Tag Archives: Small World

A Shout Out to Two People in Philly (AKA another post about how the Nepali world is very small)

(Just to try and clear up confusion… I think everyone knows P and C, U= P’s brother. T= Nepali guy in Philly, Z= American girl in Philly. I= me, it’s not another character)

About two months ago, while P was in Nepal, I received an excited call from P’s brother U who lives in a suburb of Philadelphia. He was thinking of moving and was looking for a roommate, and had placed an ad on Craigslist.

It just so happens that a Nepali guy responded to U even though they didn’t know the other was Nepali at the point of initial contact. Once the coincidence of nationality was out of the way, they thought it was interesting that they had lived not too far away from each other for the past year or so, but didn’t know the other was around. Eventually they started telling each other about themselves. The other guy (let’s call him “T”) also had an American girlfriend, so U mentioned that his brother had an American girlfriend and that “P and C” were planning to get married in July in Massachusetts. T and his partner (we’ll call her “Z”) were also planning to get married in the summer as well. They chatted about some other stuff, and parted ways, thinking that they might move in together as roommates.

T tells Z about his conversation with U, and some of the details about U’s brother and his American girlfriend sounded kind of familiar… C and P, Nepali and American weddings on July 9th and 10th in MA, etc. It just so happens that Z occasionally reads my blog and asked T to check with U to see if his brother’s girlfriend blogged, and if so was she “AmericaNepali.”

So that was already a pretty neat connection, but then it gets even more interesting…

Shortly thereafter, unfortunately, there was a family emergency and T had to unexpectedly travel back to Nepal. P was still there, and hadn’t yet heard about the conversation between me and U. One day while P was traveling in the city, someone mentioned T’s family to P (which he didn’t personally know) and asked if he would like to travel to T’s house to pay respects to the family.

P arrives and T realizes that this is U’s brother P… the P from the blog. So he says, “I know you, you are getting married to C in Massachusetts on July 9th and 10th…” and explains how he knew U from Philly, and that his American girlfriend Z reads my blog. P thought he had a great story (I’m always giving him grief about never having good stories), so he excitedly calls me from Nepal that evening and starts telling me about a guy he met in Nepal who was going to be roommates with U, etc etc etc. I said, “Oh yeah, I know…” and explained the rest. He was surprised I knew the story, and was bummed I ruined a good story that he finally had to tell.

So Memorial Day weekend (two weekends ago), P and I traveled to Philadelphia to help U move, and he thought it would be nice to organize a dinner at his house between me, P, U, T, and Z.

I’ve met a small number of fellow bloggers (Big Bad Blond Bahu, Gori Girl, Gori Wife Life), but I had never met someone who found me through a google search before. It was neat to talk to someone for the first time who already knew a lot of my backstory, and it was equally interesting to hear her backstory too. Due to the situation that originally caused T to travel to Nepal, she and T will be moving to Nepal soon (instead of moving in with U) and staying there for at least the next year. I hope, if she is interested in documenting her experiences online, that she might be willing to share some of her experiences with us as well (either in guest posts or on her on blog).

So I wanted to make a quick shout out to T and Z in Philly, and reiterate yet again, how small the world can be when you meet other Kathmandu-ites around the world :)

Everyone Really Does Know Everyone…

I know, I know, I have probably beaten this topic to death, but it never ceases to amaze me.

N’s mother is staying with us for a little while, and unfortunately while visiting us her elder brother passed away back in Nepal. There was an article about it in one of the Nepali daily newspapers, and word had filtered out. So a few people have been calling her to make sure she is okay and offer their condolences.

One such person was none other than Jyoti Pathak, the author of the Nepali cookbook I reviewed a while back.

As I walked in the door from work, and came to say hello to Aunty and N in the living room, she shuffled off to the bookcase, handed me the cookbook and said, “She just called me on the phone.”

“Really? The author?” I asked, a bit surprised. Why am I still surprised?

“Yeah, she used to teach at the university where I taught, but she came to the US in the 1970s, and I haven’t spoken to her in 30 years. She called my daughter [niece] in New York to offer condolences, found out I was here, and called me. It was so nice to talk to her!”

So again, the Nepali world is small– (or as P corrected me earlier… “Kathmandu is small…”)

Another such example from the blog– a while ago I posted a documentary on “Birth in Rural Nepal.” While one of the blog readers was watching the video with her boyfriend he looked at the screen and said, “Hey, [the film maker] is my cousin-sister! I remember she said she was working on something for aljazeera”.

Tiny tiny world.

It’s a Small World After All…

I know I have written about this before (here, here and here), but it never ceases to amaze me when I’m reminded just how “small” (close-knit, related, wide-reaching) the Nepali community in America can be.

Part of it is definitely the wider cast of the relationship pool. Last night P, D, AD and I went to see Russell Peters with what I was originally told was AD’s “cousins” but later found out was his cousin (who lives half way across the country)’s wife’s sister and her husband. They just happened to be in the city for a conference and were able to meet up.

D: “So you aren’t really related, right? There isn’t a word for that.”

AD: “We are… bhauju ko didi” [sister-in-law’s sister]

D: “Oh yeah, I forgot about that.”

We met for a quick bite to eat before the comedy show, and at one point I started talking about my blog with AD’s bhauju ko didi. She thought it sounded interesting and she told me about another intercultural Nepali-American couple that she knew.

So then we show up at the venue, a theater with the capacity to seat over 1,000 people, and as we settled in for the show (and granted Russell Peters draws a huge South Asian audience in general, but still) a South Asian man and American woman sat directly behind us (our tickets were numbered, there wasn’t open seating).

Not only was this South Asian man a Nepali, but he just happened to randomly be D’s cousin (second cousin?*), and not only was the man D’s cousin, but the Nepali-American couple was the same couple AD’s bhauju ko didi was talking about at dinner (remember- bhauju ko didi didn’t even live in this particular city, making the coincidence even more interesting). It would have been freaky enough bumping into them while leaving the show, but they sat directly behind us. No “Nepali ho?” needed.

Seriously, it’s a small world after all…

*Okay, I just emailed D for clarification, and D said that his grandfather and the guy’s grandfather were brothers. I don’t even know if I have relatives of that nature walking around, (kind of like P’s relation to the bride in “Frank Uncle and the Nepali wedding“) but none-the-less, they were related, and knew each other, and randomly sat behind each other. It’s still a small world.