Tag Archives: Guests

A Message From Home

I nearly forgot to mention something very sweet that P’s family did after our wedding weekend.

P’s 87 year old grandfather couldn’t make the trip to the US from Kathmandu for the wedding (understandably), even though he really wanted to be here for the “big day(s).”

P’s aunt (J Phupu) also couldn’t make it– she was elected to stay back and watch over P’s grandfather while P’s parents were away, and then she tripped in the market and broke her knee right before they left town, so even if she was originally coming, she probably couldn’t make the journey so soon after the accident.

P’s cousin MK (J Phupu’s daughter) is stuck in Nepal waiting for her K-1 fiancee visa to be approved so she can be reunited with her partner MS in the US, so she couldn’t come. And SK (MK’s younger sister) is still in high school and doesn’t have a tourist visa, so she also couldn’t make it either.

As much as we would have loved to have all the siblings and immediate family together, having family on the other side of the world makes it difficult to get everyone in the same place at the same time. But we know they were thinking about us over that weekend.

And then they did something so sweet– they posted pictures of themselves on facebook holding up “Congratulations P+C” signs and tagged us in the photos so we would see them celebrating from the other side of the world.

MK, P's grandfather, J Phupu and SK

Empty Nest

Our apartment feels kind of empty and cavernous these days, like the space is too big for us. I guess we are just used to having more people around and it will take time to adjust. I feel a little like a parent whose children have gone off to school and left us alone. I miss having the house bustling with people, the lights on in the living room when we get home from work, the “family” dinners around the table, always having someone to chat with over tea and snacks. It doesn’t help that winter in New England is settling in. Days are short, dark and gray, and it makes the house feel all the more darker and colder too.

I think I was always a relatively social person. I enjoyed connecting with others, being part of a larger community and network of friends, but it wasn’t until I connected with the Nepali community that I truly realized how nice it was to have others around.

Sure, we all have days when we come home after a long day at work, you might be in a bad mood, and you just want to sit alone and watch a movie or read a book, or even just go to bed early. I’ve been there (and done that!) but there is something really nice about sharing your life with others.

I got quite a bit of flack from some of my family members recently about my “lifestyle choices” especially when we had a host of people with us the past few months. Most were friends– recent graduates from master’s programs desperately looking for jobs in a horrible economy, they just needed a place to be while they looked for the next thing. P and I had the space, how could we say no? And it’s not like our friends didn’t contribute towards the household, they insisted on helping towards rent, and we rotated cooking meals and cleaning up, it was really helpful and nice.

“You go way above and beyond for your friends,” my mother chided, “I would never let people live with me endlessly like that, it’s not our culture.

“But Mom,” I tried to reason, “Our friends are important to us, and far from home, most don’t have a lot of relatives in the US, and they just needed a helping hand for a little bit. If I were thousands of miles away from home wouldn’t you feel better knowing that someone was helping me?”

Her: “No, because they are not family, why would they help you? What would be in it for them?”

Me: “Why does there have to be something in it for them? Whatever happened to being there for people just to be there for people?”

Her: “Well this nonsense better stop once you are married! You’ll have to grow up and start living like an adult and stop having all these visitors!”

These conversations get so exasperating!

Luckily December continues to be busy. And I hope I get a bit of my writing mojo back!

On the Move

During the next week and a half the American-Nepali household will be shifting locations. Not the website but our actual household. We aren’t moving very far, just to a bigger place down the road with off-street parking and a nice view.

However I’m a little sad to move, we have been in our current apartment for three years, much longer than I expected when we first moved in–and the apartment has been good to us. While the local neighborhood wasn’t always the safest, most of our friends lived only a short walk from our place, and we often had visitors popping in to say hello, have a cup of tea and/or a plate of food. Actually within half an hour of P and I driving up in the U-Haul delivery truck from New York we met three Nepali neighbors walking down the street who dropped everything to help us carry boxes. It was a warm and helpful “welcome to the neighborhood” and a nice surprise. Our new place is in the same apartment complex as our friend D, so rest assured there will still be guests (and much early Saturday morning soccer watching for P), but the people from our old neighborhood, most of whom do not have cars, might visit a little less frequently.

I have to admit that having guests pop in unexpectedly was something I had to get used to. The house I grew up in was in the woods. Our road was about two miles long and I could count the number of neighbors we had on one hand. We had guests from time to time, family or friends who would stop in for the day, but those visits were usually scheduled. I never experience the suburban lifestyle of neighbors knocking on my door for a cup of sugar, and I think we only had two trick-or-treaters at our door for Halloween.

It might not always be convenient to have people ring the doorbell randomly, but it’s nice to know that people care, that they genuinely want to say hi, see how you are doing, and talk about how the day went. It’s nice to feel connected to a community. As more of our friends start to graduate from their masters and phd programs and filter away, our community will grow smaller and eventually even we will have to either stay more permanently or move away as well. I hope wherever we do wind up we have another great community surrounding us.

But for now, our move is not so far. So I hope we still get visitors for tea and dinner! That means you too Neeti!