Today we went shopping for Steven and Kirthika's wedding bands. Gold is sold at cost here which is very in expensive so I had to help myself to some as well! They bless your bag of gold before you leave. Then we split up for some wedding shopping. Mounika treated me to her favorite roadside treat called Pichu mitayi. It was like a floury cotton candy. Later all of the women got Henna tattoos.
1 February 2017
The Sangeeth was so much fun! It was basically an amazing family friend talent show! People got up to sing and dance the night away! The food was excellent as always. We are so blessed to be receiving such a happy and kind family!
Today was the Haladi or Tumeric bath. This is to bless the bride and groom and to give their skin a nice glow. Tonight is the Sangeet!
31 January 2017
This morning my mom, dad and I went to my sister-in-law's dad's best friend's house to eat chicken curry and drink the sap from a tree called Eetha Kallu. It looks like coconut water but has a very distinct taste. Next we met Kirthika's grandmother. Later we went into town for massages! These were much different then in the states. She started with a head massage then I laid on my back then on my front. The only thing I was given was to cover my private area. Then I went into a steam box for five minutes and ended with a shower scrub.
My bava mardi
Haggling for scarves
Women are not allowed to attend funerals in India. Find out why:
Find out why Indians wear bangles!
30 January 2017
Today was another busy day shopping. Friends Sally, Doug, Ingrid, and Jack flew in in the past day and a half so we took them shopping for Sangeet attire. Still everyone is done shopping... But not the groom...
We had a very delicious meal at an all you can eat Tai restaurant.
More Charminar pictures
My motorcycle ride!
29 January 2017
Our Oxen ride
Due to Traffic we missed the dance event but we did go the garden street vendors. I was able to cut a deal with vendors to sell me 15 scarves for 400 rupees each. When we were leaving we stumbled upon an Ox and wagon ride. It sure was bumpy! We circled the garden and they even ran a bit! To go home I had my very first motorcycle ride! We stopped at a street vendor for some panni purri- a hollow fried ball stuffed with potato and a spicy broth with onion. Videos and pictures of tonight's experience coming soon!
The building in this photo with me and my family is the Charminar. The photo with my mom and Sharon is a prayer area for the Muslim community. We were given scarves to borrow to cover ourselves for respect to the Muslim community.
Indian coke! I give it a thumbs up! One of my most inspiring movies of all time is eat, pray, love. She drank this with a friend in India while having a "come to Jesus moment". Haven't seen the movie? Rent it!
My wedding jewelry to wear with saree
This morning we began our day in catholic mass where my brother and future sister-in-laws marriage details were shared with the parish. We then went into the city of Hyderbad today to see the Charminar, a four post (in Hindi four is chaar) monument and mosque that was built in 1591 to honor 4,000 lost to the Black Plague. The monument was surrounded by shops and vendors. We had lunch at a local restaurant where they serve Biryani, a traditional Hyderbad dish that takes hours to make. Other sites seen today include cows and goats minding their own business as they walk the streets! Tonight we have tickets so see an Indian dance. Massages are booked for Tuesday and will be well deserved!!
The Indian nod is definitely a new concept. No means yes... Maybe
More shopping pictures
28 January 2017
Today was shopping day for the men and women for the sangeet! I personally found a teal and gold Lehenga style dress. All of the ladies literally got stuck in a dress at least once. But in the end we all found something that fit us and matched are own unique selves. Our tour guides Sunny (my future brother-in-law/baava mardi) and his best friend Nazir were awesome in driving us around and even helping us pick out dresses. This is one noticeable difference. Men in India don't seem to mind shopping and a lot even work in female department stores! Oh and Steven was asked to take a selfie with a stranger. We ended the evening with the whole family at the in-laws home where we ate our first Indian dinner (we had Indian Chinese food for lunch... It was spicy and tasty! I particularly loved anything with goat... As Sunny would say it's damn good). Pictures to come soon, we just got converters so everyone is charging up!
My first ride through India was quiet the experience. Dogs on the side of the road everywhere we went, minding their own business was a sight to see. In traffic on the highway people cross many lanes without hesitation! Children car hop on the back of jeeps for fun and to get a rise out of others and then jolt off to their friends. Friday night was hopping in Hyderbad, just like any other night reported by our friends and drivers, Kirthika's aunt and uncle. Arriving to the hotel with other family and friends waiting for us with open arms. Kirthika and family brought us Pizza Hut later which was by far the best Pizza Hut I've had ever! The sauce was a redish brown color with a hint of spicyness with vegetables including corn. Kirthika's mother made us desert- will add name later. First nights sleep we were rocked to bed with the sounds of horns honking on the busy road outside.. Nothing could keep us from sleeping though! What a day.