World Cup Shenanigans

Trip Start May 28, 2010
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Trip End Aug 02, 2010


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Monday, July 12, 2010

Hello again from Nepal!

Things have been pretty quiet recently...I've been taking it easy since Mom and Dad left. Finding housemates, applying for jobs, and filling out grad school applications via internet is a blast, let me tell you.

I did spend half a day at the National Museum of Nepal. We wandered through a lot of beautiful, ancient, poorly labeled, and dusty art...mostly statues of Hindu gods and goddesses done in stone, wood, and bronze. Then we walked into a building that held a strange natural history collection. It included old hunting trophies, a tiger, some moon rocks brought back by NASA for the old Nepali kings, dusty birds (similar to the natural history collection at Luther before the big move!), and the skin of a two headed calf. The building also had a collection of things from the monarchy, including all of the royal portraits, which were super cool. It also contained old weapons and uniforms, and a monstrous coin collection.

After the museum, we walked a mile to Thamel through an interesting, and very local, part of the city. We saw a bunch of water buffalo crammed into a stone walled mud pit waiting for their turn at the slaughtering block. That was a little strange. We also saw a dog torturing a little kitten with a broken leg, which was depressing. We trudged through some puddles and mud...and finally arrived in Thamel, where we had a snack and some pretty tasty coffee. Then we did a little gift shopping. I think I finally have everyone's gifts taken care of!

To complete the day, we grabbed a cab to go out to eat. Craving some American food, we hit up the best American dining in town...Pizza Hut! The restaurant was located on a crazy street full of big, clean buildings...it almost looked like a strip mall from the states, except filled with tiny taxis, motorcycles, and Nepalis. We walked in, and had to give our names for the wait. Yeah...we made a reservation...at Pizza Hut. After a 10 minute wait, we were summoned. We walked up the stairs into a beautiful, well lit, very shiny restaurant and were showed to our table. The staff were all very smiley and kind. We ordered some pizza and drinks. I had a glass of wine! Our pizza came, and the waiter asked us if she could serve us our first slices. It was almost too weird. It was a typical American pizza however...greasy and crispy and delicious. =)

Yesterday was rainy. I had thought to wake up early and go for a run in an attempt to work off some of the pizza grease...but was discouraged by the downpour. The house was pretty lonely because most of the volunteers had left on a trip to the Last Resort, where they did some bungee jumping and canyoning, among other things. Hayley, Letitia, and I did a puzzle in our hang-out area and made a few trips to the Bhat Bhateni for snacks. It was a very relaxing day. When the other members of the group arrived back after dinner, Brittany, Mathew, and I went to The Roadhouse restaurant in Thamel for some sizzling brownies and a drink. Love the sizzling brownie. I think I mentioned them when I wrote about my birthday.

We met the rest of the group at a different restaurant and headed to the Reggae Bar to find our spots to watch the World Cup final. We were a few hours early, but it was already getting pretty packed. The crowd was mostly Nepalis, but there were also tourists. We had some beers and made an excursion downstairs to the dance floor. We returned for the beginning of the game and settled in with some more drinks to watch it. It was rowdy. Everyone cheered so loudly for every little thing. I kept thinking that someone had scored, because the crowd got SO excited for even the most basic shot on goal. I met a guy from Texas and some of his new friends...we had some good conversation in the back of the room, tuning in whenever the crowd got loud. It was boiling hot in the room, but everyone seemed to be having a grand old time. When the game ended, we checked out the dance floor for about 15 minutes before they closed down. It was 3 in the morning, so I suppose it was logical. =)

The house I stay in with the other volunteers has a 10:30 curfew, so if we stay out past that time, we have to get a room outside. We stayed at the Kathmandu Guest House for about 10 dollars a person. We thought we had gotten a three person room, but it turned out to only have two beds. So we pushed the two beds together to make one big one, and Mathew, Brittany, and I hit the sack. We had some healthy pillow talk before we fell asleep...it made me miss having college roommates.

This morning, we went out for some breakfast. We hit up a restaurant called Mike's Breakfast, and had the most delicious pancakes. The thing about pancakes in Nepal is they aren't really pancakes. They are glorified crepes. And for a person who doesn't like crepes, it is always really disappointing to order a pancake and receive a crepe. But this restaurant had their story straight. We ordered pancakes and we got pancakes...yummy, fluffy goodness with slightly crispy edges, drenched in maple syrup. Mmm.

And now I'm sitting at home and trying to figure out what I'm going to do with my day. I need to do something. Tomorrow I'm going to head to the orphanage to volunteer my time...it will be good. But for now, I have nothing, really. I might go meet the guy I met last night in Thamel for some dinner this evening, which should be fun.

I'm getting excited about my trip to Germany in less than two weeks! And looking forward to getting home. My advertisements for the house we are renting out in Iowa City are getting good replies...I'm really looking forward to moving in, repainting, furniture shopping, and meeting the people I will be living with for the next year!

That's about it for now. Hope everything is well where you are!
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