Archive for the ‘daily life’ Category

cats ‘n flowers – aren’t they wonderful?

in cats, daily life, Nepal

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Well, this place has been lacking a little color — so here’s handsome Jack (above) and sweet Norman (below) posing with and checking out, respectively, the azalea bush I bought for myself last month to celebrate 19 years since I came to Nepal.

Aren’t they lovely?

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Happy New Year 2072!

in daily life, environment, Kathmandu

On the first day of the Nepali New Year 2072 (April 14th, 2015 by the English calendar), the Nepali government imposed a ban on plastic bags within the Kathmandu Valley. This is wonderful news and a great way to ring in the new year — anyone who has been here knows the litter issues that exist. I’m encouraged to see how much this has already been implemented in just one week since it came into effect last Monday, and I hope it spreads to the whole of Nepal.

Happy new year to us all!

Only in Nepal

in animals, daily life, Nepal

Reading the daily paper here has the potential for so much amusement. I can’t think that you’d find something like this on the front page anywhere else…

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The Himalayan Times, Thursday, 12 February 2015

Simple, tasty food

in daily life, Food, Kathmandu

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The photo above is an example of everything I love about Nepali food: it was served to me as a snack while visiting someone’s home. Everything was simple, but supremely good: a brown flour roti, some black dahl – plain but creamy, and a bowl of mixed beans and vegetables, lightly seasoned. It was all made from scratch, of course, and tasted fresh and bright, despite it all being cooked. I love the way Nepali home cooks can take the humblest of ingredients and a few spices and turn seemingly anything into a feast.

Another kind of mountain

in daily life, Food, Kathmandu, Nepal, Vegetables

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These might not be the kind of mountains most people think of when they think of Nepal, but at this time of year, heaps of the white daikon radish, known locally as mula, appear on the side of the road in certain parts of the city. I’m always in awe of the quantities there are. Nepalis love to pickle or ferment mula and serve it as a flavourful accompaniment to their dahl-bhat dinners. There are so many variations of mula achar; the word achar is often translated as pickle, but it is not a pickle in the way we know it–rather it almost serves as a seasoning to the plainer tasting dahl, and can be made with a wide variety of vegetables. A common version of mula achar involves julienning it before drying it in the sun, and then tossing with spices and oil before packing it into jars to mature.

Makes me hungry just thinking about it. I don’t think, however, that this farmer would sell me some in less than gargantuan proportions, so I’ll have to get some from my local vegetable seller. Ah, the local vegetable sellers I buy from–they’re a colorful cast of characters and that’s a whole story in itself!

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Happy December from Kathmandu

in daily life, Kathmandu

To all my regular readers (I know, I know, I’m being optimistic here), you may have noticed a dearth of posts of late. The reasons for this are several – firstly, just over two months ago I had to find a new place to live, as the owners of the house I was renting sold it rather abruptly. I was sad to leave my little pink house surrounded by rice fields and with its great view of the hills, but by a miracle I was able to find a new place–and even tinier yellow house, flanked by bamboo and cow sheds, and even closer to those hills. It has ample water — a rarity in Kathmandu, and the landlady is also really lovely. Unfortunately, my old ISP doesn’t cover the area, so I still don’t have consistent internet, a fact that should be sorted soon but has kept me offline more than usual. Then, a few weeks ago, my laptop broke down, which kept me offline even more; gratefully, I’ve got it back today–so you should be hearing from me more, now.
Happy December, everyone!

Serendipity

in daily life, published

I was travelling for a bit in July (more on that soon) and when I got back I had some trouble hunting down the issue of Fr!day that my last food review was printed in. Fr!day (or Friday) is a weekly publication that I’ve been doing regular restaurant reviews for, and the publisher was all out of copies.

While flipping through the daily newspapers and magazines yesterday at Dan Ran, a homey Japanese restaurant in Patan, I had the idea to ask if they had any Fr!day back issues. The waiter disappeared into a back room and returned brandishing a copy.

“We only have one,” he said apologetically.

Happily, it was the right one, and he had no problem with me keeping it.

Which is how I discovered that it’s the second time that I’ve had an article published in a magazine with Madan Krishna Shrestha and Hari Bhansa Acharya on the cover. This comedic duo, known locally as “MaHa” are without doubt Nepal’s most famous comedians, and have been for years now, since a comedy audio cassette tape they made together back in 1981. Since then they’ve moved into TV, film, and sell out live performances, and they somehow manage to touch on relevant and meaningful social issues in their humour, too.

The articles of mine in the two publications below were not related to them in any way, but it made me smile to see them on the covers, and honoured to share the space.

bMaR8601WM                    Friday cover 230

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