Days 25-26: The Wedding

Trip Start May 20, 2008
Trip End Aug 19, 2008

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Flag of Nepal  ,
Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Very little happened on Sunday, so I shall write little about it. A transport strike* trapped us three non-safari volunteers in Pepsikola, so no OCRC time, and a particularly severe monsoon storm trapped us indoors. Melissa & I tried painting the swingset during a lull in the weather, but the metal worker who built it insisted he do the job after watching us for a few minutes. Since half of my brush's paint wound up on Melissa's dress, he was warranted in fearing what havoc we'd wraught if allowed to continue. The rest of the afternoon was spent watching "Paris J'Taime" (or something like that) in the Hut, a cute but slightly disappointing film. It was after this movie viewing that Emily & Lindsey, having unexpectedly returned from Chitwan a night early, stumbled on in with the nuttiest political craziness story yet. Their story was pretty crazy.

*The bus/taxi company wanted to hike fares by 40% in lue of skyrocketing petrol prices here. The government ordered them not to, so there will be on-and-off strikes in various parts of town until gas prices go down (ain't gonna happen.) Hopefully the gov and transit workers will reach a deal.

Now, on to Monday.  Woke up, made some brief rounds on the internet, three calls to home, and off it was to the wedding via bus. Local news reported city-wide bus strikes but the news was 100% wrong.  Say what you will about our sensationalistic media back home, but at least they get their shite more or less right.  The wedding itself was far lower key than I was expecting after seeing depictions of nutty and colorful Indian weddings in Bollywood flicks, but was still an interesting experience.  The curry and chicken buffet was the main focus of both the event and my attention.  A meal that would actually fill me up!  Gasp. I devoured all available food except what I guess was goat meat curry and the dessert offering.  I've been paranoid of the meat here since being the main subject of a "so what's in this dish that I've been eating for the past half hour?" horror story a couple days ago, and the dessert was a vile vegetable soup flavored ice cream plus candied spaghetti concoction that would under no circumstances be allowed near my taste buds.  The unlimited supply of divine gourmet milk chai tea, not brewed till you ordered it, made up for their dessert silliness.  I downed nearly ten mugs of the stuff over the course of the wedding, probably causing the buffet worker to grumble "argh, here comes that crazy American again for some more tea" under his breath. After maybe two hours of gorging on food, Ladina and I began to grow bored.  Where was all the dancing and crazy Hindi fun?  How much longer could all these old people sit around and talk to each other?  Feeling our pain, the kids dragged us outside to play "London Stop."

"How do you play London Stop?"
"It's London Stop."
"Ah yeah, what are the rules?"
"What?  My English bad."
"What - are - the - rules - of - London Stop?"
"First you bladadadada and then you're out but if you bladada with badadada you're bladadada out and win baldadadada and then you baldadadada badadada."
"Right.  Got it."...seemed like fun though.

Soon, commotion...  Camo-clad police entered and led two canines around the room, I assume sniffing for bombs?  We inquired about this strange event.  The answer:  The Prime Minister was coming!  The groom, it would appear, hath many a friends in high places.  Two lower ranking ministers cycled through paying there respects, and finally the leader himself.  A frail old man he was, with surprisingly little security protecting him.  All of us were allowed within a few feet and most got pictures.  He left without saying much, the music came back on, and some scattered dancing finally began.  We were dragged onto the dance floor by two Nepali girls who'd befriended us, and so began maybe an hour of clumsy attempts to match everyone else's dizzying Hindi dance moves.  Nepali girls are an easily amused people though, and the two girls lauded my "I don't know this song so I'm just going to bob my head to it and clap" schtick as "quite romantic."  Aww.  [withholds amusing related story]  Sushaan's dancing was probably the funniest thing I've seen all year, I got some video of it to bring back home.  Afterwards, all nine family members crammed into an oversized taxi, we drove back to Pepsikola and the day ended. Back to work tomorrow, bus strikes pending. Out of time, adios!PS: Saw some graffiti on the taxi ride back and realized "wow, it's been a really long time since I've seen graffiti." Kathmandu, run down and crowded as it is, seems utterly devoid of crime.

----Vital Signs----
Hand Sanitizer Depleted = 90%
Time Elapsed Since Last Opp To Shower = 0 days :)
Mosquito Bites = 44
Calamine Lotion Depleted = 85%
Yetis Scalped = 5
Food Poisonings = 0ETA to Singapore = 29 days
ETA to Thailand = 41 days
ETA to Los Angeles = 64 days
ETA to San Diego = 66 days
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