Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Rockclimbing, Puri Sabji, Banana Splits and the Bookclub

What an EPIC weekend to end an epic week.

Friday night was Katherine and I relaxing at home watching DVD's. The problem with a plan like this, as I will illustrate when I get around to doing a "characters" post on Katherine, is her inexplicable ability to fall asleep the moment any part of her body reaches a parallel angle to the ground. 10 minutes into the movie she was a goner.

Early up on Saturday to join Flo and Mike and head towards Nagarjun forest, where Flo had been a number of times before on the advice of someone that told someone to tell his fiancee that it was a good place to go rockclimbing. The place is so out of the way that that's a rather normal way for you to hear about it. It was the party of people from countries beginning and ending with 'A', with representatives from Oz, the US and the land of the Sound of Music.

[Flo, trying to keep me alive and save me from myself]

They were amazing climbers and I was a total novice, I don't think I held them back too much though, and we all enjoyed ourselves immensely. I'm still sore. We did get the chance to meet Freddie Wilkinson. Sound like someone important? No? Well, I'll have you know that he's a pretty famous climber. Yeah, I didn't know either, Mike was impressed though (he did well to hide his awe, except for that moment where he went "DUDE! That's Freddie Wilkinson!").

[Mike trying to be all nonchalant]

Leaving the forest I spotted one gigantic monkey. This big guys testicles were off the scale (if there even is a scale for such things). He was easily scared though, as two baby monkeys invaded his territory and moved on. Those things are so agile they scare me, youj never know if they are gonna go for your eyes or not. He didn't get away before we could knock off a few impressions:

Rockclimbing was followed by a rather intense nap, that left me wondering whether I was actually awake or just severely drugged. You know, when you sleep for a little bit too long in the afternoon?

I went to meet up with Flo, Mike and Mike's roommate Mana. Mike and Mana are Dartmouth students her working on Engineering Internships with a Nepali NGO. They do pretty cool stuff like pull apart batteries and attempt to reverse engineer Nokia stuff, and in their spare time they build bridges. They both have blogs going (checkout my links to the right to see what they have been doing [and their versions of the stories I have been telling], they're not all lies).

We had dinner at a place that Mike has been raving about for weeks. Puri Sabji was the order of the day for 30 rupes (about 50c). Potato curry that you shove into a thin puffy little bread thing. It was fabulous! And you get about 5 of them! I will be going back for more.

We followed this up with drinks and banana split sundaes back at Mana & Mike's house. There we were joined by Avi, Gemma and Annette(from Norway) and Katherine (who again pulled off her imitation of a tall blonde American with a sleeping disorder. They couldn't get us out of their house until about 1am. Just for future reference, after the first glass, Nepali whiskey isn't all that bad.

Monday night saw the inaugural meeting of the AYAD book club, with appearances from special guests Liz and Sanjana (whom I accidentally called Sandika - for no apparent reason other than a completeinability to remember Nepali names). Liz is an American I was introduced to by Lena and Sanjana works with Gemma, Annette, Katherine, Danielle, Sascha and Kat at Save the Children ("SAVE THEM! SAVE THEM!" - actually, with that many people to look after them, I hope they'll be ok).

We have been reading a book called the White Tiger by Aravind Adiga. I think its an absolutely fantastic bok that I got right into (I still haven't finished yet, as it proved mighty hard to find, and the Tihar festival got in the way of deliveriess, "come back tomorrow sir....not today sir, maybe tonight....no sir, please come tomorrow"). My enthusiasm was met by equal enthusiasm in the opposite direction with the others finding no sympathy for the protagonist, an Indian servant turned murderer . I don't have any sympathy for him, but I did appreciate his cynicism and wit. Check it out, it won the 2008 Man Booker Prize.
The bookclub will reconvene in 1 month to read "Snow" by....... [someone] set in Turkey.


  1. As you would say - holy potatoes!

    That sounds like some weekened, semi-celebrity spoting and all!

  2. Oh man, bookclubs! I used to be part of one, until we decided to read "A Suitable Boy", by Vikram Seth. Man, that was one of the worst books I've ever attempted, and it was also the novel that tore apart our bookclub!

    On another note, I hope you have a fantastic time back home seeing family friends and other loved ones!

  3. Orhan Pamuk is the author of snow...
    I somehow managed to leave out the amazing live jazz and classical music concert we went to on sunday afternoon. There, Danielle treated us to her amazing voice, who knew we hada trained opera singer amongst us. THere was a shudder (a good one) that went around the room, the moment she started, it was fantastic to be there!