Saturday, 29 May 2010

Happy Birthday Buddha!

On Thursday is was Buddha's birthday, which is a pretty big deal over here. It seems though, that much of the celebrating is done on the night before, and so it was that I ended up walking around the Monkey Temple at 10pm.

It didn't start there though, I came home from work and was informed by Nir that we had been invited for dinner. How nice I thought, except that wasn't quite how it was. We had in fact been invited to a sixth birthday party for his nephew where there were more small children than I could cope with.

This party lasted around two hours and I think I managed to count 16 kids at one stage, and Nir and I were the only male adults. I have to be honest, this was pretty hard work and I was not particularly enjoying myself, so when Nir mentioned going up to the temple I was intrigued and figured it would be quite an experience, which it certainly was.

We got there at about nine and had a cheeky beer before beginning our walk. Apparently Buddhist's walk around the temple 13 times to wash away the sins from their previous lives, or something. Now it take approximately 40 minutes to walk all the way around this place, so those seriously dedicated folks are there for hours. Nir it would seem, is not all that dedicated and was happy to call it quits after a single loop!

The dedication however, does not stop there. The REALLY committed folks go a step further. We were about two minutes into our walk when I nearly tripped over some bloke lying in the middle of the road. At first I thought he was some drunkard with a death-wish as there were literally thousands of people walking by and here he was lying down.I turned to Nir as if to say 'what's this chap up to' only to spot two more people doing it. Now I was curious. They were not just lying down, they were fully outstretched, arms out above them like a fallen down Christmas Tree. They would do this, then stand up, take a few steps, and do it again. They went like this all the way round and as we carried on I saw loads of men, women and children all doing it. Nir told me he met a guy last year who had travelled like that all the way from Lhasa in Tibet. That's 1000 kilometres. Unreal.

It was one of the experiences I had hoped to have in Nepal and was really glad I went. I was actually prepared to go round all 13 times (mentally prepared if not physically!) but was pretty grateful in the end that Nir wasn't so keen.

Other than that the week was been pretty quiet. I was given a hotel room for free last night by the travel company I am doing some freelance writing for so slept in a bed with sheets for the first time in six weeks. I say slept, but I think I was closer to being in a coma than actually sleeping due to the enormous quantity of booze consumed. My last memory is of being in a casino somewhere with a couple of the boys I was out with. All very hazy though.
I continue to flat hunt and it appears that estate agents the world over are all equally useless. Fingers crossed I make some progress on that next week.

Finally, I wanted to share with you all a theory that was presented to me last week by my sister which I am a big fan of. This is called 'Rachael Curr's Theory of Time' and it goes like this:

"As we all know Greenwich is the centre of the universe as far as time goes. Everything west of Greenwich is behind in time, everything to the east has skipped ahead. However, this is not the only factor playing on the east / west divide. Oh, no, there is also the AMOUNT of time squeezed or stretched into the conventional time measurement categories. For example: the minute. West of Greenwich minutes are shorter – hence the “New York Minute” which is very short. To the East minutes are longer – which explains why, when I call someone in the Hague and they say they’ll ring me back in half an hour I don’t hear from them for 90 minutes. Like the hourly time, the phenomenon progresses the further east you go – so, by the time you get to India/Nepal minutes are around 20 times longer than they are in the UK – which explains why you were waiting for 5 hours at the tourist board."

I think that's brilliant.

Now - I am super excited right now because I am in a place with a good internet connection and have not only been able to upload all the videos to facebook that I spent ages making for Nir when I first got here (watch by clicking here), but I have also been able to upload a video onto this blog - see below for my vid of teaching Nir's kid how to high five.

As a footnote - I should also apologise to my Kiwi readership for not including 'Bro' in my recent Poll, naturally you would call it nothing else.

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