Wednesday, 5 November 2008

My FIrst Exercise

I took my first walk yesterday since arriving in Nepal. Its been over a week now since I did anything energetic .It could explain why I have not been sleeping very well.

Uma explained the route through the village/ or town. (I like to know when is a village not a town ?). In view of the fact that I will be trekking on friday, I had better get acclimatised to my new walking boots. The investment was worth it. Though it was a 2 mile walk , it was very comfortable. In fact, they were ideally made for the road surface here.

I must have seem a strange sight to the locals, but there was no sense of malice or prejudice. Admittedly there were a few local men raising their eyebrows, as to what a chinese woman doing walking amongst them at eight o'clock in the morning ? The path winds round the village or town (its a big place ) teeming with smart uniformed school children,housewives/husbands doing their daily marketing,villagers selling their ware on the pavement and the rush hour traffic. The rush hour traffic consist of the endless pedestrians, cyclists, motor cyclists and drivers of cars jostling for position in the narrow road designed originally for the traditional bullock carts.

I noticed that a lot of people tended to stand outside the shops/houses especially in he mornings.Then I realised that it is because of the hot winter sun that everyone is positioning himself in the full sunlight. I was very surprised that the winter here is not one would expect..Since I have been here, we have beautiful warm sunshine everyday till @5pm.It is getting darker obviously with each preceding day. The clothes washed in the morning is dry by midday.Its averaging 24-26 degrees everyday. The door to the lounge is open till ten at night.What a beautiful winter. Admittedly, the Nepali people do not have my peculiar habit of washing everything which has only been on my back fleetingly. And I am learning that the Nepali way is better and environmentally sound. I will probably adopt this on my return to UK

I have noticed that even the dogs here like the sun . When I first arrived here, I thought there were a lot of dead dogs lying around in the road. I did not want to show my alarm, but just kept myself out of the way .However, I did notice that there were no rotten smell anywhere

The reason the dogs look dead is because of the way they sleep, all stretched out and totally relaxed.They are very lethargic. They do not stir even if someone is walking close by, unlike the English dogs. In addition, they all tend to sleep in ditches, or right beside the road, looking really dead .Even when cars honk, they do not move. Cars have to drive around to avoid them. Interesting phenomena

I have been impressed by the pride the youngsters wear their uniforms. They look so smart in red (their national and royal colour) and white. The boys are quite happy to show off their smart outfits. However, I had to persuade ever so gently for the girls to agree( reluctantly) to have their photos taken.

The walk which I took is not one by UK definition. For one thing, I have to dodge between cars, cyclists, animals and people. I was given a vague idea around the village.I had no idea whether I will find my way back or retracing my steps to get back home.

After what appeared to be a long time , I saw the landmark which reassured me that I was on the right road.There were women with sewing machines doing instant repair jobs on the pavement , no doubt charging only a pittance . I was quite proud of myself when I managed to purchase a kilo of oranges from a Nepali woman. She pulled out 40 NR to show me the cost of the oranges. We smiled and nodded our heads and the transaction was made. This is called international sign language which transcends national boundaries and territories. Wonderful !

I saw an unusual sight at a meat shop (butcher's). I thought I saw cows' heads for sale, alongside the chicken heads. Being a Hindu state where cows are sacred, , how could that be ? I thought. Uma laughed her head off when I asked her. Apparently they are buffalo heads, which are quite different. And in my ignorance, I thought they both belong to the same family. Oh well..
The pollution is pretty bad here. It reminded me of the time when I first arrived in UK in the late 60s. My nose and my finger nails were always black after returning from Oxford street. At least its only black nose here

Need to sign off now .Will be away trekking for couple of days. Another new experience to look forward to

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