Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Happy Raksha Bandhan!

Today is one of my favorite holidays! It's called Raksha Bandhan (or also known as the brother-sister holiday :) It's a really sweet holiday :) On this holiday, sisters tie Rakhis (pronounced rockys) on their brother's wrists to symbolize love and friendship between each other. The Rakhi (as seen in the pic above) is just a simple bracelet (that always seem to look pretty feminine :))... you don't just tie it on your biological brothers, but people in your life that are like brothers to you :)

All day we've had people coming by, visiting, sharing sweets and we've been tying bracelets on each other :)
We had a lot of kids in our house today :) The kid's rakhis are fun... they're kinda like big gaudy stuffed animals on their wrists :) You can sorta see them in the pic below :)
It was a fun day of hanging out with our "brothers & sisters" :) It's fun that we really feel like these people are our brothers and sisters :)
To learn more about this holiday, click on this link: http://www.raksha-bandhan.com/

Friday, August 24, 2007

FoOd, FOoD, fOoD...

OK, so food is a very important part of the culture here. For a lot of women, that's their pride and joy (besides their kids)... they are VERY proud of their food and their cooking... OK, so couple that, with the AMAZING Hospitality that is here in this country... they have a saying here that says: "Guest is god"... That doesn't mean that you are thought of as a god when you are at their house, but it does mean, they treat you very well...

SO, almost needless to say, when you go to eat at someone's house... they want you to EAT! When we went to M-town a couple of weeks ago, I was really worried about the eating thing... don't get me wrong, I LOVE the food... BUT I am also pregnant... so my stomach holds about half of what it normally does... and if I eat too much it HURTS! So in M-town (and in most of our country) - they don't take "no" for an answer when you say you don't want seconds (or thirds or...) ...
So usually they say: "Have some more" and I say: "no thank you, the food was very good and I am very full"... and as I'm saying this, they pour in another serving... and this usually happens at least a couple of times until you can't move anymore.... (I have learned that you can put your hand over your bowl/plate when saying you don't want anymore... and sometimes that works... but not always)

ANYWAY, I was a little worried, because since being pregnant, I usually just eat a bunch of little meals in a day... and haven't been able to eat that much at one time...

When we got there, I was treated like a princess!! They love babies and pregnant women! Every house and family we visited made me lay down on their bed (which is usually in the living room with the couch/chairs) and they would bring me fresh cut-up fruit! It was awesome! When meal time came, I was still worried, but when I said: "no thank you, the food was very good and I am very full" - THEY SAID "OK" - they didn't give me anymore servings! It was crazy! Being pregnant in this country can be pretty cool! :)

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Popcorn!

So, I know this isn't the most exciting blog post... but we got an air popcorn popper!! I was so excited! Adam got it for me for our anniversary :) I LOVE popcorn! whoo hoo!!

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Kite Day! (Sort Of)...

So yesterday was a National Holiday here... it's a tradition on this holiday for people to fly kites here in the Capital... In M-town we had this AWESOME holiday called Basant Panchami or Kite Day as we called it (click on the link to see our post about it)... but we were disappointed this year to learn that it is NOT celebrated here in the Capital.... BUT they do a smaller version of Kite day on this national holiday....

So we were going to head out to meet our friend in the Old part of town and fly some kites...
I ended up deciding not to go because the heat was going to be bad (we fly kites on the roofs of houses)... and the heat has really made me sick lately... so, Adam went without me.... As you can see from Adam's face in the pic below... it was HOT!
All the guys got their kites and string and got ready for the big day!
Adam has become a pro at kite flying... Deep (in the pic below) is a good friend of ours from M-town. He used to be Adam's language helper, and we were at his house almost every day. Anyway, Deep is the one that taught Adam how to fly kites :) ... these aren't kites like they have in America that you can get up in the air easily... these are hand-made tissue paper kites... and there is a definite technique to flying them...
You can fly kites on your own.... but the fun of having a "kite day" is being able to be on the roof with everyone else - all the neighbors (as seen in the first pic) and fly kites all at once.... now don't think that this is just peaceful kite flying... the whole point of kite day is to try to keep your kite up as long as possible and "CUT" the other people's kites down.... So you have two different kinds of strings... one is heavier and tougher to "cut" the other kites... and one is regular white kite string.... there's a special way to put holes in your kite, cut the string, tie the string... it's definitely an art! Adam has become pretty good at cutting other people's kites! With ONE of Adam's kites, he cut THREE other kites!!
Adam and the guys had a blast! Next year I'll be out there :) (and Jellybean too!!) Whoo hoo!!! Maybe I'll bring a big umbrella (like in the pic below) :)

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Trip to M-town!

Sunday and Monday we went to M-town :) I was a really hard trip on me... (it was REALLY hot... and being hot and preg hasn't really worked out well for me)... but it was a great trip!!

We got to hang out with S&S (our worker friends in the city) - and that was great :) We spent the first day with Jaya & Mayank and their family... for some reason I don't have any pics, but we had fun :) We ate and talked and had a lot of fun :)

Then on Monday, we went to the Kumar's house (the family we used to live with). It was UB's (the youngest boy) Birthday! We were at language school last year during his birthday, so we thought this would be a goo time to come and visit... We also missed the other kid's birthdays(Shakshi & Puru) this year because I was sick and on bedrest.... SO... we had a bunch of Birthday gifts to give out :)

We gave the boys a gift, plus something funny... We gave Puru a fake mustache so that he could look like his dad :) haha! (see the pic below)
We gave UB an eye patch... you can't really tell from here, but the eye patch says: "I'm a one-eyed pie" - haha!
Mr. Kumar had some new sunglasses and thought Adam should pose in them.
So, in typical birthday tradition here... you have to feed each other birthday cake when you cut it...
They also put a tikka on UB's forehead.
Afterwards some neighbors came over and we got to hang out with some other people we haven't seen in a while :) In the pic below, the girl on the left is Shavangi. She was my first language helper when we first moved to South Asia... next to her is Shakshi - she's grown a foot since we were last there!!! She's so tall!!!! (I think I look funny in this pic, and I don't even look pregnant - haha!)
At the end of the evening, Mona had a girl come and do Mehndi (henna) on our hands. It's for fun to celebrate the national holiday that takes place tomorrow :)
It was a fun trip :) We have been missing our M-town family :)

Saturday, August 11, 2007

5 Year Anniversary!

Yesterday (August 10) was our 5th Anniversary! I woke up the moring before to see our Living Room looking like this:
Adam told me not to look in, it was a surprise for our anniversary :) So... last night, I finally got to go inside :) Adam planned a nice and relaxing night for me :) He cooked an awesome dinner! He made Tacos!!! Tacos are a special treat here because to get taco shells, you have to go across town to an import store (and hope that they have them) and pay twice what you would pay in America :) Adam made sour cream (yes, he made it), and made salsa and it was awesome!!! One funny thing was that Adam had never made Tacos before and didn't know you were supposed to cook the shells before you ate them - haha! so our first batch was a little chewy - but WAY awesome! :)
Here's what it looked like inside: It's not a great pic because it was dark... but isn't it cool looking! It was like being in a cool tent! We have an AC that came with the house that is in that corner, but doesn't blow very far, so having it in the tent made it cool inside :)
After we ate, we watched one of my favorite movies - Lilo & Stitch (it came out the summer we got married) :) while I got an awesome foot massage :) Then we ate some really great ice cream! It was fun and relaxing! whoo hoo! :)

Saturday, August 04, 2007

Boss Man

While on our vacation, we were waiting at an airport in Kuala Lumpur to go back to Bangkok. I met this really nice Chinese woman and we had quite an interesting conversation. She's Chinese but was born in raised in KL, Malaysia (there's a HUGE Chinese population in Malaysia). Anyway, we talked for a while. I asked her where she was going and she said: Brunei. I've always been very interested in that country. I don't know tons about it, but it's really interesting. The country is run by a VERY rich man who is called the Sultan of Brunei. It's a very strict Musl'm country and it's pretty difficult for USofAers to get into it...

Anyway, I asked her what she did... she said she was a cook... a little later, Adam asked if he could see what any of the money looked like (he loves to look at money from other countries)... she gave us this bill (below) and said:
"See that man on there....he's my boss"
... ends up, she is one of 3 cooks for the Sultan of Brunei!!! CRAZY!!

You never know who you're going to meet while traveling :)