Now don’t ask me what brought me to do this, but I decided to share one of my online dating profiles with reddit. Then I decided to talk about it on the podcast and now I’m writing about it.
Now let me say, that some of the people were harsh as fuck. Held nothing back and others were a bit more supportive. The vast majority said nothing at all (if all 400+ views are unique), but that’s cool. Most people online are just lurkers.
don’t ask me what brought me to do this
Something I say far too often
While all the comments were, in the end of the day, fine. One thing that stood out to me was being called Fobby or told that I look like a Fob. Which, if anyone grew up with me, would find hilarious. Especially how patriotic I was as a child to my beloved England and British heritage.
However, I don’t mind being called a FOB. What concerned me was the negative connotations with the term. No one says it with a positive attitude. It’s a put down. It’s an intra-ethnic division. It’s not just that there’s a difference in culture, but that one is more superior. Now, if you say: No, Hanik that’s not what I mean when I refer to someone as FOB, rather I mean it’s someone who is from the motherland. Then why not say that? FOB isn’t a reclaimed term and you may say that you are trying to reclaim it. However, unless you are Fresh Off the Boat; it’s not your responsibility or right to claim. Heck it’s not even my right to claim, after being called one.
How do you respond to being called a FOB? I would, in real life, tell the other person to stop being a wanker. I might also just shrug it off and not let the person get to me, honestly, I’m too sure how I would react. Just being weirded out by the term.
Otherwise, look for some changes coming to the blog. As you may be aware, I’m on a podcast and I’ve decided to make a page for the blog; beyond social media. It will just explain the basis of Chai Noon and a quick bio of Kiran and maybe a photo if he adds one.
This week has been über busy, but let’s be honest, it’s always busy. Been going out every night, but the highlight this week was seeing Aditi Mittal.
Now, if you don’t know who she is, then all you need to know is that she is hilarious! Quite useful, given that she is a comedians. Forget laugh out loud, she is tears rolling down your face laughter.
I went with Carl, who I hadn’t seen for a few months, we didn’t even know what to expect from the show, but I do prefer watching comedy completely blind.
Forget laugh out loud, she is tears rolling down your face laughter
Haven’t had such a good laugh in ages!
I had grabbed
front row seats, because why the hell not. If you go to a show, and the
comedian decides to pick on someone, it’s more memorable if it’s you (or your
Turns out that
Aditi gets nervous before the show, so she came out and sat down and had a
quick chat with us, which was lovely. That’s part of the reason I love being in
the front row, especially at Soho Theatre, I’ve always had (or what feels like)
a personal experience with the comedian. Apart from Hasan Minhaj. Bastard.
Back to Aditi,
her show is all about the classical African/Asian problem. Seeking
validation from the boss of the house. In her case, it’s her Mother. Aditi took
us on a whirl wind tour of her life in Mumbai as a comedian and modern feminism
in India. We go through the caricature of her father and why it’s all about her
mother, who is also caricatured, can garner gravitas no matter what is going
on. While some jokes may have missed the non-Indian audience, Carl was still
laughing allowed throughout the show, so no problems there.
got a night of laughter, catching up with an old friend and story that reminds
us all the love within family. So go watch her Netflix special (that’s what she
Speaking of family, I returned home for the first time in years. I went back to Tottenham and visited the new Stadium. They call it The Tottenham Hotspur stadium, but I’ll only refer to it as the Lane. While it’s not the same as White Hart Lane, it’s an amazing stadium.
Dan Levy honestly deserves a statue in front of the stadium. It’s not just world class, its class setting. I’ve been to a fair number of stadiums over the years and most of them have been shit. Our home is other worldly. It has cheap alcohol, really cheap alcohol, decent food, you’re close to the pitch, it’s beautiful to look at, the sound resonates in the stadium and most importantly it’s in Tottenham. The walk down from Seven Sister is not that different from when I last came in 2017. It’s still pretty crap. It’s Tottenham after all. However, as you walk, you see the golden cockerel glistening in the light. On a brand-new stadium which rises out of the ground. A spaceship, given how modern it is compared to everything in the surrounding area.
I’m not going to go into the details of Son taking apart Palace and seeing the first new player in ages (cheers Daniel) when Ndombele walked onto the pitch. What I realised is that I miss going to live events. I know that I’m writing here, on a very non-live format. However, seeing the football reminded me that sport is best viewed there. Not necessarily for the view, though mine was gorgeous, but for everything else that happens. Most importantly is the singing, in football at least.
I miss going to live events
The main takeaway from this week
Singing at a pub or at home is not the same. The roar of the crowd, where the sea of emotions ebbs and flows, is best felt and sent across to the team in the stadium. You can be nervous at home, abroad or surrounded in a Spurs only environment. It’s just not the same. If you are not a sport fan, think about watch a concert on YouTube vs being at one. It’s not even worth comparing. Being there there, if you catch my drift.
I also miss how easy it is to escape at these events. No phone out and about needed. Just focus.
Also just wanted to point out
that I’m on a podcast called Chai Noon where myself and Kiran talk about our experiences
of life and being brown.
My trip to Switzerland, was all about catching up my friend Allen before he heads back to Shanghai.
The theme of the last couple of blogs have been friendship and this is the finale of the three (that’s the plan). How to say goodbye to someone you care about, whether to let go and how to stay in touch. Well that’s the plan. I’ll do this while going through my tour of the Swiss-German side of the country.
Having someone to say goodbye to
Before saying goodbye, is it worth it?
Now, I booked this flight out of the UK as soon as I had enough cash to come and see Allen. You see, Allen is my older brother and dear friend. I know this through the times we spent growing up in New Hall, where Allen introduced me to my first real sip of alcohol. Red Star Vodka in a mug. Warm. I had two sips, with my two friends in the year above. Allen and Samko. It was not the first time I had alcohol, that was when I was around 5 and given the wrong drink. This was the first when I decided to have a drink. It was not the last of our drinks together, or just ourselves, but we had a good time. That’s the first mark of a good friend, someone you enjoy being with; hence when Allen told me that he may have to leave, well then I had to go and see him.
AT (my nickname for Allen), got a massive hug as soon as I saw him, because that’s what I said that I would do, but the reason why I he was getting that hug was more than not seeing him in a while. Allen is one of those people I regard as my emergency contacts. I’ll call him at 4am and ask for help and I’m pretty sure if he picks up, he will help. Not try to, but actually help. This is something that truly matters. I’m sure that anyone on my contact list would try to help, but AT is one (of a few) I’m sure will do everything possible to help me and then follow up to make sure that I’m okay. Does AT feel the same way? I’m pretty sure that we can rely on each other. That’s why he and my very good friends get a massive hug. It’s that bond that you have, knowing that even if things get messy, there’s someone who is willing to help you out. Got someone similar? You got to hold on to them.
How to run off a cliff
I don’t why, but I have this fear of heights. Yet, I tend to climb any thing high and then stare down questioning what I just did. My aim is to get comfortable with throwing myself off a plane and go skydiving! Easy to say, but I’ve been slowly working on it. Walking around the top of CN tower in Toronto five years ago, to climbing some tall towers across Switzerland and going up some tall towers in Dubai. So, logically running off a cliff is next.
Paragliding was amazing. Let me tell you that. The sheer bliss from lack of noise when you’re up and above it all, is something else. It’s instantly addicting. It’s a reminder on how precious our planet is. Plus I got to see Yash Chopra’s Lake from the sky. Ultimately, that’s why I wanted to paraglide in Interlaken. I wanted to see some DDLJ ( Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge) and other Yash Chopra locations: sue me!
Preserving Future Generations
We continued our running around by heading to Oeschinen Lake and going for a swim. Now, the only way to describe how cold this lake was, is simply to say that my balls shot inside my body as soon as my toes touched the water. It was soo so cold. Instant regret to swim, but I don’t think I would have done it any other way. After the swim we went further ahead with a hike and got some spectacular views of the lake and mountains.
Further into the mountains
We then moved onto Lauterbrunnen to go stand behind the waterfall, but this meant going back on ourselves for part of the way. The reason, why not and we had a Swiss Passes, so why not use them to the full. We got to the falls, before sunset but it meant we missed our train and had to wait for the last train out of the area and get home after midnight. Spent some time chatting about the day over a beer, how we all suddenly became experts in paragliding and going through pictures. When we returned to Olten we grabbed a pizza, which honestly for such a dump, was great food. Far better than any takeaway places in the UK.
Do dragons have shoulders?
A farewell requires a bit of strength
Some moments of unplanned synchronisation are beautiful. AT and I planned to leave for Luzern at 9am, but as soon as our alarms went off, we both just thought nah and went back to bed. No words spoken, just a quick glance and we knew that we could sleep a bit more. However this decision meant that we had a day of rushing around ahead!
Dropped my bag at the hostel early and got some cheap tickets up and down Pilatus. Now, we were not in the best mood to climb a 2,128m mountain, so we took a boat ride around the lake. Grabbed a desperately needed tan, got into a queue, to get a slot for another queue. That queue was for the steepest cog wheel train. A casual 48°. Went up into the azure sky. Only to get a bit peckish. It was such a hard day so far. Went to the hotel grabbed a window seat and chatted with the clouds coming at us.
We moved onto climbing a higher point and grab some photos. Mate, I cannot express how bad some people are at taking photos. Ended up taking some selfies for a decent shot!
We took the cable down one station, mainly we short of time and also our shoes weren’t built for climbing up or down mountains. We went down one level and then started walking down.
You see that’s all you really need with a good friend. A bit of time to hang and chill. No need to say anything fancy, but just to be able to be yourself. Thus this day of just being with AT was probably the best way to spend our last few hours together. Not doing anything dramatic or rushed, that was the day before, but just having time to chill and chat about life. What we chatted throughout the day? That’s just between us, but I can assure you that it was nothing important.
We ended doing what all good friends do. Grabbing a drink of choice and sitting on the side of the road; just talking about the musings of life.
In the end, the trip with AT ended in the same way that it started: with a hug.
There’s not much else you can do in these moments. We didn’t try and make it perfect, or do a hell of lot planning. We had an idea what we wanted to do together and just did stuff with that in mind. It’s like everything in life. Be honest, have a goal and just do. Don’t hope. Don’t fret if you make a mistake. Just enjoy the moments. Remember any lows, make the highs higher. I’m might be upset to say goodbye to AT, but at least I have someone to be upset about. It’s all about dealing with the expectations.
And before this gets too soppy, I’ve already messaged AT several and he’s helped out when he didn’t even need to get involved. Why? It’s what friends do.
A final day in Switzerland
Zurich, roaming around and running to work at 4:30am
So, I left Luzern in the morning and headed to Zurich. Went to the Rhine Falls, which were okayish. I mean, they’re no Vic Falls, but still quite interesting. If you don’t have a Swiss Pass it’s not really worth it, but I am comparing it to the best waterfall in the world.
I came back, got onto a boat for a tour of the Lake and get an all important sun tan! Now I got bored on a 90 minute boat ride and decided to play my brown card. Essentially I saw an Indian couple with a spare seat. So I sat down, in broken Hindi started a discussion (we switched to a mix of mainly English, Gujarati and Hindi) and then had a lovely chat about life, religion and I helped them plan for the rest of time in Switzerland. You know, just a casual conversation. That’s what we all have to remember. Life is too short to worry about what others think. We can all learn from each other, best way is to be open.
I then found a vegetarian restaurant where I had wonderful avocado toast, because if I was going to be ripped off; it should be in style! After explaining to the barman my plans for the rest of the day, what I had done and if he had any advice; he said what I had already done today, was enough for a weekend. Clearly, I am a man on a mission when left to my own devices.
I decided to headed to the University take a look at some Greek artefacts and then ran across town, went past the closed museum (because it’s Monday!) and headed up to a viewing point. As one does with a fear of heights. After learning the Zurich transit system, I went to what the Swiss considered a hill and climbed the radio tower and had view of the city over 820m!
Headed back to the hostel, checked in, went for a walk with one of my roomates and then realised that I had to leave the hostel at 4:49am (gave myself 19mins to get ready). What a quick day. I made it to work and had a pretty productive day.
Explaining the title
Seeing AT reminded me that we are all standing on someone’s shoulder. We all have friend or that help us reach slightly further than we could do on our own. The dragon, is two parts, first it’s relating to Pilatus having medieval legend relating to dragons having a magical healing properties at the top of the mountains. Secondly, I’m blessed to have friends that not only help me reach a higher place (shoulder), but some take me higher than I could have ever imagined (dragon vs giant). AT is one of my dragons.