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Stephanie’s Blog

June 24, 2011

7th Birthday

Filed under: every day life, my family, our girls, personal — steph @ 11:56 pm

Happy Birthday to my oldest daughter, Myriam Lucrettia Whiting. I will always love you no matter what, don’t forget that. You and your sister are always on my mind and in my heart. I love you!! Happy Birthday baby girl!! :-)

August 10, 2010

My going-on’s lately

Filed under: Friends, India, Kolkata, every day life, my family, personal — steph @ 9:54 pm

Well…lately I have been reading a few more expat blogs. Especially Diary of a White Indian Housewife, these interest me because I can see how others live, and their experiences of being an expat living in India. I must admit though, some of the stories there shock me! I suppose we’ve had it easy so far with the FRRO (Foreigners Regional Registration Office) here in Kolkata. But more about that in later posts, as I promise to post more about my experience with them.

This past week, the 3rd-5th, my brother, Julian, was in Kolkata. It was a blast! I enjoyed having him here although after dropping him at the airport on Thursday I was thoroughly exhausted!! (**NOTE** since my blog is not playing nice and letting me upload photos, the pictures of the visit here : http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=188159&id=530387772&l=616c4a25cf )

Tuesday Indra and I picked him up from the Howrah Train station at 630am…yes thats right! After 2 1/2 hours of sleep we left in the hired car, and were on our way. We found him waiting on the platform near his coach looking around. He had been brave and took the 3-tier sleeper class compartment, which means 3 bunks on each side of the train, without air conditioning for 2 1/2 days!!! WOW talk about brave, I’ve only been on a train once, and that was in an air conditioned train, and it was one of the best trains around. =D Once we picked him up we delivered him to his guest house, Mona Lisa Guest House, on Sarat Bose Road by Deshapriya Park. It was a very nice place, and we will probably use them again in the future for any other family who comes to visit.

After giving him some time to get ready, Julian and I ventured out to Howrah to go to the Botanical Gardens to see the Great Banyan Tree. We paid our Rs 50 ($1.10) for our tickets and went in. It was beautiful, so quiet and green. We kept walking, and finally found it. It was amazing! We had both thought it would be just one big huge tree, we were very pleasantly surprised. It was very much worth the 50 rupees we paid to get in. While walking around a over-sized golf cart pulled up to us and asked us if we wanted to go for a ride. We asked how much, he said 250 rupees each, but i am already giving you a discount to 150 rupees. We said no and continued on our walk.

Then we went to the Victoria Memorial, where we paid 150 rupees each to get in. We walked around and looked at the photos, and the old artifacts. But, we were not very impressed.

Later that night we met up with Indra and had a vegetarian bengali meal, with rice, daal, and some other veggies. It was yummy.

Thursday Indra took the day off and we went around the city. First we went to the Kalighat Temple, where we were accosted by touts telling us for a fee they could get us into the temple, avoiding all lines and all hassle. We ignored them, and walked around without going in. Then we were on our way to the Indian Coffee House on College Street. We had noodles and cold coffee with cream, it was yummy. We then went to a book store where Indra found a recipe book full of Indian sweets that we purchased for Julian. Then we went to Mithai (indian sweet shop) where Julian had sandesh and my personal favorite, ladu. Then we went to New Market, near Esplanade to go shopping.

Since Nina loves elephants, we wandered around New Market until we found a suitable elephant bracelet. We then went to Mocambo’s with John Bose, his gf Tara, Choto (small) Indranil Dasgupta, Arjun Ghosh, and us. We enjoyed some good beef steak sizzlers. Also, we had tried Baked Alaska (which was not very good)…then went home.

Thursday I picked Julian up at 12pm, and took him to the airport.

I will blog about each adventure individually, if you give me some time :)

June 24, 2010

Happy 6th Birthday Myriam

Filed under: every day life, my family, our girls, personal — steph @ 12:01 am

Today marks the 6th birthday of our oldest daughter, Myriam Lucrettia Whiting. It’s hard to believe that 6 years have gone by so fast, since she was born. I miss her each and every single day. But, what I want to say most to her right now is.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY MYRIAM!!! MOMMY AND INDRA LOVE YOU!!! :-)

January 4, 2010

4 years ago today

Filed under: our girls, personal — steph @ 12:50 am

IMG_7110

Happy 4th Birthday my Jovie beaner! :)

- love mommy

December 29, 2009

My Christmas Weekend

Filed under: Christmas, Friends, India, crazy crap, every day life, funny stuff, personal — steph @ 2:15 pm

Well…Christmas just passed, and wow! what a different christmas I had this year. This year I spent it with Indra, his family, and friends. On Christmas night, about 730pm we picked up Devdas Bhagat from Dum Dum Airport, after he flew in from Mumbai to come visit. That is about when the weekend started, and didn’t end until Sunday night.

Well…Friday night, Indra, Mak, and I picked Devdas up from the airport and promptly took him to his hotel in Salt Lake City. Then…we went to get some food, at 777, as Devdas was hungry, and I wanted a snack. Well…it ended up as dinner. We ate **SO** much that night. We had about 3 starters, mutton kebabs, fish tikka, and then tandoori chicken. I had never eaten so much. But then, we had some chicken ra-ra dish, and a sweet vegetable dish with some butter naan. It was yummy. We hung out with Devdas until about 10pm, and then proceeded home.

Saturday, Devdas was scheduled to give a lecture at WBSU - Barasat. Arjun Ghosh and Mak met us at our house and we left around 945am to go and pick up Devdas. We had gotten a Ambassador car for the day, and proceeded to squish all 5 of us in the car. Good times! So then we proceeded on to Barasat, in the process getting lost, since the driver missed a turn, but then Indra corrected him, and we reached the University. Then we sent the car (and Mak) to pick up Susmit who had finished his tasks, and surprise, surprise, they got lost too! =D

Devdas delivered a interesting, and educational speech about System Administration. After which, we ate…and lingered around eating lunch and waiting for others to be done with their tasks. Now, as we were getting ready to continue our adventures, there were 6 of us. So, therefore Devdas, Arjun, Mak, and Susmit all sat in the back seat, quite cramped and squished. Devdas adding, “Its quite okay compared to a peak hour Mumbai local passenger train”. Now we were on our way to Park Street to look at the lights. About 15 kilometers into the trip the brakes on the car started to go out, but the driver kept a cool head, and most of us were oblivious to what was happening. The driver managed to keep the car going and not getting into a car accident by engaging the manual transmission (shifting the gears to generate braking action). When it was realized by all what was unfolding the 4 guys in the back seat commented about using the hand brake, and the driver promptly replied, “What hand brake? That’s the first thing that gets taken out of a car!” The driver then called the owner of the car, and requested for a replacement car, little did we know that the “real” fun was about to start.

The driver managed to get us safely to Middleton Row off Park Street, where we all had tea. We spent our time looking at the church down the street that was decked up in lights for Christmas. By this time Devdas had taken out his camera, and was snapping about a million shots of everyone and everything around him! After waiting about an hour, and about 6 phone calls later, the replacement car showed up…well…it was a Maruti 1000, which was about…you know, half the size of the Ambassador we had previously had. We were all hungry, so we decided to pile into the car and go to Kafulok, one of our regular hang out joints. Well…We had adventures doing this…we had 4 guys to shove in the back seat that was designed for about 3 of them…so…Mak ended up sitting on Arjun’s lap because Susmit refused! LoL!

Once at Kafulok we had some golden fried prawns, chili garlic pepper chicken and prawn chips for starters. Then we had some delicious steamed fish, one with ginger and mushroom and the other with garlic. Then, since I was still hungry, we had some yummy hot and sour soup! =]

After this Susmit, Mak and Arjun took a cab and went home, while Indra and I took the car and dropped Devdas at the guest house.

Sunday - Started out with everyone supposedly meeting up at our house. Well…that didn’t work out well as people were late…so Indra and I went off to Science City to find Devdas. We met the others at Park Circus. We went out to some hole in the wall restaurant, called Milan Hotel. The people that were eating at the restaurant, all stopped eating and looked up to stare at our group as we walked in. It was merely a light gravy with pieces of beef in it that we ate with tandoori roti. While we were eating our beef stew, since Mak doesn’t eat beef he was eating Mutton. After this we, well…by we I mean *I* decided I wanted some fresh juice. But the others overruled me, as they wanted “joynagarer moya“, so we went and found a sweet shop and had our fill. After a time I got my wanted juice! =] Indra decided he didn’t want any juice, but instead wanted coffee. We went next door to a coffee shop, that for the life of me I can’t remember the name. We spent about 3-4 hours at this coffee shop having many adventures. Devdas and Indra had some espresso, while I had mint tea…well at least I had mint tea after a mix up with some Milk tea. After a while we got bored of sitting outside, and proceeded inside, where Arjun and Mak had something, and Devdas and I wanted some ice cream. The ice cream shop was like Cold Stone, where there were many choices and one had to answer about a million questions about what was wanted and the options. After paying our bill we then went to St. Paul’s Cathedral to see the lights at night. After this we had gone to our usual local joint, Sonar Sansa, and hung out and had some drinks before proceeding to Nirala’s China Town (one of my favorite chinese restaurants) for dinner.

After we all had our fill (and being the last people in the restaurant), we left. We waited on the street and then Indra, Devdas, and I caught a bus that goes close to our home, and Arjun, Susmit, and Mak took a taxi.

September 3, 2009

another rant

Filed under: India, crazy crap, every day life, personal, ranting — steph @ 4:45 pm

Sorry all…I’ve just been down a bit these last few days. I don’t get out much, because… 1. I prefer not to go out alone and get into some sort of trouble or get ripped off… 2. I don’t know the city very well, and I don’t want to get lost, and yeah…so pretty much the only time I get out of the house is when I go to my Bengali class, well…unless I go to Barasat or WBUT with Indra (which these days is not that often). But anyways, life goes on. The hardest part is I used to enjoy my bangla class…but now…its just getting irritating because the teacher doesn’t seem to be teaching us *anything* new…its the same thing day in and day out…I mean yeah, mind you, he has taught us the conugations of the verbs, but we are hardly learning any new vocab…we are learning a bunch of verbs…but no words…if you can get what I’m saying…I am learning more at home by asking Indra, Maa, or Sujata what the word means. Its really annoying…and I’m sick of not having a job…I’m really sick of having to depend on others, and I just want to be active again…sorry for the rant…I had to blow up somewhere…and the internet is a safe place because nobody gets hurt.

August 13, 2009

Yeah-ness!!!

Filed under: India, every day life, personal — steph @ 1:54 pm

So, since today *was* Thursday, but now is Friday, since it is 107am. I went to my bengali class. Well…low and behold to my surprise, today is a Hindu holiday…well, so the Hindu’s say, but the calendar says tomorrow, erm today…so…class was canceled. I suppose had I been feeling better on Tuesday and attended the class, I might have known there was no class today. Oh well! =) So…I come home again, and after getting sick of waiting for a bus, I walked down to Bijon-setu (bridge) and caught an auto-rickshaw home, which costs 6 rupees (like 10 cents). Well…the auto rickshaws normally drop us off on the other side of the crossing from our house. The crossing by which we live is pretty dangerous, and so, I (like a good girl) find myself a group of people, and if there isn’t one immediately available, I just wait for one, and then I cross with them. Then we usually take a cycle-rickshaw home. Well…today I was getting on, and told the riskshaw-wallah (the peddler) the name of our apartment complex. We go off on our way, and about half way home, he asks me (in english!) what gate to go to. Well…that surprised me, and not knowing if this rickshaw-wallah knows *exactly* where I live (since I don’t know how to direct him to the house in bengali) I just tell him ‘teen-nombor gate’ (which basically means gate number 3). So today, someone recognized me, without Indra by my side! =) Happy day

July 14, 2009

Bangla class

Filed under: India, crazy crap, every day life, personal, school — steph @ 11:15 am

Well…for the next 6 months I will be attending Ramakrishna Mission Institute of Culture to formally learn Bengali. Then after that there is another 6 month Senior Course I will take. But…tonight was my first class. I was thinking there would be more white people, I mean come on, who else will want to learn bangla?? Well…to my surprise there were 10 students, and ALL of them Indian!! :) 3 spoke Hindi, but no bangla, 3 spoke some sort of bangla, but couldn’t write it. But I was the *only* white person!! So class goes on, and all we do is learn some sounds, and write a bunch of scripts (aka squiggly lines, as I call them =D). So I get out of class and I’m waiting for Indra and there was a group of 3 guys who came up to me and asked me where I was from and such. :) It was an adventure! Now…time to fiddle around until 4am, and then on to Chinese breakfast again with some friends!

July 9, 2009

Rant

Filed under: India, every day life, personal, ranting — steph @ 1:25 am

I’m loving India so far. The people, the food, everything. Except! I am missing a few things like:

  • being able to go out on my own
  • knowing where I am going!
  • my friends
  • working
  • my girls

As many of you know, I am not the type of person who likes to just sit around and do nothing…well…here I find myself doing that a lot…it was okay at first, but now it’s getting boring…I mean yeah, I walk to the local tea stall nearly everyday, and I can go to Gariahat, but…going alone is no fun, and I can’t speak the language, and I have nothing to buy.

Speaking of which I start class on Tuesday, so thats a good thing! Anyways, enough venting.

June 1, 2009

fun yeah!!

Filed under: India, crazy crap, every day life, personal — steph @ 12:19 pm

Well…tonight we went on a date!!! yeah!!! We went out and saw Angels & Demons. The movie was decent…not the best…but not the worst either. We then went to a restaurant off Park Street, called Mocambo, we both had sizzlers. Indra had the beef one, and I had the fish one. Also, I had a crab meat cocktail, and Indra had a prawn one. Man…that was surprising…I was expecting the normal shrimp cocktail but they were yummy!!! :) We walked around some, had a ice cream cone, and went home :) yeah!

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