When I was much younger I used to live in Singapore to study. My best friend and I were both international students and we had such fun together. 20 years later and we’re still best friends and keep in regular contact.
I’ve always enjoyed reading but I think my friend was the one to really introduced me to a wider range of reading material. Before I knew her most of my reading consisted of the classics available in our school library which was a pretty small library. As international students we didn’t have access to the national library and regular bookshops were too expensive. She was the one to introduce me to second hand bookshops.
The most memorable book that we read was “Princess” by Jean Sassoon. It was about a Saudi Arabian princess who was called Sultana. We were enthralled by the book, the exotic life of a princess oppressed by her culture and the men in her life. To be honest I can’t remember much about the book, all I can remember was that we were both obsessed by it and wanted to change our names to Sultana. We vowed that we’d name our daughters Sultana.
I have two daughters now and decided not to name them Sultana.
When I moved from Singapore to NZ, it was 1996 and emails were still uncommon. We didn’t even have personal computers back then. So my best friend and I wrote to each other by mail. We wrote often and in my early days in NZ, those letters really meant an awful lot to me. Actually they still do.
When I started this blog I asked myself what did I want to achieve. I read lots of blogs and I like them for different things, for showing life in a different place, sharing great recipes, inspiring creative works, sometimes it’s nice just to read about someone else not so different from me who goes through life’s ups and downs. I really wanted to be a part of this. To have somewhere where I can just ramble on, share what I’m excited about, be a part of this exciting community.
So I wondered how best to write this blog and that’s when I was reminded of the letters my best friend and I shared.
I feel that I could really be myself and express all I’m feeling when I wrote to her. It was a form of therapy. It is me at my most authentic self who writes. It is in this spirit that I address this blog to “Dearest Sultana”.