I am back! (didn’t even realize I was gone)

Whoa… wait… four months? I’ve been MIA from my blog for four months? That’s crazy, and seems completely impossible. Time flew by. Life has definitely changed after the earthquake, and days have somehow been going by faster, for whatever odd reason.

Mr. B and I are still around, still doing our thing. Kathmandu is still our home. A bit more scary one than before, but still a home nonetheless. Slowly, slowly, bit by bit, life went back to normal for us over the past few months. We again found our way back to our favorite hangout spots. We again started going shopping, resumed cooking, and living on the top floor of the house. Sleeping up there was a bit scary the first few nights, but it seems like that was a thousand years ago, and these days we sleep like babies (when neighbors are not singing, or when dogs are not barking, or when random guys are not revving their bike engines in the middle of the night…).

So what is Nepal like right now? Lots of places, mostly outside Kathmandu, are still in a very difficult situation, with people living in tents through a very heavy monsoon. Relief efforts are still undergoing, despite the lack of news about it in the media. Life has not been easy for earthquake-destroyed villages in Nepal. If you still haven’t done so, consider donating to relief efforts in Nepal. It will be much appreciated.

The focus of everyone in Nepal has now shifted to the most historic event in Nepal recently – a constitution promulgation. Nepal has been trying to come up with a constitution since the end of the civil war back in 2006, and after lots of back and forth, hundreds of days of strikes and protests, finally the happy day has come. I am watching the signing of the constitution on TV as I type this. It’s pretty fancy. With lots of colorful balloons, flags and horses. This is a really big deal – congratulations Nepal! Oh when I only think back to recent months of fist fights and flying chairs in the parliament – it seems now all of it was worth it. Not to say, it offered for some great entertainment to common folk. Hopefully things only get better for Nepal from now onwards. Apparently, now Nepal will be “an independent, indivisible, sovereign, secular, inclusive democratic, socialism-oriented federal democratic republican state.” A little bit for everyone right there.

For us, Mr.B and I, things won’t change much. All that changes for us are the seasons. We go from all night-long fan, to closed windows and thick comforter. Right now the weather is still hot during the day, but the winter is slowly creeping in. I can feel it in the crisp air in the evenings. Kind of nice, if you ask me. Pretty soon I’ll be sleeping in my socks again. I got low blood pressure; don’t ask.

Recently I had my own personal historic event in Nepal. I got food poisoning. It took me more than two years to experience one, so I suppose I can be proud of that. But this food poisoning thing, let me tell you, doesn’t play fair. It hits below the waist (no pun intended). I got it after eating one of my favorite things in Nepal – momos. Oh the irony! Hopefully, I’ll be able to forgive momos one day for letting me down, and we can be back to being best friends. However, I am pretty confident that’s not happening any time soon. Now, samosas move to number 1 spot on my Nepali snack list. Let’s see how long they stick around.

Just some photos… nothing special

Creativity has been eluding me lately, especially as I am lying here in bed, sick with an undetermined sickness. It could be food poisoning, it could be a flu… whatever it is, it’s not pleasant, and I have no desire to type long, humorous post. So I am leaving you with some photos snapped around the city.

Nice color...

Nice color…

Tight squeeze, don't you think?

Tight squeeze, don’t you think?

Momo anyone?

Momo anyone?

Just another house

Just another house

Actually looks clean…

Actually looks clean…

At the car mechanic - for your pleasure…

At the car mechanic – for your pleasure…

At the car mechanic - having the sign shows some environmental awareness, no?

At the car mechanic – having the sign shows some environmental awareness, no?

Your new favorite food – Momo

It’s been days that I’ve been thinking and thinking on what to write next. I had many ideas in my head but none of them seemed to be inspiring enough. And then I had a palm-slap to the forehead moment – MOMO! How could I possibly forget that mouthwatering food of gods!? Just thinking about it makes my stomach growl and my lips smack in delight. Often times I have dreams of lying on a cloud surrounded by endless supply of momo. OK, that’s clearly exaggeration, but you get the point – I love momo.

Say what? You don’t know what momo is? Well, don’t mind if I fill you in. Apparently there is this land where they take the eggless pasta dough, roll it out thin, fill it with perfectly spiced meat or veggies, and then close it up like neat little packets. And then they steam it! Yes, steam it. And it comes out to be this amazing steaming hot, spicy and juicy concoction that is then dipped in equally wonderful sauces and eaten in one bite. If your mouth can stand the heat from the steam. Or if you had no idea it’s so steaming hot and you, following everyone else’s example, innocently popped the whole thing in your mouth only to realize you no longer feel any part of your mouth, but it’s too late and too awkward to spit it out so you swallow it hoping your guts survive. My point – momos are hot so be careful.

Here’s a little less amateurish description of this amazing and very popular Nepali snack. The dough for momos is quite simple and is made of water and flour, possibly with a tiny bit of salt, and sometimes a bit of yeast. It’s rolled out thin and cut into circles that are then filled with a variety of different fillings. Meat ones could be made from minced pork, chicken, goat, or buffalo combined with shallots, garlic, ginger and a bunch of other spices. Veggie version is usually made of potatoes or cabbage. My understanding is there are other types of filling, but I’ve never tried those. Anyways, to make momo shape, circles are closed into half-moon dumplings, or little round packages. Nepali people are very skilled at making the edge all nice and decorative. Very impressive. Momos are then steamed over a boiling pot of water or stock, and served with chili sauce.

This is not the best looking bunch, but go easy on me - I'm neither a good photographer nor a Nepali chef

This is not the best looking bunch, but go easy on me – I’m neither a good photographer nor a Nepali chef

When in Nepal, or a Nepali restaurant, absolutely and without hesitation order yourself a plate of momos. Oh what the heck, go wild and order two! Dieting can wait for better times. Happy eating!