2019, a busy and a big year!

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! ๐Ÿ˜ฎ 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 ๐Ÿ˜‰

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On our campgrounds in Polish countryside in summer

For starters, I got married twice! To the same man ๐Ÿ˜‰ 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.

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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.

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After the short ceremony
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Our wedding ride

After the wedding, it was back to normal, which to us in summer means a lot of diving trips ๐Ÿ˜€ 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. ๐Ÿ˜€

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Trying wakeboarding

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 driveย  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.

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From one of those scuba trips, diving in the day, barbecue and chatting and laughing in the evenings

My sister-in-law gave birth to a sweet baby boy in summer. He arrived a bit early and unexpectedly.ย  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.

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Last summer we free floated with snorkels on this river for 3 hours!

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 ๐Ÿ˜‰ 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!

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Explosion of red and gold!

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.

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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! ๐Ÿ˜‰ 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 ๐Ÿ˜‰ 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.

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One more photo! ๐Ÿ™‚

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.

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Watching sunrise from Sarangkot viewpoint

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! ๐Ÿ˜€ Delicious cuisine, good infrastructures, smiley people and so vibrant with plenty of things to options for travelers.

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Wat Arun from a boat cruise in Bangkok

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.

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Snorkeling around Koh Chang

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.

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A welcome sunset in Lodz

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 ๐Ÿ™‚

 


24 thoughts on “2019, a busy and a big year!

  1. You definitely had a busy year! All was fruitful, though. Wishing you a happy marriage and a prospective year in 2020. ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. How lovely to read about your year, Pooja! And all your photos in this post are so beautiful, one after another just stunning! ๐Ÿ™‚ I especially love the wedding photos from both countries and the river pic of you two where you snorkeled – looks magical! I can only imagine how amazing that trip to Nepal must’ve been for your in-laws, and now they know you even better, having seen you amongst your family. You two are such a gorgeous couple and you look so happy! โค

    1. Thank you so much, Snow! The wedding photos were by professional photographers. The river experience was unique, it was also funny how I couldn’t swim against the current and turn back or stay in one place if I saw something interesting under the water. It was almost an abstract experience seeing all those things like plants, fish and rocks floating away so fast. The current was mild but the snorkels made it seem like it was very fast hehe. Hope you and your family have a great year ahead, Snow! โค

  3. What a delightful post to read, Pooja. Well, it always is a pleasure to read your posts, but I enjoyed this one especially. The news here is pretty grim at the moment so it is so heartening to read about your wonderful year, (and lucky break getting your wallet back – I had also a lucky time finding my wallet too), and more importantly, marriage! Congratulations again. The red and gold chairs are fit for a coronation. You both look breathtakingly beautiful. I am sure your parents were so very proud of you! What kind of food do you serve at the Nepail weddings?
    Congrats also in becoming an Auntie and your new job! That sounds wonderful. What area of software development are you working in? My son and his partners are programmers and he is soon to commence his PhD in Cybersecurity!
    Loved the photo of the wedding ride!
    It was also interesting to read about the in laws expetations of Asia! My first trip to Asia was to Nepal and coincidentally Bangkok, Pattaya and also Singapore. I think we were in culture shock for the first day in Nepal, but I fell in love with the country. Seeing the valley at Sarangkot made my memories come alive again.
    Good luck with your new position and I do hope you keep writing on your blog. I have missed your posts. Happy New Year!

    1. Hi Amanda. I always enjoy getting your comments ๐Ÿ™‚ The food that’s served at Nepali weddings is mostly Nepali/Indian, a lot of deep fried snacks as appetizers, and curries and naans and fish and rice and all those yummy things for the main. Usually there are Indian desserts along with yoghurt.
      Oh I didn’t know that your son is also a programmer ๐Ÿ™‚ I have been involved in different projects in the past, the most recent one was backend development for a web application ๐Ÿ™‚
      Wow I didn’t realize that your first visit to Asia was Nepal! It must have felt like a different world back then. I’ve been to both Thailand and Singapore and I loved them, except for the prices in Singapore hehe.

      1. I probably should write a blog post about my first overseas trip. It might make the memory live again! Yo did it was a different world in Nepal then and it was! The King was in power and no Maoists about at all. We had to be careful about what we ate – we avoided meat and did not have any tummy troubles. The people were so kind and sweet to us. The countryside so beautiful. I tried to have my eyes wide open so as not to miss anything. I was super excited. I have a Buddhist thangka I purchased in Dhaktapur Andy’s I have just put up on the wall of my new home, and a painting on silk I haggled for in Patan. Treasures I still enjoy.
        The wedding meal sounds scrumptious! I recall lots of fried donuts? in the shops in Kathmandu when I visited. Do you know, it was way back in 1986 when I was there? A lifetime ago!
        Do you enjoy ‘web dev’ work? Clever you, Pooja.

  4. What a busy, fun-filled year you had, Pooja. I’m glad you shared some of your wedding photos, it’s so interesting to learn about the different cultures and traditions. I hope you and your husband will continue to be very happy with one another and pursue further travels and adventures in the new year. And let’s hope your new job will be fulfilling.
    All the best for 2020,
    Tanja

  5. Happy New Year, Pooja, and congratulations for the wedding! You two look dashing in those bright Nepalese traditional dresses. Your story reminds me of one of my cousin’s. She’s an Indonesian who’s married to a German whose paternal family are Indians. So they had wedding ceremonies in Indonesia, Germany and India. I attended the one in Germany (which also happened to be my first trip abroad) and in Indonesia. But I couldn’t come for the one in India. I couldn’t help but compare how the differences between German and Indonesian wedding ceremonies — I found the former to be a lot simpler and intimate, while the latter was a grand celebration with so many guests. Wishing you a more fulfilling year ahead!

    1. Hi Bama. Thank you for your kind words! How interesting that your cousin had three different ceremonies! Germans and Europeans in general are not known for their extravagance whereas most of us in Asia love showing off, especially at events such as weddings. I honestly enjoyed the Polish wedding more, because I as a bride could take part in the fun too. But I loved meeting all the relatives and family in my Nepali wedding.

  6. Greetings Pooja. It’s me, Dai, at 5:31 in the morning, trying to do some catching up. I haven’t been so well recently but getting stronger day by day. I loved reading this post, Pooja. You know, when I was living in Thailand, I would often go at weekends to Koh Chang. I loved that place because it wasn’t as touristy and commercial as other more famous islands. We are as busy as ever here, Pooja, but Kumar and Goma take care of the heavier work and I do the light work now and I also take care of the bookings and messaging. I’m so glad that you are happy there, Pooja. Well we very nearly went to live in Poland as you know but Goma was refused a visa twice which changed everything. You almost had me as a weekend boozing partner hehehe. Look after yourself, Pooja. Lots of good wishes from Dai

    1. Hi Dai. Hope 2020 brings you better health!
      You’ve really been to so many places havent you Dai. I loved my decision of choosing Koh Chang. The jungles, the hilly inland and of course the beaches were all amazing. It’s lovely that you have your Nepali family to help with your business over there, Dai. I cannot believe that Poland rejects so many student visas from Nepal, it’s mind-boggling! But I think I have a good idea why, many of them come over here and run away to richer European countries and treat Poland just as a backdoor to EU! Best wishes to you too, Dai.

      1. Greetings my friend. It’s me, Dai. Yes I know about the Nepali students using Poland as a stepping stone but here we have a genuine student who really wants to get a BSc in Nursing. She has now given up maybe and working in a hotel, cleaning rooms. She and Kumar still talk about her getting that BSc but with her visa refusal record, other EU countries are going to reject her applications. It seems so unfair somehow. Hope you won’t have Monday Blues today, Pooja.

  7. OMG you two look absolutely stunning on your Polish wedding picture. I have no words. You could be in a magazine. I adore your dress, your hair, the flowers… all perfect! And it’s funny how completely different you two look on the Nepalese photos. Almost like a different couple!
    As always, your photos are gorgeous and the way you tell your pieces of life are highly enjoyable. I feel I were there too.
    Congrats on your new job and all the very best for you Pooja on 2020!

    1. How kind of you, Vero! The flowers were my favorite part of the wedding outfit too ๐Ÿ™‚ The bouquet was made by my MIL, and those roses smelled amazing.
      I am glad that you enjoy my posts and photos, Vero! I enjoy yours too, and chatting ๐Ÿ™‚ That’s the best part about blogging. Best wishes for 2020!

  8. Lovely post Pooja and congratulations on the two weddings! I loved the photos, you both look stunning. Congrats on the new job, what a great way to start the new year โค

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