currently ~ blowing my nose and hoping it will rain
guess who's sick and miserable! it's ya girl. new zealand trip was healing in a lot of ways. have still felt very private about using that word in particular - my mom and i when asked have mostly been like "oh yeah it was good! sad but good." my aji was right about it being multilayered for sure. while i've already repeated a lot of these feelings to my friends and loved ones etc i think i would like to collect some moments from the 7 days i was there right here. because ultimately i learned so much about my mom who is often enigmatic and mysterious to literally her own sisters. such is the way of fiji indian mothers who decided to move halfway across the world and raise a child.
in no particular order:
- fiji indian houses all smell the same. it is so nostalgic... like old silk salwar kameez and hand soap and whatever has been cooking that day. when we arrived they were already into the mourning process so we had to just jump in and help out with everything.
- gulab jamun is better indofijian style idk what to tell you
- our communities are so full of giving. literally every day someone stopped by with a random assortment of foods or other things for the grieving family. very much warmed my heart especially with how closed off we sometimes are in the us. (yes i know not everyone is like this)
- blasting uk drill so loud the car "levitated" with my cousin as we sped down a rainy freeway. truly my role model since i was 8 and to this day. she wears her hair long and does a full face with dark lipliner every day despite working an office job. i want to be her when i grow up.
- my other cousin reminding me how amazing pure fiji bath products are. proceeded to stock up on white gingerlily when i was in the nadi airport.
- my uncle bringing me twisties when we went to his house for dinner, and then proceeded to show up at the airport the next day with an entire bag of fijian snacks for me. :')))) it's really the small stuff.
- every auntie giving me a random amount of cash in that way where they press it into your hand and your mom pretends to get mad and you have to nervously laugh and deny the money knowing you're going home with it anyways.
- realizing just how similar my cousins and i are despite having lived so many years apart. to household structure, the way they feel about identity... it's very lovely.
- my journalist cousin telling me over lunch that she "doesn't want to end up like our parents" and earnestly looking at me to stay in touch.
- my mom, her brother, and my aunt crying together as her brother sings karaoke dedicated to our lost loved one. the first time i've seen anyone cry this trip.
- my aunt talking about her spiritual dreams while i realize i'm able to understand their entire conversation despite it being entirely in fiji hindi.
- seeing joy on my mom's face.
- listening to my cousins talk about how my mom is "the hot american auntie" and how much they've looked up to her.
- my niece telling me how glad she is to meet me when i took her out for dinner because "she doesn't have an older sister" :')))
- showering with bar soap and a wash net.
- every backyard (sorry, back garden) in nz has lemon or orange or avocado trees
- going on a walk with my cousins after they desperately needed to get out of the house and feel nature (we saw the tiniest little lambs! oh my gosh)
there's likely a lot more and there's a lot of neg things that happened but i don't need to immortalize them here. overall the worries i had going into it vanished (shocking as always) and i came out with a lot of new feelings. and also a really gnarly cold because everyone got super fucking sick. so now i'm miserable lol because my body hurts and i am SO congested and bored as fuck. glad my body waited until i was home to get sick but like wtfff lmao. oh also boyf made me a playlist for my trip i lovehim whthdfkfjhgkjh. ta for now!
tunez ~ wonder by shawn mendes