The 18th March Project – Post 24

To my younger brother

A year ago, you asked me for a birthday present – I was to write every day, and publish something on my blog twice a month.

Because of you, I’ve spent time on hammering sentences together, more time in fact than I had in previous years. And I don’t plan on stopping now that I’ve begun (also, there’s our new agreement that basically means I can’t stop). Shows the power of a social contract, huh?

You often say that you belong to the Dark Side, that you are an ass, that you are not a good person. Honestly, I don’t understand that, and I sure as helvede don’t believe it. Yes, you have your moments when I want to smack you because you are taunting someone more than necessary. That hardly makes you a bad person. Perhaps that’s just the façade you throw up because you don’t want people to see you for the big softie you are (oh no, the secret’s out!).

I’m not going to praise you, because I know it will go to your head. Just know that I’m glad to be your big sister, whether the difference between us is 4 months, or 4 years, or 40 million light years. You are one of the reasons I don’t believe that men and women mature mentally at different rates – you’re almost on par with me, haha!

Here’s to many more years of educating each other, of helping each other be better, of forcing society to see the possibility and worth of platonic relationships between men and women, of being part of the fight to make the world a better place.

Here’s also to secrets – the keeping and revealing of them, to social gatherings that we may or may not remember, to exploring whatever we can of our surroundings while we still can.

Here’s to adding decades to the half decade we’ve known each other, to dancing at all the big functions (they don’t only have to be weddings), to synchronously rolling our eyes at other people’s stupidity, to more chivda, and chakna, and bibimbap, to funny misunderstandings about shower gel, fingers, and haste-haste, to assembling furniture, to giving credit –sparingly – when it is due, to paying for each other’s food and drinks, to long walks, and to arguments about presents.

Happy 30th birthday, Bhai.

May all your dreams come true, and all your plans be fulfilled, and may you find your pot of gold.

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The 18th March Project – Post 23

Fun sustainability facts for the UAE

  • The UAE has a bee-keeping association. They’re based out of Sustainable City
  • A few restaurants in the UAE are banding together and stopping the use of straws and single use plastic in their outlets. One of them is The Noodle House, where my family and I went in November and asked to not be given straws (no, I’m not taking credit, but isn’t that a wonderful coincidence?)
  • The UAE has ordered Seabins, receptacles that help filter plastic out of the ocean
  • Bamboo brushes are available in the UAE, though, as with most ‘alternative’ options, they are more expensive than the conventional plastic option.

Happy 30th to R who always uses her voice in defence of those who need it. I hope you’re using the straw I ‘gave’ you!