What am I?

Sometimes I find myself tangled in my own thoughts trying to decipher what group of people in Nepal I belong to. I am not Nepali, clearly. My ghost-like skin always gives me away, though I do like to think of it as aristocratic. But I’m digressing. I am not a 100% expat either. I live in a Nepali household, with a Nepali family. Does that make me half-Nepali? No clue, but in the past year and a half I did move towards Nepali customs more than I expected I ever would.

Let’s examine the evidence:

Exhibit A
My horoscope sign is a Virgo. For all of you who are not familiar with horoscope, let’s just say Virgos are obsessive-compulsive. I also hold a strong opinion that characteristics of a Virgo were tailored according to me. It’s that precise. I cannot be late, or have anything be out of place, untidy, dirty… everything needs to be perfect. But I move to Nepal and what happens!? I start adjusting to Nepali time. In other words, no matter how hard I try, I seem to be late for everything! And the worst part? I’m not even phased by it. What is happening to me? Am I turning Nepali?

Exhibit B
I don’t want to make it sound like I’m bragging, but I’ve always been very polite. I would let people with less items jump in front of me at the cash register, I would let pedestrians cross the road even if I’m in a hurry and others behind me are honking, I would exercise perfect driving culture politely letting others merge into traffic in front of me and wave thankfully to the ones who do the same for me. But I move to Nepal and what happens!? I start driving like I am the only person on the road, pushing and shoving my way through heavy traffic, honking at others angrily and closing every little bit of space between me and the car in front of me so no one can cut in. I also only sometimes let pedestrian cross in front of me. Preposterous! What is happening to me? Am I turning Nepali?

Exhibit C
I am a huge dessert person. Sweets make me enter a state of consciousness unknown to modern science. When I look at, make or eat wonderful varieties of cakes and cookies, I am in bliss. Nepal disappoints in that area. Most of the cakes here are OK, but not very different from one another. There seems to be no creativity in that department. Maybe that’s the reason the most favorable dessert amongst Nepalis is vanilla ice cream. Yes, vanilla ice cream. The same one I at every summer when I was a child and swore I will never taste it again. Ice cream is even served at weddings! Say, what??? But I move to Nepal and what happens!? After being shocked by this discovery for almost a year, I now find myself ordering vanilla ice cream in all shapes and forms – with a brownie, with an apple pie, and I even eat it at weddings. Even in winter! Gasp. What is happening to me? Am I turning Nepali?

Exhibit D
This last exhibit is most probably the most shocking one, at least for me. When I feel under the weather, as if I’m catching a cold, I usually crave chamomile tea with honey and lemon and some soup. Maybe also porridge or something warm, liquidy and easy to digest. I stuck to that even here in Nepal for the past year and a half. And it usually made me feel better. But you know what happened the other day? I was feeling a bit down, sick-ish at work and all I could think of is how I’m going to rush home, warm up a plate-full of rice and daal and devour it. And so I did. And it felt good. Scary good. What is happening to me? Am I turning Nepali?

Advertisements

Third time is a charm!

I’ll just pretend I have not completely been missing in action for the past three months. I’ll pretend that never happened and I did not forget my blog is in existence. What matters is that I am back now. And back I am – married again. Yes, yes, Mr.B. and I finally had our long-awaited Nepali wedding. It was interesting. And totally confusing, crazy and different. And colourful. And full of stuff I didn’t understand. But it was fun. Loads of fun. I kind of feel glad that we waited this long, as I am more settled in Nepal now, more comfortable, and I actually have friends who could attend. It made a huge difference for me. Before I would’ve probably felt like I am attending someone else’s wedding, whereas now I got to enjoy it. It was helpful (and extremely nice) that my parents could make it as well. Here, for all your curious souls out there, photo is below.

Krz-45190

You must be wondering what it felt like to be a Nepali bride. Or maybe you’re not wondering, but I’m going to tell you anyways. Being a Nepali bride is not easy. It’s not like: I’ll put on my lovely dress, slap on some make up and dance the night away. Oh no no, my friend. Being a Nepali bride is the following: you wake up very early in the morning so people can start working on you – working on your thick and heavy make up and intricate hair design. You get a veil stand attached to your head. It’s essentially a tiara, but a less fancy one. It’s also way more painful than a tiara. I spent the rest of the day trying to move it around as I felt it digging its way deep into my skull. After many layers of makeup you are finally ready for the wedding saree. Wedding sarees are beautiful, but don’t be fooled, they are heavy. I was lucky – mine was only several kgs. I heard of Nepali brides wearing up to 20kgs worth of clothes and jewelry. Walking in it is kind of heavy and difficult. At first I was afraid I was going to be cold in a saree, but boy was I wrong. If I could’ve taken layers off me, I would’ve. Not possible in a saree though.

Once the ceremony begins you are to sit with your future current husband by the priest and do whatever the priest tells you for the next several hours. Most of the time you have no clue what’s going on. I felt the sun burning the back of my neck like I’ve never felt it before. It was a bit annoying, but not unbearable. After all, I was marrying Mr.B., again. The ceremony itself was fun. Games are included – suitable for the whole family. All played. Or at least pretended to be a part of the fun. Just when I thought the ceremony ended, it turned out we only got engaged. We were only half way there. I think I might have dozed off for a bit, I don’t quite remember. I do remember looking at our spectators, guests, and thinking how bored they must be just sitting there. I was somewhat bored at times, and I was the bride! Anyhow, the ceremony ended and then came the food. I do have to admit, it tasted really good after 3 hours of sitting down, getting up, walking around the fire.

The reception took place the following day. What to say? Reception was, well, reception. Lots of well-wishers, food, drinks and dancing. I had fun. For the most part. Except for the first few hours when my heart was about to jump out of my throat. Oh, all that excitement of being the bride. Maybe it was just too much smiling, or too much photo posing, no clue, but all is well that ends well, right?

To make the long story short, Mr.B. and I now definitely sealed this deal. We could not possibly be more married than we are at this point. Cheers to that – I am a lucky girl!