It’s been four years since my high school graduation, and while I occasionally run into some of my former classmates in downtown Mill Valley or at Nordstrom Corte Madera, I only actually stay in touch and see two of my high school friends, Marta and Emily.
Emily and I go far back, to sixth grade in fact right after I moved to the US from Dubai. We became friends in Ms. Tran’s art class when we had to be partners in a project where we had to construct a horse out of twigs. We also had disproportionately large imaginations and told our entire class that we had been offered a trip to Bora Bora by a taxi driver who approached us while we were collecting twigs near the marshlands adjacent to Mill Valley Middle School. In regards to the project, I soon became more interested in socializing about Tomb Raider and Spyro the dragon cheat codes with my classmates rather than working on horse-construction so I paid Emily a dollar and a snack bar ticket to finish the project and then proceeded to berate her for the horse having turned out “so ugly.” A friendship soon blossomed.
Times have changed, I promise.
Emily soon became my fellow Juicy-jacket clad mischief sidekick for the remainder of my schooling in Mill Valley- last night over dinner we reveled at all the absolutely ridiculous things we did together and how if anyone who went to high school with us were to see us now, they probably would not recognize us due to the profound amounts of maturity which came POST graduation (thankfully)
Some of our most ridiculous shenanigans (this list has been highly censored):
Purchasing an onion at Safeway and rubbing it in our eyes to make ourselves cry at the counselor’s office…we couldn’t remember what it was we were trying to get sympathy for, but nevertheless Ms. Ascierto certainly must have known something was up considering Emily left the onion in her bag while we were in her office…and it absolutely reeked.
7th grade French: Emily and I had a fight over which one of us would get to do our French class report on Morocco, I lied and said I was part Moroccan thinking it would justify it; then I gave up and decided to do Lebanon in which Emily insisted Lebanon didn’t count as a French-speaking country (I proved her wrong). Then, as the food component of our project I brought in falafel but no one knew what it was so they didn’t eat it, so instead Emily and I hid behind the bookcase and ate the entire glad ware of falafel on our own
7th grade French: I’m pretty sure Emily and I were banned from sitting at the same table…
High school: I bought a ridiculous undergarment at the H&M opening in which there were some furry little pink balls attached to it and when proudly showing it to Emily she accidentally pulled on one of the balls too hard, it proceeded to fall off, I became furious and made her buy me a new undergarment of my choice…
…which was a pair of boyshorts emblazoned with the slogan “I went dutch in amsterdam,” with a graphic of a windmill. I was strangely obsessed with Holland in the 9th grade and also lacked proper swimwear to wear to the swimming section of our PE class…so I wear those shorts instead.
Emily and our other friend Lizzie had been bored in one of their classes so ground up a bunch of chalk and gave it to me as a present at recess, I spilled it on myself then walked around telling people it was coke…which I think I also did with the powdered cinnamon rolls from the snack bar (as a side note I’ve never done any drugs- it was just pure demonstrations of my level of maturity at the time)
Emily was frequently a liaison between my World of Warcraft-loving boy crushes and I…and she was my designated go-to person who I gave my yearbook to at the end of the year to have my “crushes” sign since I was too nervous to ask myself
Prom: Neither of us ate the dinner offered and instead drank copious amounts of coffee; I of course though become tired after too much coffee unlike Emily, so while I was falling asleep postProm in Marta’s Audi on the way to Mel’s Burgers, Emily was off the wall insisting we play SexyBack again…to the point that our friend, Nicole shanked her
Marta, Emily, and I took a trip to Finland, Sweden, and Estonia after graduation. We were all such goody-goodies until the last night of our trip in which we met up with my cousins in Northern Sweden and went clubbing until 3 am…the night before flying home- and by flying home I mean a 6am flight from Luleå- Stockholm, another flight from Stockholm-Chicago, and finally a last one to San Francisco. It was harsh and I battled Emily for which one of us got to shower first that morning, then gave her a hard time for stealing my seatbelt on the flight to Chicago and being too picky to eat airplane food. I also forced her to eat reindeer…
There have been many other ridiculous antidotes throughout the years, but the truth is Emily is one of those friends who I’ve been friends with for so long that she is a permanent fixture in my life, one of who I share a lot of fond and crazy memories with- someone who has seen me throughout all my ridiculous adolescent stages, and someone who I can now sit back with and have a laugh with.
Last night, to celebrate Emily’s return from studying abroad in Ghana (and my short lived homecoming) we headed for dinner at one of my FAVORITE places here in Marin, Taste of the Himalayas– a delicious local-ingredient-using Nepali restaurant with the sweetest, most hospitable owners.
They first brought us a free appetizer of Pakoras with tamarind and yogurt sauce:
And I insisted to Emily that we split the sumptious chicken momos with chilled tomato chutney:
For main courses, Emily chose the chicken tikka:
And I ordered the tandoori game hen with roasted vegetables:
And of course the lovely owners brought us a free dessert, a delicious Himalayan popsicle if you will (ice cream infused with pistachios) with mango sauce. Yummmm!
So amazing, not only are the ingredients always fresh and farmer’s market-purchased, but the service here is impeccable! Nepali food generally bears some similarities to Indian cuisine, except much lighter and less pungent and also has some Tibetan influence (such as the momos)- but this particular restaurant further innovates by adding a touch of Marin fusion/Californication to Nepali dishes and making them healthy, wholesome, and a perfect lunch or dinner. If you come to Sausalito, this is the place to eat!