Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Last Stuff :)

We're home now... our train ride home was nice and easy :) We sat by the window, so we were able to plug in our laptop and watch movies on our ride home :) It was cool :) We came with 2 bags and left with 4 (not unusual for us :)) It wasn't difficult to get onto the train because there are a bunch of coolies (porters) to help with your luggage and to help get it on the train... BUT when we arrived in our city, we had 2 minutes to get all our heavy bags off the train and ourselves, before the train left again :) But no problem :) We made it out and our taxi, that we had called in advance, was waiting for us :) Nice!! Now, the heat hit us pretty hard, but it was nice to dry out a little bit :)

I decided I'd use this blog to post some last pictures from our mountain trip :) The picture on the left is the picture I promised when we first got there, of our tiny doorways :) Now you can see why I bumped my head so many times :)


We had fun with the tailors there... there were lots of foreigners up there, so they were good at making western clothes :) I got 2 pairs of jeans made and some shirts... Adam had 2 pairs of cargos, a pair of jeans and a nice suit :) It was really cool :) We had dinner with one of the tailors one night :) They were funny :)

One day it was actually clear enough to see the Himalayas :) Cool hunh? (the Himalayas are the white tops peaking out from the top of the green mountians) :)

In one area of the market, there were always these guys that would walk around (or sit around) with these "lunch-box" looking things that said Body Massage... they seemed just a little scary to me :) Waddya think? Anyone up for a body massage from that guy??

This is the road by our house... we walked on that road everyday... It looks cool in this pic... It was foggy like this almost every day :)

I thought this lady was cool :) She was in town from her village on a holiday weekend. She was selling "second-hand" clothes... Goodwill - it was awesome ;)

This is what the market looked like during a "flat part"... as you can see, it's still pretty "slanty" :) Now these were crazy!!! Man-powered Farris Wheels!!! They were cool!! Adam and our friend John got on it and went for a crazy ride!! The guys powering it stand in the middle and walk on the bars to get it going... after a while, they end up almost running across the middle!! It's not your typical farris wheel!! It is super fast!! It's like a roller coaster!! Adam & John were starting to get a little sick... They were going soooo fast... then, after some time, the guys from the middle kind of held on to areas and slowed the farris wheel down... then they started the wheel going the opposite direction!! By the time the ride was done, Adam and John were feeling pretty sick :) It was funny :)

And of course, I can't end a blog without a funny sign (or something like that)... This picture below is from a bottle of hair gel I bought... It was "DOVE" brand. Tell me, does anyone know what SPFTMESS AMDLOGH INESS is?? hmm... do you want to make your hair like that??

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Silly Pictures! :)

This past weekend we decided we were going to have some fun and brave the Cable Car :) Cable Cars themselves aren't necessarily scary, but here they definitley can be :) It was a pretty funny one... we got in and they took us to the top of the mountain it was attached to. It was a pretty cool view. At the top of the mountain were a few shops and restrauants and TONS of places to get your picture made!
We dressed up and took some funny pictures!! I look like a dork :) We had lots of fun! There were a lot of people watching us too... everyone wanted to get their picture with us... I felt like a movie star :) And if you thought I looked funny.... hhahaha - Adam and our friend John posed in this funny style :)

This little girl (below) was getting her picture made before us... the costume was a little too big for her :) It was cute :)

OK, so this picture makes me Laugh!!!! This was one of the cable car operators!! He was just sitting (facing the opposide direction that the cable car was) and just staring... he was so funny!!!

Saturday, August 19, 2006

The Crazy Langur


There are two kinds of monkeys up here where we are staying… One is the monkey… I don’t know it’s real name, but everyone just calls this one a “monkey”… we have these all over the country, even in the capital and where we live. These are the regular brown ones that I have a lot of pictures of. Now, there’s another kind of monkey up here that is mostly only found in colder places… it’s call the Langur. It’s really cool!! They are big monkeys that are black and white in color (see the picture). They have really long tails and can do really cool jumps and tricks. The Langur are nicer than the monkeys and they tend to keep to themselves and eat leaves (the monkeys like to eat trash and people food a lot… they also like to steal it out of your hands!). Monkeys are really fun to look at – they do the funniest things!! There’s just a couple of rules when dealing with any kind of monkeys…
1. Don’t look them in the eye or show your teeth to them unless you want to fight
2. When walking around with food, keep it in bags and unreachable to the monkeys that may want it (especially bananas :) )…
3. (This is my own personal rule).. if you are walking with a dog that likes to chase monkeys – BEWARE – the dog may try to hide behind you while enticing the monkeys and you may get stuck in the middle of a fight J …..
Now, if you follow those rules, you will get to enjoy the monkeys and they won’t bother you …. Hopefully….

OK, so when we got up here, the locals warned us of a crazy Langur in the area. They said that he was once the “alpha male” and the leader of one of the troops, but one day, another big male decided he wanted to be the alpha male and leader of the troop. They had a big fight and the original leader lost… so then he was kicked out of the troop (you can’t have 2 huge males in one troop… it just doesn’t work… the leader would always be fighting him off)… So now, this huge male doesn’t have a troop and he can’t join another troop, so he roams around by himself… now Langurs, like most monkeys, are very social animals… so being by himself has made him very crazy. The locals say… “if you see a Langur that is by himself, pick up the biggest rock you can find and throw it at him from as far away as you can get.”

Well, we heard the stories of this Langur many times and mostly wrote it off as paranoia (a large amount of people are very paranoid and superstitious in this country and we are used to hearing crazy stories like that)… so we took the information and kept it in the backs of our minds… one day we saw a Langur and thought he was by himself, so we picked up some rocks – only to see that the whole troop was there also – just hanging out, eating leaves… so, after the first week, we just forgot about the story…. Until yesterday…..

Yesterday Adam & I were walking back from Hindi class…Adam saw a Langur in a tree near the language school… we looked at it and walked on. As we walked, I was talking to Adam about my classes for that day… what I learned, what was confusing.. ect… We heard this strange noise behind/around us… it sounded like running water… it had just been raining, and there are a lot of “water runoffs” down the mountain, so we didn’t think anything of it, and I just continued talking about my classes… We continue to hear that sound of running water, and we both look around and don’t see anything, so we continue on our way, and I continue with my story…

THEN, all of sudden, the sound changes and we hear a loud sound, and then the sound of feet pounding down the wall… we look behind us, just in time to see a HUGE Langur right behind us, charging right at us!!! At that point, we realized that the “running water sound” was the monkey stalking/chasing us through the trees!!! We grab our umbrellas and open them up, hoping to make some sort of barrier between us and the Langur… The Langur did not like this and tried to run around behind us – away from the umbrellas… He kept charging at us and lunging at us… he would not be scared away…. So Adam decided to fight back “monkey-style” -- he looked the Langur in the eye and flashed his teeth and made the monkey “fighting sounds” (we learned these sounds from our monkey-dog incident)… and started pushing the umbrella at him… all the while, we were trying to find big rocks to throw at him… We found some rocks and started throwing them at the crazy Langur… he stood his ground for a while, but then retreated to a tree that was right next to us…He was still very close to us and continued to lunge towards us and he looked as if he was going to jump down on us from the tree… So Adam threw some more rocks at him (his baseball skills being put to work)… Finally, the Langur seemed like he might have given up… so we threw rocks at him as we quickly walked away (never turning or backs to him) – until we were out of throwing range… Then we “high-tailed” it out of there and got to Chardukan (the four stores) – to a more populated area…
And that is our story of the crazy Langur….

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

ONE YEAR!!!

Can you believe it!! We've been in country one year as of today!! One year!!!! Whoa! Time has really flown... well, most of the time (when it was 115 degrees and our AC was broken... time didn't go so fast... :)) But it has really gone fast!! One year!!!

Yesterday we had a celebration at school and some little girls were there and eating sweets - I thought this girl was really cute :)

They have the funniest thing here in the market!!! I didn't realize what it was until the other day :) I would see a lot of older men pushing children in "strollers" here in the market... I just assumed that it was the grandpa or something... but sometimes we would see them walking around with empty strollers... hmmm... It's funny because we haven't seen many (if any) strollers the entire time in country... Well, we finally figured it out!!

It ends up that he's a coolie!! (or a porter)... The coolies walk around the market with empty strollers and ask people with children if they can be a coolie for their child!!! The family pays these men to push their children up and down the hills of the market while they shop!! It's like a portable babysitter!!! It seems that the coolie is also in charge of keeping the child happy... I thought that was pretty funny!!

And, just for fun :) Another monkey picture :)

Monday, August 14, 2006

Rain Rain Rain!!

Up here in the mountains, when they say monsoon season - they mean it!!! We have had sooo much rain! When we first got here it was sunny outside and we thought it would rain some, but be sunny a majority of the time :) hahaha When we first got here, this is what it looked like out our front door :
And that night:

BUT... this is what it looks like most days:

It rained for 8 days straight!! And I'm talking about heavy rains!! We even have to walk to class (about a 20 min walk) in the rain (up hill too :) don't I sound like a grandma now :) hahaha Luckily this past weekend we had a break from the rain during the day and we actually got some of our clothes to dry!! whoo hoo!! Everyone lays their clothes anywhere and everywhere in order to try to get them dry :) It's fun!

Everybody has these HUGE golf umbrellas they carry around with them at all times during this season. I bought a fun bright colored one :)
Whoo hoo! We're having fun and learning a lot! It ROCKS!

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Leaches & Spiders Oh My!!!

Well, I had a run-in with a leach and a scary spider yesterday... Yesterday, Adam & I walked down into the market to get some stuff, and before we headed back, we stopped at a coffee shop. While we were drinking our coffee, I felt something funny on my foot... so I looked down and this is what I saw... (viewer discression is advised :)
I know, it's gross looking - It freaked me out! The locals at the coffee shop just looked at it and said "jaunk" (kinda prounced Junk) - which means Leach... and then looked away - as if it was a normal thing :) One of the guys said... oh, it's just a leach, the leach it gone, just wash off your foot when you get home :) haha YUCK!! It's funny because I didn't even feel it! Crazy hunh?
Then, we were out hanging out with some friends last night, and we came back to our cabin and there was a HUGE spider inside!!
Adam tried to get it (while also getting video of it) and he missed it... so the spider crawled inside of the back of the fridge... we pulled it out and looked in the back of it and could see his fangs shining in the flashlight! He had big fangs!! We tried to get him, but he's still in our cabin!! Does anyone know what kind of spider it is? Oh well, maybe we'll find him soon.... :) Whoa!!

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Monkeys and Bowlfs

Adam and I are having fun here at language school... they forgot to put us on the schedule this week (seems to be a common problem here... it was us and about 5 other people that were forgotten) - so we've been scrounging (sp?) for classes this week. I've only had a few classes and I have already learned soooo much - it rocks!!

Adam and I got stuck in the middle of a monkey fight today!! It was a little scary!! The dog that lives at our guest house area (the landlord's dog) always comes with us when we leave the house. Today we were going down to the city, and he followed us... we got to a pack of monkeys and he decided to try to chase a small one... well, the big HUGE males all got on the wall and started making these attacking monkey noises (can't really explain it...) and the dog hid behind us!! We were trying to move out of the way, but the dog stayed with us and monkeys didn't get any less mad... then the biggest monkey came and ran after the dog and pushed past me and Adam - it was a little crazy!!

Since we're high up in the mountains, transportation is limited and expensive... so for some businesses and people to get supplies from other places lower on the mountain, they have people carry them on their heads up the mountain!!! In the pic below you can see a guy carrying tons of wood with his head! We saw someone carrying a washer up the mountian the other day - man, talk about a strong neck!!

And I couldn't have a blog without showing you one of the fun signs that I saw today :) Anyone want a food bowlf? hmmm....