What is the first thing you do?

What is the first thing you do when you know your family is coming over next week to stay with you?

 

 

 

 

Well, I clean up the fridge.
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After all, how much stuff do you need for a single person who cooks very simple stuff right? But then I have no idea why it always ends up looking like there is a whole grocery store in here. Every time my brother comes, he takes one look at the fridge and then another look at me and tells me ‘at least get this cleaned up before mom comes over, otherwise…’ So, finally today was the day. Just a couple of days before my mom is gonna land at my place. Not that I am afraid of her, I just don’t want to see her eyebrows shoot up in a blatant disapproval, even after all these years 😉 That is my excuse.

 

What do you do?

 

All about the names

In our community, it is a normal practice to use the grandfather’s name for the son’s and grandmother’s name for the daughter’s (the grandparent being the kid’s grandparents obviously). I was named after my grandmother (father’s mom) but then people younger than my grandmom can’t call me using her name (would seem rather disrespectful isn’t? Well, not in many other countries, but here, trust me, it is very disrespectful) so they had another name for unofficial purposes (aka to call me by that name at home, where my grandmom might be around) Later they combined both the names and now I am mostly known by my household name which sort of became my ‘name’ (both official and personal)

Keeping in with the tradition, my brother (who is named after my granddad) named his daughters the same way. The first one is named after my mom, and the second one named after my sister in law’s mom. Both short and sweet names. But at home, they are called using different names (which are also very short and sweet). And no, they haven’t combined both names to one. They don’t go that well together. Mine was the only exception. So today my brother went to book train tickets (for their annual vacation to my place) at the station (he found it was getting very tedious to do it online, so went to the station to get it done….took less time and less effort to get it done there). There he had to fill the form and in that, there were two names which were similar but the ages were quite different. One was 5 years old (first niece) and the other 65 years old (my mom). The person who was at the counter looked at my brother and goes like, ‘are you sure this is right?’ And took his sweet time to hear my brother’s explanation about the family names and such and finally was convinced and booked the tickets. I am sure the person who is gonna check their tickets is also going to have the same questions (or probably not, if he is having his granddad’s name for himself). And guess what, both of them got concession: one was underage (full tickets are assigned to people of age 6 and above), so only priced for half a ticket and the other was too old so, priced for half a ticket (being a senior citizen and all).

I have heard of people using the same names and adding suffixes like Jr, or Sr, etc., but what about in the case of women? If for example, you use the same name as your grandmom’s or mom’s? How do you differentiate when you talk about two women in a family having the same name. Haven’t heard of Sr or Jr associated with them. In our cases, we never assign Sr / Jr even to men, so it hardly matters and we do have two names for a single person.

Why do you travel ?

Every time I plan a travel I get a ‘upraised brow’ look from my mom and a ‘head shake with a long sigh’ from my dad, not to mention ‘an evil green eye’ from my brother and a ‘good luck’ from my sister. Now that I got my visa for my next vacation coming up in a Month and a half’s time, I am preparing myself for their admonition. No matter I am grown up now and I can handle stuff for myself, no matter that I have traveled quite some to gain an experience on what to do and what not to, no matter that I have lived half my life by myself and very important of all, no matter how much ever I go against their wishes 😉 , they still give me an earful every time I ‘inform’ them of my travel plan.

The discussion usually goes like this:

Q:why do you want to travel to a foreign location and spend so much money? Can’t you start with local places ?

A:Local places don’t need that much money as the foreign ones. I am earning enough to spare some for my travels to foreign destinations and I can replenish that money by working some more. Once I quit the job or no longer earn enough to travel abroad, I will plan for the local ones (apart from the ones I have been doing).

Q:but if you actually save those money you can retire early right?

A:Given an option to earn+travel+earn or save+retire, at this point of time, I will choose earn+travel+earn. I have enough time left to plan my retirement.

Q:are you going alone again?

A:Well , no. This time I have a couple of friends who are going with me.

Q:is the place safe?

A:Yes it is. We are going as a group and I am going to give you all the hotel list anyways so that you can reach me in case of any emergencies.

Q:is this a planned group or you are doing it on your own?

A:Doing it on our own.

Q:my god, that is totally not safe. why can’t you go through some packages where you have more people around you?

A:I did that last year and at that time you didn’t consider that safe !!!!

Q:how many women are there in your group ?

A:Including me, two.

Q:oh… ok. at least you aren’t going alone with guys ?

A:Urrrrgh!!! they are my friends. You don’t have to trust them , at least trust me!

Q:whatever!! you are not going to listen to us and you will do what you want. 

A:[roll my eyes]

Q:just be safe and keep us informed if you have internet and take care of your health and for the record, we just don’t approve this trip

A:You know I will email you whenever I get a chance to keep you informed of my whereabouts. (and I ignore the last sentence about approval as if I didn’t hear them)

This has happened for almost 2 years in a row now 🙂 They almost refuse to see me as a grown up  especially when they are afraid that they won’t be near in case of any eventualities. I really understand their concern but it also becomes sort of mundane to have this discussion and then go ahead. Its just not either my mom or dad. Its both of them, one of the very few things they actually join the force and become as one. I am yet to have this conversation with them this year. But I guess there might be more from them this time, because of the recent injuries and the physiotherapy that I have been going through. They are going to really try very hard to convince me to not go ahead with my plan 🙂 . But what is life without a few risks. I am, by default, a very carefully planned person. But I do take some reasonable risks and this is one of them. And this is the first time we few friends got around to finally plan this trip after a couple of years of planning and cancelling.

And please don’t ask me of my travel plans yet. I am running a bout of bad luck and I don’t want to jinx anything for now 🙂 I already have a few things to take care (namely, injuries, parents, friends who can bail out last minute, work related emergencies etc etc…) Now off to wear those protective gear and to do some sweet talking to my parents 🙂

And oh yeah, wish me luck. I badly need it 😉