Today was one of the longest days of my life - I've been awake since 8 am!!! We got on the train for 10:30 am and pulled into London for 12:40 (our train was 20 minutes delayed). That's when our first set of problems started - our taxi driver was late. We eventually made it to the studio, and then the fun started. I met my first interviewer, Zahra Al-Alawi, who is absolutely amazing and a lovely lovely woman. We had a great interview and I found that the questions weren't too hard to answer. As the interview went on, I relaxed into it and felt that I could be honest with my answers.
After the interview, we had a lovely lunch of traditional Iranian cuisine. It was amazing - like an Indian curry but not spicy at all. We had chicken in lemon and turmeric, beef steak slices, rice and some sort of kebab (my knowledge of kebabs is awful, so my apologies!) with some Coca Cola and tea. After our food, we went back into the studio and I did my second interview, which was a lot harder than I anticipated. The reason for this was that whilst the first interview was about World Hijab Day and my decision to wear the hijab, the second interview was about my life and my past - something which many people will know is a difficult thing for me to talk about.
For those who don't know, I had a rather traumatic childhood. I was adopted at the age of 2 and then found out I was adoped aged 16 (although I was probably told before then - I just don't remember it). I was bullied for 7 long, long years and absolutely hated it. Well ... more accurately, I hated everything including myself. Religion went out of the window, I self-harmed and I basically ended up an emotional wreck on the inside. On the outside, though, I was tough as anything - you could call me anything and say anything to me and I wouldn't show how I felt. It was a horribly dark place and I am so grateful that Allah chose to take me out of it because without His help I think I'd be lost.
Anyway, after the two lovely interviews, we got the train home - and here it was that I encountered one of the most horrible men I've ever met. My fiancé and I had reserved seats on the train back to Norwich, and when we got to those seats there was a man in them. We politely showed him our tickets which had the reservations clearly printed on it, but he refused to move and actually said "The seat reservation isn't in the seat [most trains put a card in the top of a seat that's been reserved] so I'm not moving". You should have seen my face!!! I was so angry, especially as we had been polite and shown him our reservations.
The good thing about the whole debacle was that we went into First Class and were allowed to sit there for the whole journey (once we'd explained the situation to the ticket man). I even got a cup of tea - after the busy day I'd had, I really needed it! We made it to Norwich in one piece, and I'm very glad that we did - I think I've learned a very good lesson: I dislike London intensely and would never live there.
I think you will like the interviews when they air in about 3 weeks to a month's time - they're my most honest interviews and you'll learn a lot about me. I just ask that you respect that the second interview is a very personal one and do not troll this chapter or post any racist comments - your comment will be removed and you will be blocked from commenting. I am sorry to be harsh but people have failed to heed my warnings in the past and I am a bit tired of repeating the same things.