We recently returned from a long anticipated and much appreciated holiday in our local tourist spot, Pokhara. It is about four hours drive from Tansen, and the drive there is so windy that at least two of our family vomit on the trip each time. In fact, our youngest child has learnt how to vomit while asleep, without waking up. This is why I don’t mind when he chooses to sit next to his Dad.
Since living in Nepal we have visited Pokhara multiple times, and there is no longer really anything touristy about it for us. I feel a little embarrassed when I tell my Nepali friends where we are going, because they invariably get completely perplexed. Visiting the same tourist destination multiple times is just one of those strange things expats do that make no sense.
The reason it is embarrassing is actually more complex than that – it is admitting that living in another culture is difficult. It is just awkward to explain to someone who has lived in Nepal their whole life that it is still strange for us. Pokhara fills some of those gaps by providing a more first world experience:
- multicultural restaurants
- beef to eat
- pools to swim in
- shops with a variety of available products, where you can pay with a credit card if you want to
- impulse shopping
- good coffee (in takeaway cups if you want it)
- time to lie around, read and not be productive
That’s why it’s embarrassing. The list of things of that I need to get a break from culture rub is ridiculously embarrassing – they are not “Australian” things, but “First world” things. It’s admitting that living in another country/culture is difficult, even though we hardly live like Nepalis.
At any rate, we had a very relaxing break, with lots of pointless activities, food comas and swimming. By the end, we felt like we could come back and recommit to working here. But we are now five months away from going home and our focus is starting to shift to finishing up our projects and planning for 2017. I’m focussed on having a five month burst in our education and training program, and Luke is working hard on future proofing his projects as well. I look forward to keeping you all up to date with our final burst.
Anyone remember when we actually planned to come to Nepal for only 6 months? We have been five months from leaving before and it feels very different this time around.