Nepal #6 and #7: Coucarachas and Chewy Mushrooms
Sarah woke me up at the ungodly hour of 4:45am to go worship with the baby monks. Yes, I did agree to this the night before, but that was the night before, everything sounds good until it’s actually four in the morning and you’ve sweated through your sleeping bag. When I finally got out of bed and into the bathroom I got to meet my first la coucharacha! Fear struck through me during my morning bathroom visit, so I kept a close eye on every and all movements of the perpetrator. We made it out of the house alive by 5 and began our walk over to the monastery.
Once at the monastery we were greeted by Chancho (the man who takes care of and cooks for all of the monks) and he took us up to the roof to watch the sunrise. When we were on the roof I looked at the smokey city and said “Wow”. Chancho laughed and said I was “so simple”, but seriously it was five in the morning and that was about the best I could come up with, sorry I didn’t write you a soliloquy. It was then time to go pray with the monks. We got in and all the monks were excited to see us there and even poured us hot water so we could join in the prayer. The worshipping was 2 hours long, and was extremely beautiful to watch. Afterwards we went and had breakfast with the baby monks. In the kitchen there is a seating chart for the kids, Chancho told us that he had to do that because the baby monks were too crazy during breakfast.
After the prayer we headed up to Monkey Temple again for another rip to our favourite rooftop patio. The waitress saw me and said “cappuccino?”, which made me realize that ordering a cappuccino in Kathmandu isn’t incredibly normal (maybe I should’ve grasped this with the butchered spelling of “cappachino” in the menu). We sat on the roof for ages and I had a nice sleep in the sun, which probably wasn’t the best for my already sunburned face and chest. After this we left and headed back home to take a quick break.
The monks were bouncing off the walls when we got to the monastery, and after watching them sit still and pray for 2 hours this morning, their energy was understandable. The boys had gotten some fresh cuts that morning and had gone from semi-bald to BALD. Today we taught them time, and they seemed to be familiar with it. The monks are fascinated by the funniest things, I noticed that Sanjay was drawing my sunglasses in his book. I let him try them on and it started a frenzy as the other monks wanted to try them on too. If I’m being completely honest the boys looked better in the shades than I did. We then took them out to play ‘Whats the time Mr. Wolf?’, which was funny because they definitely had no clue what a wolf was.
We headed home afterwards, and I was gifted with the realization that I was no longer in possession of a working laptop. After about five seconds of troubleshooting I deemed it a lost cause and started figuring out ways to afford a new one. I’m now laptop-less in Kathmandu, so no one try and get me to edit any google docs or anything. We ate a late dinner, washed up, and I got back in my sweaty sleeping bag to fall asleep to a chorus of dog barks. Another great day in Nepal :)
This morning we woke up at 5 because we wanted to go up to the top of the Stupa for sunrise. Definitely starting to notice some calf definition from all the stairs. It was really beautiful to watch the sun rising from the top of the Stupa and we were planning to hit our favourite patio for a sunrise tea but it wasn’t open yet. Our plan that morning was to head into Thamel again to grab a few supplies, so we decided to head back down and stop somewhere new on our way into town.
We walked for about 20 minutes and stopped for tea in this cute little restaurant which was just opening for the day. I ordered my milk tea and Sam ordered her cappichini, but they said they couldn’t make the coffee because the power was out so she had to get a tea instead. She was gutted. After tea we walked the rest of the way into Thamel which only ended up taking about half an hour. We were on a specific mission to find paint, because we really want to do a painting day with the baby monks as a special activity at the end of the week. We figured the paint would be really difficult to find, but stopped at the first little stationary stall we could find and the man had packs of watercolours for a dollar each. Then we wandered around town a bit longer to buy a couple of things like pants, water and toilet paper. We decided that after being here for a week, we deserved a break from eating dal bhat so we stopped at a little hole in the wall place for lunch to try momo! Momo are a traditional Nepali dish which are basically the same as dumplings. We tried the steamed veggie dumplings and the chilli veggie dumplings and they were delish. After lunch we walked home and basically got eaten by dogs. We think it was because they could smell we had been disloyal and eaten something that wasn’t dal bhat, but we maneuvered our way past and headed to the monastery for today’s lesson.
Today we taught directions and prepositions, and then we all danced to the Cha Cha slide to practice sliding to the left and sliding to the right. The baby monks thought the was dance was hilarious, so we think we might try teach them a line dance on one of the days we’re here. We don’t actually know any line dances, but we’re thinking we can skype Lochlyn in one day to show them how it’s done.
After class we came home, showered and read a bit before dinner. Dinner today was dhal bat, but the veggie was some kind of mushroom thing which carried all of the dramatic squishy texture of a mushroom but none of the enjoyable taste. Sam found this particular vegetable a bit challenging, but we have a good system going where she takes the rice I can’t finish and I help her with her veggies, so the situation was handled well. We tucked ourselves in to bed around 8:30 and once again I was dreaming about baby monks and baby monkeys before my head hit the pillow.