I have never lived with my husband before December 2014. Sure, we've travelled together, and I've visited many, many, many times but anybody can tell you that travelling and visiting are two completely different things from actually living in the same household.

We never co-habited partly because of geography, and partly because of religious beliefs, in particular, our parents' religious beliefs. In the course of our relationship (and we were together 4.5 years before we got married, so you can trust me on this), we have been told enough times that we should move in together before we get married. Apparently, you wouldn't truly know someone unless you've lived together.

Sure, I understand the excitement of moving in together, domestic bliss and all that jazz, but I don't think it'll make much of a difference. Say, for instance, you moved in with a man you're sure you want to spend the rest of your life with, are you really going to break up if he doesn't wash his plates after he eats? And likewise, is he going to dump you when he sees how you look in the morning? I highly doubt it.

Everybody can change, everybody can adjust and adapt. I call bullshit on people saying that you wouldn't really know your partner unless you've lived together. I've known John for slightly more than four years before I showed up in his bachelor pad with three suitcases full of clothes and shoes and makeup and he is exactly the same person as he was before I moved in.

He's had to change some things he does around the house, like where he leaves his clothes for laundry, for example, because that cupboard is now what I use as one of my wardrobe spaces. And likewise, I've had to change some things that I've gotten used to, like, sleeping diagonally on my queen-sized bed.

I've been grumbling to myself how our bed feels too small, and I miss sleeping alone until John fell ill and moved himself to the couch so I didn't fall sick. Let's just say it was a lonely four nighter.

You learn to be patient. I know that John has lived by himself his whole adult life, and I, with my family. We both make little, gradual changes to make our lives cohesive. Sometimes, he annoys me but then, he drives me to get froyo and all is right in the world again. And me? We can now henceforth refer to March 2015 The Great Tampon Incident where I flushed tampons down the toilet, and then clogged it the f**k up (in my defence, I've been flushing tampons down the loo my whole life.)

Embracing quirky living habits is something that you need to learn to deal with. John can't fathom how I don't mind being at home the whole day writing up a storm; when he's not in the office, he enjoys writing in cafes. On the other hand, I prefer to work on my stomach, on the bed, with my materials sprawled around me. I've freelanced successfully for many years this way, and it's not about to change.

I'm not saying that you should only live with your partner after you're married, you can really do whatever you want. All I'm saying it - I'm calling bullshit on all those people who've told us we should live together before getting married.

As John says, you do you.


I've been in LA for a few days now, and while my jet lag hasn't left me as quickly as usual (I blame it on ageing) we're headed to San Francisco tomorrow. Since I started my back-and-forth jaunts to LA, we've explored several cities in California including Palm Springs, Santa Barbara and San Diego. They've all been road trips, and this is the first time we're hopping on a plane and heading somewhere.

It's always exciting travelling to a new place, but I get particularly excited when I go to a place I relate my love for pop culture to. So many movies I watched growing up have been shot in San Francisco, including The Maltese Falcon, Alfred Hitchcock's Vertigo, Mrs Doubtfire, The Princess Diaries (pre-Hathaway baring her boobs to the world era).

Can't wait. Watch this space!

P.S.: I'm going to start uploading more videos on YouTube. Subscribe here!


Two of my cousins' kids, Aishah, and Nora.

While I welcome Ramadan with wide open arms, Eid is a different matter all together. Because my father is the eldest in the paternal side of the family, people tend to come to our home on the first day. Thankfully, over the years, due to multiple families in the paternal side of the family causing distress to mine, we have cut off all ties and I'm never acknowledging them as family. Such drama, I know.

But without them in my family, I'm happy to say, I'm more welcoming of Eid than I was before. There will always be awkward forced small talk, but there will no longer be forced small talk with people whose guts I detest and whose faces I want to punch in.

Instead, today was spent with people whose company I enjoy, kids who used up all my energy and without fail, stuffing my face with my mum's amazing food. Time for a run now.


Since I visited them over two years ago in Belgium, my cousin Mush has become a confidante, and unfortunately, anything more than superficial relations in my extended paternal family is extremely rare. She and her husband are such wonderful people - well-read, well-travelled, and everything else that makes me proud that we share blood.

Today, when we broke fast together, I watched my niece, their daughter, Nora, who's turning seven in a few months, conjure stories in Flemish with her little army stuffed animals and it was such a delight watching a child be a child and use her imagination instead of being glued to a gadget. She knew she wanted ravioli, polished off the whole plate and split a chocolate cake with her father. She also apparently, gave the restaurant her approval because the bathroom was spotless.

I don't understand a word of Flemish, but the way she carried herself, the way she spoke to her parents, and the conversations she'd have that would get translated for my benefit made me realise that Nora is growing up to be quite the little lady and it made me feel all warm and fuzzy looking at their family. It reassured my faith in the world, especially after the week I've had. Now, I twiddle my thumbs for the time we can communicate in English instead of through sign language and tickles.


For being the more laid-back of the two people who've raised me. For working day and night to make sure there's always good food on the table, there's always a roof over our head, and for making sure we never have to worry about money. For working so our mother doesn't have to. For teaching me how to appreciate food. For teaching me how to travel. For loving us, in your own incredibly simple way. For the knowledge that you'd be contented enough with good food in front of the telly.

For teaching me to fear nothing, but God. Happy Father's Day, Abah. I love you heaps.