Saturday, April 09, 2005

more sickness, more food

Sick again. No, not blue-green this time - at least I don't think so. It's just a cold. Just in time for the weekend.

So, I look inward (to my apartment) for the weekend. This kind of forced seclusion has me thinking, in ten years will I regret all the time I spent in my apartment instead of out and about in Nepal? I could be be taking in Boddhanath for the weekend, or climbing a hill or mountain. Nepal has these things. Many days, I go to work and come home around six. Maybe I have a curry at the local place, or something like that. Maybe we rent a VCD. Maybe I write one of these posts or, via personal correspondence, contribute to the future W. Vucich Beecher Memorial Letters Collection at an leading American university.

When I'm working and living here on a daily basis, it's not a constant adventure of sights and photo opportunities. It could be. But right now my focus is certainly on my work, as there is so little time remaining. I have a tentative appointment to see a local injection-molding operation this week. Then there's a new 6V two-stage battery charger in the works - constant-voltage with a current-changeover. And we're meeting with potential sub-contractors. As you can see, my mind is not principally on the banyon trees of Lumbini. We're also in the middle of a 11-day Maoist-called strike. All the roads outside the Kathmandu Valley are closed.

Many people have emailed me that for the last six months I've been writing expatriot instead of expatriate. How embarrasing.

Like last time I was sick, my mind's on food. Again, like last time, it's not immediately very appetizing so the thoughts are observational. I don't know if I ever said that most Nepalis eat the same meal every day, twice a day - and they only eat two meals per day. That meal is dahl baat tarkari - rice, lentils, and a vegetable curry. Our dede eats it before she comes over at around 8AM and then again around 8PM. We have dahl baat three times a week when she makes it.

More about food. A friend sent me a link to a ripped version of a new American commercial from Burger King for an enormous burger with a five-word name. Hootie's in it. I'm sure my bosses would call that burger a crime against humanity. Why? Because two days ago they called a steady diet of white rice 'bad for you', as it is just simple carbohydrates. 'Brown rice is so much more nutritious.' Only people from Northern California could possibly look down upon the diets of Japan, India, and most places in between. What's the incidence of heart explosions in those countries? What's the incidence of obesity? Without delving into the erudite, I'm going to venture saying 'low'. Maybe they were speaking more about vitamins and minerals than heart explosions, with the brown-rice thing. People are relatively short in those countries.

Now I tell you what's 'bad for you', and that's the Burger King thing that Hootie and Brooke Burke are selling. That commercial got me thinking back to nights I went for a 'midnight snack' at Jack in the Box during college, I started to wonder how many calories are in my once-staple Jack in the Box midnight run: one ultimate cheeseburger and two tacos. I tried out and that indeed is the restaurant's web site, complete with nutritional information. The answer is around 1200 calories. No wonder I got carb-faced in college.

Since I've had so much time to think in the last 36 hours, I've also thought about how, in the future, I can parle having lived in Nepal into being able to do whatever the hell I want. I don't plan to stop the ultimate-cheeseburger thing at Jack in the Box once I'm back at home. In fact, I think if any northern-Californian gives me strife over eating something like that, I'm going to reply that "I've eaten boiled meat from my dead horse in the Gobi dessert when there was nothing else and our teeth were loose form scurvy, so this is really good right now". I don't think the average American will know their geography well enough to call me out on not possibly having done that by way of having "lived in Nepal for a while".


At 7:45 AM, Anonymous said...

William: You had me confused for a moment, being unaware that you had visited or have plans to visit the Gobbi desert. But I read on and understood your point.

However, please note that I spelled that large dry sandy area "desert." Dessert is ice cream and cake, super-sweet (with two s's) food. Just a little spelling tip. dad


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