Tag Archives: US

Penpals

Yesterday I was just going through my old papers and I came across a pile of letters. They were letters from my pen pals from my school days.

When I was in middle school, we had an English teacher named Sally Baker who encouraged everyone to write. So she had this idea for all of us to have pen pals from different schools around the world. She got around 100 letters from students from US and randomly gave those letters to us.

 I got Emily Roberts from Massachusetts, US. She wrote,

 Hi,

My name is Emily. I love flowers and Unicorns.

Will you be my friend?

There were a few stickers of unicorn.

I felt so special to get her letter so  I send my first letter to her and then we were pen pals. She used to send me birthday and Christmas cards and I sent her Dashain / Tihar and birthday cards. It was fun to know someone so far away. It was really nice and I would tell everyone who listened that I have a pen pal in US.

Around the same time, I also made 2 more pen pals, Ahmed Yakub from Lahore,Pakistan and Raja Gurung from Darjeeling,India.

With Ahmed Yakub, I had a short friendship as he stopped writing to me after few months but with Raja, our friendship is still on. He is my Facebook friend now. He is happily married with 2 kids.

Back then, he used to send me ‘Churpi’ from Darjeeling and it was a big treat for me. Churpi is a dried smoked cheese and they said Darjeeling’s Churpi is the best. He even came and visited me when he was holidaying in Nepal with his parents. It was so weird to see him in person. Even though I had seen hin in photos both of us felt bit awkward when we meet face to face. But I was glad we met. He is one of the nicest persons I have ever met and I am glad he is my friend now.

With Emily, I lost touch after 1998. I am not sure what happened but I didn’t get any reply for 3 of my letters so I stopped writing to her.

I can’t believe I used to use snail mail and wait weeks for the reply to come back. It was really exciting to see the postman coming to my door and deliver the letters from my pen pals. Surprisingly back then my mail was never lost even when it contained birthday gifts and big packages.

If someone asked me to write a letter these days I would never do it but back then I learnt so many things from these pen pals about their country and culture. There was no internet or 1000’s of channels on TV so my source of information was books. I used to go to libraries and read lots of books but to have pen pals had its own adventures. I received first hand information from them. I could ask questions to them and they would write about things in their countries. I used to write about our festivals and send them postcards of Nepal. Emily once sent me the American flag.

While blogging I felt, it is a modernised version of having a pen pal. We don’t know people when we start reading someone’s blog, they are just a name or initial in most of the cases but if we follow their stories, we learn a lot about them. That’s why I guess I started to blog and read blogs.

Happy blogging everyone!!!

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”.