Indian Wedding Meets Natural Disaster

Self

The holidays are over and boy, I have so much to catch you up on. My three week trip to India for my uncle’s wedding was a memorable one to say the least. From enjoying a 5-day wedding in India to getting stuck in New York for three days because the airport shut down, I have had a crazy start to the new year. I’ve documented my entire trip in the vlog below, so I’ll just give you the backstory and tell you how my year went from 100-0 real quick.

The uncle who got married is my mom’s youngest brother, who lives in Canada. My grandparents live in Hyderabad, India and the bride lives in India as well, so we all flew there for the wedding. Indian weddings last about a week, so each day calls for its own outfit and jewelry, which you can see in my vlog.

I visit India quite often, but it’s not always fun. We mostly sit at home in my grandparent’s home and eat scrumptious food, but you can only do that for so long, till it gets boring. Friends would make the experience more exciting, but when I lived in India for four years during middle and high school, it was in a completely different state.

The wedding, however, made this trip exponentially better. This was my first family wedding in India that I’m old enough to remember. It’s also the last wedding that will happen in our close family until my own wedding.

All my favorite uncles, aunts and cousins came over to stay at my grandparent’s house and there was so much going on all the time, that it was difficult to be bored. Sure, the tiny apartment got stuffy with all these people going in and out, and sleeping on the floors and couches. But there’s something about family coming together from all over the world to celebrate a joyous event, that warms my heart. Almost like how it would be during a family reunion for Thanksgiving (but we’re brown, we don’t celebrate Thanksgiving). We had two weeks to help with planning, find the perfect dresses, and treat ourselves with facials, manis, and pedis before the big week. You can watch all that fun stuff in my vlog.

Food Poisoning

The food was probably the best part of the trip (sorry, uncle). I had a feeling my four years of living there would give me enough immunity to eat whatever I wanted. Normally, it’s a requirement to get food poisoning as soon as you reach. But that didn’t happen, so I was taking advantage of it by binge eating all the local chaats and kulfis.  On January 2, my last day in India, I went to the annual Hyderabad exhibition, which is basically a carnival filled with food stalls, local shops and even rides. If you eat there as a foreigner, you’re basically asking for food poisoning by eating there. But I didn’t know that then.

I ate from 10 different stalls on my last day in India, and suffered the consequences when I woke up at 4 AM puking my insides out, on the morning of my 22 hr flight home. I was rushed to the family doctor and they ran an IV on me to get some glucose and antibiotics in my system.  I’ve only ever seen it in the movies, so you can imagine how cool I thought it was. After an hour of that, I felt like a new woman. Forget vomiting and nausea, I felt like I was active enough to run a marathon. We came home right after, spent 15 minutes gathering our luggage and went straight to the airport.

The ‘Bomb Cyclone’

I got accepted to the NPR Next Generation Radio weeklong boot camp, so my mom and I planned to come back home just in time to make it to that. I’d have two days to get rid of my jet lag.

On January 4, we landed in New York for one last flight to get home, but within moments of us landing, the airport shut down because of a ‘bomb cyclone.’ Don’t ask me what that is because I have no idea. New York was declared as being in a state of emergency. 4,000 flights got cancelled and to top it all off, they lost our four check-in suitcases full of clothes, jewelry and souvenirs from the trip. They said the next flight to Houston was on January 10, and that’s basically the end of my NPR program. With a 3 hour line to inquire about luggage and a 7 hour line to rebook a flight, he were stuck in JFK for 12 hours and it was chaotic. Think, natural disaster mode panic.

We left the airport hangry and disappointed. We couldn’t rebook the flight, and they told us to call customer service to find out the status of our luggage. The only thing we knew was that we had to take an hour long taxi ride to stay with my cousins in New Jersey, for who knows how long. These are the same cousins I stayed with during my summer working for BuzzFeed New York. I had no idea I’d be seeing them again this soon, but it was a pleasant surprise to both of us. After staying there for two days, which mainly consisted of my mom and I being on the phone for hours on hold with different airlines.

Ultimately, we found a flight the next day to Austin, and our family friends were graciously kind enough to pick us up and drive us home to Houston, which was 3 hours away. We got our luggage a week later, and I made it the night before my NPR program, which was absolutely amazing. The point is, it all works out in the end.

Are You Afraid of a Little Meat?

Thoughts

No need to be scared of halal meat. Don’t worry, halal meat in no way funds or sponsors ISIS and neither are any of us halal meat-eating muslims pledging allegiance to them by eating this healthy meat. Halal meat is simply cut in a way that provides minimal physical and emotional pain to animals (hence, no other animals must be present while the butcher slaughters their friend). Draining the bad blood (preach, T-Swift) from animals rids them of many diseases that we may potentially ingest otherwise.

Halal meat is required to be slaughtered for consumption, which means you can’t just pick up roadkill somewhere and serve that on a platter. And don’t fear the “prayer” that the butchers read. It’s not some kind of black magic voodoo. They just bless the meat by saying “God is great” and then thanking God for his wonderful creations and the food he has provided us. It’s kind of like saying grace, but to bless the entire process of making the meat until (and after) it reaches your super markets.

Being scared of halal meat makes you as ridiculous as this woman here:

If the World Gives You Beauty, Immortalize It With Words

Self

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Hello World! My name is Rafa Farihah, your neighborhood noob blogger. Just kidding, I have no idea where any of you live. I reside in the one and only Houston. I am a freshman at Texas A&M University in College Station, Texas. And no, we do NOT ride horses to college.

As I created this blog, I signed up for a workshop called Blogging 101 which hopefully molds my amateur blogging skills into something much more appealing to myself and others. Moreover, I began blogging as an attempt to share my passion of fashion , photography, and writing. Blogging is a wonderful mode of communicating with people across the globe, all unique in their backgrounds, experiences, and viewpoints.

I would like to share with you how I observe the world through my pupils and hopefully inspire someone, somewhere, somehow. Since my childhood, I have moved from New Jersey, to India, to Texas, providing me ample entertaining stories to tell you, my lovely readers. Traveling is another hobby of mine, which has sort of stemmed off of my frequent moves every few years, which I shall explain in a future entry. Anyways, traveling… what about traveling do I enjoy? Food, nature, relaxation, and even just the thrill of what each subsequent moment will bring. Where will I go, what will I see next, and what kinds of people will I meet? Stay tuned to keep up with my adventures both near and far.

Another goal of mine is to not only update you on my personal life/thoughts, but also create an environment where you can be informed about life beyond the internet. I intend to post pop culture opinionated pieces, fun listicles, health and beauty entries, stress-buster videos, and motivational videos to keep you going through the week.

More than any of these goals, I want to hear back from my readers, have you share your thoughts and experiences with me so we can live through them vicariously. We live only once, so might as well immortalize our stories by putting them into words so someone else can learn from them.

I hope Blogging 101 helps me take off as a writer in the blogosphere, make connections and gain more readers. I plan to post several times a week to keep my readers well-rounded, entertained and inspired. If any of these interest you, keep checking for the latest scoop and make sure to follow morescoopplease!