Patan, KATHMANDU, NEPAL
We are currently living in the future. I only just found out that Nepal is actually in the year 2071. This futuristic country currently has electricity for 25% of the day, solar panels, seasonal produce, no traffic lights, no heating in houses in winter or air-con in summer, a six day working week and walking is the main form of transport.
Last Friday night, everyone in our house sat down to watch Sherlock Holmes Seasons 3-4. Manun made popcorn, I had found some Lindt chocolate and we were all gathered in the lounge for the occasion. The generator was turned on for electricity – a special Friday night treat. The usual computer choice had been stolen the night before, computer option 2 did not have the right cord to connect to the projector so computer 3, the device most likely to crash, was used. After half an hour of waiting for the computer to load, we finally dragged the desktop (remember them?), multiple cords and all, to the lounge to began our programme. TV viewing has never been so memorable or hilarious!
I am appreciating small pleasures again such as a hot shower, a warm blanket in the evening, legs to get me from A to B, hand washed clothes, baked goods (ovens are rare), electricity, finding a running route that includes trees and friendship. Perhaps our future won’t have quite the same luxuries available but we will always have the ability to be thankful of the good things constantly around us.
This week has had its ups and downs but Sisters Cafe and Beauty is coming along and there are small answers to prayer each day: a head waitress has been hired, sick staff are feeling better, and promised goods have been delivered on time.
- Momos: There are a popular Nepalese dish. They are dumplings served with a curry sauce. Rob and I thought we were ordering one momo for 120R ($1.50) and received ten momos in return. Bonus!
- Masala Tea: I have discovered a form of chai tea! It took a week, but spiced hot tea does exist in some cafes.
- Aloo Chop: potatoes mashed with onions and spices, rolled into a ball and fried. Delicious!
Books on the go:
- Allegiant: Currently finishing off the last of the Divergent Trilogy for an injection of popular culture and dystopian themes.
Rob and I have been sharing lots of life together at the moment, including learning to operate in a work capacity together in a different country. We work very differently. This has caused some laughs (afterwards) and I am learning to appreciate our different outlooks on life. In the wise words of some friends ‘sometimes you are both right’. I am realising that the important goal for me is not to be productive (something I value highly), but to learn to be patient, appreciate Rob’s approach to problem solving and to not get jobs done just using my own capacity. Ah life lessons – we appreciate them in hindsight!
Highlights so far:
- Finding out we are living in the future!
- Discovering that the swastika is actually a Hindu good luck symbol. And to think I had credited it to Nazi Germany. It now makes me realise why so many businesses have swastika in their name or logo!
- Wandering Durbar Square Patan, a significant religious site, and reading all about its history at Patan Museum. What an interesting place Nepal is, bordering two dominant Asian countries – China and India.
- Mountain days – when the haze clears and the Himalayas are showing off all their splendour in the background. It just makes the day feel alive.