Saturday, September 3, 2011


I really wanted an ice cream cone one day when my Dad and I were driving home from something. We went through the drive through (already something a bit odd for me) to order. I wanted a chocolate chocolate dipped ice cream cone.

"What size?" the woman behind the curtain asks.

What? I can get more that just 1 standard ice cream cone size?


I am at Panera Bread with my mom and all I want is a bowl of broccoli and cheese soup. I totally ignore the menu, which is dauntingly long, and find that they do have broccoli and cheese soup. The broccoli and cheese soup is not a vegetarian option. What could they possibly put in the broccoli and cheese soup that would not make it vegetarian? But I digress.

My mom is looking over the menu, not overwhelmed of course, and suggests a Mediterranean veggie sandwich. Alright, I'll try that as well.

We order:
"I would like a bowl of broccoli and cheese soup and the Mediterranean veggie sandwich," I confidently say.

"You can have that as a meal combo. You get a cup of soup and half a sandwich," the waitress says.

"I...uh...fine," I respond, quickly losing my confidence and patience.

"What would you like to drink?" she asks quickly, mistaking me for an American, thinking my brain can comprehend fast American English with no difficulty.

"Just a soda I guess," trying to speed this hell along.

"What size?"

Geez how many choices do Americans need?

"And for 99 cents would you like to add any one item from our bakery?" the waitress politely asks.

All I wanted was a bowl of broccoli and cheese soup. Do the choices never end?


I did get to drink a lot of American beer. I ate pumpkin pie and cheesecake. I saw my family and a few of my friends. I got to meet Mrs. PV, my friend's mom and my pen pal. I saw New Kids on the Block in concert, in Vegas.


ps: My mom also signed up for a Panera Bread card so she can receive email updates and coupons for future purchases. America.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Village: The Indian Version

The Indian village.

It made me homesick.

For Zambia. (Yes, I know this is strange.)

I found that things are mostly the same in villages no matter what country you are in. When you arrive, someone will be immediately tasked with catching and killing a chicken.

The questions are the same-How old are you? Are you married? Why aren't you married?

The activities are the same-wake up early, prepare the fields for planting, visit neighbours, eat mangoes, talk about the neighbours, eat more mangoes.

Some things are vastly different. In India, there is electricity and running water in most parts of the village. I had cold water to drink and slept under a running fan. It was a great break from the city!

Saturday, April 30, 2011

That's What She Said

Spoiler alert: if you haven't watched this week's episode of The Office, then stop reading RIGHT now!!!! Wait, I'm not really revealing any spoilers. If you don't know Michael is leaving The Office you deserve to have that spoiled for you. But honestly, if you haven't watched the episode yet, you are an idiot. I live in India and I managed to watch it right away. Yeah, an addict always knows where to get a fix. Always.

Michael Scott left Dunder Mifflin. It is a day I never thought I would see, especially since Dunder Mifflin is still standing and open for business.

I have been a huge fan from the very first episode. How could you not love this show? It has everything. A boss who hosts an office awards show. A crazy paint-balling, beet farm owning sidekick. A receptionist turned artist turned office manager. A guy in love with said receptionist turned artist turned office manager. A man who has done millions of crossword puzzles when he should be working. Creed.

No matter where I lived at in the world, I always had The Office.

I was flying home from Honduras during the Season 2 finale. I double and triple checked that my tivo was set to record the whole episode. The morning of my departure: road blocks. People were protesting something, I can't remember what it was now but it took me hours to get to the airport instead of the twenty minutes it should have. I didn't miss my flight and managed to get back home and watch the finale without anyone spoiling what had happened with Jim and Pam.

I was living in India (the first time) when my dad (who is the best dad ever) spent $50 to send me Season 3 when it came out on DVD. I had it less than a week after it was released in America.

When Season 4 started and I was still in India, I sat in a very sweaty and smelly internet cafe for well over an hour attempting to load the opening episode. It took the entire hour to stream 3 minutes before the internet stalled and crashed. Oh what a glorious 3 minutes they were!

When I moved to Zambia I didn't know how I was going to manage. 2 whole years without new episodes of The Office? This was going to be a challenge. I moved to Zambia prepared with my Office t-shirts, my Dwight bobblehead, and an iPod loaded with 3 full seasons and all the new episodes from Season 4.

Every Thursday was still The Office day for me. I would watch an episode every Thursday on my tiny scratched iPod screen. This became a ritual for me. I lived for Thursdays. Every Thursday I would dig out an American Hello Kitty fruit snack and keep this along side my painstakingly charged iPod. I would go and eat dinner with my host family, come back home, wash my face and feet, then crawl into my bed, tuck myself safely into my mosquito net, watch The Office and eat some delicious chemically flavored Hello Kitty shaped fruit snacks. You laugh (or think this is very sad), but this kept me sane.

One day my host sister Jacqueline was at my house and she picked up my iPod. I showed her how to use it, how to make the music stop and start and how to change songs. She sat there playing around with the scroll wheel when all of a sudden I hear a gasp, "Mutinta! There is a small man inside here!" She managed to turn on an episode of The Office. "It's my favorite tv show from America," I said. I quickly started to explain about all the characters and about where they work and what they do and why it is my favorite tv show. Jacqueline quickly lost interest in the show and asked me, "Yes, but this is not a tv." 

On Fridays, if I had 3 bars on my phone (meaning strong enough for internet), I would log on to nbc mobile and read about the week's new episode.  Again you laugh (or think this is very sad), but this kept me sane.

Not only did my crazy obsession with The Office keep me sane but it made me feel connected with America and with American culture. I always knew that Michael and his employees were out there, up to something hilarious and wonderful. Just thinking about those 22 minutes made me happier. It made living in a mud hut in the middle of the Zambian bush a little more bearable.

Slowly I adjusted to living without The Office. Friends would send me updates or magazine articles or dvds with new episodes on them. Pretty soon I saw living so far from America as an advantage in my Office viewing. If I wasn't living in America, I wasn't hearing all the 'news' reports about who was guest starring or seeing commercials highlighting the best 30 seconds of an episode. I could keep everything that was happening a surprise until I got back to America to binge on The Office.

That is what I did with Season 6.

Now I'm living in India (again), with much faster internet services available, and able to stream new episodes of Season 7 of The Office from the comfort of my very own bedroom. Because of the crazy time difference between America and India, my Thursdays have now become Fridays. I search and search where I can stream the episode from, then patiently wait while it takes the day (or half a day if I'm lucky) to load.

I watched Michael's last day at The Office on my lovely 17inch laptop screen in my mosquito net with the air conditioner running, in India.

"Oh, this is gonna feel so good getting this thing off my chest.

That's what she said." -Michael Scott

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Happy Easter from India!

Happy Easter! I hope you are enjoying your Easter Eggs, bunny rabbits, and potato salad where ever you are in the world!

Today was hot and sweaty and then this happened:

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Banjos are Sexy

Fast new internet.

Nuff said.

We just got an upgraded internet service and it has changed my life. I can watch youTube videos without much waiting! I can actually watch web streaming and have been able to download and watch new episodes of The Office (Will Ferrell was better than I was expecting)! My nights have turned into me sitting in my room, with the air conditioner cranked down low, absorbed with finding youTube videos of new songs from bands I like, music videos I haven't seen, and crazy Royal Wedding spoof videos. I don't think I have ever been this addicted to the internet.

Then I found out that Coachella is streaming live from the music festival on youTube AND my internet is fast enough that it only cuts out every once and a while!!!!!!!! Check it out, you would be wasting your fast American internet service if you weren't watching this.
Coachella on youTube!

I am in heaven. I feel a little less homesick and a little closer to home. Plus I learned, thanks to Mumford and Sons, that banjos are sexy as hell.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Life in Pictures

Malin and I! (This is our only picture together!)

Me and Gwen at Shesha Cafe!



My birthday!

Staff picnic!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Small World

Yesterday, I met a woman, who after I said I was from South Dakota, sang me this song:

Today, the same woman said to me, "I was just in Zambia last year working at an orphanage!"

This is a very small world we live in. She is from Australia. We are in India.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011