Though a straight line appears to be the shortest distance between 2 points, life has a way of confounding geography. Often it is the dalliances and the detours that define us. There are no maps to guide our most important searches; we must rely on hope, chance, intuition and a willingness to be surprised.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Weird Things About Nepal

(Yes, this guy is wearing a Chelsea top.)

1. The looroll is too narrow (think cash receipt width). If there's one thing I thought I'd get through life without worrying about it would be the width of my toilet paper. You don't even need to think about why this would be a problem - I've solved it anyway by carrying my emergency looroll wherever I go.

2. There is a bird here in Nepal that sounds just like the alarm on my phone. I haven't seen it and I don't know what it's called but at 5am every morning and every half hour thereafter I want to strangle the damn thing. (I tried changing my alarm ring tone, but I'm still reacting to the old one. Darned birdlife.)

3. I bought a Lonely Planet Guidebook on Nepal for $4. Yes, $4 brand new, latest edition, with a $24.99 RRP. Then I got it home. The cover looks identical - glossy, coloured and with that plasticy feel. Just like the real thing. The first few colour pages inside are fine too. But then later colour pages are painted black and white, then the printing goes a bit out of line, and finally the maps at the back are very tricky to read.

If you're going to go trekking anywhere in the world with sub-standard cartography, the Himalayas probably aren't the best option.

(Then again, has anyone else wondered - like me - how you get lost coming down a mountain? Surely you just go down? Maybe moutaineering isn't for me.)

(A nun with balls)

4. My taxi driver sounded his horn 67 times on the 20 minute journey between my hotel and Nepal airport the other day. (I know because I was feeling queasy from getting up so early - why are so many flights early in the morning? - and I find it helps to concentrate on something intensely if I'm to avoid looking for Huey.) What is it with these countries and sounding horns? Some cars here actually have signs saying "Please! Sound Horn." As if anyone here needed any encouragement.

5. When I arrived in Nepal I had to adjust my watch by 4 and three-quarter hours. Yes, you have read correctly - 4 hours and 45 minutes. I knew that India was 4 and 1/2 hours ahead of GMT already without ever having heard an explanation for why. But I wasn't in Nepal more than a day before someone explained the rationale behind Nepal's unique time-zone. It's to be different from India. Nepalese are very proud about their country and determined to point up differences from India at any opportunity.

Isn't this brilliant!! I think Scotland should consider the same thing. We could change our clocks to be 17 mins ahead of GMT. Just think of the advantages - Ne'erday celebrations could start 17 minutes earlier north of the border. We would get our Nintendo Wii 2s a good quarter of an hour before our neighbours.

And now that the SNP are in power (sort-of) who better to put forward such a proposal?

(BTW Not strictly a Nepal weird thing but as I was typing this a mouse ran out from behind the monitor. I said to the guy in the cafe "there's a mouse next to my computer" and of course that's when the fun and jokes started... boom boom.)

This is a pic that Adrienne took in Kathmandu. Really like it.

Relaxing (above) just a few yards from Kathmandu's bonkers street scenes (below).

No comments: