To Cowtown and Back

It’s been over a week since I’ve blogged. I’ve read “advice” that you should not go more than a few days between posts, because then people will lose interest. And I’m like, “So you should write crap, even if you have nothing to say? You really think people are gonna keep coming back?”

Not that my intermittent posts are Pulitzer-worthy. But I feel that a heart-felt post when the author actually has something to share with her readers that they might either a) benefit from or b) be thankful about for not being the loser whose life-story they are reading is more effective. Or do I mean, affective? Yes, the latter.

Are you still with me?

But there is a reason for this lull. I went to Kansas City this past weekend. KC, if you don’t know, is also known as Cowtown and so naturally I’d have to visit.

Actually, the reason behind the visit was to attend a wedding of a friend of Mr. Rafia’s. It was my first ever non-Desi wedding. And I gotta say, I really missed my Desi weddings. The music they played was fun and Mr. Rafia and I did dance, which we didn’t do at our own wedding, but no one makes wedding music like India, okay? It’s weird that as I get older, I become more and more unapologetically Indian. How would emo teenage Rafia deal with this fact? I will spare you the details.

Unfortunately, I didn’t see any real cows. But I did see this in the Children’s section of the Public Library!

20160819_100843
I think they placed that “Do not touch” sign specifically for me :(

OMG THE KANSAS CITY PUBLIC LIBRARY IS THE GREATEST THING EVER.

I could have spent the entire weekend there just admiring the place like the idiot I am.

But fortunately, the rest of my weekend was super amazing that I didn’t have a chance to be angry for only being in the library for an hour or so.

I am not going to bore y’all with all the details, because that is what a diary is for. But have you personally experienced the phenomenon of meeting a person for the first time and instantly connecting with them? Well, I had that this weekend with two people! A mother and daughter. The mother became like an older sister, whether she wants this designation or not, and the daughter, pretty much my twin. I stayed up until way past 1 AM talking to the daughter about our INFJ personalities (dude, we even drive the same car!) and books and writing and life. It was awesome. I can count the number of times I’ve connected with another human being like that on one hand. It’s a rarity for me, an introverted AND shy person. So when it happens, it’s a big deal.

The fact that I had three different types of cake (and not just bites, this is me we’re talking about) in a single day has been dwarfed by the love and inspiration I’ve felt from the people I met this past weekend. I now have a better understanding of how tough it must have been for Mr. Rafia to have to say Goodbye to the city that become home for almost five years.

I am definitely going back to Cowtown. I need to see those cows!

17 thoughts on “To Cowtown and Back”

  1. Wow, mashaAllah!! Sounds like so much fun🎉
    I can totally relate to those rare moments where you just “click” with a person you meet…subhanaAllah, most of them have become my lifelong friends (not that my life has been very long😂). That library looks so mesmerizing…I could see myself getting lost in it for hours at end😊
    Lovely post, Rafia❤️

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Saki! :) Yes, many of my closest of friends today are the ones I had that initial connection with and I’ve known them for only a few years. I used to think real friendships were life-long, you know the ones from your childhood. But not everyone’s life flows that way. It’s amazing that God puts people later in your life and how through just one conversation you feel like you’ve known them for years!

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  2. I saw all your cute snaps on Instagram, you lucky girl! It looks like a great place! I can’t imagine non desi weddings. And gosh, in my early teens I rebelled so much against all-things-Pakistani. I was obsessed with American music. As I grew up I accepted my roots more and more, so much so that now I refuse to be identified otherwise. Did you guys slow dance? Is that what happens on the dance floor? I have no clue. xD

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    1. The girl is Arab, so there were some Arab elements; but she married a white man, so not much. Yet another way you and I are practically twins… though years apart! Hehe. I used to try to hide the fact that I was Indian as a teen. I even stopped watching Bollywood, something I used to love as a kid. Not because the movies began to suck, which they did, but because I was embarrassed by what it represented. I’m getting back to my Desi root though, especially being married to a “ghora Desi” (heee!) and I am lovin’ it! The bride and groom did the slow dance. The guests only danced to the upbeat stuff – a lot of Arab pop music, I think. It was Arab anyway. I lot of ululations too!

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  3. Don’t you know we live vicariously through you as your journey takes you to the land of cows and cakes? No excuses lady, get to writing and keep those posts coming :)

    Weddings make me super uncomfortable, I never know what to do with myself. Apparently I never got the crash course on Somali wedding protocols. Since they are usually not mixed (gender wise), you are expected to at least visit the dance floor once or twice. But don’t you dare dance to hard, or appear too enthusiastic….or you will never survive the death stare from your mom seating calmly at her table. You’re supposed to dress up to the max, but still appear modest. I usually put on a fancy Abaya and a sparkly hijab but for some reason I always end up looking like I’m wearing a piece of the table cloth. Somalis love colour (we have that in common with our Indian and Pakistani sisters I believe), but you better know what colours and motifs are in, and which ones are out. And then there’s the camera….my personal nemesis and the bane of my existence. No self-respecting somali wedding will skip on having the whole thing filmed as a memento. But don’t you dare look to eager at the possibility of being filmed. You’re suppose to look mildly annoyed by the presence of the camera, pretend to turn away from it, while in reality strategically turning your good side to the camera, for the perfect profile. It’s a finely tuned dance of push and pull and I royally suck at it. The food though makes up for all the trauma!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Awww, thanks! Even in women’s only spaces, you get the stare downs? That’s tough! I love your relay of Somali weddings – I’m curious to attend one now! Ahh, the food. That’s always the one true indicator of a successful wedding. Alhamdullilah, I’ve been told that the food at mine was great. That was a priority for my parents and for myself. But I don’t remember the food. I’m still pissed that I didn’t get to finish my delicious chocolate cake on my wedding day! GRRR.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Your comment truthfully cracked me up. I’ve never been to a Somali wedding but I know many Somalis and I love them, but everything you said about the weddings really hit home for me. I was laughing the whole way through. I feel like that can be a blog post of it’s own, haha.

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    3. Agreed! I often (constantly?) need to live vicariously through the lives of more interesting and exciting people.Open those diary pages, Rafia! ;)

      I really hate being photographed but my family and friends love it. And they know me well enough that they know to come find me hiding in the back row, behind the tall people, and drag me to the front. For the past few years, what whatever gift-giving occasion, I have asked for “get out of photo free” cards, but I have yet to receive one.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. More interesting and exciting people? Tell me! Who are these people???? I’m sorry, but I am with your family on this one. I know you may hate it now, but it saddens me to know that there are no photographs of my father’s mother. My father doesn’t even know what his mother looks like. I’m not sure how you feel about being a mother one day, but I’m sure nieces and nephews would be saddened to know there are no photos of the amazing Aunty Laura, who created her own Hobbit hole in the ground and lived happily ever after with Cillian Murphy!

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  4. You look adorable Masha’Allah and I am in love with that library. I crave the liberty of wandering through such artistic places on my own. I didn’t know Kansas was Cowtown! And I used to agree about not writing crap for blog entries just to fill empty space. But lately, the void in my heart and the need to let it all out is pushing me to change my crap to gold.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, Abbie! Please turn your crap into writing gold! The blogosphere is in desperate need of your awesomeness!

      Oh yeah, I know what you mean. I’ve spent most of my life not being able to do anything on my own and now when my husband says he wants me to travel by myself, I’m like, “What? Really?” I’m still not used to it.

      When do you leave for Hajj? Can’t wait to read all about your experience! Is your mom going with you too?

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  5. WHY DON’T ALL LIBRARIES LOOK LIKE THAT?? I get so annoyed when libraries are literally the most dull looking buildings of all times. Their walls carry some of the most magnificent stories and memoirs and films and biographies out there, yet they look like a prison. I’m going to add the Kansas City Public Library to the list of libraries that I want to visit. I loved reading about it through your eyes :)

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    1. Thanks, dear! I agree. It’s makes me sad when libraries are built and maintained so dully. But this one in Kansas City really does set the bar! The coolest thing would be to tour all the great libraries of the world! Wanna join me?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. This really needs to be a tour company; this needs to be a thing! They have tour companies which tour Christmas markets in Germany, so I really don’t feel like visiting the great libraries of the world would be too niche of a market.

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  6. I didn’t have a chance to be angry for only being in the library for an hour or so.
    I feel this so hard. I need to have those book stairs in my house.

    Also, I think ti’s super cruel to have a giant stuff animal in a CHILDREN’S section and not allow anyone to touch it!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It is cruel! So cruel. I am hoping that it wasn’t always this way. There may have been an incident that caused library staff to resort to these measures.

      We swears it wasn’t us!!!

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