Tuesday, 13 September 2016

A Very Wet Day.

Having made an early start to get to Neel Barahi school by 7.30 am, I was feeling quite virtuous that I was breathing fresher and cooler air, just because there are not very many people about. In Kathmandu, rush hour starts @ 9 am, then it lasts the whole day......😕

The 6th formers, college and university students start their days @ 6am, finishing around 11.30 ish.  This is followed by the normal school hours  of @ 9.30/ 10  am for the private ( English speaking)/ state (Nepali speaking) schools.

The rainy season is continuing.The days are cooler than average which I quite enjoy. The heavy downpour has tended to be during the night when we are safely tucked in bed .It is really very convenient and suits me completely.

It was no different  yesterday morning.   The mountains around Kathmandu were shrouded in dense white cloud. So I thought' yes, it is going to rain later, better carry an umbrella !'

The heaven  opened while I was inside the school. I videoed the dancing class and also the  computer lab.Having also been fed, I was feeling quite smug that I have achieved what I came to do.There were lots of children standing on the balcony, sheltering from the rain. The time was 9  am, rather too early for 10am start. Then I discovered that it was my fault. ... the children were told to come early so I can video them dancing! And they were  then stuck in the school because of the rain.

I decided to make a run for it, to get back to Uma's which is half an hour walk away. I realised I had no small notes ( in 100/50  rupees). The big notes ( in 1000 rupees) are no good for local taxis.With the language barrier, it would be hopeless to try to give 1000 rupees (which is more than a day's wage for many) for a 200 rupees ride, as well as trying to bargain my way round in that rain!

I rolled my trousers up to mid calf, fully aware that I had to walk through some puddles.The ground is soden  wih the daily rain. What I did not anticipate was the speed and amount of debris that swept through the pavement like torrents of waves. I now realised the significance of the fearful look the teacher  gave me when she said' are you sure ?'. Only crazy people who are out of their mind would walk out into the rain, I now know.

The vegetable market was right next to the school. One could take a short cut to the main thoroughfare. I thought I would do that, recognising that the place would be muddy, strewyn with old vegetables and cluttered at the best of times.- a sight which I am familiar,  having been here for so many year..

I started purposefully into what I thought was the cut through. It was a a dead end where the lorries have parked for the day. And that was after I had  walked gingerly  over some gunge with filthy drain water swimming around my feet!. I had no choice but to turn round and walked out of that path, cursing myself....

I then started the journey home along the main road.I hugged my bag with my tablet  and phone closely to protect them from the rain, and I started the walk home.. The rain was so heavy that the umbrella  offered little protection. In no time, I was drenched from my head through to my back and down my legs. I had to negotiate   the uneven  pavement which had  submerged under several inches of black water. The piles and piles of litter which normally  lay on the road surface had  come alive with the heavy down pour. It was quite a sight to see the' rotting gunge ' floating with the other materials , sweeping down the road towards me as I tried to take ginger steps(safely) onto the next firm surface. All in all, it was a rather unpleasant experience, especially I could visualise the millions and millions of bacterias/ germs clinging onto my feet!!! Urghhhhhhh! !!!!

In all my years of coming to  Kathmandu, I have been fortunate not to have been caught out like this. This is the first and shall be the last time.....Uma was out at the time. That was part of the reson that I  did not call home. I had a telling off from Uma afterwards. I could have phoned. The school have her phone number. I know that now!

The sterilising process  on reaching home was laborious and time consuming. . After an hour of scrubbing etc, I eventually emerged from the bathroom feeling a little bit more human and cleaner.

I put all this down to experience, one not to be repeated!!

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