Ranik, the self proclaimed English teacher was on his way again. This time, to conquer the world in Nepal, to have another adventure. Who’d thought that this month would be turning into an example of family living, how it is to live with locals in a home and how to enjoy traveling when doing else. Let me explain about the worship of a bike, tea that makes you pee and people I encountered, that are precious friends to me now.
- 07.16 – 08.16
- One Month
My Indian visa got me only traveling 90 days per stay in India however, it was 6 months valid, means I had to leave India at least once. Nepal was close to Varanasi and a perfect chance to discover another country.
English teacher in Kathmandu
Like I described in the upper part, I had to leave India at least once. Bangladesh wanted a Visa, China and Pakistan were not possible to enter, Myanmar and Sri Lanka were too far away. Nepal was the only decent solution and since it was close by anyway, I left Varanasi and crossed the border into Nepal for 40 USD (Visa on arrival) with a 17 Hours bus ride that almost killed me. I was being expected in Kathmandu as an English teacher, that’s what I thought at least. As I arrived in the city, I went to the nearest public phone and dialed the number of my host to confirm him about my arrival. He did seemed surprised on the phone about my arrival, even though I had confirmed over a month ago. He promised to pick me up the upcoming day and as I waited bit anxious that day on a corner of the main road, it was a random Nepalese guy on a bike that popped up from the middle of nowhere, ready to take me… somewhere?
He brought me to his home, a place that was in the northern suburbs, far away from foreigners. I could not really understand what was going on and so I just sat there, waiting for the next move. The man’s name was Roshan and Roshan explained his plans. On the next day we visited several schools in Kathmandu. I got introduced as the English teacher, which was a bit weird, since I thought that it would be clear where I’ll be going already. Finally a little school accepted my skills for a week, which was not long and I got explained that holidays are coming up and shutting down all schools for a month. Great news. I did teach some English the next day and after a few hours, I got picked up by lunchtime by Roshan and he brought me back to his home, where his mother was waiting and cooking. I ate with his little brother and whoever showed up and after lunch I got told to relax and enjoy my life: my work for today was done!? There was no wifi around, no other foreigners and no plan. So I sat around many hours thinking about what was going on? Why do I only teach a week? Who is my host? Who’s Roshan? Who is organizing all this? So many questions that didn’t received an answer. I just ate with the family all the time and lived so local, more local is not possible. I played cards and smoked Shisha with Roshan’s younger brother and his friends. Played guitar, wrote on Ranik Report, my personal book and sometimes left for the center to get Wifi in the worst little shitty minibus you can imagine. It’s literally Africa 2.0. So tight and bumpy, it just gives me the shivers when I think back to the moment I was dangling outside the bus, holding on with all I got. The family grew closer to me with each day passing. I even started to adapt to their crazy food like, beef with skin, blood of goat or chicken leg! In fact, I tried chicken leg for the first time in my fuking life (which is crazy, considering how long I’ve been in countries offering stuff like that) and I have to say: it’s not good. It tastes like it lookes. After five days, I finally met my host and he told me that Roshan is the cousin of his and that after my school teachings, I could join a trekking group, that walks around Pokhara (beautiful touristic spot) for a kinda expensive price. I wasn’t really turned on by that.
After ten days of hanging around and schools being shut, I had a chat with Roshan, who I got to know better by now and that’s when we finally cleared the case: When I had arrived in Kathmandu, Roshan got called by my host, telling him to pick me up cause he himself got no further time at the moment for me. That means that Roshan had as well no single clue of what was going on! Plus Roshan never had a foreigner in his house! That’s why the family behaved so different than in other experiences of mine. I was the first foreigner ever stomping into their beautiful little life. Roshan was very shy at the beginning because he could not speak English at all (he does speak a bit). All the schools I checked out were not organized by my host, but by Roshan and so I realized: My actual host is not the guy I contacted in the beginning, it’s Roshan himself, and he didn’t even had a choice! So it was a strange but absolutely hilarious event for the both of us. Man, I departed from them not as friends, but as a family. It’s crazy, but I feel like I always have now someone in Kathmandu.
A two week adventure in Kathmandu ended with an overwhelming good bye ceremony and as I got covered in food and snacks, I took all my bags and left with my bus to Ilam. The teafarm was waiting for me and as if this adventure wouldn’t have been cool enough already, another cool story was still about to come up.
Tea farmer in the East of Nepal
See, the Kulung WorkAway was especially a spot where I discovered several good friends and another lovely family. I will describe the place in a short version and if you should have an interest about it, then check out my article “Teatime with Kulung”
I stayed two weeks in a far away village in Nepal and gathered some experience on a tea farm while living with a little local family and other volunteers. The peace embracing the beautiful nature was priceless. We threw a birthday party for a volunteer, made own momos, told each other some horror stories and played cards every evening. I left with green and golden tea in my bag as a souvenir and promised some people to meet them once again, but anyway. Check out my “Teatime with Kulung” article for a detailed explenation of a wonderful time.
Food in Nepal
Sorry, but the damn monos were blasting and you know what’s even more blasting? Fried chomos, that’s right. Fried Momo with banana and chocolate inside. I discovered the kitchen in Kathmandu (which was 100% local only) and realized, that resources are limited here. Nepali cuisine consists of rice mainly, more than in India, so a shortage on vitamins and an overdose of sugar is wideknown. It is a bit rural and it could be unappealing to some people, I still enjoyed the curry sauces here tough. Chicken is a must here, just try to get something without all bones or whatever in it. You can still evade the rural cuisine tough by simply eating momos, good soups or international stuff in touristy locations. All in all, a poor people’s cuisine, but with a decent taste.
I did not do any Himalayan trekking in Nepal, because I’d done one already in India. The nature I’ve spotted was in the east of Nepal. A hilly rainforest type of climate with sudden fog appearing, covering the whole valley. A horror story would have found its place. If you’re frightened by this vision by now, then get to know the sunsets in Nepal, as they are unreal and displaying most various colors. I think pictures speak the best languages now.
Since Nepal is laying along the equator, the scenery takes no special change from East to West, but fom South to North, as you are stepping from flat fields into the highest mountain region in the world. Phokara supposed to be the most attractive in case of natural beauty, but I skipped it. This time.
Not a thousand words could explain the kindness, the respect, the warmth I had received from these short little Nepali people. Honestly, I did had the imagination of some kind of a respectful and holy place, but the friends I made, the families that cared for me. I could cry a river but let’s preserve some manliness and just thank everyone in Nepal for giving me love that will forever have a place in heart.
“Drinking tea, make you pee” – Deepak Kulung 2016