I am so supremely gutted. I’d written this whole post out and was extremely chuffed with it; went to go upload and the whole darned, dratted, bastard thing had gone and erased itself. So here is it all related from memory.
(Another downer moment: when I first saw the post had shat itself, my mind drifted to my pages of scribbled notes in the bin six hours up a hill away. Oh so absolutely fantastic).
So here are some gems and jewels for your pursual. Apologies: photos to come! Just uploading here is sucking all the life out of this Nepalese SIM card.
1. You know those sayings about people giving “shit” to “fuel the fire”? Well here, they actually do that. Literally. Yak dung and cow pats are dried out in the Nepalese sunshine during the day, then at night they are shovelled into the furnace for us to sit around and get all toasty. (I wonder if schunauzer poos would do the same? Bonfires at number 2 Norfolk fellas! Great use of recycling). And no smell! Incredible.
2. Tea houses obviously have toilets, and the majority offer the choice of the standard Western throne or the porcelain squatting alternative. (Flushing is a luxury; usually the way to move along your number twos is to scoop jugs of water from a barrel in the b-room and drown the shit – so fitting – until it disappears). As time has gone on, I’ve come to take the latter when the option is there.
The other day I had a bit of, shall we say, backlash. I was yarning with the Aussies Galore Group (the ten does include a Kiwi and two Canadians, but in my mind they’ll always be AGG) and was enjoying it immensely, so much so I didn’t want to trot off for T-time. Eventually my bladder was beside itself so I legged it to the loo.
Well. When you’ve just downed a good two litres it doesn’t come out as a trickle. This was full force and unfortunately it rebounded off the bowl (? Unsure of squatting excretion contraption terminology) and splattered back in my face.
Brought a whole new meaning to “pisshead”.
(Never fear; wet wipes were at hand for a facial freshener).
3. The other day one of our porters, Nima, was rocking up a hill with a big hump of our baggage on his back. He was busting out the beats to fuel him forward. His tunes of choice? Nikki Minaj. Fantastic.
4. I cannot describe my absolute ecstasy the other afternoon.
I had stepped outside for a breath of freshy and Sarah came out to say hey. I remarked on the fact that there was only one day between us and EBC, and she responded, “Pop, Base Camp is tomorrow.”
?!$@#*%!?! I was bursting with bliss.
5. Our main guide Ram is amazing. An amazing, amazing man. Such a gentle soul with his cheeky grin. Ask him about something he’s enthusiastic about and the passion pour out.
Throughout this trip it’s been a moment from my mind who he reminds me of, but I haven’t been able to place it. This afternoon it clicked like a double jointed shoulder.
Both are such beautiful people. A bit shy, but ask them about a love of theirs (for Babcia dogs or faith; Ram Nepal, nature or whatever book his nose is nestled in) and they overflow with conversation.
And if they find something funny? Both clap their hands, throw their heads back and laugh uproariously. One of the best sights in the world.
They even look a little alike (not that my Babcia is at all mannish or anything). But their shy smiles, their mild mannerisms; they’re so similiar.
Whenever I look at Ram my Babcia shines through and I feel so blessed.
6. The other day I was walking along in my own world when Aussie Kerry sidled up to me and said, “Don’t you think those mountains look like icecream covered with Milo from one of those fancy icecream shops?”
I was gobsmacked. When I eventually regained my speech, I managed to splutter, “I was just thinking that, except coated in crumbled up Flake.”
We stared at each other in flabbergastment then launched in with the likenesses we’d observed along the way.
My favourite of his was a mountain he’d come across that had fascinated him with it’s similarity to a baboon. He’d named it “Babs” and later on showed me photos of his monkey mountain.
Do you have any idea how sensational it was to find someone who shared my penchant for sometimes silly scenic similarities without finding them ludicrous? Such delight in double descriptions.
7. Josh has christened me with a new nickname: “Heartfelt Anarchy” or “Loing Chaos”. The Aussie Galore Group also refer to me as “Pippi Little Stockings”.
8. This morning I came across a monk playing soccer in his orange robes, complete with a brand spanking new pair of red Chuck Taylor’s. It made me so so happy.
9. My iPod died a long and drawn out death and cloudy skies meant it remained deceased (no solar activity meant no charge from the sun). So with no beats to aid in busting me up the 300m incline hill yesterday arvo, I had two tunes resounding and repeating in my head: The Lego movies “Everything is awesome, everything is cool when you’re part of a team” and “She’ll be coming round the mountain when she comes. Yee hah!” So fitting.
10. Rather funny: When I was merry Poppy(ins), i.e nannying, I got into the habit of admonishing the kids if manners were not used. You know, T would say, “Can I have a drink?” to which I’d automatically hit back, “Please”.
I find myself doing the same thing to “Chuck”. Literally all throughout the day. He’ll have the porter boys running to fill his water without any polite words included and I’d scould him; at one point Sarah handed him the salt after he requested it and I barked at him to say thank you.
This morning I gifted him with some Nurofen and had the pills ready to pop into his hand. But no please? I just stated at him pointedly until it came. Took a faaaaaair while. The others crack up and wink at me but it’s honestly innate in I.
11. Today on our descent (I promise the Base Camp post is coming! This is the first time I’m out of order with posts. EBC is just proving a tad more thought-needing to write) we got caught in a traffic jam. Of yaks. Literally, in a ruck of them. Definitely different kinds of horns in this instance.
12. The other day when I went into my adobe for the night, I found I had a mirror on the window sill. Not a big one or anything; this would’ve been about half an A4. I honestly hadn’t looked at myself at all since the Delhi Airport. I peered in for a little looksie.
I didn’t recognise myself. Truly.
At first glance I looked like a little kid. No more than 10 or so. My eyelashes were so blonde! My eyes so naked. I looked like a little white rabbit.
Then I looked closer. Cripes, I looked weather beaten! My nose was red tinged and sun burnt, dead skin spirals peeling off the snub. My lips too were burnt, both by sun and wind, so were chapped and seriously sore looking. My eyes crinkled at the corners when I smiled, like little rays of sunshine (need to frame my first wrinkles in a positive light!). My hair hadn’t been washed since 5am September 4th and was sticking straight up like Einstein. My face was dotted all over with flaws.
I don’t think I’ve ever looked uglier in my whole entire life.
I felt beautiful.
Pop on point.