Every single morning I get surprised by the flurry of activity happening around here from the early dawn. It starts with birds chirping and dogs barking and goes on to more intense stuff. It makes me baffled. Because when I say early dawn, that’s exactly what I mean – early dawn. You know the time when you are having the best dreams of the night. The time when you accidentally wake up, look at the clock and realize you still got two more beautiful hours of sleep before needing to get up for work. The time I thought was illegal for anyone to be up. Yup, 5 am. Believe it or not, people around here get up at 5 am. The pressure cookers start whistling all over the neighborhood, motorcycles buzz in the streets, and children laugh happily. I thought children hated getting up early. I thought children loved to sleep as long as they possibly can. Nepal is challenging all I ever knew.
Now, you would (wrongly) assume that people around here get up early because they start working at 6 am. No. That’s not the case. Offices and schools here open at around 9:30 am. So what do people do from the ungodly hour of 5, till 9:30 when their work starts. They drink tea, then cook their morning serving of daal-bhat (hence the pressure cookers), they (maybe) work out, clean up, eat and off they go. Still, I see no need for getting up that early, but, to each his own. I sleep like a lazy foreigner until 7:30.
One of my “favorite” activities to hear my neighbors do in the morning is sweeping. It wakes me up every single day at 6 am on the dot. Whoosh, whoosh, whoosh… Neighbor’s helper sweeps every day, no exception, right underneath my window. I am confident that in couple of months she will completely wear out the stones there. I wonder what’s there to sweep every day. Yes, Kathmandu is dusty and all, and they do have a dog, but seriously, every day!? In my humble opinion, every second day would do, but who am I to say that. What do I know of sweeping practices in Nepal? Sometimes she even splashes water and then sweeps the yard, despite the fact it rains almost every night, all night long. Their yard must be sparkling. I need to have a peek one of these days. Who knows, maybe it reveals the secrets of Nepali early risers.