An open letter to the guy who grabbed my ass


Fuck you.

It’s funny how that two sophisticated words can sum up everything that I want to tell you.

Allow me to remind you of what happened. You saw two foreign women walking on the street, and just like that, boom! You grabbed one of the two foreign women.

That woman that you singlehandedly decided to touch is me.

Two years of living in Egypt had prepared me how to handle situation like this, yet when it actually happened, my mind just shut down and I couldn’t even move to sprang at you and slap you on the face.

You caught me in a moment of vulnerability. One moment I was in complete control of my own life. The next thing I know, you forcefully inserted yourself in the picture. You ambushed me to declare your opinion of my body. And that feeling of control is gone as fleeting as you are.

Even when this unwelcome encounter was no longer than a millisecond, it has left me feeling frustrated and silenced. I had to evaluate myself and figure out what I did that caught unwanted attention. If I wore a cover-up and a veil, will that change things? Had you seen two local women instead of two foreign women walking that night, would you have done the same thing?

Yes, let’s get personal because what you did is personal to me.

You treated me as if my only purpose was for the enjoyment of your male eyes. It didn’t matter how successful my career is, how intelligent I am, or how strong my sense of self is. None of that mattered because at that point, I was powerless. Powerless to avoid it, powerless to counteract it. Powerless to define my own body.

It has been eight days and I still couldn’t let go of what you did. No shower can wash away how I felt. And no matter how many times I put my jeans in the wash, that experience won’t seem to go away.

I am still upset that I let you walk away just like that. I wish I could have kneed you in the balls when you decided to be a dick. No, make that ten dicks. That way, I wouldn’t be spending all these time replaying what happened in my head, and thinking of what I could have done to reverse it. Then we will just be even.

I’m not really sure what’s going on with your pea-sized brain, but do you really think that grabbing someone will get you anywhere? If you want to make an impression, you might as well call for a marching band.

Seriously, think about it. Do you really think that grabbing someone will give you satisfaction? If anything, I guess what you did will be an anecdote you will tell all your pea-brained friends. And if you are expecting to get the high fives, then that is just an all new low. How embarrassingly tragic. I might as well move to Mars.

How difficult is it to be a civilized person and show respect to civilized people? Is it really that hard that you’d rather whistle at every vagina that you pass by? When was the last time any guy had a shot at a girl for doing this? I just couldn’t understand the logic.

If I tell you that grabbing a woman’s behind, or whistling at that “sexy babe” has zero percent chance of getting you anywhere, will you just stop doing it? Or is the equation too difficult to solve?

I had to put up with days of self doubt. I didn’t like that you made me second-guess myself. And I didn’t like that probably after all of these, people will still ask what I was wearing that night.

I’ve been whistled at wearing skinny jeans, wearing baggy sweaters, wearing dresses, wearing long sleeves. I’ve been cat-called with long hair, with short hair, with high heels, with sneakers. I’ve been gazed at when I was 20 kilos heavier, and 20 kilos lighter. I’ve been called a “babe” with or without make up on, in the street by myself, on the street with friends, in the morning, in the afternoon, and more so at night.

So, no matter what lengths I go to in order to avoid you, my guess is, you would still have done it.

This is the maddening reality that I have to live through day by day. And it makes me wonder why, when everything is said and done, the repercussion still falls heavily on the woman and not on the man who did the actual grabbing/cat-calling/wolfwhistling.

You made me question ethics, you made me question morality, you made me question values, and you made me question religion. I would not like to think that society will teach their people to objectify women no matter how patriarchal it is. I would not accept that any religion will teach their men to disrespect women. I will not believe that any family will raise their kids to act inappropriately.

I hope that you would just stop. I hope that I am the last woman who you will ever grab. You got lucky. For now. But know that should this ever happen again, with you or with anyone like you, I will make sure that you or anyone like you won’t get away with it. At least not without your balls being kicked hard or your eyes being poked out.


Being Single Versus Being Single


Being single is one of those few things that you either love or hate. To help you decide, here is my list of why I think it rocks at best and sucks at worst:

67 Reasons Why Being Single is Awesomeness in 3D

1. You can lie down on your bed diagonally, with arms wide open, and you won’t be bothered.
2. You can fart unapologetically.
3. It feels great to walk around the flat naked without having to worry that someone might walk in.
4. The only mess you will have to clean is yours.
5. You can spend all your money to yourself.
6. No arguments every hour.
7. No drama every minute.
8. No silly misunderstanding everyday.
9. Not a single petty fight even.
10. You stop acting like a 16 year old.
11. All the time in the world is subject to your disposal.
12. No one will tell you “do this, do that.”
13. You don’t have to take or make any phone call except when it’s your girlfriends dragging you on an all-nighter.
14. Your happiness is in your hands and not on someone else’s, literally and metaphorically. Hallelujah!
15. You never have to worry about buying the perfect gift.
16. Guess who’s in control of the television!
17. And the a/c too!
18. You never have to worry about someone waking up from your snore.
19. You can play your favorite songs in full volume and no one will give a shit other than your neighbors.
20. You never have to pretend that your idea of a Friday night is watching a football match.
21. Lots of evenings to spend with the ladies.
22. No one’s going to disappoint you
23. And you’re not going to disappoint anyone.
24. You can focus more on yourself.
25. You get to know yourself better.
26. No reason to adjust your schedule.
27. All those sleepless nights? Gone. Say hello to sleep!
28. You don’t have to worry about bad breath in the morning.
29. Your mum and dad are delighted that you came to visit.
30. Your friends who thought you died for a little bit are now enjoying your resurrection.
31. Being single means you are getting close to knowing exactly what you want.
32. You can go out on fun dates and meet new, and hopefully interesting people.
33. Did I already say you can go out on fun dates?
34. If you’re thinking about going on a six month trip around the world, then this is the right time! You don’t have to worry about leaving anyone or trying to sustain a soon-to-be long distance relationship.
35. Your Friday night could mean sleep overs with your girlfriends, a romantic-comedy flick, and pop corn. Awesome!
36. You can now start reading the books you bought but never read because you were always spending time with your bf-now-turned-exbf.
37. You become a new person-a smarter, stronger, sexier one.
38. Revenge diet!
39. You can start singing in the shower again.
40. In fact, you can even leave the bathroom door open!
41. You can see things much better and clearer now.
42. You have sound judgment.
43. You’re not trying to change anyone.
44. No one is trying to change you.
45. You define what emotional maturity and security is.
46. You’re back to being you. Thank goodness you’re so over and done the girlfriendzilla phase, or that you have escaped boyfriendstein.
47. Your last relationship taught you what you will and will not accept.
48. Therefore, it raises the bar higher for next time.
49. You can dance to a Britney Spears song in front of your mirror.
50. You can eat sushi for breakfast, pad thai for lunch, and laksa for dinner because you no longer have a boyfriend who has no appreciation for Asian cuisine.
51. You don’t have to fake orgasm.
52. Christmas costs less.
53. It means more money to splurge on dresses, or traveling, and books.
54. You never have to share the last bite of your burrito to anyone.
55. Suddenly, there’s more space in your studio apartment.
56. The only annoying friends you have to deal with are your own.
57. Everything is done your way. Your choices, your decisions.
58. You can fling and flung your dirty clothes here and there without any thoughts whatsoever.
59. No one else is going to raid your fridge!
60. On weekends, you can sleep whenever.
61. And wake up whenever.
62. The only dishes you’ll have to wash are yours.
63. You never have to explain why you’re late, except to your boss.
64. Now you have a legitimate excuse to drunk text and call someone an asshole. Kidding!
65. The bag of chips you left in the kitchen will never again magically disappear.
66. You can watch every single Katherine Heigl movie without interruption.
67. You can always get a guaranteed spot in the cinema.

32 Reasons Why Being Single Sucks in HD

1. You have no one to say good night to.
2. No back rubs and massages.
3. Everyone’s asking “when are you getting married?” when they should be setting you up on dates.
4. When you’re with someone, you can say goodbye to awkward first dates.
5. You hang out with your friends and you’re always the third, fifth, or heck, seventh wheel.
6. No spooning.
7. No cuddling.
8. No one to kiss and make love with.
9. It’s always a Friday night that makes things more obvious than usual. While your friends are home with their special someone and take away dinner, you are home alone, with a grumbling tummy.
10. You have no travel buddy.
11. When you get sick, there’s no other person who will magically appear with a bowl of fresh noodle soup.
12. All the butterflies in your stomach are nowhere to be found.
13. Winter is coming and no one will keep you warm. Except your oversized jumpers.
14. You get this pity look from strangers when you sit in a restaurant and eat alone.
15. You never know what to do on a weekend.
16. There is no one to hold hands with especially when a scene in the movie becomes too morbid.
17. You’re the only one watching Skyfall alone.
18. There is no such thing as candlelit dinner for one.
19. There are days when you feel empty.
20. There are evenings when all you can do is look at your bedroom door long enough. As if that can make someone appear out of thin air.
21. A marathon of The Big Bang Theory is less fun without anyone to watch it with.
22. After watching a Katherine Heigl movie, you just feel like getting ice cream and screaming at the top of your lungs, “F U, Katherine Heigl!”
23. Your social calendar is usually empty.
24. You can disappear for days and no one will even notice, which leads us to a gruesome number 25.
25. You can die and no one will know until your body rots to stink.
26. The closest thing you can get to amazing sex is free porn.
27. No one is willing to listen to your boring stories, not even your rottweiler.
28. Apart from your reflection in the mirror, there is no one else to boost your ego.
29. Everything seems dull. There is no up, no down. You’re just cruising in the middle.
30. Your mum and dad tries to set you up with their business partner’s son. Nightmare.
31. You have to put an effort in meeting new people again. Expect that some of them might turn out creepy like your mum and dad’s business partner’s son.
31. Most of your dinners are left overs.
32. On New Year’s, when the clock strikes 12, everyone will be smooching around including you. Except you have no one to smooch around with.

A letter to my hypothetical boyfriend part 3


I woke up from a knock at my door. I got up so giddily. You came just right on time to wake me up. From my bed to the doorstep, all I could think of is our first breakfast together. Alas, I opened the door and I found myself face to face not with you but with the housekeeping. My heart sunk.

I want to wake up to you, I want to wake up from your whisper, from your fingers as it draw the line of my face. I want to wake up from your tickles. I want to wake up from your snore! I thought by now you would have found me, but writing this goes to show that you haven’t yet.

I went back to the same beach with Sophy today and it is ridiculous how time goes by even when you’re not doing anything. I guess this is the curse that holiday brings. Sophy and I practically spent the entire day at the beach talking about you–how it would be like to finally meet you, how it would feel to have your hand clasped with mine as we walk along the shore. We wondered if you were the guy sitting next to our table because you kept looking at me. But now I’m definite that he wasn’t you. If he was, then he would have at least put an effort in introducing himself to me. If he was you, then we would have been celebrating right here right now.

Sophy and I saw a couple kissing by the water. Such a cute couple, and I should feel happy for them, but instead, I feel a pang of jealousy. I can’t help but think that it could have been us.

There were lots of guys on the beach today–kite surfers, solo travelers. They come from all over the world–France, Poland, America, Sweden. It makes me wonder what you are like and where you are from. Do you kite surf by any chance? How many languages do you speak? What is your native tongue? Do you even like the sea?

Maybe you don’t and this is the reason why you are not here. It makes sense. Maybe you are the kind of guy who would rather climb the mountains than have a lazy day by the Red Sea. Maybe you like to spend more time on the couch playing video games. Maybe you’d rather play football with your mates. But then again, if we are going to be together, I assume that we will mesh like water and sand.

Who are your favorite authors? Do you like comedy? Are you a coffee person? Heck, maybe I am asking the wrong questions. What sports do you play? What is your favorite football team? Do you watch Game of Thrones?

You could be a guitarist for all I know. You could be a hockey player, an engineer, a web developer. You could be a professional motor racer. You could be a chef. Oh, please be a chef! I love eating! But then again, even if you’re not a chef, I’m sure the simplest peanut butter and jelly sandwich will taste divine if you’re the one who made it.

Do you smoke? I hope you don’t mind if I do. What is your tolerance when it comes to alcohol? Four beers? Maybe six? If you ask me, I’d rather down six cups of espresso!

Speaking of drinking, I got so drunk tonight. I don’t know how it even happened. I had one Bailey-Kahlua shot, just one! And poof! I was gone! Well, I made a whole scene before I was gone. Poor Sophy had to endure the trail of mess I left behind. Again, it could have been you who’d clean up after my mess, or who’d prevent the mess from even happening.

Now when I think about it, it would have been rather embarrassing if you have seen me. You might have to actually carry me back home. I don’t know if you will laugh at me in that situation, or if you would rather run away from me. It makes me wonder if you actually saw me. Oh, for goodness’ sake I hope not, because that girl who threw up everywhere, barefooted, and without poise? Yes, that’s me. Guilty. Now I’m afraid I’d scare the shit out of you.

I want to know your deal breakers. I want to know what peeves you so I can avoid pushing the wrong button. I want to know if we both can live up to each other’s expectation. Please tell me that we will work it out. What would we call each other? Habibi? Babe? Hun? Sweetheart? Mahal? Boss? Cupcake?

I’m sorry. I know that I am going way ahead of myself again. We haven’t even met yet here I am looking out in our future. I am turning into the biggest cheese ball every second and I can’t help myself. I get too excited just thinking about the possibility of you.

Will I sound creepy if I say that I keep a list of things I want to do when I meet you? I want to go on a holiday together. Maybe we can take a cruise to Luxor. I want to cook for you, I want to cook with you. I want to rock guitar hero with you. I want to go around the city with you. I want to get drunk with you. I want to get high with you.

Ok, you can totally pretend I didn’t mean that last bit on my list, just in case you come from a conservative background.

There are so many things that I do with my friends that I wish I could do with you. It could have been you I went horse riding with. It could have been you I went smoking shisha with. It could have been you I spent hours talking to.

Will I be able to recognize you when I meet you? Will you be able to recognize me when you see me? I know I have already asked too many questions, but this is actually the biggest question I have in my mind. How are we going to know that it’s you, that it’s me? Will it just feel right, and easy, and unforced, and perfect? Or will it be awkward, and scary, and confusing?

It can be all of these things, or none of these things. But I hope that when we see each other eye to eye, we will just know. I have been living a while not knowing, and it will make a big difference if, for once, we would finally know.

A letter to my hypothetical boyfriend part 2


I didn’t meet a Kyle or an Amadeus last night. That means I have no boyfriend with a sexy name, nor someone to call A. I met a Ziko, a Peter, and a Jasper, but none of them were you.

I was hoping you would come to the bus station last night but you didn’t. My friends came to save me from boredom. We went to a cafe to pass time. I have such awesome friends who always have my back and I consider myself lucky, but what I wanted was to be able to count on you too.

On the trip, I sat to a guy who started snoring as soon as the bus moved, and I was definite he wasn’t you either.

I still haven’t met you, but I am not losing heart, I can feel that you exist, it’s just unfortunate that our paths have not crossed yet.

If you were with me today, you would have been so proud of me! I managed to get free breakfast buffet today without even trying. I reckon I could have gotten a free breakfast for two, but what’s the point of that when, clearly, you’re not around?

I would have been happy, and I would have had a big breakfast, but everywhere I look, I see couples holding hands and kissing each other. It made your absence more obvious than usual.

I thought I would see you at the beach today, but obviously that wasn’t the case. I spent the entire day with my girlfriend instead.

Her name is Sophy, and I think you will like her. It would have been so nice if you met her! She’s such a lovely woman and we’ve shared a year of friendship. I met her here in El Gouna exactly the same time last year, and since then I felt like she and I have history. I wish I can have that same history with you.

I would love for you to meet Sophy’s Ali too. He’s such a sweet, caring, funny guy and I can already tell that you guys will be good buddies!

It would have been nice if we went out on a double date tonight.

Sophy and Ali.

Jen and Kyle.

Or Jen and Amadeus.

Or heck, Jen and whatever-your-name-is!

But you weren’t with us, and thus, I was a third wheel by default.

We played pool! And we could have played doubles if you were here. I don’t know why I’m thinking we have a fair chance of winning over Sophy and Ali. I guess I will always have this bias towards you. I can’t help it, you’re my man.

I gave Sophy and Ali their first salsa class tonight, or let’s say I forced them into it! You forgot to show up. Were you really that busy?

I got us spicy beef nachos for dinner. I hope you love guacamole! I’m not really sure what you feel like having. And if you were here, then you could get whatever you want. I’ll even let you order for me, because if we are going to be together, I trust that you would know my taste and appetite more than anyone.

I had too much fruit drinks today–fresh cantaloupe juice, mango-coconut milkshake, a Florida mocktail. It was so refreshing, but it would have tasted much sweeter if we were sipping it from the same straw.

I didn’t go kite surfing today even when I badly wanted to because that will be unfair to you. I always thought it will be much cooler if we take the course together. But after your no-show, I’m convinced I should start the course even without you. I’m sorry, don’t take it the wrong way. I would really like to kite with you, but I know that you will understand. Perhaps when we meet each other, we can plan our first trip together.

I sat at one of the lazy chairs in front of our hotel. I looked at the sky and wondered if you have gotten lost. That is the only explanation I ccould think of. I sat there alone, admiring the stars when what I really wanted is to talk about what we’d like to do tomorrow.

By the way, I bought a new toothbrush for us, I hope you don’t mind sharing. You can get one for yourself if you want to, or I can go back to the supermarket and get you one if you promise to do the dishes three times a week for a month.



Where exactly are you? I didn’t meet you today. If I did, then I wouldn’t be writing this right now. Don’t you think it will be a lot easier if you can just tell me where to find you? Or where I should go so you can find me already? That way we don’t have to play this hide and seek game anymore.

I guess I should just go back to our room. Hang on, I meant my room because there is no our, there is no us, there is no we. There is not even a you.

Please prove me wrong. Please knock on my door next morning and wake me up from my sleep. Let me know that you are not just in my head, that you are not just imaginary.

A letter to my hypothetical boyfriend


I don’t know what your name is, but I am secretly hoping it’s Kyle. I always thought Kyle is a sexy name for a guy. If your name is Amadeus, then we’re off to a good start. That means you have cool parents, because seriously, who names their son Amadeus? Only cool, creative parents, right? And if your name is indeed Amadeus, please, allow me to call you A.

I have no idea what you look like. Are you even taller than I am? I’m too short to begin with so I am guessing that you are. But height doesn’t really matter, unless it matters to you. Do you have a crooked smile? How about a scar on your arms? You probably have deep, brown eyes. Am I asking too much questions? I’m sorry, I’m just really curious.

If your guess is as good as mine, I’m sure I have never met you before. I don’t even know if you actually exist. Perhaps you’re just a fragment of my imagination, which is why I refer to you as my hypothetical boyfriend.

But there is nothing more I want than to talk to you right now. I’m here at the bus station alone, waiting for my bus that won’t come until two in the morning, and the clock just hit midnight. Wouldn’t it be nice if you’re sitting next to me right now? We could be planning about things we can do on this three-day holiday by the red sea.

We could be teasing each other now–I will brag that I’m a better kite surfer than you are and you will desperately attempt to prove me wrong. We can play bets! Like whoever is the better kite surfer gets a kiss, and in a way, that is win-win situation for both of us.

Or we could be sitting next to each other right now–me with my Nick Hornby book, and you with your iPad–we won’t be talking, and that’s alright, silence isn’t awkward between us because we know we have tomorrow ahead of us.

However, you are not here to convince me that I won’t be having breakfast alone tomorrow. I don’t have you around to remind me to pack my tooth brush and yours. See, I just found out I left my tooth brush in my flat and that is all your fault.

I spend most of my days waiting. Waiting for my coffee, waiting for my turn in any line, waiting for the movies to start, and all the waiting wouldn’t have been that excruciating had you been telling me the most funny jokes. I hope you can beat my sense of humor!

A seven hour bus trip would have been delightful if you are here right now. We will be talking about which Asian restaurant we will try when we get there, we will agree to dance salsa tomorrow night even if no one else is dancing. Oh, boy, I am already looking forward to it! Or we can just close our eyes and sleep in comfort in our locked arms.

I need you to be here to keep me grounded, to remind me to stop when I am close to crossing the line. I know that if you are here, I will feel so much safer and braver. I know you’ll be beside me if things go wrong, and more so when things go right.

I need you to remind me when I am being snotty, when I am being bossy, or when I am acting like a child. I am sure that you will be honest with me because you only want me to be the best version of myself.

I am really bored without you. Where are you? What are you doing right now? It would be better if we meet now rather than never. You could be one of these guys in this waiting room. Maybe you’ll be on the same bus as I am. And if I’m lucky, I might even get to sit next to you.

Maybe I’ll find you in the same hotel that I’ll be staying at tomorrow. Or maybe you’ll see me walking around the beach. When you see me, please don’t be a stranger. Just let me know that you are my hypothetical boyfriend and we can both cut the crap and just make up for our lost time.

I’ll make you muffins! I’m a great cook! I hope you like eating because I do. Please have a big appetite! Tell me what your favorite dish is and even if it is something I’ve never cooked before, I’m sure google will give me a decent recipe.

Do you like watching movies? I’m guessing that if we are going to be together, that means that you do! I’ll watch a horror movie with you, only if you promise to watch a romantic comedy flick with me. We will play your favorite songs in the car, even if it’s punk rock or hard metal, but you will have to learn salsa and dance with me! I’m sure we will work it out, that’s what compromise is for, right?

There are so many things I don’t know about you and I just want to know everything right now! I want to be able to look at you and tell myself that finally, I know what it feels like! I want to make you laugh. I want to be able to make you trust me. I want to look straight in your eyes and thank you for being with me. I want to be in the company other than myself. I want to be in your company.

But no matter how much I would want for you to be here right now, I can’t just pull you out of a magic hat. I can’t order you from eBay, and I don’t have a genie to grant me three wishes. The only thing I can do is try to find you and I’ve been trying to look for you for a while now.

Maybe that’s what I’ve been doing wrong. Maybe you are also trying to find me and because we’re both looking in the wrong places, we keep missing each other. Maybe I should just stop looking for you. Maybe it’s time for me to stop making you muffins, planning for our future, and thinking of you, because you don’t exist–at least not yet.