Thursday, December 9, 2010

Cat in a Tea Shop

I was sitting with all of the teachers in the tea shop during tiffin, eating curried potatoes and beaten rice and drinking milk tea, when a cat wandered into the store.

'taawar haazi' someone told me, pointing at the cat. They were speaking the Tamang language.
'biralo aayo.' Someone translated into Nepali.
'The cat has come,' one of the English teachers informed me.

A few minutes later the cat wandered away.
'taawar nizi,' said the Tamang speaker.
'biralo gaayo,' said the Nepali speaker.
'The cat has gone,' I translated.

A few minutes later I looked over and saw that the cat had returned and was sitting at the foot of one of the schoolteachers. Without warning the cat leaped four or five feet in the air and landed right above the teacher's head before bounding off onto the shelves above.

'That cat is crazy!' I exclaimed. 'taawar, uh... crazy!'
'taawar crazy,' I heard the Tamang speaker agree.
Then suddenly everyone burst out laughing. I had no idea why.

After about five minutes I was finally told that 'taawar krezi' is Tamang for 'The cat has jumped.'
I never have any clue what is happening around me during tiffin.

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