Monday, August 18, 2008

"Pepsi Products, Ginger Ale, Orange Juice, Apple Juice, Water, Coffee, Decaf Coffee..."

Post by: Beth

These are the words I heard just a minute ago from the flight attendant taking care of us on our way to the Newark, New Jersey airport. We just took off from St. Louis… Having never flown into or out of St. Louis, it’s a very strange sensation to look out the window and know you’re flying away from “home,” but not recognizing a single part of the city from the airplane window. This is something I probably better get used to, though!

This weekend, we are heading to NJ to attend Rohith and Sarika’s wedding. For those of you who don’t know (that’s probably none of you, but still…), Rohith is one of Raja’s good friends from graduate school. Rohith & Sarika been planning the wedding for a while now and I can’t wait to see it all unfold. The invitation they sent was a mini-book in itself and laid out all the plans for the whole weekend, and we’re excited to be able to attend all of the events. Earlier this week, I was a little worried about the flight since I’m fresh off a lovely back injury (thank you, Dad, for sending that stupid snake email that made me jump out of my skin, thus worsening the injury and causing the pain to move into my neck as well) and wasn’t sure how I was going to feel after sitting in a tiny airplane seat for 2.5 hours. Fortunately, I’m on the mend, and so far I’m doing okay with the seats. (Raja will tell you that I’m “milking this injury for all it’s worth” since I’ve been mostly confined to the couch/bed/heating pads for the bulk of my evenings this week and needed multiple snacks, magazines, books, etc to keep me entertained, but whatever… ;) )

So we’re on our way, and the flight is about 2 hours long. I got Raja a book from the library about Bombay so he might could read some of that, but he hasn’t even attempted to read a single book I’ve picked for him at the library in the past 6 months. I don’t know why he tells me to get him something to read when I go. In exciting news about Bombay, I did get my first opportunity to say something in Hindi to an Indian person last night! Raja and I went to an Indian restaurant (it’s cleverly named “Indian Food,” but actually REALLY good) to grab dinner last night on the way home, and the waiter there consistently asks us “How is everything??” every 5 minutes each time we eat there. My mind was other places last night, and I just replied “Great.. Thank you” each time he asked me. Raja leaned over just before we were done and said “I can’t believe you’re missing your opportunity to practice your Hindi here” and I was shocked when
I realized I’d forgotten!! I’ve only really practiced it in my car on the way to and from work, so when I wasn’t in the car, I didn’t even think about Hindi at all. After Raja’s reminder that I was about to miss my window of opportunity, I was super excited and knew exactly what I was going to say when he asked “How is everything?” for the 16th time. I was ready to fire back “Bahout a’chi!!” which means “Very good!!” in Hindi. I have no idea how it’s really spelled when translated into English letters, and I don’t have access to the internet since we’re flying, so that is my best guess at sounding it out in the English characters. The waiter kept wandering back to our table and giving us more water, taking things away, but he NEVER asked again how things were! Of all the luck, right?? Finally, I couldn’t stand it anymore, and when he came to give us the check, shouted out “Bahout a’chi!!” He looked a bit taken aback that the blond/blue patron was yelling out Hindi phrases, but understood me immediately, to my surprise! Raja explained that we were moving to India soon and I’d been practicing a lot, and the nice waiter said that I did a great job. So that was very exciting for me and Raja said my pronunciation is getting a lot better each and every day. So I have now officially used my skills to communication with a “real-live Indian person” as I called him. Raja busted out laughing and said “Well what am I??,” but you understand what I’m saying. I’ll keep practicing and hopefully by the time we get to Bombay, I’ll get to use a lot of my knowledge.

So that’s about it for now… I’m posting our pictures from the flight so far.. I’ll try to take some pictures of our landing in New Jersey, and of course I’ll have some from all of the events. So check back soon for more on our trip!


Rhonda Walker said...

Sorry dad made you re-injury your back/neck. But I am glad it's getting better. The pics were great, keep them coming. I love you

Rajinder said...

Beth and Raja,
I have been reading all your posts and it is so nice and interesting to hear about both of you.

Beth & Raja Gupta said...

Mr G-
we're glad you get to read them and thanks for posting! :)

Hershbine Family said...

Alright... I want to hear all about your back injury!! what happened?? It doesnt look like we will be going to the beach this weekend because of all the rain... call me when you get a chance.
I also want to hear all about the wedding... and see some pictures of you in your sari. call me when you get a chance, I know you are extremely busy over the next several days.