Confessions of a Teenage Body Shamer #4

A few weeks later, I sat waiting for my friends in the school cafeteria. It was unusual for Katie and me to arrive there separately. When I searched for her in her classroom, she’d already left. I scanned the room, making sure I had a view of all the entrances, yet neither Katie nor any of my other friends walked through any of them. Suddenly Kasey appeared – we made eye contact, and I warmly waved at her.

Recently, I spent afternoons at her house working on our school project. Unexpectedly, she’d become a great friend of mine, even though we barely spoke to each other at school.
At most, we would acknowledge each other. However, we would speak over the phone regularly, and through this, we got to know each other better – which made me realize that Kasey was not like how we thought she’d be at all!


Katie and the rest of my friends found this new acquaintanceship super weird. They would readily make remarks whenever I would greet Kasey. Once, when Katie was feeling especially mean, she made snarky comments about our friendship – of course, I simply laughed it off. I knew she wouldn’t mean them, but the insults became annoyingly unbearable, and I tried to avoid bumping into Kasey whenever I was with my friends.


The cafeteria became a bit noisier. I looked over my shoulder to see Katie and our group of friends laughing as they made their way towards me. Katie’s face sobered up as soon as she saw me.


“Hey”


“Hi, where have you been?”


“Around,” Katie answered vaguely. She shared a look and a giggle with our friends sitting at the table.


“Around? What’s that supposed to mean?” I was confused about why they were leaving me out all of a sudden.


Katie looked at me whilst rolling her eyes. “I mean around, Emma. Do you really need to know everything?”


I was taken aback by how harsh her tone was. “Everything? I literally just asked one question, Katie, it’s not such a big deal.”


She scoffed. “I swear ever since you started hanging out with Fatty K you have been acting so weird! I don’t even know who you are anymore.”


“What are you even talking about? I don’t hang out with her.”

“Are you serious, right now,” her bitter laugh made me freeze. I started feeling queasy, fidgeting with my fingers. Katie had a blank look on her face, completely unreadable, which made me feel threatened. “Come on, Emma. We have all seen how you greet her in the hallways, even now you waved to her.”
Around the table, everyone nodded their heads in agreement with what Katie was saying. Her face lit up. “Wait a second, don’t tell me that you’re actually friends with her?”

Looking around the table, everyone nodded their heads in agreement with what Katie was saying. Her face lit up. “Wait a second, don’t tell me that you’re actually friends with her?”


Stunned, I felt the room spinning around me. Not saying anything – unable to find the words, Katie and the rest of the table broke out into a fit of laughter. I gulped nervously, feeling uncomfortable as they laughed at me. I could feel the blood rush to my ears as tears welled up in my eyes. My throat was closing up, making it hard for me to breathe. I couldn’t stay there any longer – I had to escape – but I couldn’t move at all. It was like I had lost complete control over my body…

What was wrong with me? Why did I just sit there like an idiot? Why didn’t I just deny it? That would have been better than to have them laugh at me.


Katie steadied herself, “well this is rich. Our little Emma is all grown up and making friends with our school’s resident Fatty.” She checked her wristwatch, putting her arm around my shoulder. Leaning in too-close-for-comfort to my ear. She whispered, with a hot breath that sent shivers down my spine, “I really think you should see what’s about to happen next. I think it’ll put you back on the right path.”


Unable to look at her, she tucked my hair behind my ear. Once she finished speaking, a commotion started on the other side of the cafeteria, right where Kasey sat. I looked up just in time to see a tray of lasagna thrown on her head. I swear I gasped, but it was lost in the raucous laughter erupting in the cafeteria. Kasey stood up to defend herself – her protests were silenced with a yoghurt cup thrown at her face.


“Go ahead, Em. Go defend your friend, she looks like she needs your help,” Katie said loudly standing up from next to me, making me look up at her. She looked at me with such malice in her eyes that made me feel so intimidated – it made me feel so small. I wanted to stand up, I really did. But I was frozen to my spot. I was scared that if I moved right then, everyone that was throwing food at Kasey would turn their attack on me in an instant.


A high pitched scream.


It was Kasey’s last warning for them to stop… and everyone did. Until Katie walked towards her at an agonizingly slow pace. Picking up a can of soda, she opened it – the slow fizz of the can synonymous with the cocking of a gun – and poured all the contents over Kasey’s head. Katie’s speciality.


My heart sank to the ground as I made eye contact with Kasey. Her entire face was covered in food, but I could easily see the humiliation on her face. But nothing stung more than her look of sheer disappointment directed at me. Kasey’s glassy eyes were the last thing I saw before she ran out of the cafeteria, fiercely pushing through the crowd that shattered the silence with a piercing, mocking laughter.


19+ Sexy Summer Songs That Got You Feeling Yourself

Shimmering December is hitting our shores and it is the perfect opportunity to unwind, relax and love yourself! What better way to do that than with some sexy hits to get you in the mood. Summer is connected with spontaneity, holiday flings and ‘girls gone wild’. Today, we’re all about that self-love and music that make you feel like a confident Summer goddess (coz’ you are one)!

2021 has been a tough, long year – it’s time for some good things! GirlOnTheBus has you covered with good reads – good food – good music – the works! Follow us on Instagram @girlonthebus_za

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01


Pot Belly by Freshlyground

“Fat thughs, flabby arms; a pot belly still gives good lovin'” – it most certainly does! A South African classic that lifts the spirits with feel-good beats and self-love lyrics. I promise, there’s a reason this song is first on the list – nuf said!

02


Beautiful by Christina Aguilera

This powerhouse classic will have you shouting out to the world: “you are beautiful, no matter what theysay!” Feeling a bit down? Our special No.2 will cure those insecurities.

03


No Scrubs by TLC

A classic straight out of the 1990s that is oozing with self-empowerment and knowing your worth. Regardless of how old this masterpiece is, its message rings true to this day. Never settle for less and believe in your worth – you deserve all things good and well!

04


Hula Hoops by DPR LIVE ft. BEENZINO, HWASA

Bring some heat to your summer season with this spicy number. The bouncy baseline and catchy lyrics will ignite your inner diva and complement any trip to the beach (or morning shower).

05


Crazy Over You by BLACKPINK

If crazy looks good on you (__) this flaming K-pop hit will get your blood pumping. This 2020 bop pairs well with some dramatic lip-syncing and sexy glances in the mirror – have fun.

06


Belong To You by Sabrina Claudio

Selfish does not always mean something bad – it can mean unapologetically loving who you are and showcasing it! The fluid RnB melody will encapsulate you, naturally lifting your mood (so nice).

07


Cold Blooded by Jessi (제시)

If words of affirmation are your cup of tea, this hip-hop anthem from the queen herself – Jessi – will have you strutting your stuff. The lyrics heavily focus on self-assurance, self-confidence and powerful self-love.

08


One Dance by Drake (ft. Wizkid & Kyla)

Does a song need to say you gotta love yourself? I don’t think so. This 2016 Summer hit is accentuated with Afrobeats that is great for making you feel great during those long road trips or if you’re stuck in traffic.

09


Cherry by Jungle

Smooth melodies hypnotise you, transporting you to a place of calm and reassurance. You are part of this universe as much as the next person – always changing, always growing.

10


Tadow by Masego (+FKJ)

‘Tada’ + ‘wow’ = one sexy song. This hit sprouted from a jam session between the two artists and become popularised online. It will give you serious earworm, and the confidence to put on your red lipstick and love the skin you’re in.

11


Feeling Good the Michael Bublé version

One of the most popular songs performed by soft jazz and blues singer. This version of the song will give you classy, sassy levels of confidence to take on those dreary days before the holidays. The Nina Simone performance is to die for!

12


Woman by Doja Cat

A powerful ode to the many roles that women play in society, and how women move in and out of them. This afrobeats opening track is the perfect addition to your girls’ outing. Or simply, listen to it on your way to work for some powerful feminine energy!

13


What You Wanted by CIX (씨아이엑스)

The heavy baseline and flowy lyrical verses (and cute Kpop boys) gives you a sexy boost of confidence! But do not be fooled, the sensual feel of this song hides some pretty deep lyrics about knowing your worth and finding what it is you truly want – in life, in yourself and your relationships.

14


UN Village by Baekhyun (백현)

There is just something about the festive season that’s so romantic. Just us? Catching the eye of your crush outside the classroom. Meeting your workmate for a plutonic cup of coffee. This song embodies being smooth, flirtatious and confident. Let’s hit the town!

15


Nena by YEИDRY

A smooth blend of Latin influence and R&B, this ballad is nothing short of pure love. A story about “a mother sending her daughter a blessing from afar” speaks to the heart and soul. What better way to show how much you love yourself, by extending that love to others too.

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16


I’m a 빛 by Hwa Sa (화사)

Along your journey, you will find that not everyone has your back. It’s okay! Take some advice from this kween, and become a real b!tch and take on the world in your own way! With heavy electro-pop influences, this sassy track will help you embody the savage energy you need to follow your dreams.

17


Love Again by Dua Lipa

We’ve all been there – when we feel like the world is falling apart and the darkness has won. Never fret – this song is the metaphorical cuddle session you needed. Fun, empowering and super sexy: the nostalgic-heavy track will have you dancing any blues away.

18


Try a Little Tenderness by Pip Millett

Sometimes a kind word is all that we’re looking for. Soft and sweet, this song is nothing short of a melodious therapy session. As Millet say herself: “Try a little tenderness
That’s all you’ve gotta do” Go easy on yourself, eat well, sleep fully and stay hydrated!

19


Darkest Hour by Joy Crookes

Sometimes life gets tough and it can be difficult to walk alone. This song is all about loyalty, especially through the hard times. Celebrate this holiday season by extending your appreciation to the friends, family or pets who were there for you ‘even in the darkest hour’.

20


ZGZG by SAAY

Let’s be fair – the Summertime is the best time for chilling and enjoying life! This Kpop summer track is about living that dream party life. A punchy percussion line and infectious chorus will have you up on your feet. Not to mention the powerful S(L)AAY energy this song radiates!

21


Flower by Johnny Stimson

And in the end, the journey of self-love is a beautiful ballad, each one with its own unique poetry. This loving 2019 song compares a love interest to flora with words of adoration, awe and tenderness.

Did we miss a feel-good song that you love? Let us know in the comment below! We wish you nothing but good things for the rest of this crazy year ahead. You can find the full GOTB Self Care Spotify playlist below. Stay healthy, stay hydrated!

We Approve This Deliciousness | Mid-Week Dessert Ideas 🧁

Is it time for dessert? Or do you fancy a mignardise course or some post-meal pastries and snacks? Farzana Kumandan from Sprinkles and Spice has you sorted! These easy-peasy Bread Pudding and Milk Tart recipes will have you asking for ‘seconds, please’.

Bread Pudding

Ingredients

6 slices of bread 

4 eggs

2 tablespoons butter

¾ cup sugar

750ml full cream milk

3 heaped tablespoon custard

¼ cup coconut 

1 tablespoon vanilla essence

½ teaspoon fine cinnamon 

Pinch of cardamom and/or nutmeg 

Pinch of salt

Method

Preheat oven to 180 degrees

Add all ingredients to a blender. Blend all ingredients in a blender until smooth

Spray a medium rectangle Pyrex dish with spray and cook and pour in your mixture 

Bake on 180 degrees on the lower rack of the oven for 45 minutes until the top is golden brown and a slightly cracked crust is formed 

Once done, remove from the oven and brush over apricot jam

Turn off the oven but return the pudding to the warm oven to rest and settle for 20 minutes 

Milk Tart

Ingredients for the base

250g soft butter (not melted)

125g sifted icing sugar

2 eggs

2 heaped cups flour

Method for the base

Cream the eggs, soft butter and sifted icing sugar until smooth

Fold in the flour and mix with a wooden spoon until it forms a soft dough (If the dough is too sticky, the butter was too soft, add an extra ½ cup flour)

Press into a large black oven tray, ensuring you form a crust over the sides

Pop in the freezer for 20 minutes

Ingredients for the milk custard

8 large eggs (you can use 7 if you prefer it less firm)

2 tablespoons custard powder

A pinch of salt

2 tablespoons vanilla essence

1 Tin Condensed Milk

1¼ cups cold milk

1 cup cold water

3 tablespoons soft butter (cut in 12 small pieces)

Fine Cinnamon for dusting

Method for the milk custard

In mixer whisk the eggs, custard, salt, vanilla essence and condensed milk until smooth

Add in the milk and water and whisk until well combined

Lastly, add the pieces of butter

Pour over the chilled base and dust with cinnamon

Bake on 180degrees for 50 minutes on the lower part of the oven (Do not preheat the oven)

Once the custard starts to expand and bubble, it’s done!

Make sure you follow Farzana on Instagram and Facebook for more yummy recipes, all made with love! Stay hydrated.

The 2020 Bus Ride: Our Year in Review 🚌

A review of everything we’ve done together on the bus this year.

2020 has been a wild (unexpectedly long) bus ride for all of us: we’ve hit lots of bumps on the road, but we’ve managed to have a little fun regardless.

This year we tried out, and added, a few new things: new, talented writers; new SPOOPY posts for October; posting once a week; lots and lots of poetry and short stories. It’s (semi-) safe to say that 2020 was our fullest bus ride yet and we’re super thankful for that.

To prepare for 2021, and the ideas we’ve got stacked up, here’s a review of everything we’ve done together on the bus this year.

P.S. Authors who do not have their own profiles on GOTB have Italicised names.

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We looked at lots of things we liked

Continue reading “The 2020 Bus Ride: Our Year in Review 🚌”

Watching the Stars, Beneath the Stars

The Galileo Open Air Cinema is the perfect spot for a variety of experiences.

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The Galileo Open Air Cinema is the perfect spot to: catch up with friends, tell your crush you ‘wanna be more than friends’ or in our case – a classic girls’ night out. The Covid-19 pandemic has affected the South African economy like never before and The Galileo (unfortunately) was no different.

Just like other businesses, they’ve had to adapt – and they have!

If you’ve been sleeping on this once in a lifetime experience, please get your mask on, apply some hand sanitiser and get in your car – because this place is everything!

Founded by Huenu Solsona, The Galileo Open Air Cinema provides the coziness of cuddling under a blanket of stars (and a literal blanket) whilst watching a wholesome movie, with a steaming hot shawarma and buttery popcorn. As you might have gathered from the name, the cinema is outside, situated at some of Cape Town’s most stunning nature-inspired venues.

However, in this manner, they were unable to ensure that Covid-19 health regulations could be met. Thus, they introduced The Galileo Open Air Cinema 2.0… Drive-In Cinema!

If you’ve been to a traditional drive-in cinema, this is really no different. But if you’re like me, and had only ever heard of them – then this is a definite must!

I’ve had the great pleasure of speaking to Huenu numerous times about her passion for movies and creating great experiences, and you feel that as soon as you drive in to the venue.

At the entrance, you’re greeted by some of the friendliest staff members ever – I love those guys! You’re then handed an informational sheet that includes rules and guidelines, and the radio frequency you need to flood your car with crisp movie audio.

With the original Galileo Picnic, patrons could walk from one food vendor to another – socializing with the vendors and fellow movie goers. In the case of the Drive-In, you pre-order your food online and collect it all wrapped up just for you (their are Halaal foods available). And if you’re into bringing some tangy lemon cheesecake or sushi, bring your own food from home. However, no alcohol is allowed on the premises.

They have since reopened their Picnic version after South Africa lessened its COVID-19 restrictions, allowing for more people to attend public spaces and gatherings. But this was not all! The Galileo aims to constantly impress and they plan to do just that with their latest addition to the stunning family – The Galileo Royale!

The Galileo Royale is an exclusive screening experience with welcome drinks, a private concert, mouth-watering foods, intimate viewing spaces and a night of luxury! This version is perfect if you’re in the mood to treat that very special someone. Although, I would gladly take myself for this (minus the welcome drinks LOL).

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The general genre of movies available is wholesome family-friendly movies – with a few exceptions here and there, like Pretty Woman or Dirty Dancing. However, even movies that I didn’t know the name of happened to make me laugh, cry and feel good!

My absolute favourite was watching My Big Fat Greek Wedding with my sisters. It was amazing: the weather was cold and lightly raining, but we huddled inside my mom’s car!

I genuinely have only good reviews of The Galileo Open Air Cinema. The staff are attentive, friendly and warm, and the atmosphere is sweet, fun and comfortable. Plus, the movies make you feel all the things!

Now what about price? Or location? Well, all that can be found on their website https://thegalileo.co.za/ or check out their Instagram page for updates on weekly screenings and venues.

This post was not sponsored by The Galileo Open Air Cinema, but darn it they are so frikkin cool I just needed to write a post about them!

Thanks for reading! GirlOnTheBus is powered by a strong, sassy group of women with a love for writing and sharing stories. If you know of someone in your community doing amazing things for themselves or others, let us know! You can tag us in posts on social media with #girlonthebusblog or send us an email under the GOT SOMETHIN’ TO SAY tab. So easy! We look forward to hearing about the talented and simply stellar individuals across the globe.

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#COLLAB: It’s going tibia ok: life as a nursing student

As a student nurse having worked in the hospital setting, I truly believe that nurses are the backbone of hospitals and healthcare delivery.

Written by Gafsah Martin

Nursing was never a career path that crossed my mind during my high school years. Medicine, pharmacy, statistics, mathematics, and chemistry were some of the more common career paths that I considered following after matric. This all changed when I completed my job shadowing assignment in Grade 11… and when I received my Grade 12 Term 1 marks (hahaha).

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Deciding to study nursing

Job shadowing a nurse was more of a “last minute option” for me as it was difficult to find companies that would allow me to job shadow someone in the fields I was interested in. But having the opportunity to actually follow a nurse around for the day changed my perspective of nursing, since I had only ever seen it from a patient’s point of view.

The reason I chose to study nursing was because I have always wanted to help others. It may sound cliche but helping others, even in the smallest ways, always gave me a sense of happiness, and I’m grateful that this career path has allowed me to continue to do so.

Ups and Downs of studying nursing

Ups: my favourite part about nursing is working in the hospitals, and making my patients smile and laugh. I never had strong communication skills but working directly with different kinds of people has not only helped to improve my communication skills, but it has also helped me build up my confidence.

Downs: my least favourite part about nursing is breaking the news to family members about someone they have lost. Since I am still a student, I am not allowed to do this myself, but I was always present when the sister-in-charge would do it.

It’s heartbreaking to have to deliver news like this because you can picture it being a loved one of your own and how you would feel in that situation.

Dealing with the emotions of bad news

As a medical student, we are always told not to become emotionally attached to patients. It was difficult for me to do this initially when I worked in the paediatric ward because it hurt me to see so many children who were critically ill. However, I have learned to refrain from becoming emotionally attached and I have honestly never had a difficult time dealing with the loss of a patient.

Studying nursing through the COVID-19 pandemic

Thankfully, I was not placed on the frontline during the time of the COVID-19 pandemic and my last day in the hospital setting was 18 March 2020. For the past few months, I have been safe at home and have had to continue my studies online.

Having to study from home was a big adjustment and it became stressful at times, especially when you’re bombarded with work from all your lecturers at once. I’m sure we can all relate the most to WiFi/data problems and the infamous loadshedding. Luckily, we started returning to our medical campus from 14 September for our practical assessments. It was a different environment to be in and it didn’t feel the same to be on campus anymore. It felt like a ghost town; quiet and empty.

As much as I’m seeing and enjoying this opportunity to spend more time with my family, I definitely miss being in the hospital setting. I miss interacting with other nurses and the medical team, and hearing hilarious, interesting stories from my patients.

Challenges of studying nursing, and resilience in hard times

There have been many tough challenges during my journey as a nursing student and there are times when I feel like giving up and start questioning whether this career path is really for me. I constantly have to remind myself why I chose this path.

Besides helping others, I also chose this career path to teach others that nurses aren’t just “assistants” to doctors, physicians and other medical professionals (because this is what I thought of nurses when growing up). As a student nurse having worked in the hospital setting, I truly believe that nurses are the backbone of hospitals and healthcare delivery.

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Accomplishments and goals in nursing so far

My biggest accomplishment thus far was pushing through and striving to do the best that I possibly could during the 2nd year of my studies, regardless of the various challenges that arose.

I have always preferred to set small daily/weekly/monthly goals for myself rather than have one or more big goals, because what happens on your life journey can change at any time. However, I want to continue to help people in general – not just patients in hospitals and/or clinics that I work at – and to make at least one person smile daily.

One of my greatest goals is to be the qualified nurse that I, as a student, would want to work with.

Author, Gafsah Martin, in her nursing uniform.

Thanks for reading! GirlOnTheBus is powered by a strong, sassy group of women with a love for writing and sharing stories. If you know of someone in your community doing amazing things for themselves or others, let us know! You can tag us in posts on social media with #girlonthebusblog or send us an email under the GOT SOMETHIN’ TO SAY tab. So easy! We look forward to hearing about the talented and simply stellar individuals across the globe.

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#COLLAB: Local scarf-fashion business ‘LAHAN’

LAHAN is a local scarf and accessory business in the Northern Suburbs of Cape Town, South Africa. Started and run by two university students, we asked them a few questions about how they started up their business and how the experience has been so far.

Taken from LAHAN’s Facebook page

LAHAN is a local scarf and accessory business based in the Northern Suburbs of Cape Town, South Africa. Started and run by two university students, we asked them a few questions about how they started their business and how the experience has been so far.

E/N: for those who might not know, the use of the Islamic words “Alhamdulillah” and “Inshallah” are used to give thanks and praise to Allah.

Talk us through the history of the company. The beginnings of this Cape Town-based hijab shop.

LAHAN was founded in 2019 by Aneesah and Aqeelah. We started this business out of fulfilling our own needs and found that many other women had the same need as us.

We make scarfs that are quality and affordable, with the various colours we have it is easy to match any outfit with one of our scarfs. [We] are both University students that saw the need for scarves like ours and we went for it.

Our family and friends were very supportive when we started our business and we would not have been able to get where we are today without their guidance and help.

A highlight in our business was definitely getting recognized by customers and other vendors at expos and on social media platforms.

We still have a lot to learn but Alhamdulillah, we are happy with the progress we have made.

Where did the inspiration for the brand’s name come from?

When thinking of our brand’s name, we wanted the name to be unique and intrigue customers.

LAHAN is a combination of the co-owners names; Aqeelah and Aneesah. So, it’s the end of Aqeelah’s ‘LAH’ and the beginning of Aneesah’s name ‘AN’. 

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With so many hijab-focused businesses opening, how do you stay creative and unique?

A selling point of ours is that we constantly get in new colours and a wide variety of colours. Currently, we have over 60 shades of colours. There is literally a colour for every outfit.  

Is there any particular type of hijab that is your personal favorite? Fabric or print or embellishment?

We are in love with premium chiffon and georgette material as it gives you an elegant look and drapes beautifully. The advantage of having these types of scarfs is that it is lightweight and non-slip.

Taken from LAHAN’s Facebook page

What is your go-to hijab color? The one that just makes you stand out more than the rest?

My go-to hijab colour would definitely be green: green generally is my favourite colour.

When people say the colour you wear has an impact on your mood they are 100% correct. When I wear a green LAHAN scarf it makes me feel instantly happy. 

When women buy a scarf, should they take the same time to consider how it suits them as an eyeshadow color or lipstick shade would?

Choosing a scarf colour that suits you should definitely be considered; however, it can be a rather daunting process. For this reason, at LAHAN we try our best to continuously broaden our shade range to help every woman find her perfect shade in a LAHAN scarf. 

What changes have you gone through personally while operating your business?

Starting and operating a business has taught us so much, but something we had to learn from the very beginning was to trust ourselves and our ideas and to not be afraid of taking risks.

Had we been afraid, LAHAN might not even exist today but Alhamdulillah we took the leap of faith.

We have also had to change our mindsets regarding setbacks. Owning a business has taught us that it is not always going to be a walk in the park.

There will be challenges but it is our motivation and passion for why we started this venture, as well as our faith that our business will flourish, that will keep us going and striving to do better. 

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What were some of your lowest moments and your greatest achievements?

So far Alhamdulillah, we have not had any major ‘low’ moments. As for achievements, three of the greatest would have to be:

·       Completing our first LAHAN scarfs. It was such a proud moment to have the finished product that so much hard work and perseverance was put into.

·       The official launch of LAHAN was another proud moment and getting to share the occasion with family, friends and our first ever LAHAN customers was such a humbling experience.

·       The opportunity to sell our scarfs in store, Alhamdulillah.

Let’s talk the scarves themselves, what goes into making a typical Lahan scarf?

At LAHAN, we pride ourselves in supporting and uplifting fellow local businesses. For this reason, the first step to completing a scarf is sourcing all fabrics used from local businesses.

As the owners of LAHAN, we source these fabrics ourselves, ensuring that they are quality yet affordable with a variety of colours, shades, and prints.

Once we have our fabric, each scarf is then cut to a specific length and width to suit any scarf style; from simple draping to turban styles.

The unfinished scarfs are then sent to a local seamstress for the final step of being sewn to perfection. Our label is then added to complete the LAHAN scarf. 

Were you daunted to start this venture?

It is safe to say that we were nervous to start our business as we did not know what to expect.

But as soon as we pitched the idea to our families and after receiving their support and words of advice, our new venture quickly went from nerve-wracking to the most exciting experience Alhamdulillah. 

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For girls who are considering wearing the hijab for the first time, what advice would you give them?

To our sisters in Islam who are considering wearing hijab for the first time: we know that it could be a difficult decision and even more difficult to stick to, but just the fact that you are considering it is an accomplishment in itself. Our advice to you is 4-fold:

·       Wear your hijab for the sake of Allah (swt) alone

Your intention to wear hijab should be solely for the sake of Allah (swt). Take the first step and He will take care of the rest

·       Have faith in Allah (swt)

No matter what anyone says or what others may think, always remember that your decision to wear hijab is only between you and your creator.

As long as you are striving to be closer to Allah (SWT) and your Deen (E/N: faith), no one else’s opinion matters

·       Do not be too hard on yourself

It is okay to stumble along the way, but always remind yourself of your intention and why you are doing it. Continuously ask Allah (swt) to strengthen you, He is your fiercest protector and your biggest supporter, Alhamdulillah

·       Find what works for you

There are so many ways to make hijab and dressing modestly fashionable. Find a style of hijab that you feel comfortable with and start there. 

What are some of your future plans for Lahan? Anything International?

At LAHAN, we encourage women empowerment through bold and beautiful scarfs. Because of this, we plan on having many collaborations with various amazing brands in the future.

We are also in the process of expanding our online store to strengthen our online community and eventually reach international waters: ensuring the growth of our LAHAN family, Inshallah

Taken from LAHAN’s Facebook page: their latest collab with BEAUT jewellery brand

For some good quality scarves, make sure to follow LAHAN’s Instagram and Facebook pages to keep up with their ranges, sales and more!

Thanks for reading! GirlOnTheBus is powered by a strong, sassy group of women with a love for writing and sharing stories. If you know of someone in your community doing amazing things for themselves or others, let us know! You can tag us in posts on social media with #girlonthebusblog or send us an email under the GOT SOMETHIN’ TO SAY tab. So easy! We look forward to hearing about the talented and simply stellar individuals across the globe.

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8 Series as wack as 2020…

The amount of ish that has happened in 2020 is astounding, and it seems as though 2020 is going through a mid-life crisis. I thought I’d help out by suggesting some series that were as messed up as 2020 itself.

Image from Film Daily

2020 has now entered middle age: it’s reading murder mysteries; listening to old-school jams from the 70s, 80s and 90s; watching series about stalkers, and lawyers hiding bodies.

But let’s not diss 2020 too much, because since its birth, it’s also brought about some pretty cool changes: healthcare workers have risen as the superheroes they’ve always been, there is far less pollution EVERYWHERE (I’m getting teary-eyed), and people are tapping into their creative sides with singing, writing, dancing etc. just to name a few.

Obviously, the amount of ish that has happened in 2020 is astounding, and it seems as though 2020 is going through a mid-life crisis – aren’t we all? Life is scary, and we need to support 2020 in whatever challenges it’s facing (link to the 2020 GoFundMe page coming soon 😢).

I thought I’d help out by suggesting some series that were as messed up as 2020 itself (we’re all rooting for you beech 🥺) – keep in mind, if you’ve read my other post 10 Films as messed up as 2020, you’ll know that the list below is my opinion of #messed-up or the kind of wackiness I thought fit that of this year.

So, allow me to distract you from your obligations (even further) with these 8 Series – in no particular order – I thought were as wack as 2020 (no offense gurl, but you got issues🙃):

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The End of the F***ing World – Jonathan Entwistle (2017-2019)

The End of the F***ing World' Isn't Coming Back for Season 3
Image from Highsnobiety

What a seriously charming series, and that’s not just because of Alex Lawther. This series is pretty wacky from the first episode; Lawther’s character is a self-proclaimed psychopath and decides he’ll graduate from killing animals to killing his runaway partner, Alyssa, instead.

The 2 main characters are written so incredibly well, and the actors give them their own charm by their performances of the quirkiness and… weirdness. The show takes a huge plot-twist, and throws lots of little conflicts and arcs in the way of the characters, but in the end, even with all the wtf’s, the show excels in drawing the viewer in. There were moments where I hated the characters, where I wanted to smack them, and there were moments where I cried, felt relief, and laughed for them.

This series is enjoyably comedic, in small ways, but if you’re not a fan of really dark humour… this one might be a miss for you.

Black Mirror – Charlie Brooker (2011- )

Michael Smiley Archives - 8FLiX
Image from 8flix

I could write an entire article purely about this series; it’s seriously good. I’m sure most people have heard of or watched this entire series – maybe even in one sitting instead of doing university essays, like me (*cough cough*). I’m going to keep this entry as short as humanly possible…

This anthology series has lots and lots of good wtf moments, and has some excellent commentary on society and human nature; my favourite episode being “Shut Up and Dance”. While some episodes are a bit… meh, in my taste, there is a vast array of genres and styles all meshed into the series, with each episode delivering its own unique weirdness.

The series has 5 glorious seasons, although there are only about 3 to 6 episodes in each. BUT, with episodes running as long as 90 minutes, each installment constitutes as a mini film – canonical storylines, really weird ish, and more… Black Mirror is the perfect dose of ‘wtf’ in every episode (some a little more than others). This is a series that my film-media-wacko student friend and I constantly gush about.

(This is surprisingly short and sweet, and I would like to thank my parents and everyone that has supported me along the way; I couldn’t have done it without you.)

Maniac – Cary Joji Fukunaga, Patrick Somerville (2018)

Image from still-frames on Tumblr

This series has been seriously slept on, almost like the drug-induced dreamstate in this series. This is more of a mini-series, since it only has 1 season of 10 episodes, but it holds the same goodness as (if not more than) some 8-season series.

Led by Emma Stone and Jonah Hill, this show about a drug trial, will have you feeling trippy alongside the participants of the trial. It’s full of weird and wonderful characters; some you want to hug, some you want to stab with a syringe, but the performances by the actors are what drives this series complementary to the amazing writing, directing and dynamics.

I seriously recommend this show for a good binge – while it might not be in everyone’s taste, and because I’m known for being… wack… it does however have a certain charm to it.

Legion – Noah Hawley (2017-2019)

Legion' Showrunner Addresses X-Men Crossover Potential – Variety
Image from Variety

Oh damn, this series is always going to hold a special place in my very small heart. Based on the Marvel Comics character of the same name, this 3-season series doesn’t follow the typical comic-hero trope; probably because Legion himself isn’t really much of a hero (maybe Google it before I lose myself in comic book talk).

Much like Maniac, this show is REALLY psychedelically kaleidoscopic i.e. it’s trippy af. While it contains the original comic characters, with similar traits and arcs, this series takes the comic-book series genre to a different place. It doesn’t follow the same smooth storyline and canons as usual comic-based series; it’s more of a trippy metaphor for the mind of Legion, because shame, that mister is a bit tripped-up.

Admittedly, the second season was my least favourite, but it does give the main character his biggest character arc, which allows season 3 to be the best one of the three in terms of storyline and character developments.

(Keep in mind again, that Legion as a comic-character, is not a hero…)

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The Umbrella Academy – Steve Blackman, Jeremy Slater (2019- )

Umbrella Academy actor doesn't want his character labelled as just ...
Image from Digital Spy

OOF what a good show (I feel like this is my reaction to all of the series on this list r.i.p my sanity). At this point of the article, you can probably guess I’m going to say that this show is wack, or trippy… and you’re right: well done!

This is the comic-book series that combines Legion and traditional comic-book tropes together; time-travel, weird sibling relationships (👀), really good character dynamics, and storyline. Similar to Legion, you’ll need to be a lover of piecing puzzles together when watching this series, and not be easily weirded out to the point where you give up after the first episode (here’s looking at my younger sister).

This series is seriously binge-worthy, and it has a season two releasing in July! Plus; the comic books that the show is based on were written by GERARD WAY from My Chemical Romance… that sounds like a deal to me.

Westworld – Lisa Joy, Jonathan Nolan (2016- )

Westworld's Lisa Joy and Jonathan Nolan Talk Feminism | The Mary Sue
Image from The Mary Sue

BIG OOOF😐 This show is easily one of the best series I’ve ever watched; how are people so smart that they are able to come up with such brilliant writing? From the get-go, this series lets the viewer know that the fictional world holds a deep, dark secret – if you’re like me, you’ll try to piece the puzzle together before anyone else in the series.

We think A.I is our friend – WRONG, and Westworld will prove it. The series follows the creators of the the fictional “Westworld”, as well as the robotic hosts of the world. This series is trippy (I know just bear with me) in the sense that once you think you’ve figured out the conflict, the traitor, the secret… the series tells you “sorry hunny, but no”.

When I think about excellent writing, I think of this series – I mean, what else do you expect from a Nolan brother? The acting is amazing, the story is exquisite, the murder is ravishing… please watch this show, you won’t be disappointed. Unless, of course, you’re into more straightforward series requiring little investigating of your own (shade has been thrown).

Another – P.A. Works (2012)

Another Anime Review: An Intriguing Horror Story – /Film
Image from slashfilm.com

Now if you’re not a fan of animated TV shows, you may as well stop reading the article now. Hear me out: I know this is an anime, and some peole don’t consider anime to be ‘series’, but consider that it’s exactly the same thing… just animated, and Japanese.

Another is a horror/thriller anime, also requiring some detective work of your own; can you figure out who the extra student is? This anime was the first horror anime I’d seen (anime fanatics are quaking), but I was hooked from the get-go. While (I thought) it ended kind of unsatisfactory, it had enough gore, mystery and dynamics for me to make it to the end of the series. This anime is only 12 episodes; anime/ animated series are my favourite, because they have really good storylines and character arcs, even though the episodes are typically only +/- 24 minutes.

If animation is not your thing, or you don’t stan the idea of watching something that isn’t in English; this anime is worth it if you’re into horror… and animes are available in English-dubbed format too🙂 (again with the shade).

Inuyashiki – Last Hero – MAPPA (2017)

Last Hero Inuyashiki : l'adaptation de l'excellent manga d'Hiroya Oku
Image from numerama.com

The final series I’m putting on this list, I only recently watched (literally about a week ago); it has a Black Mirror-esque charm to it i.e. it’s MESSED UP. I was shooketh while watching this series, I had about 5 mini stressed-out-like-I’m-in-high-school-again moments during this. If you are still adamant that animated series/animes are dumb, boy just watch this one.

While only 1 season of 11 episodes (so far), this mini-series packs a powerful punch. Essentially, it’s a sci-fi action-drama, but it tackles a lot of societal themes, as well as the power that technology has over our communities and how it affects our psyche. It follows 2 main characters; one young and one elder, as they tackle life as newly-born robots – reflecting, I did a lot of “no don’t do that” screaming while watching.

Inuyashiki had me wondering what I’d do if somehow, under miraculous circumstances, I were to become an alien-robot🤖… would I use my new-found alien-robotic abilities for good, or for ‘evil’? That much power should never be put into a clumsy person such as myself…

Again friends, say it with me now: THE A.I ARE NOT OUR FRIENDS😫



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BONUS ENTRY (because I’m obsessed)

Shingeki no Kyojin (Attack on Titan) – Wit Studio, Production I.G (2013-2019), MAPPA (2020)

Manga "Attack on Titan" Global Circulation Tops 100 Millions
Image from khaosodenglish.com

OKAY GUYS, yes, another anime; but probably my favourite series on this entire list. THIS is the show I could spend eternity talking/writing about.

Anyone that is close to me, knows how obsessed I am with this anime; the amount of times I’ve rewatched this series, and the amount of Tumblr blogs I’ve followed about SnK…. countless (I may need you to get help).

One of the most popular animes on the scene, this series has some amazing writing; Hajime Isayama, the writer of the manga, is the genius mastermind of a writer that I can only dream of becoming. He really thought of EVERYTHING (just… breathe). Again, this anime is really fun to watch even if you aren’t a fan of piecing puzzles together, but it’s even better when you start analysing every frame, line, scene, character dynamic; when you try and figure out the story without the story revealing itself it becomes even more mysterious. The biggest question being: “Where do the titans come from?”

Yes, sure, it’s about huge humanoid people-eating beings; we all know… but what this show is REALLY about, is humanity and how the enemies we face aren’t always the monsters, but those among us. Plus, there is a LOT of spinny, action scenes (here’s to you Levi) and devoting of hearts… SASAGEYO!

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Series that didn’t make the cut, but are valid no less:

When writing this article I received some recommendations that weren’t on the list: some of which I had never seen, some I thought weren’t the kind of messed up I was looking for or there were other elements of the series that left me unsatisfied. They are:

Haven, Rick and Morty, You, Servant, Dexter, Banana Fish, Death Note, Mindhunter, The Haunting of Hill House, Chambers, American Horror Story, Hemlock Grove, Penny Dreadful, Sharp Objects, Tell Me a Story, True Detective, Marianne and Hannibal.

If there are any series (and anime) you think are worth seeing as a “wtf” series, or any that you think shouldn’t be on this list, let me know in the comments! As always, we at GirlOnTheBus hope you guys stay safe and sane!

Rating: 5 out of 5.

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