Tag Archives: Nepalese girl

Our Honeymoon trip to Vietnam which almost didn’t happen

When we were planning our honeymoon, me and AS had different ideas on where we want to go. I always wanted to go to Greek Islands(Santorini) but AS wanted to go to Hawaii. But as AS couldn’t take more than a month off from work and our wedding took so many days, we couldn’t go to either of the places.

AS assured me, that we will do our Greek Islands honeymoon next year but for me it didn’t make sense. I wanted something right after the wedding so it is our honeymoon rather than just a holiday.

Anyway after a few discussions we decided on Vietnam as it would be on our way back from Nepal.

After the wedding, we had a few days to spend with the family. Then we were off to Vietnam via Bangkok and then to Sydney.

Our family in Kathmandu Airport

When we depart from Nepal that was the first time I didn’t have tears in my eyes. Every time when I return to Australia, my family would come to drop me to the airport. When it was time for me to depart, my mum would be teary and that always made me sad. I was always teary when I board the plane.

This time both mine and AS’s family were there to see us off.  I was surprised my mum didn’t cry when we entered the departure gate. She was talking to my MIL and waving us good-bye. And I was not crying either. I think as AS was with me, I felt better. I guess that is one of the perks of being married.

We were to go to Bangkok and then take an Air Asia flight to Ho Chin Minh. We were excited but as soon as we reached Bangkok our excitement turned into disappointment.

We found out only after we reached Bangkok that Air Asia flights depart from the domestic terminal.  When we bought our tickets, there was no mention of this so we never had the idea that we needed visa for Thailand to board our flights. The problem was, with Nepali passport they didn’t give visa on the spot so they didn’t allow AS to go out of the international terminal to go to the domestic airport. We were inside Bangkok international airport and our flight was departing from a few kilometres away. We tried to explain the situation to immigration officer, they just ignored us. Half the time, they didn’t speak good English and other half they didn’t care. I was really pissed with them but I couldn’t do anything.

What was supposed to be our great day was turning out to be a nightmare.

We talk to a few other people but they couldn’t help either. Finally a guy in the Thai airways counter was able to understand our situation (Thank God). He said as we can’t go out, it is best if we take another flight that departs from the international airport to Ho chin Min. So we did. We paid for Thai airways ticket to go to Vietnam(there went my shopping money) but did not fly untill the next morning. So we spent 12 hours in the airport. And the ticket was very expensive as we were buying them at the last-minute. But I was thankful that at least there was a solution, even if it was an expensive one.

Next morning we boarded our flight and we were off to Vietnam. Both Me and AS wanted the whole Air Asia thing behind us and enjoy our stay there. While we were in Nepal, lots of people told us their bad experience in Vietnam so I was really worried. I was even thinking all those problems were an Omen telling us not to go to Vietnam.

When we got off in Ho Chin Min airport it was very hot and humid. We took a taxi and went to our hotel. Thankfully there were no problems and we went to our room.

The room was nicely decorated and we had a buffet breakfast every day. They had lots of things to choose from like toast and cheese or rice, Pho, noodles, variety of eggs, salads, yogurt and all kinds of pastries.

Mingling with locals

We booked trips that took us around city and we went to churches, Presidential palace, museums. We also took a trip to the Mekong Delta, Cu Chi tunnel, Cai Dao temple. The trips were fantastic. Once we were out of the city, there was more greenery and less traffic. There were acres of rice fields with lots of people with Vietnamese hats. I really loved it.

The shopping was great as well. We bought lots of souvenirs and I bought some dresses too. We couldn’t buy much as we already had lots of stuff from Nepal. I loved the food too.

But the best part of the trip was the massage. It was very affordable and it was so good. We went for a massage every day. It cost us aroundAUD$15 for a whole body massage with aromatic oil and hot stones for over an hour. Ohoo, one of the best massages I ever had.

Vietnamese 100,000 dong

The next best thing was that we felt like millionaires anywhere we went. We booked a private tour so we had the diver and the guide to ourselves all the time. The car they got for us had leather interior with air con. AUD $200 is equivalent to a million Vietnamese Dong so you are always paying in hundred thousands or millions.

I found the people friendly and the staff of the hotel very helpful. Like most of the Asian countries I have visited, they always had a smile on their face.

On one of the lunch trip, we even ran into one of the famous Vietnamese actors (our guide told us that but I don’t know his name.) There were people queuing up to get a photo with him.

We spent all the time in South Vietnam so I will have to go back again to go to North Vietnam.

One item crossed from my bucket list for now.

More photos here.

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Our Unconventional love story …

As I mention on my previous post Big ,Loud, Crowded, Nepali wedding”, I know my husband, AS since high school. But our story is nothing like childhood sweethearts with happy ending. We were just friends at that point and never in my wildest dream thought will we end up marring each other. It is so true when they say, “You don’t know what future holds for you”.

I was ready to take next step of my life – marriage and family. The only problem with my plan is I have no plan. I didn’t know what I really want. I have never thought in my whole life I will agree with arrange marriage. But as I can’t find the man of my dream, I thought, I will hand over the duty to my parents. As my parents always nag me about marriage, I thought this will make them busy and I always can say no. They were more than willing to take the charge and was so proud that despite living abroad for almost a decade, I choose to go traditional way.

AS is not a very social person so we used to be out of touch for ages. Our email frequency used to once every 6 months. But thanks to Facebook, which I was genuinely surprised he had one, we start talking again. Our infrequent message turned into more frequent one and it was like high school all over again. We had same memories, same friends and it was easy. During this period, I told him one day what I told my parents about looking for a guy for me. To this he said that his parents are looking for a girl for him as well. And then we used to joke about how life has turned out and may be we will meet again only when both of us will be married and have kids. He used to be in US at that time and I was in Australia.

That year I decided to go home for holiday and I had 12 hours transit in Singapore airport. I told him, if he had any time I will appreciate the company over net as I don’t know what else to do in Singapore in the middle of the night. As the time difference was right for him, we chatted for almost 10 hours out of 12. (He told me later he made a special effort that stage.) I think that probably was the first time I felt more close to him. We made fun of each other and asked silly questions and it was great. I wasn’t bored at all and hoped he enjoyed it too. During this conversation, he told me he is planning to come to Nepal as well and try to make it when I will be there. I was really happy thinking at least we can meet again.

We didn’t meet until next 3 weeks but lots of things changed during that period. We used to Skype a lot and talked about my “Possible husband “. It was not that they were bad but I was not ready to meet anyone new so I just made any excuse not to meet them. And numbers of photo was increasing as my parents were determined to find someone before I leave Nepal.

I think my frequent mention of these eligible bachelor made AS realise that the plan he had to express his love for me after he sees me Nepal can’t wait till then. He has to do something otherwise I may be engaged before he knows it. So while we were talking on phone one day, late at night for me and early morning for him, he expressed his feeling for me. He told me how he was in love with me since our school and I am his first love who he never forgot. I was surprised that I never saw that vibe from him ever but I was happy at the same time. During last few months I felt closer to him but I was so sure he will never fall for someone like me; I even try to set him up with one of my good friend. She will kill me if she finds out now. Anyway that was how we started our journey for our happily ever after :). And after all I am not the “Arrange Marriage Type”.

Making a cup of tea…

This post is not another recipe. This is a post from a woman who is recently married and learning about marriage. How simple is it to make cup of tea?Anyone can do it and it takes a minute. But this simple task of making a cup of tea has become so complex in our household.

Both me and AS enjoy our cup of tea hot which means, not microwaved and no electrical kettle of hot water. I am not a big tea drinker but when I have one, I like to boil my water, milk, tea and sugar together. I enjoy steaming hot tea. Before I got married to AS I never made tea for myself unless I have a visitor.

After our marriage, we started having proper breakfast every weekend which means, in winter, tea was a part of our breakfast. So in the beginning, we had our tea as AS liked it since I have no preference. Strong with less milk and less sugar. But after few weeks I realised that every weekend after breakfast, I had mild headache and it lasted for the whole day. It was nothing sever but I just mentioned that to my cousin (who is a doctor) when we were talking. He asked me if I was having tea or coffee and if it happened after I had one. It gave me a clear picture what was happening to me. I tested it one weekend without tea and yap he was right. I am caffeine intolerant. He told me I still can drink tea but mild ones.

I stilled wanted to continue our breakfast ritual for weekends as I loved them. But the problem is that now it takes so much longer to make a cup of tea. This is how we do it. We first boil the water on the stove with 2 teaspoon of loose tea and 2 teaspoon of sugar (one for me and one for AS). After the tea has boiled for a minute we take out half of it into a cup (this is for me) and let the remaining tea boil for a few more minutes. Once it is dark, we filter it into a cup with just a little milk. AS tea is ready now so we rinse the saucepan and add my half of the tea from the cup, add lots of milk and a teaspoon of sugar and boil it. So we have two every different cup of tea ready for two people with different taste.

I know it sounds all complicated and we could have done it in two saucepans and make it simple but this works for us. I am learning a lot about marriage from this simple step in our life. Marriage is all about compromise and I am happy, we both are willing to leave aside our individual differences and strike a common balance between us. It makes me so happy that even though we are worlds apart in personality, we can make things work between us no matter what obstacles life will bring us.

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*From independent, confident strong women to dependent, needy wife *Ta, Timi, Tapai and Hajoor *With love, to my dear husband

What’s in the name (Surname)?

It has been exactly 90 days we have been married. 🙂

The day I announce my wedding at work, one of my colleague asked me “So you will change your surname, what’s it gonna be?” The question caught me off guard as I haven’t thought about it at all. Taking your husband’s name is the traditional option (especially in Nepal) but we never discuss it. I am sure both our family expect me to take it but I was in no rush. I have seen my friends change their surname in Facebook the day they got married (I am not sure if they have done legally too) or have used both surnames but I have always thought it can wait few years. Many women will say that their husbands/in-laws  wanted them to change their surname. So they did.

I am not against changing surname if you want to as I also want to do it before we have kids. I am planning to be MJS, mine surname followed by his.  My friend AS is the reason, I will defiantly do it before we have baby as I don’t want to go through the same path as hers.

AS decided not to change her surname when she married CJ (Nepali guy). When they have a baby girl, her mother in law came to visit her in hospital. While she was holding her new grand-daughter, she was shocked to see the tag called her, Baby S instead of Baby J. She made sure AS knows, she didn’t approve of that. But in the birth certificate, hospital wrote baby S as per mother’s surname as well. Because it was in birth certificate, they thought it will be easy to use the same surname in other official documents as well .Now the baby and mum have same surname and dad has different. It created lots of confusion in all the legal documents and I don’t want to go through that.

Back to my situation, I am planning to keep my surname until I can as I want to avoid the hassle of alerting everyone and going through all the paper work right now. Its not  easy to change the name on everything from your driver’s licence to your library card. I know I have to do it one day but mentally I am not ready right now. The most annoying change will be for my passport. I love my passport as it has so many stamps and visas I collected travelling over the years. It is like a story to me and has high sentimental value. Once I change my passport, I will lose all my memory.

All this question is coming right now because my in-laws made official document in Nepal(Relationship certificate) and they send us a copy in case we need it. In that document, they have my name as MS not MJ. My in-laws have never asked me to change it but I think they didn’t as by default in their mind, I am MS not MJ but I want to be MJS in future not MS. 

When I talk to AS about it, he thinks it is normal of his parents to think I am MS now as that in what happens in Nepal. I haven’t changed my Facebook name either (I know it is easy but …) I want to do it in my own pace and I hate it if anyone forces me to do it. He knows what I am planning and he is ok with that but of course he can’t control what his parents think.

Just want to put it out there” Am I allowed to wait until I am ready to change the surname or it is expected to change straight after marriage, especially in Nepali culture?”

Yomari Recipe

It was my nephew 4th birthday yesterday , so my cousin sister (D) decided to make Yomari to celebrate his birthday in Newari tradition. In Newari tradition, we make Yomari every even birthday (2,4,6,8,12) until a child turns 12. Yomari defined by Wikipedia is “a delicacy of  Newars. It consists of an external covering of rice-flour and an inner content of sweet substances such as  Chaku (Molasses)”

I have helped my mum make Yomari before but never knew the step. Finally I know how to make it and I am sharing here if anyone else want to experiment. So this how we did it.

yomari

Ingredients

  • Rice flour
  • Hot water
  • Sesame seed
  • Chaku(Molasses)

Steps

  • Mix rice flour with hot water and make dough. Make sure you don’t make the dough too soft. Cover the dough with a warm and damp cloth and rest it for 10-15 minutes.
  • Use fry pan to heat chaku (molasses) to get a liquid chocolate like mixture.
  • Mix Chaku and fried sesame seed.
  • In a small bowl pour some water and oil. Now take small amount of dough in a hand and make a round shape.
  • Now press the dough to make a cone-shaped crust as shown in picture.Yomari
  • One side of Yomari should have long tip and other side is hollow.
  • Fill it with mixture of molasses mixed with Sesame seed.
  • Using both hand slowly close the hole and make shape as shown in the picture.

  • Steam it for 15 min.
  • Now it is ready to serve. Enjoy!

 We made 4 with only rice stuffing inside to make Yomari mala (garland) for birthday boy  and rest was made with chaku  (Molasses) . It was yummy.

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Earthquake in Kathmandu

It was end of a beautiful Spring weekend , around 11:00pm, Sunday 18 September 2011 . I was about to go to bed and just browsing my facebook page. My heart sank when I read the status of one of my friend “Earthquake in Kathmandu”. Without thinking, I pick up the phone and dialled my parents’ home number in Kathmandu. I got through but noone was picking up the phone.

I was really scared as I was trying to get more information but as it just happened, there was no information in any media apart from facebook. Now it seems like everyone have calm down in Nepal and updating their status in twitter and facebook. I have read so many times before that Kathmandu is hotspot for big earthquake so my mind was racing 1000mile/hr on why noone is answering phone at my parents house. In the mean time, AS got hold of his family and they were fine.

Seeing me worried, AS asked me to call my dad’s mobile and he picked up the phone in 2 rings. I was so happy to hear his voice and to know everything was fine. He just explained to me that they went to ground floor when earthquake started and they are still there for a while in case aftershock occurs. I talked to my mum for a while before hanging up.

After I hung up the phone, I couldn’t get the fear out of my head . I am so far away from them, the only way I have contact with them is phone and Skype. Imagine if something happened and there is no phone and internet in Nepal for sometime, I won’t be able to be in touch with them. I can’t imagine what would I do .I am trying my best to go there more often and they have come and visit whenever they could but it is nothing like living in next city or next door. We are so far away, 8,028 km according to Google that it make me wonder sometime “Is that really worth coming so far from my parents to find a better life?” Is my life really better now that it would have been if I have stayed and lived in Nepal?

 Sometime I feel really bad thinking my parents have given up so much to make me who I am .Now when I am capable and independent, I am so far and they have noone to look after them. I know they are really happy for me that I am doing well and happy in life but from within I always feel guilty that I let them down. They are growing old everyday and I hope I can be with them when they need me the most. One day I want them to be living  around the corner from them so I can pop in whenever I want but until then thank you Skype for making me feel closer to them. Can’t wait to talk to them this weekend.

Big, Loud, Crowded, Nepali wedding

Around three years ago, I decided to get married. From that day, I have dreamt of having a very big traditional Nepali wedding. I know every girl dreams to fall in love with their prince charming and have the biggest celebration possible, and I was no different.

There is a special reason why I mentioned 3 years. It is because before that I always thought marriage, especially Nepali traditional marriage, are made only so that men can transfer the job of cooking, cleaning and looking after them from their mothers to their wives.

I am not a feminist but I hate to be one of those wives so I decided that not getting married was the easiest way out. I even told my decision to my parents and they constantly tried to changed my mind. They always gave me all the reasons why marriage is good for me.

Growing up I was a tomboy with lots of male friends. I always found it is easy to make friends with boys than be with a bunch of girls. I do have some really good female friends but I was never a part of the girl group. Hanging out with boys was more fun and I was learning how to ride motorbike and how to play pool.

But things changed slowly when I came to Australia. I started liking dresses to pants and let my hair grow. I still remember my dad’s reaction when he saw me for the first time when I went back to Nepal for the first time after four years. I think seeing me with big earrings and in a dress made him realise that I was no longer a tomboy who had left Nepal four years ago. His exact words were “My daughter has grown up”.

Around 2006, I started getting invitations from my friends for their wedding. I used to ask them how they knew “he/she” was the one. They told me , they were happy with this person  they have married. Even though marriage is not a piece of cake but it isn’t bad either. The weddings I went to were between Nepali – Indonesian, Nepali – Fiji Indian, Nepali – Pilipino, Nepali – Aussie, Nepali – Italian, or Nepali – Nepali. No matter who they were marrying ,one thing was common , they were all in love and extremely happy to be married.

Most of my close friends got married which meant that I was now hanging out with couples. Then I saw what was missing in my life. I saw the care and love they had for each other. They still had arguments, they still disagreed with each other on some things but at the end of the day, they cared for each other and they loved each other.

I wanted the love and care that you can only get from your partner. I liked the thought that “You are no longer alone and there is always someone looking after you.” When I was sure of what I wanted, I called my parents and let them know my decision. I think that was one of the best days of their life as they had been worried sick that I would end up as an old and miserable spinster.

Fast forward two years and I was in the middle of the chaos of my own wedding celebration. Almost a year of preparation from both the families, a few changes to the wedding dates, a twenty man band, almost 2000 guests, 10 day long celebrations and finally me and AS were getting married. It was loud, it was crowed, it was chaotic but I didn’t mind that. I was actually enjoying it. With the blessing of both the families and all our relatives and friends, we got married. One thing I learnt from this experience is that “marriage is not just about two people but it is about two families” – At least, it is in Nepal.