Saturday, February 28, 2009

Funny Things - Clothing & Boogers

I love finding funny things!! The Ladies underwear business is funny here :) It's usually men who sell it. I was really surprised the first time I walked by a shop and a man said to me: "Ma'am you want panties or bras?"... yeah... so the other day I saw this van selling underwear out of it and it really made me laugh! I mean, don't you always buy your underwear from a man out of a van?... well, maybe it's not that funny, but it made me laugh :)
There's a store in the market that I love to go to. I can usually find some cute cheap clothes for Aashini. They LOVE "branded" things here (brand-name things). At this store, they usually sew a random brand on an outfit or something to make it "more valuable"- it's funny :) The other day they had skirts that had Dora, the Little Mermaid & Bart Simpson on each skirt!! haha!
Anyway, I kept seeing this brand on a few pairs of pants and it made me laugh! Is "Butte Gas" a real brand?? I thought it was funny :)
They are building a house next door to us, so I've been taking a few pictures here and there and I snagged a pic of this guy picking his nose :) haha!
Nose-picking pictures are my favorite! :) I have another one here and my personal favorite one here (and below... I had to post it... it's just so funny!)
OK, that's it for now - hope it at least made you smile :)

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Funny Donuts....

Do you remember how I talked about the crazy DONUT flavors last month (if you don't remember, click on that link)... well, I decided that I had to try the Mamma Mia donut :) The info on the donut is: "A sprinkle of Italian herbs and sauteed garlic on oodles of cheese - just like how mama makes it" ... yeah.... I just had to try it :)And the verdict is...
Actually, not too bad :) It kinda tastes like eating a pizza with soft dough... It definitely doesn't satisify the sweet craving though... I had to get some ice cream afterwards :) haha! Nice and healthy :)

Monday, February 23, 2009

Birthday Party!

Our friend Deepak's son (Ashish) just turned one. Here in South Asia, first birthdays are a BIG deal! They had a big party for him. Here are some of the cousins (and Aashini) hanging out on teh roof before the party :)This is some of Deepak's family... I'm standing next to Sunita (Deepak's wife) and the other two guys are his brothers. Here is just a random picture of me and Sunita.
Before the Cake & food, they had a P&W time and sang some songs and prayed for Ashish. All of the neighbor kids came to the door and peeked in to see what was going on :) It was cute :)
Look at this cute kid!!
The kids were really waiting for cake time :) All the neighbors all around came in to get a piece of cake and some ice cream :) (Cake is a BIG deal at birthday parties... as well as cutting the cake). Here's Ashish with his cake :) Notice anything a little scary in this picture?? Ashish is holding the knife!! haha! He cut the first slice of cake :) Something they did here that I hadn't noticed before, was that immediately after the candle was blown out, everyone started singing Happy Birthday... we usually sing before blowing out the candle, and it's usually hard to start the song, but when you do it immediately after it's blown out then it's really fun :) Every starts singing LOUDLY at the same time :) haha! AND, after they finished the song, everyone at the party popped all the balloons that were hanging up around the house. It was kinda like fireworks for his birthday :)
Here's Deepak with one year old Ashish!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Interesting Things...

We live in a city (and country) that has a lot of poverty. It's everywhere. In America if you have a kid, either one parent stays home to watch her, or she is put in childcare/daycare, etc. That isn't possible for all people here. We live in a land of extremes. Our neighbors are rich and have a nanny for their children while they are home just so they have more free time -- while there are people that have to do manual labor while watching their kids at the same time. Many people of lower income here do a lot of manual labor jobs. They dig holes, chop up bricks, build roads, etc. As you can see in this picture below, this woman is working a very hard job (using a pick ax and busting up the rocks) while watching her young child. This is VERY common - it's something that we see almost every day.
I always wonder what they do when their children are infants. I'm still not sure what everyone does, but I saw what one lady did the other day and though it was very ingenuitive!
She made a bed out of Styrofoam for her baby to sleep in! What a creative idea! The baby was very happy.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Valentine's Day Fun!!

Here's what we did for Valentine's day!! :)   The day before Valentine's Day, some friends threw a party for the kids :)  Aashini had fun playing with friends and balloons and eating sugar cookies :)
So for Valentine's Day we decided to try out a new restaurant that we hadn't been to before.  It is a Mexican restaurant that actually tastes Mexican!  It was great!  I got my favorite - nachos! and Adam got some yummy (and a little unconventional) Fajitas - they had broccoli and corn!  It was very good :)  In the picture below you can see Aashini making a funny face :)  She just took a sip of some Sweet Lime Soda - it's a little sour :)
Afterwards we went to a historical place we hadn't been to before.  We went to Safdardang's Tomb.  It's described as "the last flicker in the lamp of Mughal Architecture in [our city]."
There wasn't much to it, but the grounds were pretty and it was really fun to look at!
Aashini had a blast running all around and exploring!  She loved looking at the bees!
Hope everyone had a great Valentine's Day!
Happy Valentine's Day!!!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

HaPpY VaLenTinE's DaY!

I thought I would try something fancy this Valentine's Day and make some sugar cookies :)  As I was cooking them, I realized that I haven't blogged much about our kitchen - it's pretty different than American kitchens.  So, this will be the first kitchen post :)
So here is our oven (with our microwave on top that we got from J&K after they left :))  It's a lot smaller than the typical American oven but it heats up very fast!  It does take a while to make cookies though - since the oven only holds about a dozen cookies :)

Aashini LOVES sweets!  (I think she got that from me :))  As I was making the cookies she kept looking at me and saying "cookie, cookie!" over and over (but it sounded more like "kuh ker") :)  Although it's not a great picture, you can see below that Aashini was quite upset when I didn't give her a cookie right away :)
She followed me all around the house chasing after the cookies and pointing and saying "cookie" over and over :)
She eventually got one and LOVED it!

I used some awesome new frosting on the cookies!  I actually split the recipe in half and did half of the cookies vanilla and half maple - it was fun!

MAPLE BROWN BUTTER FROSTING

3 Cups sifted Confectioner's Sugar
1/2 Cup Butter
1/4 Cup Milk
2 tsp Maple Flavoring

Sift Sugar and set aside.
Melt butter over medium heat until golden brown. Watch it closely so that it doesn't burn.
Add butter to sugar, scraping all the butter into the bowl.
Add milk and maple flavoring. Stir until smooth.
Spread on top of cookies with a knife or spatula!

HaPpY VaLenTinE's DaY!


Sunday, February 08, 2009

Funny Things - Random :)

Here's a few random funny things ;)
One thing that drives a lot of people crazy is honking! There are things that drive me crazy (like people urinating on the sidewalks - yuck!) but thankfully honking is not one of them because we hear it pretty much 24/7. We saw this poster the other day (below) and thought it was funny... BUT not as funny as the Hindi poster. The Hindi poster pretty much said that 'Honking is bad for your health' - haha! Horns are actually a pretty necessary part of driving here. You don't really look behind you when you drive (most people either don't use their side mirrors, don't have side mirrors, or just have them folded in). When you drive, you just drive forward and you honk at the person in front of you to let them know that you're there - simple right? Sure, it's a little noisy, but you never have to look behind you :) If you go to that company's website it says:
"Have patience at the traffic signals,
let the signal turn green.
HORN is only meant for emergency.
It is not a toy to play with."
haha! :)
.
And for a little slapstick fun :)
Here is a cow doing just what cows do here ;) They eat lots of non food items :) Plastic bags are their favorites, but the do love some cloth here and there: Come on! It's funny :)

I love it when things make me laugh :)

Sunday, February 01, 2009

Kite Day!

I Love Kite Day! Yesterday was Kite Day (or Basant Panchmi). It's one of my favorite holidays here! We have videos and other things from previous Kite Days, so if you want to know/see more, check out the previous Kite Day Blog Posts. They actually don't celebrate this holiday in the Capital, but they do in M-town and the state it's in :) Soooo, yesterday we went to M-town to fly some kites and visit some friends!

Now, with Kite Day, there are people that fly kites and there are people that are Kite Runners... People usually fly kites on the roof of their houses, and the kite runners get the "cut" kites that are floating around and getting stuck in trees (that's why they are holding those branches in the picture below).
On kite day, everyone that flies kites gets a stack full of tissue paper kites. You tie on regular string and you also tie on sharp string (some of the strings are even made of glass)... Then you get your kite high up in the air (so high that you can hardly see it) and try to cut other people's kites out of the air... and if you cut someone's kite you yell out (in Hindi) - "I cut your kite!"

Houses are really close together, so it's really a lot of fun! Everyone is out and flying kites!
Here's a picture of me and my friend Jaya :)
These kids were trying to fly some kites - I thought they were cute :) Here's a picture of Me, Jaya and Choti (the girl on the the left).
Choti's sister is the girl (bride) on my blog header in the middle dressed in red.
Aashini thought it was soooo much fun! (I'll have more pictures of her on the baby blog) :)
Here is Mayank, Sunny & Adam :)
OK, so before we left that area of town to go to another area, we went back to Jaya & Mayank's house. When we got there, there was a Monkey in their house... Monkeys are very scary and gross! Everyone is afraid of them... and rightly so!
Here's a monkey (below) in case you don't believe me! Anyway, we spent a little time trying to get the monkey out of their house :) In M-town there are tons of monkeys during the "cold season" (they migrate). Adam and I were watching them try to get the monkey out, and then in the tree we were standing under, it started "raining" on us... no... it wasn't rain... we both were urinated on by a big huge nasty monkey... NICE!
Next we went to the Kumar's house. We lived with the Kumars when we lived in M-town. Here's a picture of me with Mona Didi and Shakshi.
They have a ladder on their roof and Aashini LOVED it! It was SUPER windy! So it wasn't the best day for kite flying, but it was still really fun! If you notice, Mona Didi is wearing a yellow Sari. You're supposed to wear yellow on Kite Day because around Kite Day, the Mustard is blooming and their flowers are yellow... it celebrates the changing of seaons and the upcoming harvest.
So, later that night we went back home on the train. Here's a picture in the M-town Train Station :) Our train was about 30 minutes late, and then our taxi got a flat on the way home... so we got home pretty late, but it was a great trip!
And another picture for fun :)
If you want to see more pictures check out: Facebook Pictures (you don't have to have facebook to see the pictures) :)