Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Gorkha: End of a Saga

This post is being typed on my tablet, so I apologize if the formatting does not match the others. I also apologize that you have two and a half more weeks to wait before you see any pictures.

Day 6 - Emily's to Lisa's

To get to Lisa's house, I experienced yet another uncomfortable bus ride (but the worst was yet to come). I won't bore you with the details, but I will say I was surprised I wasn't bent into a " w" shape by the end. But I arrived safely, and met a crap ton of people: host dad, host mom, host sister-in-law (bauju), host niece, host uncle, and host grandma. Lisa told them a little lie that saved me a lot of grief by saying that I was a sworn vegetarian AND anti-lactose advocate.

No goat meat, and no buffalo milk. I have a guardian angel, and her name is Lisa.

Day 7 - Lisa's House

Lisa was supposed to have school, but that was canceled when one of the teacher's nephews died in a motorcycle accident. At a loss for something to do, we took a walk with her bauju and her daughter Sachina.

First we visited the Italian/German ex-pat goatb farmers. No luck. Their dice of destiny has told them to go to Pokhara. Alrighty then, what now? Lisa suggested a walk down to the river. The only crossing was a two-and-a-half-Alanna-wide suspension bridge, and you all know how much I looooooove those.

But when we reached the other side, we noticed how calm and shallow the water was. So we decided to dip our feet in. And then, what the heck, we decided, no one cares about our "natural" legs if we roll up our suruwals, let's wade in.

As you can imagine, we ended up completely submerged. It was glorious. The water was refreshing, and we were surrounded by laughing young boys and washer women. Bauju, who is 8 months pregnant, and Sachina,who is four, stayed on the bank. When we returned, we find that rather than building a sand castle, they had constructed a sand lingam. Don't look that up. I'll just tell you now. It's a phallic sculpture sacred to Shiva.

Lisa didn't know what it was, so she didn't understand why I found it so funny.

Later, we made samosas. They were deep fried, and therefore delicious.

Day 8 - Lisa's House

The next day, we had school. Sort of. We were skeptical when 200 out of 800 (you read that right) showed up, and when half of them gathered in and around our classroom to hear her and a student play the guitar, we realized school would be ending early. And it did, after only two periods that none of the other teachers attended.

The rest of the day was relaxing. We made pancakes minus the baking powder, and topped them with granulated sugar, allowing it to melt into syrup under each hot new flapjack. Without the baking powder they were more like thick pan-crepes, but hey, when there aren't any ovens, you take what you can get.

That evening, Lisa and I went on a walk, hunting for a ping. We passed one of her teacher's house, and we got to see her enormous, jungled garden. She sent us on our way with raw soybean and green beans to snack on. We encountered some of her students, who live in a one-room house with their extraordinarily friendly mother. They brought us to the ping.

You know those swing sets you sit on, and they moan and creak and bend, and you're terrified it's going to collapse on your head? It was like that. Made out of bamboo.

Day 9 - Lisa's House

See, I warned you that this would be the longest one. A day and a half more. Stay with me.

On Thursday, we went holiday shopping. Not American style holiday shopping - Nepal keeps it old-school. We needed to buy tikka (a colored powder used in various ceremonies), candles, nuts, coconuts, candy, boy clothes, and many other things that I lost track of.

First we went to Gorkha bazaar, where we met up with Emily at, guess where? The Gurkha Inn. A place I had kind of hoped to never see again. However, it was very pretty when viewed through healthy eyes, with a view that can't be beat.

Then we went to another bazaar, halted with vendors on the street, and ended our day with momos at the sketchiest possible place. And after that was the bus ride. It was a micro, normally comfortable, but this time overstuffed. They made room for pregnant Bauju and sleeping Sachina, but I was left hanging. Literally. When the bus started moving, my foot was stuck outside the door. I pulled it in before they severed, but since people were sitting on the floor, it was either step on someone or go the whole way on one foot. Because the sole of the foot is considered so filthy and insulting, I chose the latter option.

When we returned, we celebrated Tihar, but I'm going to write a separate post on that.

Day 10 - Lisa's to Kathmandu

On Friday, we got on a bus at 11, and arrived in KTM around 4. Nothing exciting happened.

We went to Fulbright, though, and I finally retrieved the package my mother sent me. But since that didn't happen in Gorkha, I won't tell that story in this post.

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