UKF FORM: MY EXPERIENCE

i am one of the lucky few who has claim of citizenship in multiple countries:UK and US. when i was little i kinda always knew i had some sort of access to the UK but didn’t know how to get it or if i ever wanted it. now that i’m older and have become the travel-obsessed, culturally infatuated human that i am, i certainly want dual-citizenship! 

the thought of living or working in the UK is a little scary though. i’ve imagined myself leaving my hometown with a one-way ticket to india for as long as i can remember, but never imagined myself in a small english town. i’ve been preparing for loud, hot and colourful not damp, quaint and quiet.  the media only seems to show england as posh and fancy london, but my family is from pudsey! you have to travel a town over for the nearest hospital or airport, oh but don’t worry, there’s a lovely bus station running three days a week. three days a week?! and with this i realized i have no idea what it’s like to live in a small town…or that a bus station could only run three days a week.

now i certainly don’t have any plans on moving to england any time soon, but with this whole citizenship thing i’ve been thinking about it a lot recently.

because i was born in america, claiming my UK citizenship and passport takes a hot minute and a lot of paperwork(well twenty pages…but twenty pages of utter confusion). and i think it’s something to talk about!(especially since i’m not done yet and i could use some help)

i admit, this might be a little boring to hear but if anyone else is in my situation i’m sure it will be appreciated! DISCLAIMER: this form confuses me entirely, so hopefully i’m filling it out right but who knows!

UKF QUALIFICATION

my father was from west yorkshire and moved to america when he was a kid, so he was a british citizen by birth. my mother is american and they weren’t married when i was born. i qualify for citizenship by descendants through my father.

SECTIONS OF UKF

  • Personal Info.
  • Referees/Identity
  • Biometric Details
  • Consent
  • Declaration
  • Papers

STRESS STRESS STRESS

Personal Info., declaration and consent: easy! Yet…i’m still terrible stressed about absolutely everything. Half of this comes from living in the US and not understanding that “postcode” = zipcode, what a “biometric” is or if my bank transfers to euros. also, the form clearly expects you to be living in the UK. where am i supposed to find a non-relative UK passport holder!?!?

UPDATE

i’m working on my paperwork, but i plan to write here about all the decisions i make in the process and my experience with the UK government!

SIMPLE CHOCOLATE

this recipe is not what i consider “healthy”, but i’m not really going for health here. valentine’s day is this month and i enjoy celebrating in the japanese fashion(or at least my american take on it), giving homemade chocolates to my friends! and me being myself, the recipe is dairy free.

INGREDIENTS

-fourth cup cocoa/coco power

-fourth cup honey

-half cup coconut oil

-fourth cup nut butter(optional)

 

INSTRUCTIONS

one-mix all ingredients together

two-pour into mold/tray

three-freeze

 

PRO TIPS

one-mix well! also, it works best if your coconut oil isn’t fully liquid. when it is the honey sinks to the bottom. the top of the chocolate ends up bitter and the bottom ends up sticky.

two- it’s best to use either rubber molds or line your tray. i use a cupcake tray and line it with tin foil.

three- they freeze quick, takes maybe ten minutes.

HOW DO YOU CELEBRATE VALENTINE’S DAY?

MY ROOM THIS: JANUARY

i think most people change their home around after christmas, though technically i started decorating on christmas eve. now if you saw my post last month about my christmas decorations, this shouldn’t come as a surprise. i decorate for the holidays what some might call “waaay too early”. as a result, i was bored with the decor halfway through december. so, naturally, i took down all my christmassy things on december twenty-fourth. oh well, they were fun while they lasted!

LEFT-okay, so this is a latter. yes an actual ladder, not an ikea shelf-ladder. when my grandma went into her attic for her christmas tree this year, she leaned her ladder against the wall to get it out of the way. an idea sparked and it was perfect! all i did was lean it against the corner and stack my things.

RIGHT-on the top shelf i have my fancy fiftieth edition of lord of the ring next to a potted plant. then i have my essential-oil diffuser with some oil and sage. the next shelf has my tea and another plant. after, i have my salt lamp and candle on either side of my books. the last two shelfs are just my school binders and computer screen(yes it’s a tiny TV but i use it as a computer).

LEFT-this is another ladder i keep in my room. it’s a step stool and at the moment it houses yet another potted plant, a jug of water and my jar of art supplies.

TOP RIGHT-this is my window sill this month. i’ve got two more potted plants(noticing a trend?) next to a candle, tibetan singing bowl and jewelry tin. on the edges i just have another tiny jewelry tin and a jar of chalk for writing on my walls.

BOTTOM RIGHT-when i leave the house, instead of a purse i use my handy little basket, so i keep it on a wooden box next to my door. when i worked at a cafe last year we would get shipments of cashews in these cool metal containers. i thought it looked cute so i had to take it home and do something with it(it even says”made in india” on it!). this month it’s a stand for my aloe plant.

the final section of my room(and only one that doesn’t contain potted plants) is my closet. now i have an actual closet, but that’s for the bed i never use(i sleep in a  hammock). my closet is split between a pallet i have leaning up against my wall and a clothes line hanging across my room. the clothes line of for my many many scarfs. i don’t think i’ll ever go back to tediously hanging my things on clothes hangers. this way, my clothes never wrinkle, look nice(to me anyway) and i spend no time on them!

THREE REASONS WHY JANUARY IS MY FAVORITE MONTH

admittedly, i say this every month. but i really mean it! i’m not very loyal, so every month when i realize the amazing things about that time of year, i declare that it simply must be my favorite!tumblr_lea89pkfzb1qbodm2o1_500

ONE. NEW BEGINNINGS

this year, new years kinda just felt like the old years for me. nothing changed, neither i nor those around me. but change still happened for so many. this is a time where so many people feel they can change, they can do what they were afraid of! it’s a glorious thing. you can go to the gym or eat more veggies and it won’t been pretentious or odd. change is a trend right now!

TWO. WEATHER

i know it’s just me on this, but i love the cold! now i don’t necessarily like Unseasonable+Warm+January+Weather+Reaches+V0LkxjauMAClbeing cold, but i love the chill on my fingers and nose. i love that i can bundle up and enjoy warm drinks. oh and the skies are so much nicer in winter! i cringe when the sun blinds me but when it’s nice and cloudy i just get so joyful. though winter is when i can almost appreciate the sun, i can enjoy a little warmth(not heat) in the cold. in florida, december isn’t cold(30°c), but january is when we finally get to feel a little chill(5°c!). we’re even getting rain! ah, finally some nice weather!

THREE. INSPIRATION

this kinda ties in with the new year and weather, but it deserves it’s own point! the rain and cold just make me strive to do what i love and be happy. the change in year reminds me of all the things i’ll get to do this year. in general, january leaves me inspired! this month i’ve just been feeling so focused and relaxed, i’m doing things i never made time for before. i’m starting internships and talking to old friends and making recipes. i didn’t resolve to change, but the way this time of year makes me feel inspired many beautiful changes.

DO YOU LIKE JANUARY?

MY FIRST CHAI

to begin with, i have never enjoyed tea. it always just kinda tasted like warm water to me, really gross warm water. i partially blame myself for this because in my past experiences i never added anything to the tea, i figured “if it’s so good then it should be good enough on it’s own!”. ladies and gentlemen i now see this was my fatal flaw.

in the past couple months however, i have tried and tried again to find some common ground with this “tea”. through my life i’ve gone through stages where i wanted to be either a true brit or a true indian(though i’m neither) and both require tea! so i came to a point where i made it my life’s mission to like tea. when i worked at a cafe a couple months ago we got free tea, so everyday i would make myself a cup and sip it slowly and sourly as if it were medicine, because that’s exactly what it tasted like to me. i began looking up tea recipes and, most recently, forced myself to down cups a day of the stuff. now here came some progress, after about my fourth cup today it began tasting almost not terrible. i could actually finish the cup without forcing every sip! ahh, victory!

later i was at the store and passed down the tea aisle. i looked at all the pretty packaging,
envying those who could enjoy the bitter leaves they carried. i spotted a container of chai, i had never tried chai before. for the sake of india i thought it was my duty to buy it, i had to try it at least once!

oh the many splendid tales i had heard of chai. it’s the hot coco of india, the hygge in the chaichilly months. the first joy came from opening the packaging, i could smell the spicy blend that had been brewing inside. it smelled of india and made me so happy! ah, mera bharat mahan! after brewing i knew that to drink it the indian-way was to add milk and sugar. i normally avoid sugar, but it was my first chai so i splurged. i added about one-fourth cup coconut milk and i-have-no-idea-how-much sugar. the milk cooled it down enough to take my first sip. oh. my. india.

how have i missed this my whole life. all my winters have been wasted on hot coco when i could have been drinking chai! the taste, it’s pure hygge. it’s like bottling up warmth with a pinch of sweetness. i actually like tea! victory has been won, i like tea! i could wright a thousand sentences on the joy of chai(and i tried) but no words could express how much i love it. so i shall end it here, with a simple: chai is TEAlicious.

DO YOU LIKE TEA? EVER TRIED CHAI?  IF NOT, PLEASE DO.

PUNS!

i don’t know about you but i live in the year twenty-sixteen, and in said year twenty-sixteen people like sass. it’s funny to be sassy and people consider you typically a more honest person, but i don’t know about this sass-trend. sometimes it’s really funny, sometimes it is not. i find a lot of the humor that’s intended to be “sassy” and cute can get kinda mean. i know i’ve been in situations and conversations where a friend and i might say something like this:

person one:”sorry to say but next week we will be leaving to go on vacation for a while and you won’t have us to run the event…”

me:”i won’t be here either, and neither will person 6 or 7 or 8…”

person 2:”no one cares, you don’t do the work, ha.”

crowd:”ohhh….”

now i could have avoided the conversation by not interrupting the person who was
speaking in the first place, so i’ll gladly take the blame for that incident. but that doesn’t change how i felt about it, i didn’t really want to talk to my friend after cause what she thought was funny made me kinda sad.

i’m pretty bad with these types of jokes too. i have been known to say something i thought was sly but humorous, only to find out it was just mean. so i want to make a commitment to end the sass! at least my sass, it’s just not funny anymore. sarcasm is my main form of sassiness and i don’t see the point anymore, it almost never ends up funny and almost always ends up slightly hurtful.

 

but i still wanna be funny! jokes are good and they’re how i make friends, so what to do? well personally, i want to move onto a form of humor i’ve much admired in the past but never dared venture into: PUNS! puns are dad jokes, their lame but quirky. i love ’em! problem is i’m not so great at them…but i shall make my effort! i resolve to begin my resolve with a pun to end this post. but puns are pretty situational so i think i’ll make a situation first. situation: dogs in the kitchen.

is that a grill next to your dog? no it’s a STOVEermin shepherd!

so, my dog wants to know what ingredients i need to make a GERMAN SHEPHERD’S pie?

 ya, my family’s from yorkshire so every sunday after dinner we get the dogs to have our leftover YORKSHIRE TERRIER pudding! (okay that one sounds like pudding made of dog…)

uh, i’m not so great at puns yet…but just you wait, one day i will be great! ha, now i’m rhyming, even better!

DO YOU LIKE PUNS? BE YOUR VERY PUNNIEST DOWN IN THE COMMENTS!

HEAD COVERINGS

this weeks i’ve been infatuated with every blog post and video i can find about head coverings

when i first stepped into this i was quite ignorant on the topic, i thought this was only a muslim thing and it had some foreign ritualistic meaning. i also knew nearly nothing about islam, but in the last week i’ve been really interested and discovered i was quite ignorant.

i learned that muslims worship the same GOD i do(the christian “GOD the father” that is) just in a different way. i learned about haram and halal and hijabis. i’m glad at how interested i am, it’s really important for me to learn the world’s major religions so i can understand people. GOD forbid i live out my years ignorant and scared of everyone who doesn’t look and think like me. what a lonely and boring existence that’d be.

it’s actually really ancient and common

i’ve discovered that no, head-coverings are not just a muslim thing and that they are a sign of modesty. head coverings actually outdate islam(and christianity for that matter). men and women for centuries have covered their hair as a sign of respect for GOD and for modesty. catholic nuns today wear head coverings, as well as orthodox jews. and i don’t know about you, but i’ve never seen mother mary without a head-covering. so how have i never noticed this before? christian women are even told in the new testament(paul, first corinthians eleven) to wear head coverings(though this can be interpreted in different ways, it’s not a sin if someone chooses not to cover their hair).

yet there’s quite a strange reputation to head coverings

in the west head coverings, specifically hijabs, are commonly viewed as a sign of oppression and sometimes even terrorism. oppression maybe true for some of the hijabi population, but definitely not the majority. most of the time it’s a choice, submission isn’t oppression. head coverings are seen as very foreign in the west because most people don’t know how deeply they are ingrained in history.

this makes it a really big decision to wear a turban or hijab in the west. you stand out and everyone suddenly becomes very opinionated about you. people will assume you’re muslim, muslims will assume you’re muslim. people will find it offensive that you “steal” part of muslim culture, because they don’t know it’s also apart of christian culture(and hindu culture and sikh culture and jewish culture…).

this leaves me with a decision…

i love wearing head coverings because it’s a beautiful way to submit to GOD. i also feel more myself and free when i’m being modest. i’ve worn head coverings on-and-off for the past couple months but never fully committed. now that i know the importance i think it would be a good decision, but a big one. because of my culture, i would be ostracized and people(especially my church family) would look down on me. but if anything is going to stop me i hope it’s not that.

DO YOU WEAR A HIJAB OR TURBAN? HOW DOES YOUR CULTURE VIEW HEAD COVERINGS?

MY OBSESSION BEGAN: NAVRATRI

IMAG0239navratri is a holiday that has a lot of meaning for me. it all started way back in twenty-twelve when i was a completely different person. i was going though a very sad time and i didn’t really know where to direct my energy. i was over at a friends house working on a project and it was getting late so i figured i was just going to be spending the night. i was surprised when my friend asked if i wanted to go to a party with her and her family. little did i know what i had gotten myself into by saying yes.

they began pulling out bags and boxes with clothing full of color and sparkle. i chose one i thought was pretty and then came the whirlwind of bangles and bindi and hair and dandiyas. i had absolutely no idea what was going on, or what a bindi was. i was even more shocked when we arrived at our venue. it was like stepping into a different country just by walking into the building. the music was blasting in a different language and everyone was wearing colors, so many colors. my friend dragged me into a group of people dancing in a circle. i was confused by the dances at first, but once i caught on i had so much fun! then they changed the dance…and it was very evident i didn’t know what i was doing. still, it was one of my favorite nights in history. i wasn’t sad anymore, i had something to focus on. i had found myself an obsession like no other: india.

the next four years included studying hindi(admittedly, i’m still terrible, but i know my basics), joining an indian dance team, wearing indian clothes daily, saving up to move to india, spending hours studying daily life in india, reading blogs of indian wifes, learning the inside jokes, the tv shows, falling in love with bollywood, learning about hinduism and doing anything i could to connect with india. so yes, navratri triggered a little of an obsession.

i’ve now celebrated a good number of navratri and sometimes it still looks like i don’t know what i’m doing at garba. three years of a gujarati dance team and desi parties and i will still miss a step, bump into the girl next to me and cause a scene. but i put my heart into it and that’s what matters! as you may be able to tell from the picture in which i look completely exhausted(and definitely i was).

DO YOU LIKE INDIA? I DO.

EASY ROTI RECIPE

ROTI! admittedly, my roti is not perfect or anywhere near it. also, i make it the simplest way possible so it taste very bland on it’s own. but of course it’s normally eaten as a utensils to other food so it’s no problem for me!

if you don’t know, roti is an indian flat bread typically eaten…well, a lot. whether you’re having aloo masala or masoor dal, whether it’s breakfast or dinner, roti transcends time and taste!

 

INGREDIENTS

  • FLOUR (preferably atta flour)
  • WATER

when i first made roti i was just using what i had already at home, which did not include the right kind of flour or a rolling pin. however, i did have whole wheat flour, a tea strainer and a pair of dandyias(dancing sticks). the internet said whole wheat flour would work if i strained it, i only had a tea strainer so this took…quite a minute. it did work though, i also tried sans the straining part and it worked just as well. so if you don’t have atta flour, no worries just improvise! but if you’re fancy like me and wanna try the “proper flour”, you can find atta flour at any indian store. i will say whole wheat flour definitely “puffs” easier though.

STEPS

  1. pour as much flour as you want into a bowl
  2. add warm water a little at a time and mix in with hands.
  3. kneed the dough for about ten-twelve minutes.
  4. let it sit for ten minutes with a rag or paper-towel covering it.
  5. take some dough and make a ball. then roll ball into thin circle.
  6. heat burner to medium and place roti directly on burner. flip every twenty seconds.
  7. push down slightly on the larger bubbles that start to form so the air spreads.
  8. take off when spots become dark brown.

 

COMMENTARY ON STEPS

  1. (every cup should make about six rotis)
  2. (/room-temperature/not cold/it will work if it’s just a little cold/does the temperature of water even matter?) TIP if your hands get wet the flour will start to stick so make sure to mix without touching too much of the wet. it works well if you just add about five tablespoons at a time.
  3. (this is the one step i actually do right, if you don’t your roti won’t “puff” while cooking. so if you’re going to pay attention to anything, kneed the dough)
  4. (if you have the patience for this step then more power to you, i normally end up just skipping it though)
  5. (ha, funny “circle”. my roti usually end up shaped more like africa than a circle.) TIP  figuring out how thick takes practice. too thick and it won’t form air bubbles to”puff”, too thin and the air will make too many holes and it won’t “puff”.
  6. TIP i normally start the burner at low and increase, the more heat the fast it “puffs”.
  7. TIP pushing down too much will create holes.
  8. (a lot of people add butter or oil here…i do not)

so i know my rotis not great, but it works. and recently i’ve been obsessed with hummus and roti, i must be doing something right because it tastes amazing!

if you have any tips, or suggest i stop skipping half the steps then leave me a comment! but seriously why the warm water?