Since I'm too busy entertaining one cousin (it's hard work sitting on the couch under a blankie, eating a tub of MnMs, and watching "Anchorman"), another cousin has come to my rescue and will guestblog today. Enjoy!
I gave "The Known World" to the book courier (aka your mom) today. Cheap-ass me won't pay for shipping when I know bloody well that you guys are meeting up for a vacation in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, thousands of miles away. But it's just one book... (please notice the sarcasm between those lines).
Pakistanis do it all the time. We brought back dupattas, shalwars, and all kinds of easily mailable stuff from Pakistan. Now jewelry I can understand, as it's pricey and the whole mail insurance thing doesn't really work in Pakistan. But a voluminous bag of plastic kulfi containers? Honestly. There really was a gentleman in Pakistan who showed up at my Khala's house to give my mom a bag of plastic kulfi containers. I had already explained to this guy on the phone that we had too much stuff - we already had an extra bag, AND my mom was traveling by herself back to the States - only to have him drive over with a bag of flipping kulfi containers! And for all the offers of "it's okay; I'll pay you for it" who really wants to say,"sure, I'll lug your kulfi containers across the globe; just give me1800 rupees."
I was out when this meeting went down, but my mom was resolute and politely turned this guy and his kulfi containers away! I'm so proud of her. Chalk one up for tact and good old fashioned common sense. So by me sending a book with your parents, I'm doing the exact same thing! Oh man, I'm so Pakistani. Please excuse me while I go retire to the couch, tuck up my feet, wrap a blanket around myself, and make the "ssssssss"inhale-through-the-teeth-sound while saying it's cold. I'll have a Pakistani accent in two years... you can be sure of that. Of course, I'm really not anti-Pakistani. Indeed this guy's actions had more to do with his age and tact than his ethnicity. It's just that he happens to be Pakistani. While I was there, I really did meet so many extraordinarily polite, accomodating people. It really is a hospitable place. But every now and then, you'll get a guy like that, and he just warrants a funny story...