Monday, September 13, 2010

Flats and Bats

I am experiencing a surreal lack of culture shock. You know that feeling you get when you meet with an old friend that you have not seen in years? How you instantaneously fall back into your old mode of interaction and it feels like no time has passed at all? That is what it is like to be back in Nepal.

Our program orientation starts on Monday. Since Thursday I have been living in temporary apartment with the five other ETAs (English Teaching Assistants) and two of the researchers. We live by Lazimpat, around several embassies, in an apartment that reminds me very much of my first week at Pitzer College Nepal. The other Fulbrighters are all really great.

Pretty nice apartment. We even get cell phones and computers this time! 

I have been dubbed the 'social coordinator' because I know how to get around in  Kathmandu and I know where some restaurants and monuments are. On Saturday we found our way down to Durbar Square for the Tij Festival, and then on Sunday we walked all the way from Lazimpat to Swoyambhu, through many of the interesting back alleys of Kathmandu and across the river.

After a couple hours, Swoyambhu is still far in the distance...

And here we are a little closer.

But Nepal has a way of surprising you right at the moment you feel like you've got your bearings. Going down Lazimpat on our trek to Swoyambhu, we saw some interesting wildlife, at least to American eyes. Now, I've seen enough of Nepal that I wouldn't bat an eye if I saw a cow or a goat wandering through traffic or a monkey crawling along the power lines. But I didn't expect to see giant fruit bats flitting through the trees in broad daylight right near the Ministry of Education in the center of the city. 

Your typical Austin bat is roughly the size of this fellow's head


  1. These entries are great to read, man! I especially like your condensed history of the past two or so years. Also, it makes for more than fun diversion from learning about the role of FlgM in sensing the integrity of the intermediate bacterial flagellar assembly, thus regulating the completion of the structure.

  2. Awww cute fruit bat! Good disclaimer.

  3. So cool Luke!! I love fruit bats!!! Your stories are wonderful and I wish you much happiness on this journey. I will look forward to reading your posts!! Your mom came by MRC this afternoon to drop off some fabric and got introduced to all of your Bhutanese friends :) We miss you!!!