Teaching, Eating and Sleeping!!!
Trip Start Mar 01, 2009
151Trip End Nov 01, 2010
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Sunday is a normal work day here in Nepal. Having to go to work on a Sunday and only have one day off SUCKS!!!
Anyway, as usual I tell myself suck it up - I have had a 14month holiday recently....
The shower cave/room was beyond messy today - it was off the scale.
It smelled like the well used piss trough of a dirty pub late on Saturday night. The green floor tiles were mostly brown and the floor was half submerged in water because the drain was blocked.
I stepped inside, again thinking 'suck it up princess'
Two seconds later I thought, 'f**k this, showering here can only make me dirtier - it's shower in a can for me until the cave gets cleaned'.
That happened 3 days later.
Before I head off to school I have a quick chat with the lodgers - I bet one of them a bottle of Pepsi that Australia would kick Englands butt in the Cricket Final that night.
After the power came back on at 10pm I headed down to Amit's room to watch the match. We turn on the TV and Australia are half way through their innings, doing terribly and in the end they lose. Booooooooo.
Day 8 - Donkeys and Monkeys
9am – I buy a pepsi for the lodger who I lost the bet too and take another bottle for myself since I'm still tired from only having a 1 day weekend.
9:30am – Manisha, the eldest daughter, starts calling me Monkey - I don't mind, at least she's not asking me to buy her anything.
I start calling her Donkey in reply
Her younger brother hears this and copies me. I get home from school later and her other sister and her Mum are calling her donkey too. She's not happy with me!
4pm – I go for a walk in the afternoon down the hill just after 4pm, as school’s getting out.
As I walk down the hill about half of the people on the street are either my students or teachers from school stopping to say hi or wave across the street.
After being here for just a week I definitely feel like I’ve settled in.
8pm –I finish reading Superfreakonomics and start on The Great Gatsby (it’d been lurking in the bottom of my backpack for the last 4 months).
I thought since this was a classic it would be a boring read, I couldn’t have been more wrong. It was amazingly well written and a pleasure to read
Switching from my typical business(y) type books, like Superfreakonomics, to The Great Gatsby was like switching drinks, from Bud-Lite to Johnnie Walker Blue.
Next time I’m book shopping I’m picking up a couple of classics too.
Day 9 - Progress
9am - The lodgers hanging out in front of the shop are calling Manisha, Donkey, too.
She's a fun girl with a great sense of humour but she didn't like it when the jokes on her.
She stops talking to me.
Still tired from the weekend - 1 day off is not enough.
I start wondering why the hell do they only have a 1 day weekend.
I asked a few people and got a bunch of random answers like - we only need one day off, there's nothing else to do...
I wondered if they do the 6 day week to progress faster, to improve their living standards and quality of life.
Then I figured if everyone still eats with their hands, accepts living with power for 14 hours a day and don't use regular toilets or toilet paper, is progressing their living standards the number one thing on their agenda?
I wondered - What causes a country to want to progress? I did this because after school there's nothing else to do apart from sit around, the shop or under the tree across the road and look over the valley.
I guess countries progress because:
> A feeling of competition with neighbouring countries progress.
> A history of colonisation.
> A foundation of good government
With Nepal, it's surrounded by rural China, Tibet, Bhutan and India - so their neighbours aren't setting any standard to match.
It's not got any significant colonisation link like India.
It does have enormous resources of water but they're not worth much yet, compared to a country with gazillions of tonnes of coal or oil.
Lastly, their royal family was slain about 10 years ago by a schizophrenic prince and their government since then has been run my a bunch of short term thinking opportunists.
I guess it's a mix of all the points.
Having said that, the laid back friendly culture here is fantastic
It took me a couple of weeks to be ok with sitting still under a tree over looking a valley and doing nothing for a couple hours.
It sounds strange to say I had to figure out how to do it, but I had to. Before this, I couldn't sit still.
Day 10 - Clean Shower!!
I have my first shower in 4 days - I never thought I'd be happy to be back in the shower cave...
7:30am – Rachel comes over for lesson planning. We've got lesson planning down from 90 minutes to 5 minutes.
4pm – Rachel gets a phone call from another volunteer in Chitwan It’s so hot there the school only runs classes from 6am to 11am. After that they said the only thing you can do is lie on your bed and sweat.
I was meant to be sent to Chitwan, lucky I got to stay in the Kathmandu Valley
Day 12 - Food Issues again
The host mother had baked some Japati bread - nice! I was having a piece when she offered me some pickle jam to put on the bread.
I say no, I don't want anything spicy that could screw with my almost back to normal bowel movements.
The host father then grabs the pickle jam and grabs most of it at the exact same time I change my mind and say, 'actually that pickle jam would probably be really nice’…
The host father sees he's taken most of the rest of the pickle already.
He sees I was hoping to get some too. So, he circles his chubby finger around the inside of the bowl, like a 2 year old who’s trying to get the last few drops of ice cream out of a bowl, and scoops out the last of the pickle jam with his finger
Then he reaches over to my bread and smears his chubby finger all over the top of the bread to try and get the jam of his finger – imagine lazily wiping a sticky piece of dirt off your finger by rubbing it across a table cloth, it was like that.
After this, he had an expression on his face honestly saying - "hey, how about that? I've just done you a huge favour".
I could only think - No f**king way is that piece of bread going anywhere near my mouth after what I just saw.
A few minutes later the host father disappears into the kitchen to fry up some left over goat.
We can here him frying it up as he has a few sneezing bouts and then he comes back to the table out puts a big dollop of something fried on my plate.
I take one bite, it's tragically awful and I need another taste in my mouth pronto
The only other thing I have is that Japati bread with the finger smeared pickle jam that I vowed not to eat 60 seconds before.
That was it, I had to eat the Japati...
Day 13 - Back into the tourist world
I headed back into Thamel, the tourist heart of Kathmandu, on Friday afternoon. I had been living local for the last 2 weeks straight.
My taste buds were dying for something that wasn’t Dahl Baht (rice and lentils) and I needed a decent shower, a comfy bed and to plan out my trips after this stint at teaching finishes up. Rachel tags along.
I get my travel plans sorted. After about 3 hours of faffing I’m locked into an Everest Base Camp trek and a 7 day trip to Lhasa, Tibet.
Rachel and I meet up at an internet café, look up the highest rated tourist restaurant on trip advisor and go directly there for a feast.
Before Rachel’s even looked at the menu I’ve ordered a beer, a mohito and some nachos. I ask what she wants to drink, she says she doesn’t like drinking. Maybe after 4 weeks of teaching she’ll change her mind.