Since I came to Nepal, for one reason or the other, I have not gone out much. Even when I have a chance, opportunity or a need to go out, I do my best to avoid it if I need to venture out alone. Debilitated by not knowing the language is the worst obstacle. It’s easier for me to stick around the house and wait for Mr.B. to take me places, though I’m well aware that is not how I should spend my days here.
The other night we met up with some friends who had a really good point. They told me that if I was here on my own, I wouldn’t be scared to go and venture out. Or that if I was in, for example, London, I would get out and familiarize myself with the place, meet people, look for things to do. And that is true – I would do exactly that. I need to break out of my comfort zone and do what I would do in any other place on Earth.
In that spirit, I decided to take one step at the time and start with small stuff. Like talking to our house helper, our Didi, who speaks no English. I was planning to make some crepes so I needed eggs and flour. After thoroughly researching on those particular words in Nepali, I confidently approached her and told her I need dui aenda (two egg). To my utter disappointment she had no idea what I was talking about. That tells you about my ability to pronounce Nepali words. All she said was No! and off she went out of the house. Soon after that she came back with her son in tow and we all embarked on, what was to become a long road, of figuring out what I need from them. After he didn’t understand that I needed eggs, even when I clearly described a chicken and the process through which the eggs are extracted from the mentioned animal, I resorted to my small dictionary and pointed at the word egg. He had an AHA! moment, translated what I needed and we were back in the game.
Next step – flour. This was, to my relief, much easier. I took the flour out of the cabinet, pointed at it, said pitho (flour) and asked OK? She looked at it, said something in Nepali out of which I only understood purano (old) – grateful for those Hindi classes! – and then smelled it, finally winningly concluding it is still just fine. She sifted it for me and I was on my merry way – happy that I got out of my comfort zone and didn’t die. Next step – supermarket!