Lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about Life and happiness in general. After, everything that’s been going on in mine over the past 5 years, I would never have believed, for one millisecond, that I would end up in Hong Kong. Plus…. I was holding out for Miami or New York (unfortunately, that wasn’t going to happen in my “real” life). This post, before you start reading, is a bit of a mish-mash. Tit-bits of my life, religion, family, death, but mainly, it’s about finding some peace and happiness … even when your Husband pisses you off and the kids don’t ever seem to stop screaming. And, no, I haven’t turned all hippy on you, although this is mainly because I can’t find a decent enough drug dealer in HK that sells my beloved skunk.
Anyway, this weeks post is about a bit of everything, but mainly its about being true to ones self. Something I’ve started doing more and more.
So, to begin with, have I ever mentioned that I converted to Judaism not long ago? Probably not.
Why? Well… lets face it. There’s a shit load of bigots out there and my folks weren’t too impressed either. Especially as I shamelessly did it to marry The Captain (not because I woke one morning after watching “Sex & The City” thinking… “Hey, that shit looks like fun!”). I also turned to the Captain after we married and laughed “I lied! I just wanted a rock on my finger.” I was joking, of course.
Actually, I say my parents weren’t too impressed but, well, my Dad is pretty much a born again Jew. He’s an Iranian chef who left home at 11 years old (no, seriously, he did), having grown up in the Liverpool equivalent of a hard-core Estate (a shed in Kashan, Iran, with a Cow they used to get their daily Milk from … unless it was on strike) I lie not. He ended up in London, originally as a Butler for a British family who lived in the Little Boltons, Fulham, SW London (dahling) at the tender age of 16 years old.
When Dad arrived at Heathrow Airport, all he had as proof of his new job, was a piece of paper with information of the family he was going to work for. The paper had a scribbled note with their name, number and address. He didn’t speak one word of English though but had a big grin. This alone, made my heart break for him when he told me this story, as Dad, well , he looks like a cuddly cute Teddy Bear (just as any girls Dad should)…. even if mine was a bit of a cheeky swine from time to time. He sat there, all those many years ago, in Heathrow Airport, for 3 hours waiting for these people to collect him.
He was terrified, well, Dad’s exact words were “I vuz fakin vurried as deese Ineglish peepol cud ‘ave been fakin bastard, u no?” … imagine an Iranian accent (*nb. Iran is not an Arabic country, before you start getting confused. In fact, it’s the only country in that part of the Middle East with no Arabs… unless they live there. Not a huge deal but its like calling an Irish Protestant, a Catholic). Anyhow, Dad had approximately £5 in his pocket (we’re talking 1947 era) and was shitting himself that they were going to put his tiny bum back on a plane to Tehran, if no one came to “claim him” …. like baggage. This is the same man who stood and screamed, and cried, when I passed the UK Bar to become a Solicitor as no one in his family, including my criminal brothers, had gone to this level of any profession (I was also chuffed I’d managed to pass “The Bar” and not stop off for a few glasses of Vodka en route to the Ceremony).
So, after a few years, Dad left this “fakin luvelee fameleee”(his English had got a little better, clearly) and worked in many restaurants and Hotel kitchens as a washer-up, and, eventually, he learnt to cook.
He was soo poor, that at one stage, they (Dad and some other mates) actually went to Trafalgar Square and took Pigeons home to cook them. Dirty skanky PIGEONS!??? ** RSPCA people, please don’t contact me about this. We are talking dirt poor in London, in the 1950’s where people were having a pretty crap time (a bit like the UK now, although with manners & less teenage pregnancies & chavs). It’s no bloody wonder he told me to “piss fakin off” when I wanted to travel the world at 18 years old. “Travellll, de facking werd?! Get a fackin job you silly cow!”, in an Iranian accent, even after 30 years in the UK (despicable really). My Dad, to me, is very soft, kind and gentle and although he swears like a right old c%$t, he’s unbelievably kind and very very sweet, to me. Anyone else who crosses him though….well lets just say he’ll rip your fakin head off.
Anyway, apparently, Pigeons, well they taste just like chicken, if you add some nuts, salt/pepper, raisins and Basmati Rice (Iranian staple to every meal…especially if you add Saffron). Now, when I was in the South of France a few years back with the Captain, I ordered “Pigeon” and I kid you not, it tasted like shit. It even looked like a Pigeon (yes, hypocritical) and I like my meat to look like it never came from a live animal, you know!? Anyhow, as my Dad learnt to become a Chef, I discovered the art of cooking, especially meat, which is odd as my best friends are all bloody vegetarian. I tried it once (being a veggie) … highly overrated if you ask me. I lasted 3 days, by which point I was sooo hungry, I think I ate a human being as I got off my bus in Clapham Junction. My Dad, gave me, or should I say, indulged in my passion, for food and this is where I learnt to get angry if someone wandered into the kitchen mid-cooking…. it drives me nuts!! I need space to work and if someone wanders into the kitchen to “help“, well …. you’re just asking for a bitch slap.
Anyhow, Dad ended up owning a well know “Continental restaurant” in NW London for many years, full of 80’s pop-starlets too, open until 6am in the days when everyone else back in the 80’s couldn’t get a licence for booze at that time, throwing one very well-known celeb out whenever he got drunk…. it was the usual story. He certainly saw some partying in his time too. When Dad tells you one of his restaurant day stories (cocaine being snorted off the dinner tables (they had a back room and thats where shit always happened, sex in the loos etc), even now, I sit cross-legged in front of him like I’m waiting for a story during “show and tell” at school. He also had a huge autograph book that all the famous people used to sign when they went to his place for drinks or food. A couple of months before he sold the restaurant (after 20+ years), someone ran in and stole this book from behind the counter.
So, my Dad should really have been a Jew, which, if you know ANYTHING about religion, its pretty much the same thing (in my opinion) s being a Muslim… or recently, I heard the genius term, “Muslish”. Circumcisions, arguing non-stop (with anyone) about everything, family forever involved in all that you do, fasting on religious holidays, bla bla bla … but he did none of the religious stuff…. he liked the “community” Jews brought with them and has lots of Jewish friends himself. He liked all the togetherness. Shit I hate. Why? Despite this site… I’m actually very private (go figure). I hate being in huge crowds or groups (unless I’ve been drinking) which makes me go into overdrive where I have to talk in short-sentences, then I talk bull-shit and if all else fails, I drink away my fear to give me confidence (yes, even at very boring pointless functions… actually, any excuse for a drink).
I recently feel, well, bloody fed up of always being polite when I dont want to be. I’ve stopped doing things I dont want to do. I wanna have fun!! When I die, I’ll know I wasn’t a hypocrite – I didnt say “Yes” when I meant to say “No”. I can’t do that fake shit anymore. Plus, its boring.
The Captain on the other hand … well… this Man… he has my admiration for being himself 24 hours a day. I would give my arsehole for that alone. He’s my idol in so many ways and the man doesn’t even know it. He’s true to himself. If he thinks something, well, he just goes ahead and says it (sometimes I call it “Captains Tourette”). Amazing shit as I was always told to be polite and keep my gob shut unless spoken to. Basically, I grew up being a polite, nice, errr… mute. I also always got seated with Parents at functions (obviously when I was a teenager as now… Im’ kept away from anyone elderly) as I was considered“Parent friendly”. Basically, I can charm the arse off you if I have to. Not always of course, as there are people out there who just dont like you. Fact of life really. One of my old work colleagues HATED me. She was a real cow too. I went home once, telling The Captain, “this bird just really doesn’t like me”, from day one. She STOLE my pashmina from work once, going “ooh sorry, I didnt realise it was yours”. What a bitch right!? There were loads of stains on it too. When the Captain eventually met her at a wedding, he said “yep… she hates you”. I don’t really care, but thats life. I can’t stand certain people for reasons unknown, even to myself. And as it turns out, people can also hate me too. Go figure!
Anyway, the Captain is THE most honest, open, doesn’t give a shit who says what, person I know. I mean, there are times I’m like“Babe, seriously…. tone it down!” If he’s just insulted someone or done something soooo unbelievable, I apparently always give a “nervous laugh” to apologise for his atrocious, albeit, honest, behaviour (sometimes, I actually think he’s my 3rd child). He’s also the person who always pushes to the front of an entire queue as he can’t wait for anything… and I’m usually in tow, covering my face from the shame, until we get away with it. He recently drove past an entire queue of cars on Chinese Bank Holiday, a queue that stretched approx half a mile for a car park in Stanley (south side of Hong Kong and a massive tourist place). He over-took every car (I thought he was driving on), and then TURNED into the grass car park and literally parked the car. The poor Car Park Attendant, not trained in this crazy English mans actions shouted “NO!! NO!!! THERE IS QUEUE!”. The Captain, in the meantime, started pulling the Twin buggy out the boot, while I was sat in shock in the front of the car, as the Twins watched this crazy Genius at work. The Captain shouted back “I’m NOT MOVING. Sorry. I have Twins and they’re hungry”. I’m amazed he didn’t pull me out the car too, saying “and she’s an alcoholic…. I can’t queue”.
Despite the young mans protests, The Captain ignored him and carried on getting things out the boot (kinda like we were moving there, and with Twins, you always have a shit load of stuff to take to any type of outing). With that, I literally got out the car and followed him. The poor young Car Park guy stood there, mouth wide open, thinking…. “what the fuck just happened?!” The Captain slipped him some cash (and I swear, a wink), and off we went. All the cars queueing must have thought we were (a) Diplomats, or (b) owned the bloody car park. GENIUS.
Sorry… I’m digressing. So back to converting to being a Jew, and my parents backgrounds. So. My Mum. Well, she grew up in a strict posh Muslim household in the Centre of Tehran (before the “Revolution”), where, drinking, no head scarves, bacon sarnies (not really), open fornication with the opposite sex, was ok (until it all got fucked up).
EVERYTHING, with my Mum is a conspiracy. Everything. From the Revolution in Iran which, I’m hazy on despite numerous discussions at home (personally I don’t want to get into it as there’s too much corruption, everywhere, and I just don’t get what happened!?) For any Iranians, not in hiding (or, afraid to share…yes, afraid)….people don’t really chat about it. Unless my Mum arrives and tells you what “actually took place”. My Mum seems to have worked for the CIA/FBI/Mums of Tehran Group and she told me NOT to, in any way, get involved when there was the recent riots during the Political corruption while voting and numerous students being killed in Tehran…trying to stand up against an archaic regime. Innocent blood being shed as there were “insiders” among the Protestors, who pulled out guns and shot these innocent people. Only people who live there, seem to know whats really going on, however, the outside world’s Media appears to be very restricted in covering these types of stories.
My Mum actually told my Hubby-to-be, on their very first meeting, ” Now listen sunny boy, you all stick together and my Daughter is too sensitive for you. Oh & BTW, your car’s a pile of shit’… he drove a nice sports car at the time. I didn’t know until one year after we married that my 5 ft 2 inch Mum gave The Captain his 1st warning to literally take the high road, and piss off as he was Jewish, and well, I clearly wasn’t. When I say Jewish, I’m talking relaxed (basically he has a very loose understanding of his own religion until he re-learnt everything when I converted), so not strict (what you would call, a“Twice-a-year-to synagogue Jew“…. he only went during religious Holidays. Kinda like my Catholic mates for Midnight Mass at Xmas… which we were all drunk for too, even at 16 years old. Don’t ask me why I was there). My Mum, to this day, defends what she did as she was soo worried I wouldn’t be accepted by The Captain’s family. My Mum still clearly lives in a different era where crap like that still happens by ignorant arseholes who have no idea about, well anything. For the record, she adores The Captain and always jumps to his defence whenever we have a row. This wasn’t about religion, but acceptance.
My Grandma, whose favourite I will always be (my cousins argue about this very simple and yet obvious truth…. but its true), well, she went to Mecca three times in her life (always dressed in white) and believed in her Muslim religion. I love and loved that about her. Depth, truth and belief. She never ever faltered and I remember she once slapped me, on the hand (which fucking stung), for mimicking her while she did her 4am prayer in my parents house while she stayed there (I had just got in after a night clubbing in a shitty Disco/pub in Kingston, hence why I was awake). What a nob (am I)!? I learnt immediately to show some respect to (a) our elders, and (b) people who believe in their religion. She loved me loads too. I was the only one she left 3 vintage handbags for when she passed away, one of which contained, her gloves, comb (she had fine black hair like silk), and a handkerchief….it broke my heart. She also left me her Pearl bracelet. My Cousins…. well they got bugger all.
When she passed away, I didn’t leave our apartment for 2 weeks. Even now, 5 years later (she missed my wedding by months after slipping into a sudden coma), I hurt. When The Captain and I went to Miami a few years ago, we were walking through the hell they call their departure lounge, the lady who went to take my ticket (she looked Chinese/spanish/4ft 2 inches high), basically like my Grandma. Well, I looked up, saw her face and walked away from the queue, in tears. The Captain, walked over, peeved we lost our place in the craziness of horrific Miami airport (worst in the world for check-in especially if you look remotely Middle-Eastern)… and I started crying. I almost threw myself into her arms and told her I missed her so much. Pathetic? No. We all do this. I’ve had moments, like on the tube at Holborn station, where a 4ft 2 inch Muslim granny, with a kind, Chinese looking, button nose, sweet smiling face, gave me a look on the escalator (going in the opposite direction). I gulped back tears and followed her up 2 floors. I know she’s dead, but I love that I have this memory for life. She was funny, strict, a Mum of 7 (well, 8 if you count, and of course you should, Baby one who she lost after 3 months…. fucking hardcore). Her gift to me was a card that she had written when I got engaged, a few months before she died. I have to put this into English, as in my language, I may as well be describing a dancing goat in a field with rainbows (but it has meaning).
She said…“Remember that when you have children, you are the Mother and leader of your household, you carried your children, you deserve to be looked after later on by them, by your husband, by your family. Enjoy your life, never stop smiling and laughing, and always be you”.
The one thing people apparently notice about me right away, is that I’m always smiling (kinda like a crazy patient who needs meds). I want to live happily though and now, I’m a Mum, I want to make sure my kids grow up in a safe, happy, secure house full of fun, laughter, great food and lots of wine (for me clearly).
Why all this chat about being happy? Well recently, Ive had loads of chats with friends who are “un-happy” in their lives. Something doesn’t feel right, or everything is crap. I’m trying to be happy for me and The Captain. For my kids. For my parents, who lets face it, thought I’d end up in Prison/unemployed, or shacked up with some arsehole, after all my school expulsions as a teenager. I didn’t settle gals. I’m sooo meant to be happy, so why, why why, am I still, missing a piece of the puzzle? I will tell you why.
We are told to live life according to everyone’s bull-shit appearances. You sometimes forget whats genuinely important. The minute I arrived in Hong Kong, I realised, I suddenly understood what family and friendship was really all about, and how much it meant to me.
I WONT do the whole “living life according to societies rules” anymore. I wont let people talk down to me, or make me feel small (I used to when I was younger, but not now). I also stopped the minute I saw my Mum in intensive care after her stroke. And I was a pussy. I didn’t go in to witness the tubes. I sat outside all night and slept on a chair. I told the Captain I needed alone time. No friends, no family, just me and my Mums best friend who I adore. Shes shares the same name as me (funny as they weren’t best mates before I was born). She slept on the floor of her hospital every night with a bottle of Vodka under her coat and her 40 Silk Cuts. She brought food, she held my hand because she knew, I literally couldn’t breath. What the fuck was I going to do if my Mum left me? Luckily, she recovered from the stroke.
Me? I have to say, after being brought up in South West London and going to a Catholic School run by Irish Nuns, I am positive, I have always believed in religion (mine being the religion of wine/non-judgement/sex with strangers/narcotics) and God. I don’t and never will, believe in being TOLD how to worship anything (unless they are Christian Louboutin shoes, in which case, tell me where/when/time/sale price), in any way shape or form. I believe in God though. Why? He …. lets face it, God is definitely a bloke…. a female God would never put us through child-birth/periods/men. Well this He-God, saved me during my moments of despair. My Mums stroke, my fertility problems, when I have to check on my Twins every night (whether they sleep through, or not), just to make sure they are safe. I also have a word with God from time-to-time and ask him to keep an eye on them for me (especially my Daughter who thinks her head is made for banging into floors and walls).
Now don’t get me wrong, or start judging me as some holy-shmoly weirdo, as I don’t sit there praying daily either (hey…I’m too busy drinking), but I do believe in being positive, in seeing what I want for my future. If I ask for it, surely it will happen no?! Of course, you have to work at it too. Shit doesn’t just fall into your lap (unless you’re rich to begin with, or well, fucking lucky… in which case piss off now). The harder you work towards what you want, the easier it will come to you. I do believe in this.
Signing off now.
Ps. I’ve been bitten to shit by mossies (I have “Skeeter syndrome”) & woke this morning looking like, and I quote by our nanny, “Angelina Jolie”. Shame the lips have now deflated though due to my batches of Clarytin. I’m going to start sitting out on the balcony at night, covering my lips in Honey and waiting for them to be attacked again.