Getting homesick is tough

It’s been two years since I’ve been home to Croatia, and the nostalgia is kicking in. Sure, I’ve traveled a lot outside of Nepal, but nothing really beats home when it comes to the petty cravings, right? French Evian might be super fancy, but Croatian tap water still tastes sweeter in my mouth. I don’t even want to think about what Nepali tap water would taste like (going in and coming out – oh that’s gross, sorry).

So in celebration of my (potential) trip home this summer, here are some things I am looking forward to:

  1. Water. I am really excited for that feeling when you just stand in the shower and let the water run over you. And you can even open your mouth and drink some! Or that feeling when you open the tap, fill a glass of water and down it, without thinking twice about purification methods. Also that feeling when you know there is no tank that you could potentially empty and then suffer without water for hours, or sometimes days. Or that feeling when you can run a washing machine, or dishwasher as many times a day as you want.
  2. Electricity. I am looking forward to this. I mean, does this really need any further explanation? Living without electricity is not easy. It’s like this: Oh I would love to have home-made lasagna for dinner tonight. Ok, let me see – I got all the ingredients, but the electricity only comes back at 7 pm, which means that the lasagna can only be done at 8 pm in best case scenario, which is kind of late for dinner. Oh well, maybe tomorrow. Or like this: My hair looks awful, and I really need to wash it. But wait, if I wash it tonight, I need to do it very late because the electricity only comes back at 11pm and I don’t want to be drying my hair that late. And tomorrow morning the electricity goes out at 6am, and I don’t want to be washing my hair at 5am. Oh well, maybe some other day.
  3. Bakery. As much as bakeries here try, they just cannot compare to bakeries in Europe. I don’t know what it is: the flour, the yeast, the altitude, the skill? No clue. But I do know that I eat it because I cannot live without bread, and not necessarily because I like it. I am so excited to meet my friends in Croatia, get a greasy, chocolaty something from the bakery and then sit down in a coffee shop for a cup of coffee. Oh what the heck, I will probably even get two or three greasy chocolaty things.
  4. Clean air. Kathmandu has been horrendous lately. I mean, the air quality has been so bad recently that I am just craving a piece of blue sky and clean air that I can breath deeply into my lungs to clear up all this gunk that has accumulated over the past few months.
  5. Physical exercise. Because of the aforementioned air pollution,  I hardly leave the house in Kathmandu. Yes, working out in the house is always an option, but sometimes it’s just so enjoyable to get out and admire the scenery while exercising. I am really looking forward to riding my bicycle when I go home. Here I always have a debate with myself: is it more unhealthy to not workout at all, or to work out and rapidly breath in a lot of polluted air!?
  6. And last but not least: Mom’s cooking. Who could resist that? Who could not miss that? My mom is an incredible cook. Her lunch spreads are just fantastic. It’s not that I don’t like daal-bhaat, it’s just that I get tired of it. It’s always the same thing. Different vegetables cooked in the same way. No matter what it is, it tastes the same. I like diversity in my food, and it’s something that’s always been heavily promoted in my house. So I cannot wait to forget about the rice for a bit and gorge on potatoes, meat, pies, soups and fresh salad! Oh, and the fish. How I miss the fish.

It’s time to go home. I think this post explains it all. Kathmandu, you’re great, but nothing beats home.

9 thoughts on “Getting homesick is tough

  1. Great post! I really enjoyed reading it.
    Being a Nepali person (living in Poland at the moment), I like rice, but occasionally. I cook dal-bhaat and curry only sometimes when I am really in the mood. You’re so right about bakery! There is no bread and cake culture in Nepal. I was blown away by the varieties in bakery here in Poland, when I first moved here. People bake a lot, and they bake delicious stuff! That being said, I am still not a big fan of bakery items.
    I can relate to all of those points and can imagine how it feels to live with little electricity and water.. Not to mention the pollution in Kathmandu. Life in Nepal is tough but like you said, nothing beats home. I can’t wait to go back next year. But I probably wouldn’t be able to live there..
    I am going to Croatia this summer on a road trip from Poland 🙂 Really excited about visiting your beautiful country, especially the beaches with crystal-clear waters..

  2. Oh gosh. I remember that feeling! You’re very strong to hold out for two years with a trip back home 🙂 I could only do 9 months! I’m crossing my fingers that you get a trip back home this summer!

    • I think what helped was that I got to go out of Kathmandu and Nepal several times during those two years. Otherwise, I don’t think it would’ve been possible for me to survive this long.

  3. As mentioned above, the thing about the bread is definitely cultural. For people groups that eat rice most of the time (particularly in Asian countries), the bread is usually blah. If it’s not a stable in the diet, it won’t have a long history of skill and innovation (that translates to a wide variety of tasty products). An exception would probably be a country like Cambodia where they eat rice, but also have good bread, due to the French influence.

  4. I know, I so know about those wonderful European bakeries. I have access to good bakeries here in Australia, but it is still not the same as those in Europe. I do have a sweet spot also for Nepal, having been there years and years ago, and it is sad to hear that it is now very polluted. There are also good things about Nepal, and focus on that when you feel homesick.

  5. About the bakery thing…
    It is the flour that matters. Wheat has more gluten when it’s grown in colder climate. Although it is the yeast that makes breads grow, gluten makes it stay big and fluffy.
    There is an upside to wheat flour from Indian subcontinent – chapati. They are not as good when made with European, or even worse Canadian wheat.

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