Day 2: The Mutant Rat

Trip Start May 20, 2008
1
4
77
Trip End Aug 19, 2008


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Friday, May 23, 2008

The sound of cows & roosters & farm stuff woke me up around 5am and I lied in bed dozing until 7ish. Then there was a knock on the door and the grandfather barged on in chuckling and shouting gibberish, giving the official wakeup call. He saw Dan's huge black suitcase, asked what it was, and started sifting through all the clothes and stuffed animals and whatnot. Soon the whole family, all of whom were wide awake this early, gathered around and started oohing and awing at the donations. Funniness ensued. Two hours later it was breakfast time, I again epic failed at eating with my hands, took a cold shower (no hot water either), and marched off to battle.

The first three hours of the day were language training, which I had with Kris, another volunteer from San Diego (16 of the 20-odd volunteers are from Southern California, randomly), and taught by a *goddess* named Ranu. Despite her being a goddess, I sadly don't remember much of the day's lesson. Next time I'll bring a notebook. Ranu asked Kris which family he was living, and he said he was room-mating with another male. "Ooohooo another guy, ooooh... oooh..." Kris had to clarify, in all sincerity, that it didn't mean they were gay. He joked that they spooned together, prompting confusion from Ranu & the other Nepali dude in the room. Kris explained to them via stick figure doodles what "spooning" meant and asked if Ranu "understood." I'm 95% sure he was hitting on her, can't say I blame him.

Class was followed by a sightseeing adventure to another orphanage deeper in the countryside with fellow VSN peeps Christina & Christine, who has an awesome Scottish accent.  Got some good pictures (photo-ops really) here, but these and all the pictures from the weekend in town were lost. The kids where magical & couldn't get enough of us, and were particularly in wuv with Christina. Her watch was blowing their minds. One of em started playing with a sick, half alive mutant rat. We told him that doing so was probably a bad idea.

From the orphanage we took a surreal minibus ride into the city center where we would spend the night in a hotel with Stan, Norman, Owner-of-the-Hut, and Girl Whose Name I Forgot. Since we have Saturdays off, it tis apparently tradition to spend Friday night in the city's tourist district "Thamel" drinking at bars. We got a bit lost trying to find Thamel, but a kind Nepali girl both pointed us in the right direction and interrupted her daily routine to walk us all the way there (quite a walk.) I clicked with her, she asked me for my number!!!! ...so she could invite us to some traditional dance show of her's... but none of us had a number to give her. I gave her my email instead but she wasn't well versed in the ways of email.

The Thamel area was pretty cool. It had a quaint European feel to it, with tight alleyways, pubs, and trinket shops all over the place. It started to get old about three hours in though, were it not for the fact that it's the only nightlife area I don't think I'd go back there. We got pizza for dinner, one whole pie per person at $2 a pie, drank, and called of the night a bit past 12. No epic drunken tales to tell of that though, it was all pretty low key. 
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