, but I love shoes, handbags, make-up, jewellery, lots, and many clothes. What girl doesn’t love to look good or a shopping spree?
My friends refer to me as a shopaholic and having far too many clothes. However, a girl can never have too many things and there are days where I cannot find anything to wear.
My love of Korean fashion developed on a trip to Camden Market in London and Notting hill. I discovered a stall, which sold incredible girly dresses and quirky jackets and knitted cardigans. I was hooked on the clothes and every weekend I stayed in London, I made a quick stop to the different stalls. My favourite purchases are a blue three quarter sleeved long cardigan with army style buttons. It looks fab with a pair of jeans or teamed with a skirt and dress. I also bought an adorable yellow floral print dress, which reminds me of summer and lifts my mood whenever I wear it.
This year I decided to make a trip to one of the fashion capitals of the world Tokyo. The bright lights, Harujoko, and Lolita girl’s fashion had always fascinated me. I decided to make my journey more exciting and added in two-day stop to Seoul, the capital of Korea for some retail therapy.
I fell in love with Seoul as soon as i entered the airport. The airport was huge and it offered free Wi-Fi, free charging booths, free laptops to surf the net. I hopped onto a metro and headed to Itaewan the ex pat and tourist neighbourhood. I discovered countless boutiques selling all Korean made clothes, jewellery, and bargain prizes. I bought an incredible Channel inspired leather bag with a chunky chain and cute ballerina pumps.
What I noticed the most is that the Koreans have a natural effortless style. Both the men and women took pride in their appearance and they loved shopping almost as much as I did. For my second night, I stayed in Myeondong and walked around the market, which came to life at night with hundreds of stalls all selling Korean made products. I discovered that the Koreans love shopping so much that the shops and department stores in namdaemun are open until 4:30am. Yes, I did shop until the early hours of the morning and purchased a black wool coat with orange and red collars and a real fur collar. I could not get enough of the 1,000’s of stalls selling everything I could possible want and need. I only wished I had a bigger suitcase and more money. After my shopping spree, I headed to one of the many 24-hour coffee shops and ordered a chocolate soufflé and hazelnut latte. Shopping makes a girl hungry.
Armed with my suitcase full of Korean goodies I boarded my plane and bid farewell to the city of fashion that is true to its own people and style.
London is a commuter’s nightmare and getting from A to B, can sometimes take longer than travelling to another city.
You can catch the tube and be forced to get up close and personal with your fellow commuters. Eye contact is avoided on the tube as is making polite chitchat. So where do you look? At the countless Viagra, phone and insurance ads? Alternatively, do you look at the celling or at the floor? Most choose to look down. As you look down you notice people’s shoes. You see designer, sports, simple, crazy and Primark’s finest shoes on display. Some you will admire and think damn I want those shoes, whereas others you will think, did you leave the house without looking at the mirror this morning. Have you never heard of shoe polish? So, if you’re travelling by tube ensure your shoes are on trend and clean. There is…
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We all want to be beautiful and desired. When we walk down the street, we secretly want people to admire the way we look. How often do you look in the mirror, smile at your reflection, and think yes, ‘I am hot stuff’?
Enter any supermarket, department store and chemist and you will see thousands of products all designed to enhance our appearance. We can make our teeth whiter, our eyes sparkle, our lips plumper and our face slimmer. We are spoilt for choice with expensive and cheap products all offering to make us look and feel like a million dollars. Beauty today can be bought to the highest bidder and comes with a hefty price tag and money back guarantee. For a few hundred pounds, you could have hair like Cheryl Cole and lips like Angelina Jolie.
The quest for perfection has never been greater. Every day we are surrounded by images of perfect women with amazing big bouncy hair, long luscious lashes, never ending legs and flawless skin. The pressure to look great all the time is high and we are tricked into thinking that a few magic creams will turn us into a supermodel.
How much do you spend on beauty products a month? Statistics show that the average woman will spend ￡18,000 on her face in a lifetime. For that amount of money you could buy a car, travel around the world first class, buy a new wardrobe or put a deposit on a house. Most women on average buy 38 products a year for their face. How many beauty products have you bought in the last month?
According to a survey by Marks and Spencer’s the average woman takes 21 minutes to get ready. Just how vain are we? Would you ever leave the house without make up on? Would you let someone see your face naked? Most women wear some form of make up every single day and won’t leave the house without mascara on. Max Factor claims to sell three of its best-selling False Lash Effect Mascara every minute across Britain and two Lancôme mascaras are sold every second worldwide. Women will resort to tinting their lashes, using several mascaras, applying fake lashes and individual lashes in the quest for long luscious lashes.
We all look better with a bit of slap on. However, does the desire to look good make us vain? Alternatively, are we afraid that if we go bare faced, we will frighten people or they will know what we really look like? Do we see make up as a comfort blanket and a mask which allows us to appear more confident and be whoever we want to be. One day we can look vampy, the next day we can look fresh or girly. Make up allows us to create a new look for ourselves and be someone else for a day.
What makes us vain and how do we define vanity? Are we vain if we constantly check ourselves out in the mirror and won’t go out au natural? What’s wrong with wanting to look good for ourselves and creating a new look. Surely, we are allowed to look and feel confident and there’s nothing wrong with wanting to be beautiful.
But, do we have to spend a lot of money to look perfect? Or is it just a mind-set fuelled by the media’s obsession with airbrushed size zero models. Surely, we should be happy with what god gave us and realise that we are all beautiful in our own unique way. Who says we have to have legs like Naomi, hair like Beyoncé and a face like Gisele to look amazing. The question we need to ask ourselves is, how important is looking good to us? Is looking good, worth sacrificing hundreds of pounds or time?