As is always the case this time around the year, I am in disbelief that it’s the current year, which is 2020! This makes my sister who’s born in the 2000s an adult! 😮 It’s unbelievable and scary how quickly time seems to fly. However, I had a fulfilling and a memorable 2019, so embrace for a long read ahead as I do tend to ramble a bit 😉
For starters, I got married twice! To the same man 😉 One was in a Polish/Western style ceremony here on a lovely summer day. I always found the idea of marriage to be scary and weird, until I didn’t anymore, and that was when we decided that it’s time.
We married in a simple civil ceremony but had a Polish wedding party afterwards on a semi-outdoor venue. My family from Nepal couldn’t attend because it was somewhat a hurried decision (to ease my then ongoing residence process) and we thought they wouldn’t have enough time to apply for a visa. It was regardless a beautiful day and for the first time in my life on a party, I wish the party never ended. I had that much fun.
After the wedding, it was back to normal, which to us in summer means a lot of diving trips 😀 We got a new, bigger car to pack all our diving gear, so we visited quite a few lakes where we hadn’t been before. Poland is truly beautiful during summer! It’s definitely my husband’s influence that I’ve tried many sports and activities over the years. Last summer it was wakeboarding. I found it similar to snowboarding, but I am not great when it comes to body co-ordination so it was also a lot of falling into the water and swallowing gallons when trying to make turns. 😀
One of the memories from these diving trips is when I left my small side-bag containing my wallet and keys at a restaurant we stopped for lunch on the highway. I realized it after 200 kms when we were almost home near Lodz. We found the name of the restaurant through google maps history, and I also noticed a message from a man on Facebook asking if I left my bag at the restaurant. We made an extra 400 kms drive that evening due to me being mindless, and we were home at 1 in the morning, to start work the next day. I thanked the man (who was a waiter at the restaurant) who messaged me profusely and tipped him.
My sister-in-law gave birth to a sweet baby boy in summer. He arrived a bit early and unexpectedly. I had also started a new job at the end of 2018, so it was a lot of learning and growing in my role at work. Especially since I was moved to an interesting project in summer, where I did learn many new things from other developers and their work. The planned six-weeks vacation to Nepal in autumn was therefore very much anticipated.
Three days after we landed in Nepal along with my in-laws, we married for the second time in a Nepali ceremony. I wore a beautiful red sari and had a matching make-up. My husband had traditional groom wear too. At my request, the ceremony which is usually hours-long was shortened to a mere half an hour, and then it was party time… for the guests 😉 For the newly-weds in a Nepali ceremony, it’s mostly just sitting on the platform that has two huge royal-like seats and receiving good wishes and gifts from guests, which honestly never seemed to end!
What I didn’t like was that the catering people never really bothered about us (they just served the guests) when it came to snacks and drinks. I cannot imagine that happening in Western weddings! I had to ask my sister to ask them to supply us with snacks and drinks too as we hadn’t eaten anything since the morning. But there was really no time to eat, as we were busy talking with the guests who would come up to us in the platform, smiling and taking photos.
Before I make it sound like it was miserable for us, I will add that we did get up from the chairs after few hours, ate the main meal with closest family and even danced! 😉 I am glad I didn’t have any of wailing and crying in my wedding towards the end which is quite typical as a Nepali bride leaves with her husband and his family after ceremony (as in this is the day she moves out from her birth home) to move to his family home. Since my mother didn’t want me in the same house on the night of wedding due to some beliefs, I went with my husband to the hotel where his parents and our friends who flew in from Poland were staying 😉 It was a relief to get changed out of the heavy sari, and jewelry and kick back with some beers and celebratory vodka shots with the Polish group, as no alcohol was served in the wedding.
After the wedding, we went on a trip around Nepal with my in-laws and our friends from Poland and my sister. We went to Pokhara, Sarangkat and Chitwan. It was so much fun, and I was happy to know that everyone enjoyed, especially as it was their first time in Nepal. There were many culture shock moments, especially for my in-laws, who were in Asia for the first time. One time my MIL told me that she saw a woman near a beautiful waterfall site throwing away a basket of trash just outside her home. It shocked her. Sadly public hygiene and awareness in Nepal is minimal, and it’s not an uncommon sight to see people polluting their own surroundings. Luckily nobody got sick and all was good.
After the first few weeks in Nepal, it was time to fly to Thailand with my family. We went to Bangkok, Pattaya, Koh Larn and an island called Koh Chang on the eastern part of Thailand. Thailand completely surprised me, I always thought that it was just an average destination overrun by tourists, but was I wrong! I found it to be amazing! 😀 Delicious cuisine, good infrastructures, smiley people and so vibrant with plenty of things to options for travelers.
After visiting Bangkok and Pattaya, I, my husband and sister went to Koh Chang while rest of my family flew back to Nepal. 2019 was the year when I started to love scuba diving after getting a lot of practice in 2018, so diving in Thailand was bliss. We dived a huge wreck that started from 5 meters and extended all the way to 30 meters, yet I was so comfortable and excited throughout the dive. Besides that, it was a lot of scootering around the island, kayaking, eating, drinking, snorkeling, swimming and all those things that I am happiest doing. We had such a ridiculously good time.
I flew back to Poland in mid-November and surprisingly it wasn’t very hard this time, mostly because I knew I’d go back to Nepal soon. But also because Poland is my primary home now where I have friends and family. I went to a job interview right after getting back, and I got selected! So I am starting a new job in 3 days time, in a senior role. I am really excited to grow in my professional life this year. One of the things that excites me is software development and I have some personal projects planned this year, so I really look forward to my growth in this area.
I expect to dedicate 2020 mostly towards my professional life so I will have to really try and come back to this space and write about all those trips. 2019 was a fulfilling year for me and I hope 2020 will be similar. Happy New Year and thanks for reading till the end 🙂