[UK 2011] Stonehenge! Mehndi Night! Pimms*!

*not really a significant part of the day, but just two exclamation!topics felt wrong. Also, the Pimms was awesome.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

If I haven’t mentioned it in past posts or you’ve never watched Bollywood movies with a wedding in it (you totally should), traditional Hindu weddings last a few days. The fifth of May was reserved for Mehndi Night. We focused on the ‘night’ part of the event so we thought, hey, why not make the most of our morning and go to Stonehenge? After all, we can’t consider this UK trip complete without visiting it. Never mind that Salisbury was hours away by train. We booked a tour that would take us quickly through the charming town of Salisbury, with the climax being the Stonehenge tour.

On board the tour bus!

The first sight of Stonehenge was actually the most exciting bit. It was like, we were there! It’s a UNESCO World Heritage Site! These stones are ancient! They’re probably the portal to a Narnia/hell/center of the Earth! Or not!

First sighting

And then when we were finally there, it was okay for five minutes, but afterwards… it is not for me. /Cesc voice

Kidding aside, it did get a bit old in the end. The audio tour was fascinating, but you can only take so many pictures of rocks without lapsing into cheesy/cliche camera magic poses in front of it. Still, one other thing ticked off my list of places to see. (Only 1,087 more to go!)

Can't touch this (Hammer time!)

Not built by the Druids, according to the audio tour.

There was a lot of sheep around. Yeah, that’s worth blogging.

After a bit of souvenir-shopping, we hopped on the tour bus and went back to London (via train, not by the bus). We barely had enough time to clean ourselves up (actually, there was virtually no primping involved) before we had to go over to the Arora’s for the Mehndi Night. The Mehndi Night is when the bride gets henna done on her hands and feet. The females of the bridal party also get their mehndi done.

Angel's mehndi. Really cool.

Sounds fun, right? Only if you weren’t treated differently from the other guests because you’re not one of them. Not only did we keep getting cut in line by random aunties – this was actually okay, respect for elders and all – but the mehndi lady herself was not at all too keen on putting mehndi on us non-Indian folks. Well, so-orry, but we were the bridal party, like it or not. Anyway, it was 50% annoying and 50% humiliating. But moving on…

What made it all worth it was seeing the bride so happy

My mehndi - didn't turn out so bad in the end

You have to lemon juice the hell out of these things though, to make them turn out darker after the excess peels off. The belief is that the darker it turns out, the greater the love your significant other has for you or something like that. Mine was practically faded by the time of the wedding (day after next), so yeah, no great love for me. Or it could be due to the fact that I have perpetually cold hands and feet and the mehndi gets darker with more body heat.

Can't be tamed (Sidenote: Woah, Pat, that cleavage is top class!)

And since I mentioned Pimms in my title, I guess it’s only right that I post a picture of it. After all, it helped us breeze through the night and turned Dale into a social butterfly extraordinaire.

Should have stocked up on this!

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