Snippits of another week

by Annalise on January 16, 2010

We realize we’re now seeing and receiving all manner of things as near normal; things that in our first month caused us a double take, disbelief or prompted us to take a photo.

1. Cows amongst the traffic. Traffic, as noted in previous posts, is chaotic at best. Among the things navigated around while riding my bicycle this past week was a cow meandering on the busy main street of Kathmandu. No biggie, just a cow. Just another element in the flow that is traffic here. Water buffalo don’t seem to fare quite so well. While running one morning, David and I saw a rattled water buffalo running down the street and run into / over two people waiting for their bus on the roadside.

2. Monkeys at the temple. Robin was having a bag of chips while we were vising a temple on our day off here. He’d finished his chips and in usual Robin fashion, he stuffed the bag in his jacket pocket. As we continued to walk along, he was startled to have a monkey grab at the bag of his jacket, trying to find the chips. Cheeky Monkeys!

3, The Guru channels on TV. When surfing through the channels available on our apartment’s television we are familiar now with both the majority channels offering Nepali or Bollywood films and even scroll past the two guru channels. These offer a variety of celebrity gurus and yogis, the former with their painted faces and colorful robes and both speaking to huge crowds. Once, when surfing through we caught the beginning of one such gathering and saw this guru being carried into the venue in a large duck chair. He didn’t appear to be wearing anything but his eyeglasses but nice duck! We don’t get it but there it is!

4. Everyone’s holding hands! Well never a man and a woman but otherwise, everyone! Parents with kids of course, girls with girls, boys with boys, women with women and men with men. It is just the way people connect with their friends here and is the norm. It does still make me laugh when I see army officers or police officers walking down the street hand in hand.

5. Large pieces of furniture walking down the street. There is a porter caste here which are among the hardest working people in Nepal. These folks carry hugs loads on their backs, the weight borne mostly by a band worn across the top of the head. In this fashion, you see things like refrigerators, sofas, 5-drawer filing cabinets, other pieces of major furniture and all variety of delivery boxes walking in front of you down the cramped and crowded sidewalk or street.

6. Motor cycles driving along the sidewalk. A major pet peeve of David’s, this is a very common sight. When the traffic jam proves impenetrable, if even for a minute, the motorbikes who are near simply hop onto the sidewalk demanding all pedestrians to squeeze into an even smaller space along the wall of the shops and buildings. I am a bit concerned of the response if Dave one day carries out his fantasy of bike tipping on his walk home.

7. Power’s out – well only about 7 hours per day this week. Next week we go to 9 per day. Unfortunately they don’t do much load shedding over night. We have an inverter for the critical functions, check the rooftop water tank every time we have power to start the pump if required and know where all of our candles are but all this has also become a part of our routine.

So yeah, normal but not.

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