The ABCs of Chitwan Part 5: Cultural Differences

No School!
I think once you have 2-3 strikes a week, the word strike looses its importance.  No longer does it seem like a protest for a good cause.  It’s merely an inconvenience forcing thousands to seek transportation other than public, somewhere to place the kids since there in no school, and to not be able to buy food or household items as most shops are closed.  Such is the life of Nepal: a life that all kids seem to relish as no school, for some reason, never feels like a detriment.

One’s Ear, One’s Mouth
“I walk in the forest and I hear a leopold.  What to do?  It attacks my friend and I standing behind knowing I must help.  I tackle the leopold.  Now the leopold charges after me with its open mouth. But what to do?  I don’t have gun.  I don’t have long stick.  I have umbrella so I shove it down his throat. And it is sufficient.  The Leopold coughs and can’t breath and finally goes away.  So what is the meaning?  I later find out that someone threw a rock at the leopold when that man was hunting rabbit.  The leopold seeing another human came and attacked.” Typical Padam story.  Leopold = leopard.  What is the meaning? – I’m confused and mad and don’t understand why this is happening. What to do? – I’m confused but I know it will all be ok and that I can sort it out.  It is sufficient = Everything will be ok.  The typical phrases of Padam.

“My plates are killing.  I might need to go to hospital, me ol’ china.”  London slang is born from rhyming words (plate sounds like mate, you have china plates so mate gets shortened to china) and articles are dropped off due to not knowing which one you are going to (you just go to the nearest hospital).  Whenever I tried to imitate Michael’s accent, it would result in what he called my 1940s posh British accent where I sounded like I was on a stage performing a monologue.  When he tried an American accent, he sounded like a 1970s southern hick who only knew how to swear.  I’m not sure why this was such a fascinating past time.

I came during the monsoon thus there was plenty of electricity (since most everything is hydro powered).  But even now, there are 3-6 hour blackouts.  During winter, there is 3-6 hours of electricity and sometimes that is from 1 am to 4 am.  You never know when it’s going to happen thus sometime in the middle of a workday everything will stop and a nice milk tea will be enjoyed with some biscuits.  Even when you have Internet, it takes 30 to 50 seconds for a page to download.  Life is slow, but it’s a refreshing change of pace from the valley where no electricity and, god forbid, no Internet leads to utter bewilderment.


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