A God who could make good children as easily a bad, yet preferred to make bad ones; who could have made every one of them happy, yet never made a single happy one; who made them prize their bitter life, yet stingily cut it short; who gave his angels eternal happiness unearned, yet required his other children to earn it; who gave his angels painless lives, yet cursed his other children with biting miseries and maladies of mind and body; who mouths justice, and invented hell — mouths mercy, and invented hell — mouths Golden Rules and forgiveness multiplied by seventy times seven, and invented hell; who mouths morals to other people, and has none himself; who frowns upon crimes, yet commits them all; who created man without invitation, then tries to shuffle the responsibility for man’s acts upon man, instead of honorably placing it where it belongs, upon himself; and finally, with altogether divine obtuseness, invites his poor abused slave to worship him!
— Mark Twain, The Mysterious Stranger
This is the best quote that sums up my feelings about god.
This week was hectic. Amongst the stuffs I did this week I also attended a funeral. This was the first funeral I attended in the U.S. and it was very different from the funerals that are shown on the TV or the movies. The funeral was not even called a funeral it was The Irish Wake.
My friend invited me to the funeral of her mother’s aunt. I was not sure if I should attend it because I have no idea how to act in a funeral or what to say to the relatives of the deceased and I had no idea who she was. But she insisted that I should accompany her to the “wake party” (yeah she said party). She said that I would “enjoy” the funeral and the traditions because it was not a typical funeral. I don’t know how cynical my friend thinks I am to “enjoy” a funeral. Despite of it not being a typical funeral, the dress code was black cocktail dress for ladies. I decided to go and it was quite an experience.
The wake was held in the deceased’s home. It was a small home with a tiny porch in a small town of North-East Texas. My friend and I reached there a little late because it was a long drive from Denton. I don’t know what they did before we reached there but when we arrived to my surprise, it looked like a party except there was a dead body in the casket. There were candles around the casket and people were dancing around it. Most of them were drunk. Some of them were even smoking pot. The dead body was in an open casket; it/she was dressed in her best clothes with some makeup on. But the ravages of her illness were obvious. She looked like a dead person.
Apparently, in the Irish wake you can also bad-mouth the deceased in a humorous manner. So the deceased’s son-in-law threw some of his frustrations (he had heavy southern accent). It was quite funny and it was totally okay to laugh at it. After the bad-mouthing ritual there was “keening and crying” process. The daughter of the deceased and some other people (I don’t know how they were related to the dead) wailed with a depth of sorrow for a long time. It was heartbreaking to see the daughter cry. I had confused emotions while I was there. I don’t know if all The Irish Wake rituals are the same or maybe it varies with families.
The whole process seemed bizarre to me especially because that is not how a Hindu funeral looks like in my country (I have only attended a Hindu funeral in Nepal). The mourners wear white. There is no laughing and singing. The mourning period continues until the 13th day after death. The chief mourner (usually the son of the dead) shaves his head and is expected to wear all-white throughout the year. I can’t say if the ritual of wearing white all year long is a good thing or bad but it always made me sad whenever I saw the mourners in public. And for my funeral? I don’t care what others will do with my body after I am dead. I will be dead anyway. But, it would be really cool if I could haunt. I already have some names on my haunting list.
||Irish wake according to Urban Dictionary:
||An Irish wake is basically a party after the death of a family member or friend. Usually used by family members to get drunk and tell stories, usually inappropriate, about the deceased.
I decided to write something for my blog after a very long time because I have some serious commitment issues with it. 2012 was full of disappointments and 2013 started with a new one. For a change this time, I shifted my disappointment in myself to Lance Armstrong (just to make myself feel better). Let me start off by saying that I was in denial for a while after the news broke. I kept finding excuses for him that would justify his doping. Why did I need to justify it? Well, I grew up listening to his news about how he is a hero for fighting the cancer and for winning 7 freaking Tour de France titles. That sort of drive in him made me his fan for a very long time.
Last year the cyclist publicly forgo his ongoing fight with USADA leading the agency to strip him from all of his 7 Tour de France titles on doping charges. I totally respected his decision. Armstrong had been angrily denying it with full confidence for several years. He bluntly denied all the allegations. Like a gullible little girl, I believed him. I kept having endless arguments with the people who thought Armstrong was guilty for doping. I kept wearing the $1 worth Livestrong wristband when I went running. He was doing such a good job in hiding it. He probably could have walked away with his titles without being stripped off had he not returned to cycling in 2009/2010. It reminds me of a line from the movie The Dark Knight “You either die a hero or live long enough to see yourself become a villain”.
After I watched his interview with Oprah (Why Oprah?), I couldn’t find any honesty in him although I tried. Even after that I tried to justify by saying everyone had been doping and he was not the only one, or he has raised a lot of money for cancer with his LIVESTRONG foundation (which I think should change to LIESTRONG foundation). But then I thought maybe the foundation was a cover up. After all the money he has made through his endorsements, books and what not, it wouldn’t be too hard for him to help the foundation.
That man had been lying and bullied other cyclists and acted like a victim for years. I would not have lost the respect if he had admitted way earlier that he had doped. The interview with Oprah was very weak and sad. He came off very cold. He seemed more saddened by the fact he got caught than sorry for the actions he had taken. It seemed like he came out clean just to get his ban reduced. I almost couldn’t watch the whole video, and I shouldn’t have. Maybe, Oprah failed in her PR skills while taking the interview. Oh well, I feel better thinking that I have won the same number of Tour de France titles as Lance Armstrong has, NONE. Nonetheless, I am disappointed. It’s not like anyone cares of my disappointment. But, WTH Lance Armstrong I even had your picture on my wall man!
Why are people so concerned about what other people eat? Why don’t they just eat and let other people eat what they want? Why do they have to interrupt you while you are satisfying your taste buds with the food you like? Why do I have to explain my fellow Nepali friends about my beef eating habit? Why do they treat me like a beast when I reveal my liking for beef?
Last night I went out with my friends to Texas Steakhouse. There was this new guy that my friend had invited to dinner. He seemed like a quiet guy until I ordered steak. I don’t usually order steak but it was Texas Steakhouse. I couldn’t help it. I mean you don’t order chowmein when you go to a momo pasal. After I ordered steak the new guy turned to me and asked, “Why do you eat beef?” Suddenly this quiet guy wasn’t so quiet. As much as I was annoyed by his question I said, “I ate beef as soon as I landed in US. It was an accident but after that I just don’t differentiate between the types of meat I eat”. He was not satisfied with my answer and with a sarcastic tone he said, “Oh, I understand! People are so Americanized these days. They forget their culture and the place where they come from. It’s not just you I know many people like you.” I just wanted to eat. I was not in the mood for a discussion. And whatever the fuck that meant when he said “Americanized”. I hate it when people say that. But I smiled and said, “Well, people are not as cultured as you are.” I could tell by his face that he was not done with the discussion. He obviously had planned to ruin my dinner.
I was about to eat when he again interrupted me and asked if I would eat dog’s meat. I laughed and said no. Then he went on about why would I differentiate between the meat now. It was such a ridiculous question. I thought to myself for a while. And then I just blurted out these points below:
- I never had a cow as my pet.
- I have had dogs as my pet.
- I have never named a cow in my whole life.
- I have named my dogs.
- A cow never welcomed me home when I got back.
- My dogs always welcomed me when I got home. They seemed so happy.
- I was chased by a cow with pointed horns when I was a kid.
After I unleashed the beef eating beast in me he laughed. Then he carried on with his food and turned back to the quiet guy again. I remember when I was a kid; every Dashain, a goat was brought home 15 days prior to the festival. My brother and I would feed the goat for 15 days and would treat it as a pet. The whole Dashain we wouldn’t eat the meat because we knew the goat. Since, we both never ate meat during the whole festival; my parents stopped bringing the goat to perform the sacrifice ritual. So, my point is that I think I can eat animals with which I don’t have any sentimental values.
My first job in the U.S. was waitressing (I can see the red underline below the word ‘waitressing’ but I’m pretty sure it is a word even if it is not a real job). I have had a lot of other kinds of jobs in between. Now, I’m back to waiting tables. Oh how inspirational! Anyways, this is the only job I can do when I go back to school because the work schedule is pretty flexible with my school schedule.
At first you think this is temporary. But then and again you are bound back to the same old routine until you are qualified to get a “real job”. I start my day by asking a very important question to strangers. I need to ask them what they really feel like eating or drinking. The Americans they don’t answer the question right away. They go-on about how they got into eating Chinese food and all that shit I don’t really care about. I have to nod and pretend how interesting their story is with a smile. And this is not a single costumer I’m talking about. All these people have a need to explain why they are eating certain food. At first I thought they are really friendly but after some point this gets really annoying.
Also this job teaches you to be a racist. It was my second day at the job. My manager tells me to watch a specific dude carefully. I looked at that dude and he was a black guy (African-American) in his 20s with his pants hanging down his knees. Apparently they have the record of not paying the bills and running away through the back door. And of course, we have to pay the unpaid bills. I was thinking to myself “Man, this manager is a racist. Just because he is black he won’t just run away. He looks like a nice guy.” Well guess what? That fucking guy ended up running away through the back door and I paid his bills. Of course, he had ordered the most expensive food on the menu .That Asshole! I felt like a fool and listened to my manager’s I told ya! speech. After that incident I carefully watch those guys. I hate to do that but I need to watch them.
Every other week we need to attend this pointless staff meeting. The manager asks us to be enthusiastic about the job because it shows in our work. We need to hear about the process of making a certain kind of food that is new on the menu so that we can explain to the costumer what really goes in the food. Now, we have this paper with the ingredients of food and we need to learn that. Along with my college papers I need to write, I need to read this fucking piece of paper with the ingredients of this weird Chinese food.
I need to be nice to all the people because we are paid based on that, even if you are serving the most arrogant son of a bitch in the world. I need to say sorry if the food was not good even if I did not make it. I need to forget where I came from and how my life was like back home. They don’t care what caste type I belong to or what my ancestors did in the history of Nepal. All I need to do is the job. And I get paid according to that. It helps me pay my rents and tuition fees
All of these stories are sadly true. I wish I had made this up 😦 In short I hate my job. But how pathetic would it be if I loved my waitressing job? That would be really sad. Hopefully, in near future I will happily quit this for a nice job. I will wake up every morning getting excited to get to work (yeah right! Haha). At least the day won’t start by saying “Man, I so want this day to be over soon”.
When people ask me where I am from, I always have different places to say. Not that I lie to all the people that ask me but just to those random people. I like to play with their minds and almost all the time they believe me. Sometimes I say I am from Peru, Venezuela, Columbia, Indonesia, Sudan, Israel,Cambodia, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, even India and the list goes on. One guy even believed me when I said I am from China. He got confused and said “but you have big eyes” and when I said I am from southern part of China he believed me. Also technically I was not lying at that time because Nepal is south to China. But that one sad day when a guy asked me where I was from I told him I am from Italy. I love everything about Italy from their food, people, art to the national football team. Also I think they have a really cool sounding national anthem. Although, I have never been there I just think I would love to live there. Anyways, when I told him I am from Italy he frowned in disbelief. His face was quite surprised and asked me again in a squeaky voice “really??”. I said yes in a fake Italian accent and hand gesture. He didn’t buy it. This was the first time I had failed in making people believe where I am originally from. And I was a little sad that I had no chance to look like an Italian in Italy. What is so non-Italian about me? I mean I like pizza, my name even rhymes with pasta, I like mafia movies, actually my favorite movie is the Godfather but I guess that is not enough to fake italicize myself 😦