Having only being away from my usual habitat for a week (today), I am finding hard to remember how to spell correctly.Goodbye, Alzheimer's, please go away from me.There is no spellcheck facilities on the pc here unfortunately
At present, I am receiving daily intensive input in Nepali language and culture averaging 4-5 hours a day. The language is very hard. I keep questioning the validity of why I have to learn grammar in 5 days (transitive and intransitive verbs, fancy that ! ), when I only have less than 3 weeks here. My grey matters are being stretched, so much so that my head really hurts...However I do enjoy learning about the culture of the Nepali people. After 3 days of relentless questioning on my part, the teacher agreed that he won't teach me anymore grammar, but useful phrases in everyday conversation. Phew!
In addition, I learnt a lot about the socio-economic history of the country. I came to have a better understanding of why Nepal is so poor. In fact, from the many people I have met and spoken to, the reason why Nepal is going backwards over the years.
One of the things I am learning to do is to sit cross legged on a cushion on the floor. The lounge is a big square room with lots of light. It has a big square table(its too big to be called a coffee table ) where eating , socialising , reading, relaxing and writing are done. Its low like a Japanese table, except that there is no space or hole underneath to put your legs. One has to learn to sit cross legged or on one's ankle with bended knees in order to do anything . I am quite clumsy, so I balance myself by leaning on my left elbow with my legs crossed whenever I sit down, which is very often. To my surprise, I developed a big blister underneath my left elbow. I didn't know about it until the skin broke yesterday. Ouch.....I need to use the alternative way to sit I think, on my bended knees
I have been behaving rather selfishly. I have not let anyone know that I have some yummy digestive biscuits in my back pack, under lock and key.The reason being its my umbilical cord to 58 Durban road. Its only a small pack of less than 10 biscuits. With 6 children ,Uma and the helper, there won't be any left to sustain me for the next 3 weeks if I were to share them. Yes, I have seen them in the local shops, but unsure whether they will taste the same. So, its status quo for me- no sharing!
This week is a rather leisurely one for me. Therefore I am able to blog more often. One tends not to go out in the evening. That suits me fine . Walking in the dark on narrow uneven stony dirt roads is not my idea of fun, especially when cars coming in the opposite direction are not being polite to each other. And this is only walking to get a taxi (if you can find one, that is ) to go out somewhere. Having said all that, it is amazing how the locals seem stoic and happy when they are out.
It was an experience for me when we went out to the local night market to purchase the children's winter clothes. We went to the places which I would not dream of going normally. I was hanging on to Uma so tightly that I hope she didn't have any funny ideas about me. Abject poverty with its associated squalor were dotted with sparkling jewellery shops here and there. Its quite amazing to see very well dressed people going into the shops happily mingled with what I think were the down and outs. Sorry I am judging from a western perspective. I have promised myself not to do that
Till the next time, happy reading