a million bajillion things

oh, there is so much to say. so much to write. i am in the lobby of a fancy hotel, but this is the first good internet connection that i have had, so i thought i would make use of it.

we are in lahore--we came here for a wedding. it was f's second cousin's wedding, and though i only made it to the first night's festivities on account of my awful illness (i still have a fever and other bodily malfunctions, of you catch my drift), it was beautiful.

the couple had already had their nikkah, which is the official ceremony (something like signing the marriage license and saying "i do", but fancier and more colorful) a month or so ago, and on friday night they had their mendhi, which you'll be able to somewhat picture if you have seen the movie "Monsoon Wedding." we got there just as the bride was being carried into the main room in this little carty-carriage thingy by 4 or 6 men. there were yellow flowers everywhere, and she was wearing a beautiful golden dhuputta--a lacy embroidered shawl--over her head and face, a sign of modesty (i think. also, in more traditional weddings, there are no men present at the mendhi, and it's only for the bride and her female guests.)

there was a lot of choreographed dancing, and a candle ceremony. and of course there was the mendhi, or decoration of the bride with henna. it was beautiful. i am so glad that i went, even if just for such a short time. it was amazing. but by the time the food was ready, t was about to faint and i wasn't feeling much better, so we left. it was pretty ugly.

we had a rough night, but yesterday we dragged ourselves out of bed to go to the changing of the guard at the border with india. even though i felt like i was going to die, i still enjoyed it a bit. it was really special, seeing the guards shake hands and feeling even a slight camadarie between the two nations.

to be continued when we get back to islamabad, with the shaky internet connection....

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