1) With love, from Amrika
I don’t want to be one of those people who end up in Nepal but are hung up on the lives they had in the West. In an effort to “be here now” I try to find what I want in Nepal (shoes, pants, shirts, and the likes) and though it takes a bit more time and effort I’ve been able to get by without having to ask my friends to send me much.
Case in point: I got into a little tiff with The Man because Kathmandu has proven to be futile in my hunt for my perfect ideal loafers (and if I find them, they’re sold out in my size) and he asked his sisters who are out of country to get me a pair which I was NOT happy about because I am determined to buy what I want here, and at a reasonable price.
But(….ah yes,there’s a butt,) if there’s one product that I am a snob about, it is my chap stick. There is one particular brand that I am addicted to and anyone who knows me knows about it.
This being said, my sister got me my Christmas present early and now I have a new stock of underwear and bras from Victoria’s Secret. I hate how I sound like a bitch when I say, “But I just can’t find the type that I like here….” but it’s true… and I feel like a hypocrite.
Oh, and The Man’s sister wasn’t able to find the exact pair I wanted (but got me another pair of shoes I like) so the hunt for the perfect loafers in Kathmandu is still on. And, I admit, I love my new VS items.
I recently got into a long conversation with a friend and we ended up not understanding each other well and the talk had a little heat to it. After the session ended, I remembered what Tarun Tejpal has said during the Kathmandu Literary Festival – that everything is complex and that we shouldn’t try to simplify things, trying to simplify only causes misunderstandings.
What he said has really stuck with me, and the more I think about it, the more truth I see in it. Perhaps the beauty of this world is the fact that everything is so complex. We’re just effing lazy. Each and every thing require time and attention and if we are unwilling to give it the due length to unravel than really, it’s our loss… because everything that is of value has to be pursued. If we’re given something for free, we always take it for granted.
Somehow, it’s a imperfect world that is perfectly balanced.
3) Another bus ride
Today, I had another experience that made me feel disgusted with men in Nepal, and again, that feeling of shame for being a woman here came back. I was on the bus to work and had the misfortune of this guy sit next to me. This man was intent on making conversation and whereas I had no problem telling him the time or confirming the destination, a little red flag went up when he asked my name – something that I have noticed is just about never done here. He kept asking me questions and when I pulled out a book (“Report from Lhasa” by Dor Bahadur Bista) to discourage conversation he ignored my attempt to ignore him and kept pushing me to talk.
He even went as far as reading out loud over my shoulder and asking me if I liked Chinese (since they were mentioned in the book) and told me things like how he worked at theAnnapurna Post, which must be a lie since he had a hard time reading the English in my book… and he told me about how he was restricated in college even though he “always came first” and wanted to study. He asked for my name again, he tried to find out where I lived, he kept trying to uncover details and I just about lost it when he offered to pay my fare. Lucky for me, I was able to pull out a stern enough voice to tell the khalashi bhai I would be paying my own fare, thank you very much.
During all of his rude persistence (that bordered on invasive) I contemplated publicly humiliating him, I phrased cutting comments in my head, and I wondered if it was worth making a scene over – but the faint smell of day-old alcohol and the disgusting stench of khaine on his breath prevented me from doing anything more than staying silent to avoid trouble.
For this, I am ashamed.
I hate that I want to be a liberated, empowered woman but I’m unable to tell an insolent douchebag to shut the fuck up and leave me alone. I hate that being a woman, some fucktard felt at liberty to force a conversation with me and be disgustingly bold while feigning politeness. I hate the shame and anger that comes every time I revisit this incident. I hate knowing, that for the next few days, I will experience dread at the thought that I could run into him again. And if I do, I need to be prepared to keep him in his place, because my place isn’t to be made uncomfortable about a man who can’t understand a woman just isn’t interested in him and his bullshit.