Tuesday, December 6, 2016

How to Find a Good Hairdresser

It's a matter of taste and personal preferences. For me, there is also something about the place, but less so. And perhaps something that can’t be fully explained. It’s like with friends. Or with food. Standing at a counter trying to choose among the different flavors in pastry, I once asked the server which was her favorite one. She commented that what she likes is irrelevant. I should find out what my favorite flavor is by myself. 

Thursday, December 1, 2016


I’ve never aspired to be a star other than dreaming of walking in a fancy dress and my most comfortable slippers on a red carpet. In dreams it sounds like fun, especially when my main purpose would be to test my slippers for carpet walking along with other like-minded carpet walkers. Such experience for real however, could turn out to be very different. I prefer walking in peace and just thinking of a red carpet event that comes with large crowds, much shouting and blinding lights gives me the shivers. 

And yet, I’ve got my 2 minutes of fame years ago during grocery shopping at a big supermarket. It was a hot day and I was wearing a simple summer outfit: a brown sleeveless shirt, khaki shorts, string sandals and a straw hat.

When the first couple of people stopped to look at me, I thought there was something wrong with my clothes. I checked myself from head to toe for a stain from something embarrassing like bird droppings. Did I manage to spill coffee on my shorts? I found nothing. Or was it about my hat? As I walked around, more people stopped to take a look at me. I kept blaming my hat since that was the only thing that made me stick out of the crowd. ‘Okay,’ I said to myself, ‘no one has a hat on. But haven’t these folks seen a straw hat before?' It would turn out weeks later that on that day, I was wearing the exact replica of an outfit worn by a contestant of a new reality show. 

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Christian Siriano on Visibility

Christian Siriano Spring Summer 2017 Full Fashion Show - September 2016 Collection

The Seasons

My first thought is about spring. What to do when it happens in the middle of winter? And what to wear in springter? Should there be new collections designed specifically for freak seasons that disrupt the regular ones – like notomn for no-automn or sumter as in summer-in-winter? And when to prepare for these new seasons since they are like uninvited guests that come and go as they please?

New Stars: The Plus-sized Models

I am looking at the plus-sized models walking with the regular ones to see beauty in shape. It’s a great move to give visibility for them. “You have to celebrate as many people as you can because you never know who your costumer is gonna be,” Christian says. I love the color scheme. These vibrant colors might come from a lab but are nature-inspired. It makes me wonder if a shade of red can still be called coral red when one day there won’t be any red corals found in the oceans.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Too-Smart Phone

The call came from the salon. A. told me he was returning my call. “What time did I call you?” I asked. He chuckled. “An hour ago,” he said incredulously. I could hear him take a deep breath. “It wasn’t me but my phone,” I said. He was now trying to stop himself from laughing out loud. He thought that I temporarily lost control over my phone  which was the case – and he found it exceedingly funny.

As I left the house, I dropped my phone in my bag. With the contact list on display and his name highlighted, the dial button got pushed and it did call the salon. Being too busy, A. couldn’t answer it at the time. It would have been really funny if he did, though. It was just about time to make an appointment.

As far as I can tell, my phone demonstrated AI capabilities – something that not even the latest smartphone equipped with the hottest app could do just by itself. That’s what it did that day without any human intervention: dialed the right number at the right time and managed to get a call returned. I’m impressed.

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Lost Words of Wisdom

I had a dream last night. I was on a streetcar that was stationary at a stop due to a traffic jam. There was a bunch of kids around me in party costumes having fun. They played pranks to cheer each other up.
Stone-faced and inpatient for the delay, most commuters were uninterested in their antics.

I was standing by the door. Right by my side, there was an elderly woman. She was wearing Indian clothes in bright colors. She had the face of my late grandmother. She wanted to say something to me to remember. I told her that I’d forget about it in no time and asked her to write it down for me.

Each time she tried to write down a word in English it appeared on the paper in Arabic. She wrestled with the translation and I woke up before she could finish it. All I can remember of what she said was, “You are not what you know, but...” The rest is lost for good.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

What Your Clothes Do not Say About You

I saw a white T-shirt with the caption "We All Maek Mistakes" on the street a few days ago. I made a big one and I went back to correct it. In an earlier post titled The Color Blue, I described a group of Pakistani women in a link pointing to Mustafah Abdulaziz's page as Indian. The caption clearly indicates their nationality, but I didn't pay attention. I made an assumption based on how they look. That's wrong. The clothes of these women might be very similar to the type of clothes worn in some part of India. It's still wrong to make such an assumption based solely on someone's appearance. 

It's much easier to fix a hole in the new poncho I've just bought than to learn from a mistake like that.

Saturday, November 12, 2016

How to Be Invisible

I simply do not know anymore. Let’s just say that my invisibility cloak malfunctioned last time at the mall. There is no quick fix to that. What to do in such a case? Call cloak service.

It’s easy to think that the mall is like a bottomless hole swallowing visitors upon entry and rendering them invisible as they become part of the crowd. But that’s not the case. It’s just the opposite: strong lights; large glass doors and walls; security cameras placed discreetly at strategic points; equipment and design to serve the dual purpose of maintaining high visibility as well as public safety and security. Skylight on the roof lets in natural light. At the mall the sun is always up.

Anticipating novelty and the unexpected, security personnel pace the long corridors up and down throughout the day. The unexpected hardly ever happens and the view might get boring after a while and yet, they are undeterred. It’s relatively easy to remain visible at all times when spending time at the mall.