Posts Tagged ‘happiness’

Good-bye winter

in daily life, ECS Nepal, Food, Nepali dishes, restaurants, thukpa, Tibetan cooking, wintertime

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Most days since I became a regular here at ECS, I’ve either brought a sandwich or followed a group of coworkers to their favourite lunch spot, a local joint around the corner. However, not long ago a large rodent ran through there, inches from my feet. Fortunately I did not see it, but it has been enough to put me off returning there since. I’m well aware that many eateries in Nepal often play unwitting hosts to small creatures of all sorts, but what made this different was the fact that this place seemed to tolerant of or possibly even catering to the animal’s presence. And it was running from the direction of the kitchen, so…

This might seem a strange way to begin a post about delicious food, and yet. Feeling a little disloyal, the next time I wanted lunch I let the group go on without me and headed out on my own to a place across the street from our offices, where I’ve seen some of the staff eating before. It’s only marginally more upscale than the place favoured by most of my colleagues, but not by much. With chilly days still very much with us, I ordered one of my favourite winter dishes, a chicken thukpa. Thukpa is a thick soup of noodles and vegetables, served in a spicy broth, with or without your choice of meat or egg. It has its roots in Tibet, though the incarnations generally served nowadays in the valley’s small restaurants have evolved into a unique local variant.

Well, this version was delicious, and I was back again and again. A few days ago I opted for the slightly pricier ‘mixed’ thukpa, which has everything–veggies, eggs, and several kinds of meat. Heaven!

Yesterday–literally from one day to the next–warm, spring weather flooded the valley. Usually the change is more gradual, but this year the cold had lingered much later than usual, so the sudden change was all the more noticeable. Someone here at work said that the warm weather was triggered by the hailstorm we had a few days ago – everyone has a weather theory here!

All that to say, my thukpa eating days are pretty much over, unless we get another cold spell. So today, despite the heat, I ordered a last bowl of mixed thukpa anyway, the one you see here. It was delicious, another reminder, if I needed one, of why I love cold days best.

Whatever you’re eating as you read this, I hope it’s as tasty.

Joy

in daily life, Kathmandu, writing

Yesterday a good friend came over and we had lunch together. We’ve known each other for years, and we talked the way you only can with someone you’ve known, well, for that long. The power was off for the scheduled electricity cut, and we ate in the kitchen, a breeze coming through the back screen door there. And I thought how lucky I was to be there, in that moment.

Yesterday I also heard that the anthology I have a story published in, Chicken Soup for the Soul: Alzheimer’s and other Dementias, is a bestseller; not ten days after its release, they’ve already had to order a second printing. And while my part in it is very small, and certainly nothing to do with its bestselling status, as a writer it was an encouragement to my own dreams. It made me happy.

Tonight it rained, a heavy rain that we’ve been needing in Kathmandu for weeks now, to clear the dust and bring down the heat and water the earth. Some might say a small thing, but it isn’t really. None of it is. It’s wonderful, and we should enjoy every bit of joy, large and small, that crosses our path. One of many things living in Nepal has taught me, and for which I am very grateful.

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