1. Their family is now your family.
It starts as a dinner invite because your friend’s mom makes the best Tahdig and your friend knows you will love it. Next thing you know is you find yourself hanging out at their house as if you are their 4th child, with your new mom telling you how pretty you are or to get your shit together because the dry cleaning job you are working is beneath you.
2. They make coffee and tea sweet enough to put you in a diabetic coma…
…and strong enough to give you jitters until dawn. Having a cup of chai doesn’t mean swilling that wan hipster shit Oprah is hawking at Starbucks. Unless your friends are from South East Asia, your chai is most likely black tea with tons of sugar. Don’t tell them that this is the way most people drink their tea.
3. They LOVE to hug and kiss their friends.
Your Muslim friends will hug and kiss you all the time for nearly every emotion. My favorites are the “I-am-happy-to-see-you” hug (maybe six hours after you just saw your friend), and the “your-boyfriend-is-a-jerk; dump-him” hug — unless your friend is a guy then he will just tell you like it is.
4. Any visit with them is a big and wonderful production.
If you think you are going to a friend’s flat to help with something or drop off a textbook, then leave, you are sorely mistaken. Instead, you will end up chatting over tea and sweets. If your drop-in call is at night then be prepared for dinner and dancing. There is no point in arguing about not hanging out — because your friend will always talk you into it.
5. Girl Time means major gossip, hair removal, and skin care.
Nothing makes friendships deeper than using a piece of string to remove upper lip hair. The more hair removed the more boyfriends you’ll have. I haven’t figured out if more boyfriends is a curse or not. It’s cheap therapy and my skin has never looked better. Plus, I get to gossip all I want.
6. Prepare for the surprise drop-in.
They were going to be near your neighborhood and they just returned from a trip seeing their aunty and brought you baklava, lokum, and pismaniye. They are always in a rush in between errands but somehow look like they stepped out of an issue of Elle while you’re wearing sweat pants. You will never be as good of a host.