Wednesday, November 12, 2014

My dad would hate Nepal

Well, he would. He likes golf courses & drinks with umbrellas.
Here, they don't use silverware or toilet paper. Running water and ice are not even dreams. It is hard to make a good cocktail without those amenities.
We are staying with friends of friends in rural western Nepal. It took a 2 hour flight, 10 hour jeep ride, and lots of walking to get here.
The people are really friendly & really tough. They hike up and down steep hills in sandals & cook over fires. From sunrise to set, constant labor is required just to get food on plates and do it again.
We met a guy named Him. The word for cow is "guy", the word for milk is "dude." We had a lot of fun making sentences like, "Ask Him to get dude from the guy." And then laughing hysterically. 
Meanwhile, Him mustered all his English to ask, "your marriage-- love or arranged?" Him's was arranged. Most marriages here are.
We eat a lot. Everyone's way of welcoming is to feed & feed & feed. We have learned the words for "half", "enough", and "I'm full." There are many rules for who can share food, and critical errors can be made passing from plate to the wrong plate. Mothers can touch the same food as their daughters, but daughters can not touch their father's food. Husband and wife can share, but not friends. There is no "family style" serving, and you eat the whole pile that's put in front of you.
We also drink a lot of chai, which is tea with "dude." Often at tea shops like this:
The water here is not potable, but we got a "Steripen" as a wedding present. It may sound like a birth control device, but it's a cool UV light you can stick in water to sterilize it. We just need adequate battiries. The local kids think it's a laser light show.
You have to take your shoes off to go into people's homes. You have to take your shoes off to go into my mom's home as well, so my dad would be used to that, but here the floor's of people's homes are made of dirt.When you take your shoes off to walk on a dirt floor, the insides of your shoes get dirty.
We have seen a completely untouristed side of Nepal. Forrest got girardia, which my dad would also not find cool, but luckily we are traveling with a doctor & she squared him away. 
We may not travel like my dad, but an umbrella drink is starting to sound pretty great.

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