not the most exciting thing, but definitely unexpected

My friend Mandi loves the random things that happen daily here in South Asia. I agree! Today, a wedding procession marched down our street, and stopped at our house. This isn't the first time this has happened, but it's the first time we had our cameras.

We realized the funny thing about these wedding processions is that they sound exactly like Friday nights during the fall...football games! I mean, the band plays South Asian music, yet it somehow sounds the same as my high school playing Anchors Away. There's not even a twist to it, it literally sounds exactly the same. Then I remembered that once, I heard a high school band play Beyonce's Crazy in Love, and although it was really good, it still sounded like a marching band. I guess there's no real variety of sound when it comes to marching bands, even the world over.
This picture is them at our front step.


big fat south asian wedding

I haven't posted in awhile because Hannah and I went out of town to go to a wedding with Priya and her family. Weddings here are funny because RSVP has no meaning. I didn't meet the bride until she was dining at her reception, and I met the groom two days before. But apparently foreigners being there upped the prestige of the wedding, or at least piqued their curiosity, so we were welcomed.
I should start off by saying that if it weren't for Hannah, I wouldn't have survived the weekend with Priya and her family. As Hannah so eloquently put it, Priya and her family all became bridezillas, and they weren't even brides. But that's all the negativity I'll say, and instead I'll focus on the positives.

First, we
got to experience a wedding immersed with a national family, which is something not too many people get to experience. We were there from Thursday, watching the female relatives smear a colored paste on the groom's skin to make it glow, until Sunday at 5am watching the bride sob as she threw rice over her shoulder at her family. But in between those two spectrums was the most fun part - the big dance party! It's like a bachelor/ette party, but it's a family affair. First, we sat around as waiters served us delicious snacks, then the closer women to the groom sat on the dancefloor, equipped with a drum and a mic, and sang and clapped. Of course, Hannah and I being the major curiosity of the weekend, several people told us to join the women. The fact that we didn't know the songs nor the language didn't deter them, so we sat and clapped while 100+ people stared at us. Some point during the clapping, Hannah and I realized why we weren't embarrassed - we had left our dignity behind sometime around ordering black shoe pizzas. After the singing, the sheet was rolled off the dancefloor, and the music and dancing started! For the next couple of hours, I never sat down again. It was so much fun learning their dances!

Saturday night, the wedding started with a blessing of the groom (still no bride in sight) around
6pm. Then the groom sat atop a white horse and we all rode to the wedding site and waited for the groom to ride up on his horse. His family and friends would be part of the procession with him, dancing to the accompanying marching band. It sounded just like a football game. I felt a bit sorry for the groom, missing out on all the fun and dancing. Priya pulled Hannah and I into the procession, which was fun. That was the most excited part of the wedding, which included food, blessings, and tons of waiting around, and lasted until 5am. I'm still recovering from the lack of sleep, especially since we packed up and left immediately to come back home. Let's just say it's good to be back in the land of beds and toilet paper.

the bride and groom

Not that this is related, but husband and I were given a can of Dr. Pepper from a friend in February (thanks, LR!) and we split it last night as a treat. That was 6 ounces of goodness!


a quick trip out of the country

So today, husband, me, Anna, and our friend S, hopped in a cab and took a 20 minute drive to London. What? That's impossible? Then....where were we? I mean, we were at a former palace built in the 1800's. There were green lawns, gardens (that will be blooming soon), street lamps, winding paths, ivy vines, and all that. We were slightly disappointed that the tour of the palace was only 4 rooms, and we weren't allowed to take pictures. We laughed at that because the rooms were nothing spectacular: an entrance room, a conference room, some room with a famous table, and then a room that had poster boards of famous moments in history. The palace has been turned into a institute where Ph.D holders can come for more studies, so unfortunately most of the building has been privatized. Even the ballroom and dining hall have been turned into a library, a decision I'm torn about, although I think I'm leaning towards Team Ballroom. This place is incredible, not only because it really is a beautiful structure, but because this is in South Asia. Seriously, South Asia.


come on, play along :)

I'm sick. I caught it from husband, some cold thing. Back in the states, I used to love getting sick. It meant I could call in sick and not have to go to work. Yeah, I'll be the first to admit that when it came to my old job, I was never that good at following Col. 3:23. But now that I am doing something that I love, I hate being sick. And today husband and I had made plans to go to some villages to find the MahPah's, and of course, I got sick. Fortunately husband is out there now, and praise the boss, has already met a MahPah who is taking him to his home tonight. So my wonderful P husband (that's for anybody who has taken the Meyers-Briggs) is just hanging out in a village somewhere in the Mah Valley. Once again, praise the boss!

So after spending all afternoon sneezing, laying under covers, and watching an entire season of Friends (season 2...not my fave, but it's been awhile), I'm bored. Bored as all get-out is the actual term for it. So Nosila, I am finally responding to your tag thing. And I'm definitely tagging my friends who I know read this.

Four jobs you have had in your life:
1. Budget Analyst
2. Accounting Assistant
3. Librarian Assistant
4. Hostess at Steak and Ale

Four movies you would watch over and over:
1. The American President
2. Serendipity
3. Mona Lisa Smile
4. How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days

Four places you have lived:
1. South Asia
2. Paris, France (yes, 2 months counts, you naysayers)
3. Home of the Lumberjacks (although I consider myself more of a Ladyjack)
4. In a nasty efficiency apartment the first half of my soph year in college

Four TV shows you love to watch:
1. Friends
2. The Amazing Race
3. Lost
4. CSIs

Four places you have been on vacation:
1. Amsterdam
2. Thailand
3. Hawaii
4. Yellowstone National Park

Four websites I visit daily:
1. Hotmail
2. Eonline
3. All my friends' blogs
4. MSN.com

Four of my favorite foods:
1. Steak
2. Anything southern
3. Stuffed crabs (Pappadeaux's)
4. Steak

Four places I would rather be right now:
1. With my family
2. With the Fam
3. In the village with husband
4. Paris

Four books you could read more than once:
1. Don't
2. Read
3. Books
4. Twice

Friends I am tagging (put as a comment or on your own blog, on which you can feel free to give me a shoutout because, you know, it'll make me feel special)
1. Husband
2. Newssender
3. Kahuna
4. Domino
5. Ashley Sneds
6. South Asia Rocks
7. Mandi
8. Dadto3
9. Alittlewater
10. Kimmysun
11. Momsfriend
12. You!


nova backwards spells...

AVON! Can you believe that in a small corner of this town there is an actual Avon shop here? Priya took Hannah and me there today, and on the way, we discussed how we didn't know what to expect. It turned out to be pretty nice! And, contrary to normal South Asia experiences, they had almost everything listed! I mean, out of all the things that I wanted from the brochure, there were only 2 things not in stock. See everything I got? I don't want to tell you what I paid because it would make you sick at how cheap it is. Let's just say, all of this cost about the same amount as a couple of lipsticks in the states would cost. And it's real Avon!

Also, today it started raining bloody murder. Is that a correct usage of that phrase? Well it should be. By the time I got home, I was drenched and freezing from being pelted with rain and hail. And the electricity had been out in our concrete house for over 2 hours, according to poor husband, who was still sick and barely visible wrapped under a blanket, sitting in front of the not-working electric heater. So this is a picture of me, about 30 minutes after I arrived home. You do what you gotta do to stay warm in these parts.


Super Bowl Sunday

Sadly, many of you have probably noticed how husband has fallen off the wagon. For awhile there, he showed promising signs of recovery. But then his rehabilitation would slow then stop. Every time it happened, I would beg of him, "Please, husband, you're doing so good!" and he would try; being the great guy he is, he would really try hard. But ever since December 9th, he just hasn't been able to pull himself together. Until now. Fortunately, he has found something that really helps him to keep going, and I think he may have pulled himself together, this time for good.

Of course, I am talking about blogging. He's back, baby! (this is all just a way of notifying those who read his as well :)

And for more celebrating, today is Super Bowl Sunday! Thanks, Mom, who sent us the DVD of the big game. Anna, Hannah, husband and I will be watching the kickoff at 4pm. Or I should say Hannah and husband will probably be watching the game. Anna and I will be waiting on the edge of our seats for the commercials. We're not as football-minded as the other two are. I mean, today I'm wearing my hometown's baseball tee shirt because it's the only sports-related item of clothing I own. (opening day is less than a month away!) But as always, I'll be enjoying the great eats of Super Bowl Sunday...husband and I are in charge of the snack type food, and I think Anna and Hannah are sacrificing some of their chocolate chips and all that to bring the goodies-type food. Poor husband came down with a cold yesterday, so Super Bowl Sunday could have treated him a little better.

Yea for an American Sport!


another top ten

Okay as much as I am truly beginning to love it here - and maybe I'm even beginning to get over the hump of culture shock - there are still some things that I never even realized how much I loved until they were gone. So besides the obvious of family, friends, and beef, here are...

Top 10 Things I Won't Take For Granted Again in the States

10. The Eisenhower Interstate System
9. Central heating and Housing insulation
8. Clothes Dryers
7. Clean water from a tap
6. Privacy, Personal Space, and People who call ahead
5. Not having to poison the fruits and veggies
4. Being able to hold husband's hand in public
3. A variety of fruits and veggies in and out of season, all year round
2. Understanding the national sport
1. Toilet paper that doesn't involve tape nor tearing up half of the roll before being able to open it

(I bet you never realized you should be thankful for the #1!)


who's the boss?

So much has gone on lately that I really don't know how to begin. I've been putting off blogging because I knew it was going to be incredibly long. So, let me try to hit the high lights and avoid the usual useless chatter: A day and a half after returning from the ladies retreat, husband and I accompanied Anna and Hannah to the town they'll be moving to in April. It was a 10 hour road trip. I think after living in South Asia, we'll be driving all over the States when we get back, because nothing will sound too far. Anyway, their to-be town is gorgeous. Everywhere we looked, we were surrounded by snowy mountains. We were even able to play in snow, and keeping with our love affair of strange animals, we sat on a yak for $.50. The locals really know how to make do with what they have.

Upon returning, our favorite little creatures greeted us by pulling my clothes off the line, dragging them in water and dirt, and leaving them strewn across the terrace, along with little presents for us to enjoy cleaning up later. Why, of course I mean the monkeys. I was at the market when this happened, and husband called me and said, "Pick up some bb's. It's time to teach them who's boss." They must have had some sort of plan that day to terrorize the homo sapiens, because on my way back from the market, a man came running up with a monkey screeching and chasing him. There were about 5 or so women walking around me, and I've never seen a group of strangers simultaneously do an about-face and start speed walking the other way. But we managed to do so, and in sync so amazing, it was nothing short of dance-like. In ballet, there's something called Step of the Cat. Well this coordinated group move I think I'm renaming as Step of the Monkey. Finally one brave woman picked up a couple of rocks and began throwing them at the monkeys, from which the evil ones turned and ran. Then as calm as ever, we all turned around and began walking in the right direction again. The Step of the Monkey, for that day at least, was over.

But believe me, the war has just begun.