Scalpel's Edge

A surgeon's notes


2015 06 12 17 32 59

I have been in Nepal for four months now, and I love it.  The whole family enjoys this version of life – rain and hills, walking and resourcefulness. I had thought myself well-travelled, but I had never lived long term in a developing nation before.  I had expected it to be different and challenging, but I still feel bad about missing things from home.  I feel even worse about the sort of things I miss – mainly consumer related.  Furthermore, I recognise that this missionary experience is very much different than it was here even twenty years ago, when western things were very difficult to get hold of.

So excuses aside, and in no particular order…

  • I miss convenient shopping.  I miss being able to hop in the car and go to a shopping centre when I need something.  Food, clothes, whatever.  Replacing destroyed clothes, or buying winter clothes would be a lot easier if I could pop down to a local department store.
  • I miss being able to choose to pay more for better quality.  
  • I miss overhearing casual conversations and being able to understand what people are saying.  At the moment, I sit at the cafeteria or the theatre tea room and catch only fragments of what is going on.  I’m not so big on small talk usually, and I hadn’t realised how much connection I get from just listening to other people’s conversations.
  • I miss cows milk.  We get UHT cows milk occasionally, and when I drink it I remember how good it is.
  • I miss mozzarella cheese.  We can get a reasonable (western-style) melting cheese, but not mozzarella.  Which is sort of crazy when we have so much buffalo milk.
  • I miss hamburgers.  Not something I ate a lot, but I miss it.
  • I miss being close by when my family is sick.  I’ve never been good at phone calls, and chatting.  It works much better when I can be in the same room with people I love.
  • I miss going to the movies. 
  • I miss my dog, Foxy
  • I miss a good espresso coffee.  We have an aeropress for coffee, so I get my fix, but I have to go to the local tourist town for an espresso coffee.
  • I miss milestones.  My best friend had a baby while I was in Nepal, and I am still to meet her.  I will miss the chance to hold her as a little tiny baby.
  • I miss games nights.  We used to have all our friends over for rambling parties with all kids sleeping in each others beds and stay up until 11pm playing Settlers of Catan and Mah Jong. That group of friends had been together for a long time and we all chose to let our kids stay up too late, so that we could hang out.
  • I miss Australian style pizza.  Like every culture across the world, Nepalis have their own version of pizza.  We have it often, but its not the same.
While I was writing this post the kids joined in and wanted to share what they miss.  They miss a lot less than I do.  I guess they are more adaptable.  Mission kids are often called “Third culture kids” which means they don’t really belong to their home culture and they don’t belong to nepali culture.  The third culture is the space that they create in between the two.  I can totally see this happening to my kids if we stay here long enough.

Jacob misses

  • Pork buns and custard buns
  • Having our own car, because it’s much faster

Zoe misses

  • Beef
  • Having lots of people at school
  • Her school teacher, Anne.

Angus misses

  • Margaret’s pork belly
  • Foxy as well, but he says he will miss Butchy (his goat) when he goes home to Australia.

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