March 17

Site seeing in Amritsar & a few parties!

We have been to quite a few places around Amritsar in the last week or so, the best by far was the India & Pakistan border closing ceremony (Wagah Border). It was so entertaining I loved it!!! Men & Women had to sit in separate areas so I was so glad we went with his cousin & husband ! They had a man in a white track suit working the crowd getting them chanting “HINDUSTAN ZINDERBAD” and playing loud Hindi songs, at one stage he even invited all the women to come down to the road and dance in the middle and they went wild!!!

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There were army officers everywhere and when the ceremony started everyone had to be seated and they marched down to the gate and swung their legs up in the air with the Pakistani officers doing the same!

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Pakistan only had a handful of people in the grandstand watching the ceremony compared to the thousands of Indian's watching and people from all over India that had travelled there to see the ceremony.

Our home on Ranjit Avenue….
I love standing on our balcony and watching the action in our street it's always entertaining, kids racing on bikes, the vegetable delivery man twice a day, the popcorn man in the afternoon…

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And the rubbish collection man…

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It’s funny when your driving through all the traffic and then a horse and cart just randomly pulls out in front!!! Some things here are just done the hard way! I always think about Dad and his love for trailers, he would have made millions selling them here!!!!!

Happy’s dad visits us often and always makes me laugh, he comes in and always lays down on our bed he is always so relaxed! I make him tea and he speaks to me in Punjabi and when I talk back he always laughs and is always shocked I understand a few things!! I asked Happy if he is scary when he’s angry because he has such a loud voice and he said to me he has never in his life seen his Dad angry!!! What !!!!!! Hahahha
I always take sneaky pics of him without him realising!

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One day we went with his Mummy, brother Sonu and wife Pinky and their kids to the doctor, I waited in the waiting room with Pinky and I thought it was strange how EVERYONE went in with Mummy. Next minute they come
out with all these papers! Scripts for everyone! I said is the entire family sick??? News to me!!! And they all just laughed…. The kids had a fever, happy and his brother had a cold and his mum had all kinds, there seems to be a lot of sickness here, especially elders..
This is what the “script” looked like that we took to the chemist!

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Another day Happy went to the hairdresser, he was gone for HOURS and I was thinking what the hell is he having done, extensions??? He came back and said to me you have no idea the treatment you get here for $7!! He had a facial, beard trimmed, white hairs coloured, hair cut, blow dried and straightened!! Sooo funny !! He would actually kill me if he knew I put these pics up!!

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Our friend Amarjit and his girlfriend Heather from Australia arrived and his family had a party for them in Jaitpur (3 hours from where we live) and so that morning at 630am we got up and bathed and then Happys dad & cousin Shubh arrived with the family car, his dad didn’t want us to go by bike as it was raining and a long drive. Shubh had planned to have his girlfriend over at our house while we were out and I gave happys dad tea and Shubh was saying “bhabi get rid of him no tea tell him to finish his tea!!!!” I was in fits of giggles in the kitchen and Daddy laying back on the bed with all the time in the world!!!! Then Happy went in and said to him ok go now we are leaving!! And I said to Happy that was so rude!!!! His dad was not bothered in the slightest and off he went !! I was trying to dry my hair and Shubh was saying bhabi you need to leave NOW she will be here any minute!!! It was so funny! Happy said to me get all your stuff and we will get ready at Jaskarans farm because we are taking him with us to the party, then we get to the farm and there’s no power!!!! Ummmmm NOT going to a party with wet hair thanks!!!! So we got ready and they took me to a beauty parlour in Fategarh Churian (next town) and I asked them to straighten my hair, then I see them plugging in an IRON!!!!!!! I freaked out but thought, well may as well give it a whirl!! YOLO. Turns out it was the straightest my hair has EVER been! Brilliant!!!

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Off we went to the party, took hours to get there through the rain & mud and also constantly having to stop as there were hundreds of religious people along one of the roads walking, travelling in carts and trucks bikes etc to the Baba Deep Gurdwara because of Holi festival coming soon and as cars pass them they bless you and give you tea or sweets or sugar cane juice etc

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The party was fun they had dancers and lots of food and it was so nice seeing some friends from Perth and speaking English in full conversations again!!!!

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On the way home we stopped in Tanda to visit Ginny (also from Perth) and had lots of laughs with him too then drove back, and slept the night at Jaskarans house.

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One other thing I have noticed here is you don’t really have breakfast at family houses just tea then lunch, afternoon tea and dinner….. So when his cousins come to our house and I am cooking eggs on toast they are always excited haha!!

Shubh & Soman come over a few nights a week and always want to drink & party and always sleep over, I am always telling them to stop giving Shubh drinks, he is only 17 and he’s skinny and gets drunk so quick!! They never listen, then we are all in bed one night and Shubh vomits in his sleep onto Happys head, I jumped out of the bed to the other side of the room in less than half a second and Soman was just bent over in tears laughing Happy couldn’t even speak he was so shocked that he had vomit on his head!! Hahaha they cleaned it all up and sat him up with a bucket then Happy showered and we all got back into bed but I couldn’t sleep for fear that it might happen again!!!

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And yes sometimes we have 4 people in the bed!!!!! Here they say ‘why sleep alone when you can sleep together!!’ It’s just normal, they chat all night and then when we wake up we are all sat up in bed drinking tea chatting again, it’s like a high school sleep over!

My sister Kath kept asking when I will send a photo of Happy in traditional Punjabi clothes! Well he didn’t have any and was not that keen on getting any but I managed to talk him round and he bought some traditional shoes then we went to the fabric shop and got the material and then went to the tailor and had them made which took a week (he bought black white and blue). Pic of him in the black

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He will wear it to a wedding we are going to in 2 weeks….

I recently discovered my love for Kulfi !!!! (Indian ice cream – this one was cardamom flavoured) sooo yum!! I tried to eat it all at once and Happy said stop eating it like that everyone’s looking at you your not supposed to put the entire thing in your mouth!!!! Hahhaha can’t take me anywhere!!!

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Most mornings if we don’t have eggs for breakfast Happy buys Kulche from the market near our house $1 for two! It’s sort of like naan stuffed with potato and spices but crunchy on the outside and they give you chickpea curry with it, sooooo yum!!!

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We also have chicken tikka, tandoori chicken or butter chicken from our favourite take away shop most nights! The chicken hanging is just for show, most places do look a bit dodgy to eat from but then they make it all right in front of you while your waiting so I just always hope for the best haha! I love the food here.

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We always buy Amritsari fish from Fategarh when we visit Jaskaran the man there makes the best fish!!!

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And our other favourite I have spoken about before is bun tikki which we have for lunch a lot and it’s right near our house! Basically a potato burger

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We also met another friend from Perth – Gaggu Gill, in Amritsar while he was here for the day with his parents (he lives in Ludhiana a few hours away), we all had pizza together and I wondered if they had ever had pizza before!? When Happy & Gaggu went off to order I was left sitting with the parents, awkward!!!! I had no idea what to say or ask – stage fright!…. Suddenly 5 mins later his Dad just started chatting away to me in English!! They were really nice.

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I love meeting up with friends from Perth it always makes me feel like I am not so far away from home!? I had a bad day a few days ago, tried to wash the dishes, no water, tried to charge my phone no power, went to sit on the bed – no mattress (they had cleaned it because of Shubh), I said to Happy what the hell is this place what am I meant to do I can’t even FREAKING wash my hands!!!!!!!!!! I went off !! The main thing that annoyed me really was that my phone was dead! Happy said to me “just sit outside, calm down, relax and wait it will all come back on eventually, this is India!” And it did and everything was good again!!

I forgot to put this pic in earlier in my post, this is Happy’s niece Shehnoor (8yo) and niece Japnoor (2yo), they are so cute!!!

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When his family and cousins visit they stay so long and never leave & it usually includes a sleepover and I sometimes feel smothered and need space, but then when we don’t see them for a few days I miss them!!! I have become very close to a few of them & we all chat on the phone daily and I will find it so hard to ever say goodbye to them when we eventually leave, I constantly wonder how Happy lived without these people for so many years, I know I will be coming back regularly!!!

That’s it for now!! X

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