Sunday, 25 April 2010

Meltdowns, Monkeys and Kim Jong Il

Right, what news? Well, as promised I celebrated The anniversary of The Everest Test in Tom & Jerry's bar on Wednesday night with a couple of quiet ales. It was great to walk in there again and be greeted by the bar staff who immediately pointed to our picture behind the bar and t-shirt on the wall and started asking when we were doing it again. It felt like a bit of a home-coming and I actually felt guilty that it had taken me two weeks to visit the place!

Thursday and Friday were not quite so satisfying. The power situation in this place is enough to drive the most chilled person up the wall. Generally the power is off between the hours of 12-6pm, so yeah, the entire working day. Given that I am trying to re-do a website and upload various bits and pieces online, this is somewhat frustrating. On Thursday I basically read my book all day refusing to give in to the growing fury of failed uploads, but on Friday I could take it no more.

When midday hit and the power was cut just seconds before an upload completed, that had taken four hours, I had to take myself for a walk in case I threw all my toys out of the pram in front of my Nepali hosts, which probably wouldn't have been the best. Their day of course was largely untroubled as they sat drinking tea and reading the papers...

Still, a quiet bar with a roof-top terrace was discovered and I then had a text from a girl I was put in touch with by northern monkey Phil Deacon who is also living out here, so I joined her and a mate for a beer before getting back to work at 6pm, without killing anyone.

They “work” a six-day week here with Saturday being the only day off. Nir and I were up at 7am as we planned to visit the Monkey Temple (perhaps a subconscious tribute to my northern friends?) which is a major sight in Kathmandu but I had as yet failed to go and see it, although the top can be seen from my house.

We walked over and it was already damn hot, and as predicted the place was full of monkeys. And dogs. Wild, hairy, flea-ridden dogs, which made me a tad uneasy, especially when I saw one chasing a child probably no older than eight. Still, you get good views from up there, as I had hoped after the several hundred-step climb up, and as we strolled back down it was actually quite peaceful.

Then it was a full day with the family. During the last week I've been getting on pretty well with them all, particularly the little fella who I have recently decided looks uncannily like Kim Jong Il, especially when he puts on my glasses. He has a habit of repeating everything I say and then running around in a circle before he falls over, which is always quite entertaining. He did offend me slightly the other day when asking why I was so much larger than his DaDa, and so I politely pointed out that if he kept stuffing his face with lolly-pops he'd be much larger soon too. That told him.

Not really sure what's going to happen next week, I had a rather odd call from Aamir today saying that we may be off to Pokhara, although I have no idea how long for and I sure as hell hope he doesn't expect me to pay for any of it! I guess I'll keep you posted on that one.

In signing off I hope everyone who was stuck overseas has made it home, from what I've heard the weather in England has been unseasonably warm. It's much the same over here but with an added dose of mosquito's. I even managed to get a bite on my eyelid the other day, which left me looking a little frightening. Ah well.

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