Day 5: Fermented Matzo Balls

Trip Start May 20, 2008
Trip End Aug 19, 2008

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Monday, May 26, 2008

So I took my first dump today.   Yeah, Asian squat toilets... not a fan.

It was a sort of backfired, uneventful day otherwise. Ranu & I were set to visit the Boudhanath Stupa after she was done with the day's language training class, one of Tibetan Buddhism's holiest sights.  For anyone who has seen Baraka or Powaqqatsi, it's the giant white domed thing with eyes that looks like a UFO landed in the middle of a village.  A dearth of minibuses foiled our plans, and the voyage was instead restricted to a simple boring ATM & phone charger run (my phone works again! I can't call peeps due to $ shortfalls, but answering incoming calls is free.)  We stopped for lunch at a samosa/mo-mo bakery, and Ranu introduced me to some Nepali desserts.  The first two were yummers and not much different from "halva," a middle-eastern bar of sweet tofu.  The other two were like candied, fermented matzo balls, and were a bit too different for me. The gag reflex wanted to have some fun, but I held it at bay.

I went home early and spent the rest of the day with my host family, playing with the kiddies for a bit and doing my best to chat with the parents.  Sushaan is addicted to my camera like its crack and he's gotten pretty clever at getting me to give it to him.  This time, he held the puzzle box's key hostage with camera-time as the ransom payment.  I wrestled it back from him with the help of the stuffed gorilla, and had him fight the gorilla to reclaim it.  Hopefully he didn't interpret that as a "beat people up to get what you want" lesson. Whoops if he did.  Playtime was followed by what I think was a mini family reunion for them?  Five uncles and aunts visited randomly and greeted me as if I was one of em (neat), followed by one of the older brothers taking me up to the roof to point out & explain the epic view.  Dinner & sleep followed.

So it was a slow day, but that was okay; life moves much slower around here in general.  It gets into one's head after a while.  You start to notice the littler things around you: the line of ants covering the fence, the old woman pumping water from the well, the wild dogs pouncing on each other across the knoll... People are at peace here, and you can tell they're stopping to smell the roses as well.  Complete strangers will not only wave to say hello, but interrupt their routine and yours as well to have a full-on conversation.  I like.
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