I’ve known Sikander for a few years now, but the extent of our interaction only happened online. We knew each other through the Ottawa blogging community, but at this point, neither of us can remember who found who first.
Now he lives in Toronto with Lunato, which I didn’t know wasn’t her real name, and whom is now his wife (I think they were just roommates when Sikander and I first started talking). I’d see little glimpses of their lives through their pictures, along with their perpetual smiles, kawaii details, and motley assortment of friends. It was interesting to see how two people from different cultures could get along so well; as Sikander said to me, he used to be a good Muslim boy before he met her.
They happened to be in town for a wedding, and it was the perfect chance to finally meet in person. We settled on some gelato over which to talk; I always marvel at how small the cup sizes look, and then how full I am after a medium.
We’d send music back and forth over the years, though usually it usually stays in the ambient, electronic genre between us. Funny story: Lunato told me she liked my video of Hong Kong markets, and it was actually Sikander who gave me that music from the Code 49 soundtrack (which I slowed down about 50%). He said it sounded familiar but never realized where it came from.
Before parting ways, Sikander gave me an album by Oka, an Australian electronic reggae/dub outfit. He once saw them perform at a busker festival in Toronto (though they’re not buskers), and it was the first hard-copy piece of music we shared. A music recommendation is always gift, and an actual physical album feels all the more special.