Strange and Foreign, or How I Stopped Worrying And Learned To Love The Blog


Peter Sellers in Dr. Strangelove or How I Stopped Worrying and Learned To Love The Bomb (Stanley Kubrick 1964)

This blog has been in the making for almost two years. And when I say in the making, I mean I continued to pay subscription and operating fees on it for two years while I did absolutely nothing with it.


My problem, you see, isn't that I don't love to write or that I don't have subjects to write on, but in a world with no privacy, I've come to value what it means to have a private life, private thoughts, a private being. And so I've coasted on that for a while, revelling in having no permanent posts on my instagram feed, no photo on my linkedin account and the turning of my facebook privacy settings up to eleven - which is, in essence meaningless since all of these online platforms own us regardless of our privacy settings.


I didn't exactly enjoy a private life as a young person. Peers and friends alike always had a preview to whatever family drama went on any particular week, and when teenage-hood came upon me, social media quickly became my muslim hometown's biggest vice. The overwhelming control social media has in our lives has us sharing every mundane and precious moment in our lives with the same amount of hunger for likes. Consequently, a few years ago, when I purchased the domain for this blog and set it all up, I unconsciously pursued a very private life.


But perhaps this doesn't have to be about my life. After all, I didn't name its domain after me for a reason. This blog is named strange and foreign after a dream cafe endeavour my husband and I stewed over (pun intended) as we ate soondubu and bibimbap at our favourite Korean cafe, conjuring up our own recipes and creating mood boards for our place - somewhere, someday. Strange - him, with his penchant for old volvos and buddhist theology and fermenting things. Me, the foreigner, who came to the country as a young immigrant on my own and determined to maintain as much of myself and my culture as possible.


So that is what this blog is about - less about me and more about my perspectives and the determination to have my views shared as much as challenged. There are people who have followed this blog back when it was just a blank screen with a "Coming Soon" banner and a subscription list. Those are the people who listen to me rant about politics at parties and racial inequality at barbecues. The people who have been beside me from the start, encouraging me not to curl up into a ball and ignore all the hate and chaos of the world around me and instead share my very unique and valuable perspective. The perspective of a South Indian Christian who was born and raised in the Middle East. To those people, I say thank you. Your buoyant and uncompromising support has set me down in front of my keyboard and opened me up to the possibility that maybe, my words are worth sharing.


There is no more time to waste, so let's begin...