Baby, it’s cold outside! And inside.

No, but really. It’s freezing these days in Kathmandu. Two things aid to the cold: 1. no indoor heating; 2. the fact all my winter clothes is still in Croatia. If I tell you it’s 4 degrees Celsius outside in the mornings, and 18 during the day, you’ll tell me I am a wuss and cannot handle a bit of cold. What you don’t know is that it’s not much warmer in the house either. Let me see you get out of the bed in the morning when your room measures, oh let’s say, 10 degrees. Ha, not so brave any more, are you? That’s what I thought. Seriously, not having indoor heating is the worst. There is no way of escaping the cold. You need to shower, and occasionally take off your clothes. You need to get out of the warm bed in the morning and in the cold. And it’s not easy. Luckily, most of the days are sunny and you get a chance to warm up during the day, but then there are some days when the fog lingers and clouds set upon Kathmandu. It’s then when I really long for my coat and new Ugg boots. On days like that I also skip my shower. You see, water in Nepal is warmed up using solar system. No sun, no hot water. No hot water on a 4 degree morning, no shower for Ms.Z. For the sake of others mostly, I always hope a no-sun period lasts for one day only. Even though, in this cold weather, there’s no chance of breaking a sweat anyway.

We all know of these dear and near (European) neighbours who like to be comfy and warm in their sandals as well.

yup

yup

It turns out, this particular fashion is quite popular in Nepal too, though mostly among female population. With the colder weather girls don’t bother with getting warmer shoes. They simply throw on some socks and go around sporting their flip-flops / sandals. Frugal. Though I’m not sure it’s practical. I would assume socks get dirty quite fast in the never-settling Kathmandu dust, and from personal experience I can tell you it’s not easy walking in flip-flops with socks on. Kudos to very coordinated girls in Nepal! I will, however, very gladly buy Ugg boots and sport them until the cold is gone (maybe even beyond – my feet are like ice cubes all year long).

How are you staying warm this winter?

p.s. Woot, woot! 300 followers! Thanks guys, you rock!

Change is fun

It’s amazing how the weather here changed, what it seems, overnight. One day it was gloomy, dark and rainy, and the next morning I was awoken to sun peering in through the curtains and deep blue skies. Rain has given way to the sun. Monsoon has given way to the dry season. Yes, there still is occasional rain, but days have become significantly cooler, sunnier and spring-like. And the best part of all – there is a constant breeze that makes the air cleaner, clearer and cooler. It also drives all the kids up to the rooftops with kites in their hands. Have you ever read that book “The Kite Runner”? I have. It’s a good book. I’m not mentioning it because of all the bad stuff that happens in the book, but rather because of the tradition of kite flying. Apparently that does not happen only in Afghanistan. It seems kids here cannot wait for this time of the year when they climb their rooftops and fly kites all day long. When you look up to the sky, all you see is colorful kites making circles in the wind.

Didn't snap any photos myself so I used this one  from ExploreHimalaya.com

Didn’t snap any photos myself so I used this one from ExploreHimalaya.com

The other day was Nepal bandh here in Kathmandu. Bandh is essentially a strike called by whoever is not satisfied with something (usually political parties) which stops the life in the city completely. No vehicles are allowed on the roads, and all the markets and major businesses close for that day. It’s extremely inconvenient and annoying because it doesn’t really do much in achieving the goals of whoever called the bandh, but it significantly negatively affects the life or normal people who still need to get to work, this time walking all the way to their offices. I think the only ones happy because of the bandh are kids. There is no school and they are free to play all day long. As I said, the other day was bandh, which meant all the kids stayed home from school. When I looked out the window I saw kites whooshing out in the sky and I realized that almost every rooftop had a kid on it, playing and running around. It was an amazing sight. Apparently, Dasain time, which is coming up in December is the time when people get together, eat, play cards, celebrate and fly kites. I am excited to witness it myself. I noticed we have a kite up here in the attic waiting for the right time to be released towards the deep blue sky. I think it’ll be an awesome day when that happens.

Weather, you fraudster, you!

Let me tell you something about the weather in Nepal during summer months; during monsoon. It’s tricky, that bastard. Always on a mission to fool me over. One minute the sun is shining and there is no single cloud in the sky. The next minute, and I mean this in a literal way, the very next minute, rain is pouring like there’s no tomorrow. When I’m getting ready to go out I look out the window and see sunny beautiful weather perfect for those white pants and flip flops. Before I even manage to open my closet, the apocalypse has come and dumped all of its water on Kathmandu.

Last week Mr.B. and I set off to meet a friend for lunch (hello Doctor!). Weather was beautiful! It was so hot, so sunny and wonderful and it made me wanna stroll down the street and hum songs about spring. Which obviously I didn’t do. But what I did, stupidly, was put on my white pants. And my flip flops. Now, white pants in Kathmandu are never a good choice, even in the driest of weather, but I was willing to risk it seeing that I would only be walking from the car to the restaurant and back. What I didn’t count on was the sneaky weather. As soon as we got in the car and set off for the city, rain started sprinkling. I was still keeping my hopes high and when it was still dry by the time we reached the restaurant, I thought I was lucky. Oh how stupid of me to think that way! Half way through our meal rain started pouring. Buckets. And it didn’t stop for couple of hours during which we had several appetizers, main course and two desserts. After a while staying in the restaurant just became old (and a bit expensive too) so we decided to risk it and run to the car. We had a 10 minute walk to the parking lot, mind you, so it definitely wasn’t a short run. Of course, we had no umbrella. We left it in the car, because that’s what people do in the monsoon. They leave the umbrella in the car and walk around looking like wet dogs.

Don't be fooled - the weather might seem nice, but it's really only waiting for you to put on your best outfit

Don’t be fooled – the weather might seem nice, but it’s really only waiting for you to put on your best outfit

Rain was still pouring and I said goodbye to my hair and make up before stepping out of the restaurant, but I forgot that my flip flops, flip flop a lot. More than the average flip flops. By the time we reached the car Mr.B. was contemplating letting me get in the car because my pants were bound to dirty up the seats. Now that I think of it, he didn’t say what the alternative would be. I wonder whether he wanted me to take the pants off before getting in the car or taking public transportation. Anyways, none of the above happened and we arrived home wet and dirty, with clean car seats. When I took off my clothes I realized that I was muddy all the way to the half of my back. I really need to reconsider my walking style. Something must we wrong with my legs.

Our Didi was “happy” when she saw my white pants all stained, but I gave her a look of desperation (I might’ve even teared up a bit) in hopes she would pity me and wash my pants without getting too angry for all the scrubbing she needed to do. Pants are now all clean and white again, and even though it’s sunny and nice outside right now, I will burry these pants deep in my closet and not take them out until summer time in Croatia. Weather here is a sneaky devil.