“Are You A Raging Feminist?”

ragingfeminist

Things were going too well. I had a job in the bag AND I’d found someone awesome on OK Cupid.

I find I am very critical on dates. I used to talk a lot about it on Sherbet and Sparkles (the posts of which have disappeared in the jump to selfhosting ūüôĀ ) but being in online dating makes a person really superficial. You have a whole catalogue of people right there to scroll through, so you kinda become an arse. I have been an arse for a while, but I think, after the past 3 years of dating and all the lessons it’s taught me, I know exactly what I want – someone who is funny, has something to say for themselves, who has experience of world travel (or is, for want of a better term “world smart”) and is nice to look at. I put the visuals last because honestly, if a guy is funny and clever then looks don’t matter as much to me.

So this guy has been to 51 countries. 51! Including North Korea! Plus, it was so much fun chatting to him and I think we blew each other’s Whatsapps up every day. [Read more…]

New York – Thoughts

20140322_152151

I’ve left the Big Camera back at home and have been taking photos of New York on my phone – don’t worry though! The Samsung Note 2 has a very good camera.

I love the above photo. It just describes my feels towards New York so well. There’s SO MUCH to look at. First “oooh Madison Avenue!!” but then “omg those buildings!” I keep tripping up from looking up and not where I’m walking.

Here is a list of things I have thought and felt since coming to New York. In no particular order –

 

American people are really friendly and nice. Young American boys give up their seats – Japanese people do not.

Everywhere in New York either smells like donuts or vomit.

American people are beautiful because they don’t care what others think about the way they dress. They just go for it and that is awesome.

Sometimes it’s hard to tell whether a guy is from New York or Berlin. They are basically the same thing.

Bathroom walls tell us that employees must wash their hands before going back to work. Do they all need to be told??

 

Visiting other countries also helps you appreciate how things are wherever you live. There has only been one thing that has made me appreciate The German Way so far and it’s to do with getting around. In fact, pretty much everything to do with getting around.

Firstly, New York is great because all the roads are numbered, right? Sure that’s great but you know what would be better? If they said which direction goes UP the numbers and which way goes DOWN. In Germany, there are little numbers underneath road signs saying which numbered houses are in each direction so it’s super handy.

Also, in Britain and Germany in the subway there are always maps around, or at least lists of which stations can be accessed with trains from each platform. There is hardly any info on platforms in New York. I’m relying on my TripAdvisor app metro map, as well as my method of getting on any train and then changing to the E line (which is dead simple and has station lists in the carriages).

I may seem to be negative about New York but really, the above two problems are two things I can think of that are negative here. I simply love it. I love how friendly people are. I love how everyone in the comedy/improv world is so accepting and helpful and welcoming. I love how everyone is striving for something more. How everyone has a dream they are chasing and a passion that is keeping them going. The city is electric – not with people never sleeping from all the partying, but with people buzzing about taking improv classes, playing music, seeing shows, eating at the newest places. These are my people.

I have 4 more days here. I’ve been doing ALL THE THINGS so much that I want to take the last few days pretty lazily. I’m going to lots of comedy, performing at an open mic on Wednesday, meeting up with an old friend of mine and hopefully, if the weather gets better, walking over the Brooklyn Bridge.

If you have any last “YOU MUST DO THIS” advice then I’m still all ears!

 

Staring

IMGP4439

The other day I was on the bus going to work from my boyfriend’s place. Halfway through our journey, a woman stood at the door in front of us, ready to leave the bus. It was then that she noticed us – me with my ghostly white skin and him with his dark Indian skin. Her eyes went from my face to his face, to our hands that were interlocked on my lap, then back up to our faces.

After having lived in Japan, I know that a good way to deal with people staring at you is to look right back at them. Most of the time they will snap back to reality, be very embarrassed and then look away.

This woman did not do this. She just stared right back into my eyes as I glared right back into hers.

Like I said, there was a lot of staring in Japan. That was because I lived in the middle of nowhere, where people had genuinely not ever seen a non-Asian person before. Though it was by no means their own fault, they were some of the most culturally ignorant people I have met – I was asked if I had blind spots because of my “tall nose”, I was TOLD that brooms do not exist in Britain because we have carpets everywhere, and if I had 100 yen for every time I was asked if we have rice in Britain, I’d be able to buy a nice meal out somewhere by now.

So when I caught an old person (as it often was) staring at me, I just looked back, or just smiled at them. They don’t know any better, since I was one of a small handful of foreign people in our city.

But Germany, and especially Frankfurt is not backwater Japan.

One of the things my mum said when she came to Frankfurt was how lovely it was that there were so many different people and different cultures blending together. If (like myself) you don’t want to go with the cheap supermarket Rewe, you can go to any of the cultural shops – from Turkish, to Indian, and even a British shop to get all your British things. What I’m trying to say is that you don’t have to go very far before you see someone who is not a white German person. And it’s not beyond belief that in a city with lots of people with lots of different skin tones, there are some people who will fall for someone who is not the same colour.

Staring really does bother me, though. I get stared at quite a bit in Frankfurt. Men will stare at my boobs as I go by. Women will stare at my (perfectly normal) fashion choices as they walk past me. I’ve not really had this kind of staring in the UK before (British women are very adventurous with their fashion so I hardly stand out) but I do wonder what it would be like to be an interracial couple there.

And let me just also say that if I said I never stare, this would also be a lie. People stare because they see something unusual, something their brain needs to analyse a little more. Personally, I find myself doing a double take when I see parents who have obviously adopted a child of a different race to them. I do this because I am genuinely interested in this kind of thing – I love listening to stories from ethnically Korean friends who have been adopted by Western families.

But there is a difference between double taking because it’s something you don’t expect and full on staring because you can’t comprehend something as simple as a homosexual couple, or someone who looks different to you.

Are there times when you are stared at where you are? I’d love to hear other people’s stories!

Thoughts on Vegetarianism

SAM_5545

On the first date with the boyfriend, we went for sushi, and he sat down and told me that he’s vegetarian. I’ve never dated a vegetarian before so I freaked out wondering what the¬†etiquette is and ended up ordering the same veggie sushi set as him, even though I love fish based sushi so very much.

As we got to know each other more, and when it was obvious that we would end up together, I made the decision to be vegetarian when I am around him – if I was the veggie one, I would think it gross to kiss someone who had just eaten a load of meat, and also I don’t want to make him feel uncomfortable so it just made sense to me. What’s more, at home I rarely buy meat and the only time I eat it normally is when I’m out for a burger or some German food.

Since making this decision, I’ve seen food in a new light. Checking food labels all the time is kinda a hassle and finding that things I thought were clean actually having animal products in them makes me sad – things like¬†Worcestershire¬†Sauce and kimchi. I’d say that overall, Frankfurt is pretty good with vegetarians but still sometimes there are places with only one or two options. That kinda sucks too, especially when I’m restricted by my gluten allergy as well.

But when we cook together, it’s amazing. I’ve learnt that there are two types of vegetarian food – one type that pretends to be meat with all the fake mince and fake bacon and whatnot, and the other type that is just meatless by nature. He’s been teaching me lots about cooking the second type of food, though when I cook for myself I still like a good slab of pineapple curry flavoured tofu to replace the chicken I would have had otherwise.

I enjoy this new way of eating and I don’t feel like it’s a negative choice, or that he is forcing me to do this. However, I have been surprised by some people’s reactions to this small change. People turn their noses up at food I’ve chosen because it has no meat in it, even when it’s still veyr yummy. In this day and age where I can go to a bakery in Germany and get gluten free bread and where there are whole supermarkets dedicated to people who have special diets (Denn’s… you are heaven!), it should go without saying that you can live as vegetarian and still really enjoy food. But it seems that even now people sometimes treat vegetarians like they are just being that way to be difficult. It’s pretty shocking, really.

The only worry I have is that some day, I’d like to take the boyfriend to Japan and show him my “hometown” and all the places I used to go – Japan uses fish stock in pretty much EVERYTHING. So it will be a challenge like no other. But we’ll see. Maybe it’ll still be do-able…

%d bloggers like this: