Trail Chat and Stories

Along the way there is a lot of time for idle chatter. Here are some random snipits that each stand alone.

On the walk from Salleri to Tapting:
-I guess bushwhacking in Asia is off my bucket list.
-Where is ‘getting hit by lightning in Asia’ on your bucket list?

Paths diverge a lot. Some are tiny thin paths, some are wide and cobbled with stone. We can never be sure which one is the right path. Particularly when en route to AC’s house (at the top of a hill) it can be far more treacherous than driving.
-Which way do we go?
-If in doubt, go up!
-Do you want another drink? 
-No thanks, I have to walk home.

AC’s parents don’t speak English which makes communication with them pretty difficult. We had fun anyway:

AC’s father was a member of the Nepal-British Gorkha army. They are known for being tough, scrappy and for dispatching the enemy with khukuri knives, an evil-looking weapon. Their uniforms are a blue camo fatigue and I still spot them all over Kathmandu and at military check points along our trek.  Apa (AC’s dad) was a member of the Gorkha army from 1948 until he retired some years ago. He is 90 now. There is a picture on the wall of him in uniform from about 1960. He looks a lot like AC does now.
One of the mornings we stayed at Karma’s house (where Apa and Ama live) I went down to breakfast in my sleeping attire which includes a set of fleece pants with a blue camo design.
Apa greeted me with his few English words:
“What are you, US Army?”
“No, Gorkha Army!” I replied with a smile. It send him into hoots of laughter.
Ama (AC’s mom) finished her work in the kitchen and stepped down from the stool at the sink while taking a long breath. “Ohhh…,” she began, as an expression of tired completion. But before she finished the exhale she added “…mmm Mani Padme Hummmm” It makd MB and I giggle. She turned to us and realized we got the joke, which made her giggle harder. This has become a staple of our expressions.

“Kukhuri doko bitra cha” means “chicken in a basket” but “khukuri doko birta cha” means “Gorkha army knife in a basket”. Problem is, we can’t hear the difference between “kukhuri” and “khukuri” they sound exactly the same. Dilli has said them to us at least a thousand times. Chicken in a basket is not the Colonel Sanders variety – it’s the back-carrying baskets, and chickens are put under them to keep hawks from attacking them. “Is it “khukuri”? “No, kukhuri!” Over and over and over…

There are mosquitoes in Chitwan. They got in the car just before we took off. Some of us spent time slapping the air, clapping hands, smacking windows. Buddhists don’t kill anything.
Dilli: Erika are you a Buddhist?
Me: Not if it means I can’t kill mosquitoes.
Dilli: If you are not a Buddhist, then you are a terrorist!

We’re enroute to greet AC and meet the foreign minister at the airport. Funny, my Nepali-English book doesn’t have a section on meeting dignitaries. Go figure.

My malaria meds are making me loopy. I am not responsible for anything I have said for the last 4 days or will say for the next 10. Just for the record. And internet is slow here in Pokhara, so no photos, sorry.

Still processing Chitwan – it was an experience that touched me deeply. Lots to work out and work on. Coming soon…

Back to Kathmandu tomorrow, then we have just a couple days until we’re outta here. Holding back the tears already.