Posts Tagged ‘daily life’

ECS Nepal in 2017

in Kathmandu, published, writing

Since joining ECS Nepal as editor in January of 2017, I’ve done a lot more writing for the magazine, rather too much to post it all here. When I have time, though, I’ll still be linking to work published – like the article below, one of my recent favourites.

http://ecs.com.np/features/nepali-medicine-man

Wild about Wings

in booze, chicken, Food, food writing, What to do in Kathmandu

Anyone who knows me well has heard me tell of my love for chicken wings. Sadly, the places that served my favourite chicken wings have closed in the last few years, the buildings they were housed in victims of the earthquake or road enlargement work. So I’m looking for new favourites, and while doing research for an article I found myself in the picturesque courtyard of the DaLai-La hotel in Thamel having a single malt at their wonderfully named bar, Liquid Happiness. I sat and observed the goings on, interspersed with reading Rabi Thapa’s new book, Thamel: Dark Star of Kathmandu, also for an upcoming article. Liquid Happiness has a great bar snacks menu, and of course I went for the chicken wings with house sauce.

Are they my new favourites? No, but they’re pretty darn good. The only thing keeping me from making this place a habit is the price tag – in my case, it’s more special occasion than daily pit-stop. Still, highly recommended for great atmosphere, convivial staff, and excellent food and drink.

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Clear air, mountain views

in daily life, Himalaya, wintertime

These past three days have mostly started off chilly and hazy, and yet each of the last three days have cleared up beautifully by afternoon. Crisp, clear, snow-topped Himalayas stand out in perfect definition against the blue, blue sky. As the sun sets, they turn a beautiful, soft pink. I can’t get enough.

Wonderful winter days that make you happy to live in Nepal.

The Mo:Mo Series — Number 5

in Food, mo: mo, mo:mo series, Nepali dishes, restaurants, wintertime

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These super-awesome incredibly delicious pork mo:mo are from New Dish, a little place tucked upstairs in Kichapokhari, New Road. It’s been open for 26 years but I’ve only just been there for the first time (and the second, and third–already). They have a small menu–amongst which pork mo:mo are the only mo:mo variety–but they are great. Thin-skinned and succulent, served with a simple hot chilli dipping sauce, and a bowl of broth. There used to be a place by my house that served broth with their mo:mos (basically it’s the steaming water, doctored up a little) but they closed and I’ve missed it. This place is already on my favourites list, and with chilly winter weather on the way, I know I will become a regular here.

The Mo:Mo Series — Number 4

in Food, Kathmandu, mo: mo, mo:mo series, Nepali dishes

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So are these top-notch mo:mos? Not exactly. They’re decent though, and the the mix of the two sauces provided (regular tomato and extra chilli) is pretty tasty.

What does make them awesome and fun is that they come from this cute stand out in the parking lot of the Maharajgunj branch of the Bhat Bhateni Supermarket. In case it’s too small to read in the picture, the line on the bottom of the food stall reads, verbatim:

So Long As You have Mo:Mo In Your Mouth, You Have Solved All Questions For The Time Being.

I really can’t argue with that. In fact, it could practically be my motto.

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The Mo:Mo Series — Number 3 (my favourite)

in daily life, mo: mo, mo:mo series, What to do in Kathmandu

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These are, by far and away, my favourite mo:mo. I’ve eaten more of these over the years than I could possibly count.  The New Everest Mo:Mo Centre in Lainchour, next to the campus behind Thamel, serves only one thing–buff mo:mo, cooked in giant steamers. The sauce is a secret combination of ground sesame seeds, chilli powder, and fresh danya (coriander). There’s more in it, too, but I don’t know what. It’s delicious, especially when combined with the flavourful fat that spurts out of the mo:mo when you cut into them. I like to spoon the sauce inside the mo:mo itself for a perfect bite.

Oh wow, just reading over what I’ve written has made me hungry…

A Happy Dog

in animals, Laz the dog

Some pictures of Laz to make you smile. I don’t know what her history was before she adopted me, but she lights up my life in so many ways. Endlessly cheerful and loyal, she loves a belly rub and curried food, and barks when strangers are near, to make me feel safe. Thanks, Laz!

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When the fuel runs out, you get a bicycle

in daily life, fuel crisis, Nepal

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I imagine that for many of you who read this, it’s hard to imagine living in a country that is almost completely dependent upon its neighbours for most basic necessities. But that’s Nepal — landlocked, we share borders with only India and China, and that northern border is pretty much the Himalayas, with only one narrow road in. So, much of what we need–and all fuel/petroleum products–come in through the Terai, from India. When the new constitution–years in the making–was finally ratified over a month ago now, it triggered protests in the south and a near complete border closure from India. We kept thinking that things had to get better, any minute now, but they haven’t; they’ve only gotten worse. Gas bottles, petrol, diesel, kerosene–none of this is available to buy, unless you are one of those who can afford to pay the black market prices, which friends tell me run at 5-10 times the normal rate. And of course, the people that suffer the most are the poor, particularly those who have been affected by the earthquake. Any appliances that can be used for electric cooking are flying off the shelves, and even here in Kathmandu I see people cooking on the sidewalk using firewood.

By comparison, I’ve been fortunate, so far just inconvenienced and not suffering, as so many are. I’m pretty used to short-term shortages, so I always keep a little bit of petrol saved for my scooter, but as I want to keep that for emergencies, I just bought a cheap bicycle (possibly too cheap, it already rattles 🙂 ) and, looking on the bright side, it’s helping me get some exercise. I’m not sure how much cooking gas is left in the my cylinder, and my spare is empty, as I changed it right when the shortage first began last month and have been unable to refill it since. But I do have an old but trusty little electric oven and a kettle, and I’m experimenting with how much I can do without having to turn on a gas burner. When I go out, if a restaurant is open, I eat there — the new logic of “eat out, save your gas” overriding the former logic of “eat at home, save money.” And besides, I figure they could use the business. But every day, more and more businesses of all sorts are staying closed when they can’t find the supplies to stay open. And now shops are starting to run out of certain things, too, because the vehicles that usually supply them don’t have petrol to move around, either.

Winter Is Coming, and that means the ubiquitous long power cuts that will rule out the oven and kettle, and no kerosene for heating. I haven’t wanted to write about this, because I feel like there’s been so much bad news out of Nepal lately that I hate to add to it.

As always, I am amazed by the cheerfulness and resilience of those around me. But they deserve better, and I can only hope the end is in sight.

And here’s a picture of a baby goat I saw the other day when visiting a friend, because it’s adorable and makes me smile.

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