What am I?

Sometimes I find myself tangled in my own thoughts trying to decipher what group of people in Nepal I belong to. I am not Nepali, clearly. My ghost-like skin always gives me away, though I do like to think of it as aristocratic. But I’m digressing. I am not a 100% expat either. I live in a Nepali household, with a Nepali family. Does that make me half-Nepali? No clue, but in the past year and a half I did move towards Nepali customs more than I expected I ever would.

Let’s examine the evidence:

Exhibit A
My horoscope sign is a Virgo. For all of you who are not familiar with horoscope, let’s just say Virgos are obsessive-compulsive. I also hold a strong opinion that characteristics of a Virgo were tailored according to me. It’s that precise. I cannot be late, or have anything be out of place, untidy, dirty… everything needs to be perfect. But I move to Nepal and what happens!? I start adjusting to Nepali time. In other words, no matter how hard I try, I seem to be late for everything! And the worst part? I’m not even phased by it. What is happening to me? Am I turning Nepali?

Exhibit B
I don’t want to make it sound like I’m bragging, but I’ve always been very polite. I would let people with less items jump in front of me at the cash register, I would let pedestrians cross the road even if I’m in a hurry and others behind me are honking, I would exercise perfect driving culture politely letting others merge into traffic in front of me and wave thankfully to the ones who do the same for me. But I move to Nepal and what happens!? I start driving like I am the only person on the road, pushing and shoving my way through heavy traffic, honking at others angrily and closing every little bit of space between me and the car in front of me so no one can cut in. I also only sometimes let pedestrian cross in front of me. Preposterous! What is happening to me? Am I turning Nepali?

Exhibit C
I am a huge dessert person. Sweets make me enter a state of consciousness unknown to modern science. When I look at, make or eat wonderful varieties of cakes and cookies, I am in bliss. Nepal disappoints in that area. Most of the cakes here are OK, but not very different from one another. There seems to be no creativity in that department. Maybe that’s the reason the most favorable dessert amongst Nepalis is vanilla ice cream. Yes, vanilla ice cream. The same one I at every summer when I was a child and swore I will never taste it again. Ice cream is even served at weddings! Say, what??? But I move to Nepal and what happens!? After being shocked by this discovery for almost a year, I now find myself ordering vanilla ice cream in all shapes and forms – with a brownie, with an apple pie, and I even eat it at weddings. Even in winter! Gasp. What is happening to me? Am I turning Nepali?

Exhibit D
This last exhibit is most probably the most shocking one, at least for me. When I feel under the weather, as if I’m catching a cold, I usually crave chamomile tea with honey and lemon and some soup. Maybe also porridge or something warm, liquidy and easy to digest. I stuck to that even here in Nepal for the past year and a half. And it usually made me feel better. But you know what happened the other day? I was feeling a bit down, sick-ish at work and all I could think of is how I’m going to rush home, warm up a plate-full of rice and daal and devour it. And so I did. And it felt good. Scary good. What is happening to me? Am I turning Nepali?

7 thoughts on “What am I?

  1. I would say you are a true Nepali already! haha it was so interesting to read your story as a Nepalese myself living in Hong Kong.. how I wish I could experience the true nepali way 🙂

  2. Nah, you did not visit a Jyotisha yet, obviously. Once you do, most probably you won’t be a Virgo any more 😆
    Also you never mentioned your liking of family trips to Dakshinkali so … nice try.

  3. Merry Christmas! Are you celebrating Christmas? If so, you’re still only half-Nepali! I’ve lived here for four and a half years and I’ve not yet eaten ice cream here! I get sick easily and so just to be safe, I politely decline. Once I did eat some coconut ice while on a big hike on a very hot day and got very sick. I knew when I accepted it that I might get sick, but I was fainting in the heat and decided to go for it! Of course, if someone offered me a hot fudge sundae, I’m sure I’d go ahead too! I came here a non-rice eater and still am a non-rice eater. However, I do find I can tolerate spicy food a tiny, tiny bit more than I could when I first arrived!
    Will you celebrate New Year’s Day next week? If so, Happy New Year! 🙂
    Enjoy your week!

  4. The last one is the true evidence…..i cud not stop myself laughing after reading the last one 🙂 Merry Chirstmas n happy new year !!

  5. I see myself in this post! I am also a Virgo haha! Although that slightly changed when I went to Nepal – my timing also became awful and I stopped caring so much about the little things! It is practically impossible to be such a Virgo in Nepal when no one else cares about such things haha/.

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