I’ve found that in some sense, I’ve gotten a bit carried away with these posts. I came to realize this when skyping with my wonderful roommates from back home whose most curious question was, “What do you do everyday?” Alright, boys and girls, here we go.
What Leah Does every day:
1. Usually I wake up anywhere between 6 and 7:15. I set an alarm. That is not needed. There is enough naturally-occurring chaos in Nepal to keep one awake.
2. I usually get ready and eat breakfast all by 8-8:30. This leaves me anywhere from a half hour to hour before I have to leave for work.
3. I recently realized the beauty in going into town to have a nice coffee before work.
4. Depending on my current state of activity/inactivity, I will either walk and take a bus or take a cab to work.
5. Cultural cue #1: for all those who fear for the worst in terms of danger in Nepal, the most dangerous thing I’ve encountered thus far is actually traffic. Everyone drives in such a way that you feel as though you are going to lose your life at any moment. Sometimes you must tap a slowly moving car to stop. There are more motorbikes than cars. Those are good too. They play a game called drive real fast often bolting in the direction of a pedestrian and then swerve. What fun! The other part is the horn honking. Often necessary, but not this often. Believe me. If they had a fine & 2 points in Nepal…….oh the hell with it they don’t even have spedometers.
6. At work I like to blog update, e-mail, and oh yeah! do my work, of course. The project I mentioned I am working on before is coming along. I will be finalizing the victim profile on Monday which is great news.
7. Tea time at work around 11-11:30.
8. Go out to lunch. Just found a place with smoothies and cake. Need I say more?
9. Doze off.
10. Depart from work around 4 each day.
11. Do a jigsaw puzzle
13. Embark on a variety of activities
14. Avoid buying things. *Note: this does not always work*
15. Relax after fighting off life-threatening traffic again
16. Listen to loud noises, some of which include dogs, kids, and people hocking loogies (a favorite pastime in Nepal) out my window
17. Dinner, which is usually served family-style
18. Hang out with people and then eventually go to sleep.
Ok, so this may not have mattered to most, but this is the day’s schematic. Even if it doesn’t sound all too riveting, it’s sort of interesting enough just having a normal day but in such a different place. Since I realize I can’t just leave you hanging with part one, I’ve decided to map out a few more things I’ve learned about Nepali culture while here. Ever heard about how relaxed they are in Europe? Okay, well, Nepal may take the cake on this one. This is sometimes good and bad. Good when it comes to work because I have no deadlines really and bad when it comes to walking down the street and I get passenger-style road rage. Their formalities are similar to those of Italian mothers. They offer, you take. For the most part toilet paper is not used, enough said, people…enough said. In general, every Nepali I have met is so nice and so curious to know about my life and what I think of Nepal. There’s “I wanna sell you things” nice and there’s genuine nice. Most of the time I get the genuine nice. Like I said, the girls from work are even taking me to get a traditional Nepali outfit tomorrow. Honestly, the cultural differences cannot separate you from a lot of the liveliness and love in this country. That’s my best cultural clue-in: search for the love and the generosity. It’s here.