Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Miscellaneous adventures

“Peculiar travel suggestions are dancing lessons from God.”
-Kurt Vonnegut, “Cat’s Cradle”

Well I don’t believe in God, but I have this theory that the strangest ideas turn out to be the best ones. So when a friend from work asked me if I wanted to go see a 143-foot statue of Lord Shiva, I said yes, of course.

It’s the tallest Lord Shiva statue in the world, although I’m guessing it probably doesn’t have much competition. My friend Krishna filled me in on some juicy, little-known facts about Shiva, and apparently he was quite fond of marijuana. The weed god, if you will. I guess I can get behind a god who blazes every now and then.

Me and Krishna

Krishna and Dipendra laughing about something. Throughout the day, Krishna kept making me say "match-ik-nee," which is the Nepali word for "motherfucker." I guess it's pretty amusing when foreigners try to say local slang/swear words. 

There was also a beautiful view. I feel like I have a hundred photos that look just like this, 
but it never really gets old.


Close-up of goat, which is clearly copping an attitude with me 

So we hung around the area for a while, relaxed and worshipped Shiva in the way we saw fit. It was a nice day, but on the way back I had a little episode on the bus. There were no seats left, and the aisles were packed with people. I was already feeling a bit spacey, and it didn’t help that the bus was overwhelmingly crowded and hot, or that I get motion sickness when I’m standing in a moving vehicle, or that I’m prone to fainting when my system gets overheated (or something like that, I don’t know how the human body works). With all of these factors combined, I knew something bad was going to happen. I took a few deep breaths, but I couldn’t keep standing any longer.

“I feel sick. I have to sit down.”

And no sooner than I spoke those words, everything went black. When I opened my eyes again, Krishna was holding me up and trying to help me into a seat. Everyone was staring at me. Then some Nepali guy was pouring water on my head. Apparently my eyes rolled back in my head and it scared the shit out of Krishna because he tried to make the bus stop. It wasn’t a huge deal for me because I’ve fainted before, and I knew I would be fine. But still, it was pretty embarrassing that it had to happen on a public bus in Nepal. 

After that ordeal, my next task was wading through a foot of water to get back home. Apparently the monsoon rains had been especially heavy that day (although it hadn’t rained under Lord Shiva’s watch) because the streets and sidewalks were entirely flooded. There aren’t any drains in the road, so it becomes problematic post-rainstorms. Another classic Nepali experience.

Lately I’ve been gloating that I’m one of the only volunteers in the house who hasn’t had an intestinal parasite or a bad case of diarrhea. Well karma came back to bite me in the ass (literally) because now I have bed bugs. If I were in America, I’d be throwing a hissy fit. But since Nepal has toughened me up a bit, my reaction is more like, “Wow, this really blows, but at least it’s not dengue fever or malaria.”

I think my mom is more freaked out than I am, because she already has her panties in a bunch over the possibility of me bringing the buggers home in my suitcase.

She said she’s putting me in a “disinfectant chamber” when I come home and that she’ll make me “a nice comfy bed on an air mattress on the porch.” So now I have that warm welcome to look forward to. For the record, she’s probably kidding, but you can never be so sure.

This weekend I’m going back to Pokhara for my last full weekend in Nepal, and hopefully it will inspire me to write a perspective piece for the Kathmandu Post. I've given up on getting a byline in the newspaper because I've lost motivation, but the EIC keeps pushing me to do it anyway. So I'm going to make something happen, even if it's just another first-person, travel writing piece. 

I've thought about a career in travel writing, but I can't imagine that it would be widely successful. Sometimes when I'm writing or blogging I bore myself to death and think, "Who actually wants to read this? Why should people care about what I'm doing?" Well apparently some people do, and for that you are all awesome, and I'm very grateful. Keep up the reading, and I'll try to keep up with not being boring. 


  1. Some pictures represent the actual city of Nepal which is unfortunately true. The flooded city is getting ugly as the government is neglecting to develop it in proper way. That's why I never come out of my office when it rains. Thanks for sharing some nice pictures.
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  2. http://www.nepalguideinfo.com/safe-to-visit-nepal-after-the-earthquake-annapurna-base-camp/