Saturday, February 14, 2015

The Five Senses of Nepal - Touch

I've been sick for the last few days, which is part of the reason you haven't seen any new posts from me.

First, an addendum to the last "sense" post: sounds at school.
-Every morning, the Nepali national anthem, half shouted, half sung.
-In every class, the deafening aural tidal wave of "Miss miss miss miss MISS."

And now, the sense of touch.

My perception of this sense has a lot to do with the weather. When it was monsoon time, the air was always hot and sticky with humidity, like Disney World in August. Even now, in the middle of winter, the sun has a physical presence--more so than the cold. In fact, I barely feel the cold, although most of the other teachers, bundled in layers and layers of wool scarves, think I'm crazy.

I always feel dirty, even after I bathe (which normally happens when my skin looks like it's been coated in graphite). In the US, I sometimes would shower twice a day, but here, the water is always cold--unless a very sunny day grants a liter or two of lukewarm H2O. Sometimes, while washing my hair, the water is so cold it gives me a headache. And don't get me started about the paranoia that accompanies an itchy scalp...

Yes, it's hard to feel comfortable, especially when beds and chairs don't believe in cushioning. My tailbone is in constant agony. And the ground... Sometimes I think it repels my feet like angry magnets, because I have a hard time believing the dirt really can be so uneven.

Most of my clothes are made from cotton and wool, which are miserable prisons when you sweat. I've had to remove my bangles because they felt like manacles. Unfortunately, my sometimes noose-like scarf is a social necessity.

But then, there are the handshakes and high-fives and fist bumps with my students. Being dragged down to receive a kiss on the cheek, or at least on the palm. The burn in my legs after doing "Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes" for the fifth time in a row. These are good feelings.

Well, that's all for now. Sorry it's not more cheerful. Trust me, smell will be sooooooooo much better.

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