8/7 WTF is going on?
8/5 Friday, politics/culture clash lead us to have a sulky sorta-host as one of our Nepal liaisons gets offended when we only spend nine hours of K’s birthday at his non-party, instead of the 12+ hours he informed us we would spend there.
8/6 One of the signature differences between here and the various other homes I’ve lived in is the honking. Ne Yorkers honk too much, Nepali make them look positively demure. They honk to say they’re there, they honk to say they’re moving, they honk to tell everyone around them to magically vaporize themselves, they honk for no discernible reason whatsoever. There are daily cases where I want to take the honker and try to teach them a lesson on critical thinking.
“If the rickshaw spans half this alley, and you span the entire alley, how do you expect to pass him, even if he does stop and move over? And if he’s going the same speed as the crowd of cars and pedestrians around us, what result are you hoping for?”
On Saturday afternoon we were walking down the street, I had a pounding headache (without even a haircut to explain it) and a dude on a motorbike laid on his horn to warn a puddle that he as going around it.
Without conscious thought I found myself yelling “shut UP!!!” on the street. People turning around and everything. I was kinda embarrassed, and kinda wanted to begin a midnight campaign of horn disconnections.
8/7 Sunday is the beginning of the Nepali workweek, and I came to school to find that the offended party from Friday had decided that all the kids were going to spend the day watching students’ dance performances from to years ago. I came here to teach, and have a lot of things I want to cover with the students, and this type of time wasting nonsense is a surprisingly common occurrence.
But you deal with what comes, so I went to get some lunch (since the Nepali eating schedule is literally killing K and I, but more on that some other time).
On the way to town I passed a half dozen excited dogs. As I got closer I could see that two had just mated, and were fastened at The Uglies in that interesting and repulsive way dogs have. Meanwhile the other male dogs were all hyped up on pheromones, and one was biting the female on the back of the neck in another of those delightful canine behaviors.
I have learned that when abroad I don’t know how things are done and to not interfere, so I could only watch helplessly as people walked around this dog, pinned and tormented, ignoring her yelps of pain, asking passerby “does no one do anything about things like that here?”
Animal suffering left a sick feeling in my gut, but I went back to forcing the ambassadorial kindness that is required when you are the only white man in town, and are a constant object of interest (unless there is a white woman next to you, at which point you become invisible).
There are these little pilgrim shelters scattered around town, and one had a dozen or so 16ish year olds from another school. As I walked by, one yelled “hello!” So I responded “hello, good afternoon!” There was a chorus of muttered “afternoon”s, then one yelled “come here” with the Nepali tendency towards accidental demands. I apologized “sorry, I have things to do” and kept walking before hearing “you fucking bitch.”
So for the second time in as many days I found myself shouting in public, letting him know this type of language was not acceptable. I suspect on another day I would have been stern but more teacherly, explaining what the words mean, but lately…I don’t know…things feel…stirred, aggravated, and somewhat febrile.
Is it me? Or is Mars out of alignment or something, because it feels like the god of war is sitting on my damn shoulder.