incredibly busy week, not only having Mum and Dad here, but preparing for
Firstly my house needed to be cleaned. Like really cleaned. Fortunately my
efforts did not go unnoticed. UNfortunately, my mother was shocked and
appaled that I had survived 6 months without a grater, 4 weeks without a
peeler and had no plates on which to serve meals. "I mean, how do you cook
things without a grater?" It seemed as if I had a grater it could have done
all the work for me, so long as a peeler and serving plates were also nearby
to take up their portion of the workload.
It didn't occur to me to say it at the time, but I think that I came to a
conclusion long ago that using a grater only forces you to have to wash it
later. A similar conclusion is obvious for the peeler but also stands for
serving plates. Washing up is already a tireless and strenuous activity
without having to throw in the complicated step of working out how exactly
to get a grater clean without cutting yourself or leaving chunks of sponge
embedded in the grater to be enjoyed next time it comes out. The peeler is
similar in that I can never get bits out of the little corners, tires me out
just thinking of it.
As I live alone, I see no problem with eating directly from a steaming hot
saucepan except for the obvious dangers of skin or tongue vs burning hot
metal (I do like to lick the bowl when finished to ensure I get all my
nutrients). I therefore have no need for fancying up a meal by putting it
on a seperate plate simply for the purpose of serving it to myself (and
therefore creating more washing up).
On top of that, I can buy samosa's for 8 rupees, momo's for 20, puri sabji
for 30 or a beautiful green salad with amazing dressing for 60. You have to
really enjoy cooking to give up on action like that!
I took Mum and Dad to Pokhara for a nice relaxing weekend in the middle of
the week. The trip there is not that relaxing, rather an incredibly
uncomfortable 7 hour bus ride with inexplicable stops. Dad quite rightly
pointed out that there were a few potholes on the other side of the road he
thinks the driver missed, and suggested we might go back to pick them up.
We went wandering through a bat cave, briefly contemplating not paying to
hire a torch for some reason thinking that perhaps there might be light
inside a bat cave [damn you Bat Man]. Luckily common sense won out and we
shelled out 30 rupes for a torch. Inside, there are thousands and thousands
of bats along with a rather treacherous route around and through rocks and
stalagmites. My 61 year old mother tried to squeeze through the gap to the
outside world at the end of the cave and quite nearly got stuck rather than
admit it would be both more comfortable and less muddy to go back the way we
came. The 15 or so male 20 somethings egging her on and pushing here and
there and giving advice did absolutely nothing to discourage her.
I was really keen to go to the World Peace Pagoda (a buddhist stupa) at the
top of a hill overlooking the lake that Pokhara has grown up near.
Unfortunately, we thought we had chosen the 10 minute route. In fact it was
a 75 minute route almost straight up. I was worried I would give one of
them a heart attack. We did eventually make it to the top for one of the
best views I have yet enjoyed in Nepal. It would have been better were we
able to see the Himalayas, but the view of the lake made up for it. It was
truly the first time I have felt at peace for at least a month with all of
the stressors I have been feeling back in the Du.
Their departure yesterday left me with a whelming (neither over or under,
just a smack bang) feeling of isolation and loneliness and I went about my
business alone on Sunday afternoon. I am more than 6 months through this
assignment however, and my next big thing to look forward to is the arrival
of the new AYADs in Feb and then the arrival of my 'wife' and friends in
March! YIPPEE Everest here we come!