Sooner or Later, We All Sleep Alone…..

4 Nov

That is the Cher song that has been stuck in my head for quite some time.  It somehow gives me comfort on the nights when I feel I am the only person in the world falling asleep alone (well, with my sweet dogs so not always completely alone). Sleeping in Simba’s arms was always my happy place, and it has been quite an adjustment to learn to be alone again and spend most nights in motels for my job.  I was very independent before him and had no problem sleeping alone, funny how time and people can change a person so much.

I haven’t visited this blog in forever, I find it too painful.  I also stopped reading all of the other intercultural relationship blogs I once adored because it just hurt too much to see what seems like everyone else finding their happily ever after and not understanding why Simba and I couldn’t.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m very happy for my online blogging friends and would never wish for you guys to fail, but I hope you know what I mean.  I loved being part of this “group” of crazy white girls in love with our nepali/indian/asian men and enjoyed the camaraderie and sense of belonging that came with being one of those girls.  When things turned dark for Simba and me I guess I also felt I no longer could be a part of this wonderful and supportive group I had come to rely on for friendship and advice and that felt very isolating, so I just ignored blogs altogether.  Writing is therapeutic for me though and even if I have no readers or followers I’m going to try to get back into it just for my own sanity.  I probably should start a new blog altogether, but honestly I am not very technically inclined and Simba is the one who got this one all set up for me.

Simba moved out and we technically ended things last summer (2014).  The months leading up to that were some of the worst days in my memory.  We were not kind to each other, to say the least.  I was an emotional wreck he hated me most days with an alarming intensity.  It was very hard for me to comprehend how someone who once loved me fiercely could hate me with such vitriol, but in hindsight I probably had become rather unlovable and difficult because of the resentment that had built up in my heart and separated us.

Even in those dark days though we had moments of light and laughter.  I remember going out to dinner a few weeks before he moved out and when we got home a tree had fallen and knocked out all electricity to our neighborhood and blocked the road to our apartment.  He was very protective, and held my hand as we navigated the dark road. I remember feeling so safe with him in that moment.  World Cup was also playing and we had fun watching every soccer game we could together.   Before Simba I found soccer boring, and post Simba I do not watch it alone…but with him I learned to enjoy the game and I loved to see him happy when his team did well.  We also invented a game called “Yellow Ball” which was entirely silly and something only we would find so addicting and fun and I have fond memories of us laughing and playing that game even during those difficult times.

We had adopted a puppy the previous winter and even though we certainly had our share of fights regarding her she also brought us a great deal of shared pride, joy, and laughter.  In so many ways we made a dynamic team.  I believe that we would have excelled as parents (together) and my biggest regret is we didn’t get that chance, but that is a topic for another post/blog altogether.  On that note though, when well meaning friends and acquaintances learn that we are no longer together they tend to make comments like “Well, at least you didn’t have kids together” or “It’s a good thing you found out it wouldn’t work before bringing kids into the picture.”   Wow, those comments always sting deeply and I have no idea how to respond to such an insensitive comment.  “Actually, it was our dream to have a family and kids and we would have been great parents even if we didn’t work out as a couple.”  Maybe I’ll try that next time if I have the courage.  I’ve never met a parent who regrets their child, so it seems very foolish and hurtful to assume someone is happy they didn’t have kids.

In general though one of the many things that has been hard to deal with is that most friends and family seem to want to pretend Simba and I didn’t even exist.  Because we never had a wedding, in their eyes we must not have been very serious and not worth mentioning.  My sister-in-law commented recently she had no idea we were even engaged. One close friend actually forgot his name and said “That guy you were dating, what was his name?” and many act like he must have been nothing more than a casual boyfriend.

But for 8 years he has been my closest and best friend, my confidant, the guy who made me laugh with his silly antics and witty expressions and the person I still dial first (even if I stop myself) when I have something exciting or devastating to share and only his enthusiastic response or comfort will do.  Most of my happiest memories were with him.  How am I to pretend that we didn’t exist just to make everyone else comfortable?  That is hard.

I miss Nepali culture too.  His friends were amazing and that has been a big loss because in some ways I actually enjoyed their friendship and company more than some of my own American friends.  They were all couples though and of course there is no place for the white american ex of their Nepali friend, no matter how well we got along.  Momos.  I miss Mo Mos tremendously.  I miss the noise and laughter and random people singing and playing guitar while others play cards in Nepali gatherings.  I truly fell in love Simba first, but then I also fell in love with his culture and Nepal.

We still spend time together and when I was with him recently he casually mentioned that he is going back to Nepal for the first time in more than 8 years and he will be there for 6 weeks.  Much to his annoyance, I broke into tears when he told me this even though I am so happy for him that he will see his family.  He was upset with my sadness, and I admit my feelings were selfish but my emotions often get the better of me.  For so many years I had dreamed and planned to be on that plane with him when it lands in Kathmandu.  I have pictured it in my mind, imagined how he would be holding my hand during the descent (I hate flying) but he would also be pointing out the window and showing me his city and he would be giddy with excitement.

I had envisioned his parents meeting us at the airport, and in my head I practiced my “Namaste” and things I could do or say to put them at ease.  I was so looking forward to Simba showing me Kathmandu, taking me to Freak Street where he spent his youth.  Showing me the temples that he so often told me about in our early days.  I have never been to Nepal, but I love it just the same because of him.  That is why it hit me hard that those dreams are officially dead when he told me he had booked his flight.

I also suspect he will be having an arranged marriage during his trip and I can’t seem to come to terms with that even though I know I must.  We got engaged on Christmas Day, and to think of all we have been through together and him calling a stranger his wife just a few short years after he promised me “forever” is hard to imagine.  But that is life, one of my favorite sayings is “If you want to make God laugh tell Him your plans.”  That has been very true, nothing at all has worked out according to my plans.  I’m 31 now and clueless about dating in this technology obsessed society, I don’t even know how or where to start because I so firmly believed I would be with Simba forever and we would have little curly haired caramel skinned babies and celebrate Dashain and Christmas and be happy.  Yes, I was very naive and gullible, but the years I spent with Simba planning our life together were mostly very happy years and I loved him deeply and part of me always will.

I’m all over the place but just needed a space to write out some thoughts.  I’ll try to be less sentimental and sad next time.

Aside

Middle of the night nonsensical thoughts and update of sorts

16 Aug

Just catching up on some blogs for the first time in a long time tonight.  Drinking wine and listening to music and reading about the precarious world of intercultural relationships.  It feels like so long ago that I found my first intercultural blog (AmericanNepali) and I was so excited and called Simba immediately to tell him about it.  I spent the next several hours devouring every detail of her excellent blog.  I was so eager to learn everything about his culture and so excited about our future even if it meant climbing mountains together (literally and figuratively).   For the last several months though I haven’t even really looked at these blogs…I’ve been actively avoiding them and my own page.  Too many reminders of how these relationships can crash and burn seemingly much easier than “normal” ones.  Especially after so much time has passed and so much has been invested….

Two months ago S took me with him to my first Nepali wedding (but in America).  I meant to blog about it afterwards when the memories were fresh but I didn’t.  The plans for our own wedding never materialized.   It’s been rather painful to watch so many of my friends go through “normal” relationship milestones and things like engagements (where the guy is usually so thrilled and excited to tell his family and friends and in turn they are all happy and supportive and plans are set into place and love is in the air….that kind of thing).   After 5 years of knowing S and over 3 years of dating I’ve still never talked to his parents beyond one incredibly awkward and ill timed 2 minute phone convo with his mom. Not for lack of wanting to on my part…but it is what it is…..and sometimes when you wait too long to turn the ignition, life throws you big horrible curveballs and the battery is shot and it never starts up again (not very smooth to use a car analogy and baseball….but I have to buy a new battery for my car tomorrow and I’ll also blame the wine…)

I think what I’ve come to learn though is that despite all that, culture is really a very small part of what makes relationships tick.  I don’t see him as “Nepali” and never really have….he has always been S who happens to be Nepali when strangers give me funny looks or family questions why I took such risks.  When it’s just the two of us…I truly don’t see the difference in skin color, or accents, or traditions, or beliefs.  Our religious differences have been a bigger barrier than cultural throughout.  .

But now I don’t know what the future holds anymore….but its probably not a red sari and momos.   Things have happened that have made it pretty impossible to envision marrying him, no matter how much I love him (and I do love him..too much probably, no doubt that’s been my weakness).   At the same time it’s hard to see myself starting over with someone else.   Very hard to imagine ever feeling as comfortable with anyone else…as carefree or silly or truthful.  The idea of dating an American almost seems strange and foreign now but at the same time I don’t think I’d go for an intercultural relationship again……I’m not even ready to think about that right now but it’s a thought that has lingered in my head and I’m still working out the reasons.  In the end, if we fall apart permanently neither one of us can blame culture…..it would be for other reasons altogether.

So I just logged in for a rambling session more or less.  I appreciate everyone’s supportive comments on my last post and I’m sorry this one is a bit more depressing.  Posts like this one are the reason I have been avoiding the blogs for the last few months and here I go adding to the mix…..cheers to cheerier posts in the future.

Going to the (Buddhist?) Chapel and We’re Going to Get Married…..

25 Mar

Simba pointed out to me yesterday that I haven’t blogged in quite a long time.  It’s true that 2012 has been a roller coaster so far that had me living in a hotel for a month, moving apartments without notice, getting my purse and identity stolen, and more work stress than I have ever had before in my life.  I have dropped the ball on blogging but I thought I’d write a quick update on here because sometimes all it takes is writing one post to get the ball rolling again.

One major piece of news since last time I wrote is that Simba and I are officially engaged!!!  He proposed on Christmas night with a gorgeous sparkly ring and a nervous laugh as he waited for my answer on one knee 🙂  Of course I said yes, but I did make him wait for a minute or two before giving him an answer.  Hey- he made me wait almost three years!  It was a beautiful Christmas though and I floated on cloud 9 and I still can’t stop looking at my beautiful ring.  He did good!

I am very happy to be engaged to him but it has presented a whole new slew of problems that are exacerbated by the intercultural factor.  One of them was that even though he proposed to me he wasn’t quite ready to tell his parents about being engaged (partly because in Nepal they don’t really do engagements per se).  I tried to be understanding about this, but it also kind of hurt my feelings and made things very tricky when all my friends and family wanted to know about the date and the wedding plans, etc.  It’s nearly impossible to plan a wedding when his family didn’t know and when I tried to explain that to my american friends I get these concerned looks that drive me crazy.  As a result, there has been some tension because unfortunately I started to resent him a bit for not telling his parents and for constantly being “warned” by well meaning friends and family about the implications of being engaged to a man who wasn’t telling his family.

So, while I was thrilled to be engaged to Simba it has also been a stressful few months of us arguing a bit about this aspect.  I am not really a “planner” per se but I also knew that in order to have a wedding this year I would need to start the budgeting and planning process and Simba didn’t quite understand the importance of having a date to do any of that.  Most of my friends are super busy and have already sent me certain dates they have requested me NOT to get married because they have other weddings that day or will be out of town, etc.  And for me, the most important aspect of a wedding beyond our vows is celebrating with friends and family.

So it’s been a struggle to understand each other and for each of us to be patient as we try to muddle through these cultural issues.  Most days I would honestly rather just skip the entire public ceremony and just do something private with our very closest friends and family (as in less than 10 people probably).  That’s kind of my secret dream because I know our wedding will turn into a chaotic event of trying to meet others expectations-and most likely coming short.  I think another part that makes me nervous is the fact that so far it seems that his family is very critical in general….Simba tells me that’s just his culture and I think it is true.  I have written about their comments on weight, etc (not just about me but everyone-it seems no one is safe from their free commentary on everyone’s appearance, personality, etc).  It makes me cringe to think of all of them being in the same room with a spotlight on me and the inevitable pictures being posted on Facebook and feeling as if they will all be talking about me, but in a negative light looking for any perceived flaws. I know that seems extremely pessismistic of me to say, but it’s the truth.  I’d have to say it’s the part of Nepali culture I dislike the most….

In case you were wondering, Simba has finally told his mom (last week!) 🙂  But at this point I have left poor Simba to plan the whole thing because I am a people pleaser and it didn’t take me long to realize there is no way to make everyone happy.  My friends and family will want a Christian white wedding and his family of course wants a Nepali style ceremony.  We have discussed a “fusion” of sorts because having two ceremonies just isn’t economically practical for us at this point.  Any suggestions or advice would be MUCH appreciated!  We will be working with a pretty tight budget and most likely paying for most of it by ourselves.  I went out with two of my girlfriends last night and they were wanting to go wedding dress shopping with me.  They were WAY more excited about it than me and their faces fell when I told them I’m not sure I’ll even be wearing a white dress.

Simba is probably wishing he hadn’t mentioned that I hadn’t blogged in awhile at this point 😉  But don’t get me wrong.  I am beyond excited about sharing a life with him and being married to him.  It’s just the actual wedding ceremony part that gives me major jitters.  But everything will fall into place-it always does!

arranged marriages in the movies

7 Nov

I really should know better than to start any kind of “Part 1” blog post because then I feel kind of handcuffed into finishing it and even though I have other topics to blog about I don’t because I haven’t finished my “Part 2” yet.

Oh well 🙂  I will get around to finishing my part 2 but I want to continue to post when the urge hits me.  I’m sitting here with my mom’s 4lb dog sleeping on my lap and since I don’t want to disturb the sweet princess I thought I’d use this time to catch up on a quick blog post.

Simba and I have had a rough couple of months but we’re starting to see the light.  The two months since our wonderful vacation have seen more fights than we’ve had in a long time.   I think we both agree the distance thing has to end, and thankfullly Simba is working hard now to make it down south where I live.  He is coming to visit for Thanksgiving and will attend his first “white” wedding with me as one of my childhood best guy friends is getting married that weekend.  I’m looking forward to the event and having Simba there by my side.

Since we are still doing long distance we are still having our “Netfl*x date nights” where we both watch movies together.   I got a little overly excited this weekend to see a new movie arrival called “When Harry Tries to Marry” about an american-indian boy who wants an arranged marriage and doesn’t believe in love marriage.

Of course he meets a fun american girl who could possibly change his mind….I won’t tell you how the story ends but I enjoyed the movie and would recommend it.  It’s not the best acting and it’s not a brilliant “must see” movie or anything, but for anyone who has had the arranged marriage vs love marriage debate I would suggest watching it just for fun.

I know it’s not politically correct to have an opinion against arranged marriages….but I really can’t help it.  I think I can respect someone’s choice to go down that path and respect a culture that supports it, while wholeheartedly disagreeing with the concept.  Simba and I debate this constantly, but I stand firm in my opinion that I would absolutely hate to have an arranged marriage.  I also don’t buy the statistic argument as a reason to tout the success of arranged marriage (I think one can stay married and also be incredibly unhappy or unfulfilled-and that does not equal “successful marriage” in my mind.) I do think many girls (more so than boys) are pressured into accepting a man their parents pick out.    Simba always argues that in Nepal girls can always so “no” but I think the pressure is greater on girls to comply.  Women cannot earn as much money and are more economically dependent on men in Nepal.  That alone skews the playing field of the arranged marriage game.  I can only imagine if my parents were struggling to support me and were anxious to marry me off that I would feel pressured to accept whoever they chose for me just to alleviate their burden.

Of course I know there are many successful arranged marriages and Simba’s parents have one of them (as well as some of his cousins).  I do agree that you can learn to love someone with time….but I wouldn’t want to go down that path.  There is something so clinical and sterile about pretty much saying that you can and will learn to love anyone if given enough time and if you have similar family and educational backgrounds.  It just takes away from the magic of love by suggesting that you can achieve that with just about anyone.  But I’m not trying to offend anyone with my comments here.  I don’t claim to have all the answers I only claim to have some strong opinions that I try to turn into educated opinions 😉

But I could go on and on about this topic but will leave it there for tonight 🙂  The other exciting inter-cultural news occured while I was doing the exciting task of folding my laundry on Friday night.  I have a slight obsession with HGTV and of course I had that on in the background when I heard Sharell’s name mentioned and I looked up and saw it was Sharell (From White Girl in a Sari) and her husband on House Hunters International when they were searching for a place in Mumbai.  I was so excited and called Simba immediately and he watched the whole episode with me via webcam (he doesn’t have cable).  I felt a bit like a blogger nerd (blog reader nerd since I don’t write that much to really call myself a blogger) but it was so fun to see them on tv.  Sharell is gorgeous and I loved seeing her and her husband interact as they looked for a house in India.

Run Run Rudolph….recap part 1 of vacation that almost didn’t happen.

24 Sep

First vacation together-part 1

Well it’s been a very tumultuous couple of weeks to say the least, but I wanted to write a little bit about our first vacation together before the memory slips in my mind.   I’ll probably write a few blogs about this and they may not be interesting to readers, but I am mostly writing about it for us and as a place to document our memories of this trip.  I apologize in advance if they seem boring to readers 🙂

The last few weeks have had some major emotional highs and lows for both Simba and I.   We had a fantastic vacation that was perfect in every way-and for us that includes what most people would see as disastrous moments along the way too with bad weather and missed flights and the creepiest motel I’ve ever stayed in before.  But it wouldn’t be perfect it was smooth sailing now would it?  Ha.  But it really is the imperfections of life where I’m happiest to have him by my side…sorry if that’s cheesy.

Simba and I have wanted to go on vacation together for such a long time.  He is constantly flying to see me or me flying to see him but we haven’t gone on too many trips together beyond a few short road trips.   Well I have always wanted to go to Maine.  It’s been on my bucket list for many years and then a few months ago I realized one of my favorite books of all time was based in a small seaside town in Maine.  I thought it would be so wonderful to go to this town and see a place that inspired one of my favorite books….I know that may sound strange but it sounded like fun to me and thankfully my Simba was on board.  He originally had decided Maine would be too expensive and maybe we could just take a local beach trip. However,  I convinced him that we don’t have responsibilities right now like kids or a mortgage…now is the time for impractical trips like visiting a far away state for no other reason than because a favorite fictional story took place there.   When we have kids we know we’ll probably vacation at more kid friendly places like Disney World and such and we may never get to go on a romantic trip to Maine (though I hope romantic trips for the 2 of us are still in the works).

After weeks of research and calling every single hotel in the town, I found the absolute cutest bed and breakfast to stay at and I was excited to spend a few days with my favorite boy in a state that was brand new to both of us.  As soon as I saw the website I knew my search was over and I felt sure it was the perfect place for us.  I was ready to start our easy breezy vacation by the sea….

Except the easy breezy part proved to be a little more stressful and complicated.  What was supposed to be our laid back stress free vacation began with us oversleeping for our flight….our flight that left at 2PM.   Um, yes….Simba and I are both sleepers and it’s probably not the average person who can oversleep for an afternoon flight, but we are pros at sleeping in.  That is kind of embarrassing.  But the night before I was up all night frantically packing and trying on outfits and just being silly and we didn’t go to bed until 4am-ish.   I vaguely remember his cell phone alarm going off in glaring fashion at 9am and I have a blurry memory of picking it up and bringing it to bed to hit the snooze button.  I remember what an obnoxiously loud ringer his alarm was and just wanting to get 10 more minutes of sleep.  I also had false confidence that I had set my alarm as a backup.

When Simba sleepily woke me up with a sweet hug and whispering “We should get up and get ready to go” in his cute sleepy voice that suddenly and abruptly changed to an alarmed “Why are you sleeping on my phone?!?!”  followed by both of us sitting straight up in bed and him grabbing his cell phone and me grabbing my alarm clock.  12:30PM.   The airport we were taking off from was a 2 hour drive away….no amount of running was going to get us on that plane.  But that didn’t stop us from basically reenacting this scene from home alone where the family oversleeps for their flight   http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VNt6R_LOmnQ&feature=related that was basically us as we ran around grabbing our bags and Simba called the airline…..they said they had a plane leaving at 4PM for the same destination but it would cost us $600 to get on that plane (on top of the money we’d already paid).

At this point Simba’s mood had soured considerably and he said there would probably be no vacation because we couldn’t afford that….my mom suggested just driving to the airport and asking a kind soul there to let us on the plane and praying they’d have some mercy on 2 young silly kids in love.

The drive to the airport was not the most pleasant drive we’ve ever experienced.  It mostly consisted of Simba staring out the window solemnly while I drove 10 miles over the speed limit- glancing obsessively in the rearview mirror for cops wanting to give us some more vacation day blessings in the form of a speeding ticket.  When I tried to hold Simba’s hand at one point he held it limply for a minute before saying “You should probably use both hands to drive.”  Ouch.  Halfway through the drive I realized IF we got on the airplane the chances of us getting to sit together was slim to none.  I am terrified of flying and it’s a huge debilitating phobia of mine…I immediately started to tear up a bit realizing we’d be taking our first flight together and not even be sitting together.  Simba on the other hand didn’t seem to be that anxious to be sitting by me on the airplane at this point :p

We arrived at the busy airport exactly 47 minutes before the next plane was to take off (not alot of time to check luggage, park our car, plead our case, and get through security).  My mom has taught me to look for a kind face when I need assistance at airport or hotels and thankfully a kind motherly type of woman did have pity on us….she looked us up and down and I”m thankful she decided to throw some kindness at the frazzled and disheveled couple begging for help (me doing the fast talking pleading/ verbal begging…Simba giving his innocent school boy look that is so hard to say no to).  She  started typing some things into her computer while I waited with a knot in my stomach dreading the price tag miracle she was working….but somehow, ta-da!!- she managed to get us sitting together in the emergency row exit (leg room!) and didn’t charge us a penny more for our innocent failure to comply with flight punctuality.  I’ll always be thankful to her for that.  It really is the small random acts of kindness in life that I appreciate the most.

From that point on the entire mood for both of us lifted and we were so thrilled to have made it and not have to spend the extra money.  Simba was suddenly in a great mood and so playful and silly and just the way he normally is….it was a tense trip to the airport but we made it on the plane and it ended up being the smoothest and least terrifying flight I’ve ever had.   We acted like kids and laughed at everything and eventually both fell asleep for blissful midair naps.

Part 2 to come…our adventurous first night in the classy hooker motel….

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Leaving on a jet plane

31 Aug

That John Denver song always brings back memories of a night when Simba was still “just a friend” but slowly becoming something more in my mind.  We were having an afterparty at our friend’s apartment shortly before graduation when that song played on Pandora and the girls (myself included) promptly started hugging and crying and saying how much we would miss each other.  Simba and his Nepali friend stood there awkwardly trying to comfort us while looking at each other like “What in the world is wrong with them??”  But the song always makes me think of Simba and how in that moment I realized it was him I was going to miss the most when he left on that jet plane….

But I digress.  This is just a quick post to say I see my Simba in TWO DAYS!!!!  🙂  I am so excited.  I have only seen him for 3 days so far this year….something that really brings me down when I think about it.  I mean we talk constantly but I don’t think it’s super healthy to spend such little time together.

But that will change because he is coming to see me and whisking me away on a vacation and I am beyond excited.  He spoils me and is taking me to one of the places on my life bucket list.  It’s in America but somewhere neither of us have been and I’m hoping for a relaxing and wonderful time with my favorite boy.  I”m sure I’ll update this when we get back…

I’ll also let you know if he survived my inevitable airport/flying panic attack.  Even though we have done long distance for over 2 years we have never actually flown together.  I’m the girl you don’t want to be seated next to on the plane….the one gripping the armrest or just the arm of the unfortunate stranger who is unlucky enough to end up next to me.  I’m the girl who looks around in fear at every bounce of turbulence or odd noise to see if everyone else is alarmed too…and if they seem even slightly alarmed I might burst into tears and lose the ability to breathe at a normal rate.

Yes…to say I have a flying phobia is an understatement. 

But my very logical and rational but patient Simba was even kind enough to fulfill my request that we take a non-stop flight so I only have to deal with one take off and one landing each way. 

Let’s see if he still loves me after 9 days of my idiosyncracies 😉

and a book post :)

31 Jul

Just thought while I’m in the “blogging” mood I’d also write 2 quick suggestions for books for anyone in an intercultural relationships.  First of all I never did finish the book “If Today Be Sweet” that I mentioned in an earlier post.  It was just very slow getting started and if a book doesn’t suck me in within the first 2-3 chapters I tend to abandon it.  Luckily, most books do suck me in right away because I am pretty judicial about reading reviews on Shelfari to make sure they are worth my time to begin with.  There are far too many amazing books and far too little time in life to waste time on books that aren’t amazing.  Also, I’m a little weird in that I really can’t stand hard back books because they are just heavy and I can’t lie down and curl up and bend the pages.  So I might try “If Today be Sweet” when I can find it in paperback.

That being said.  I’ve read 17 books so far this year and by far my 2 favorites are “The Disappeared” by Kim Echlin and “The Pleasure Seekers” by Tishani Doshi.

Both of these books were so beautiful and had to do with intercultural relationships.  I picked up “The Disappeared” at B&N under their “New Writers” section.  I will admit that it first caught my eye only because it mentioned that it was about an american girl falling in love with an asian boy (A Cambodian studying in American).  While I have read lots of multi-cultural books (it’s my favorite genre, I know you’re shocked, ha) but I had never read a book about an american girl with any asian guy. I normally wait and buy books online for cheaper but I was in an impulsive mood and just excited to see a book about a white girl/brown boy and paid full price for it right then.  I was so glad I bought it because I read it in 2 days and it will always be a favorite book.  It is set during the time of the Cambodian genocide and I learned so much history in addition to just loving the story.  It is written in beautiful prose that almost seems like poetry at times.  Some people don’t like that kind of writing but I found it perfect for the story.  I will admit the book had me crying for an embarrassingly long amount of time.  But it’s only because I kept thinking of my relationship with Simba and what would happen if we were to go through similar circumstances.     I highly recommend it and I’ll be looking for more books from this author.

I also picked up “The Pleasure Seekers” spontaneously at the library and I fell in love with the story.  It’s about an Indian boy who falls in love with a white girl from Whales when he travels to the U.K to study.    I think many gori bloggers can relate to much of this story and I think most would enjoy it.  In a desperate attempt to keep the two lovers apart the boy’s mother even fakes being deathly ill to convince him to come home and forbid him from going back to the U.K.   That’s not really a spoiler btw because there is much more to the story.  The book really covered so many of the issues we all face but it also showed such a depth to their relationship and how it changes and flows over the course of 20+ years.  It made me feel quite sad and depressed at times because it made me realize that Simba and I won’t always love each other as passionately as we do now.  Time and life and children and stress will change things and we’ll have to adjust and grow and be flexible with the stresses of life.  I think we are up for it but I know I will also miss the early days of passion and flirtation and excitement.  But I think even if that is lost for a time we will be able to find it again.  I’ll stop rambling and won’t say much else about the story except you should read it.  The only downside to the story was sometimes there were sooo many non essential characters with complicated indian names that got me confused.  But if you just focus on the main characters you’ll find this a beautiful story indeed.

I was also a sucker and bought the new book “Kissing Outside the Lines” that was mentioned in the recent CNN article about the intercultural relationship between Dianne Farr and her Korean husband.  Alas it is a hardback book but I’ve read a few chapters and am enjoying it so far.  I’ll write a full review when finished.

p.s  I don’t know why wordpress is messing up my paragraphs right now.  And not to be a total girl but I don’t really care and I will wait until Simba gets home to let him fix it.  Computer issues are definitely his area 🙂

Happy reading!

p.s.s  One more suggestion!   Dreaming in English is also a great book.  It’s not written with quite the beautiful prose but it’s definitely a great “light” read for anyone in an intercultural relationship and especially if dealing with immigration issues.