After being here two months i have a "life."
Not that i didnt before, but two months is enough time to create familiarity.
I realized today that though it all feels comfortable now, it is nothing like my life at home.
Every morning i wake up to the ringing of Puja bells and the chorus of 50 screaming toddlers outside at the Nursery.
I drink my nescafe (Nanu didi knows how to make it taste like a real latte) and mentally prepare myself for what the day holds.
On bad days i force myself to go immediately outside after waking up, to be greeted by a slew of tiny people who have nothing but love and joy to give me. Instantly i am reminded of how miniscule my problems are and how gigantic my mind makes them seem. Hug a baby, it's therapy.
Walking! walking has saved my life. I have no perception of how far i walk every day but my body certainly feels it and it's now become something i look forward to most every day, regardless of the heat. I will certainly miss walking by the royal palace, having to squeeze through the traffic jam at Durbar marg (while nearly being run over), passing the fruit stands and the ice cream man, and having to cross the street because someone's livestock is blocking the sidewalk. You come to know a place in a completely different way if you've walked it, which is something i didn't realize until LA term.
as for eating, i hate to admit i am now on a first name basis with all the waiters at Noma Buddha, OR2k, and Imago dei. Becca and i always bitch about how we spend all our money on food, but you would too if you had to eat daal bat 3 times day. My excuse is that i have to do homework and they have wifi, but the atmosphere and the friends ive made has much to do with it. I find myself asking the question "why havent i befriended the clerks and waiters at the places i frequent back home?" I suppose i don't desire familiarity or comfort at home, or ive just been conditioned to be impersonal.
Im going to miss being startled mid-tromp by Kishwor yelling "Eyy Kanchi!" from across the street. I have a million Nepali teachers at this point because Narayan, and all the boys at OR2k love to call me out when i say something wrong. When i get home Ashish just yells at me in Nepali (even though he speaks fluent English), because he gets such a kick out of seeing the confusion on my face. I am getting much better at speaking, mostly from just listening to people speak around me. Nepali is nothing like english and trying to compare it structurally to english gets me nowhere. Still, i get way too excited when i can understand a conversation.
You never know where Kathmandu will take you. You find yourself walking down cobblestone streets, through colors, spices, fruits, children, music, temples, and end up somewhere magical. The most recent discovery being the Lassi place near Durbar square. It is so worth the walk. When you arrive you have to fight through the crowd outside the shop to pay for your 30 rupee (50 cent) lassi, but after one sip you're suddenly in yogurt-honey heaven. Every time we find ourselves saying, "They put SOMETHING in this shit, its too good." I've been lucky to make friends who are as up for an adventure as I am. Rosey and i have found ourselves on the roof at the summit hotel, or in the middle of the street surrounded by cops in riot gear. Becca and i have also had our share of memorable moments, let us not forget the man that asked to "sex" her on the street, or the day we up and left to Bhaktapur and realized we were in a time warp walking through the most ancient of streets and palaces.
Coming home to Bina's beaming face every day is truly like having a second mother. Her first question is "Ke Khane" (what do you want to eat), like a good mom she wants to fatten us up, and it's working. My room is my refuge. Saluna, becca and i have spent hours hysterically laughing, whether it be at movies, ourselves, or our daily debocles. The biggest question every night is "when is the light coming?" Since this country is on a load sharing schedule we only get power a few hours a day (thanks india) which means limited tv or computer time. When theres no light we sit around, eat, sing, laugh and realize life is so much better when you have to enjoy each other because theres no other option. But when there is light we find ourselves facebook chatting one room over and pathetically laughing about it. Of course i don't go to sleep without my "gumby" routine as becca calls it. Ive made a habbit of stretching/flailing/doing yoga before i go to bed. She never ceases to laugh at me with my legs over my head, especially after i seriously ripped a muscle in my ass. But my body feels significantly stronger and better every night and morning from my little 15 minute routine.
I find the most comfort in music. When i close my eyes before bed i tend to listen to the songs that i most vividly remember dancing to with my roommates, or singing to in the car (i'll spare you the actual soundtrack). Sometimes i get so carried away i forget im here, and azusa almost feels tangible. You don't know how much you love a place until you leave it. Im sure that will be the case with Kathmandu as well.
When you live abroad time is not money like it is in the states. I have been sleeping more, reading more, walking more, quieting myself more, and working on being a healthier person. And this time i feel it. When i have a problem i do not dwell on it, i let that shit go before it ruins my day. When time is not an issue you can go sit and be quiet for 20 minutes without it effecting any of your responsibilities. Im still not sure how these things will play into my life back home. I never used to take time to read, to stretch, and i certainly never got enough sleep. Most importantly i never took 20 minutes out of my day to stare at the sky and quiet my mind.
it's a beautiful life and im not taking a moment for granted. There is so much more i could describe about what ive experience here, but i'll save that for another time. .