Thursday, January 22, 2009

A little Nepali Goes a Long Way

On the 3rd night in Kathmandu, I went to a bar with two American friends from my program. We wanted to find a bar with some local color, so after wandering the streets for 20 minutes, we walked into a bar that sounded like it had Nepali kareokee. As we walked in, we got strange looks from some of the locals and were then led to a table.

I had been studying Nepali for 2 days and could say only these 10 phrases-- hello, thank you, I don't understand, I speak a little Nepali, I am a volunteer, I go to Pokhara, how are you?, I am fine, what is your name? and my name is Andrew. As soon as I asked the waitress "tik chah" and "tapaiili nam ke ho", (how are you and what is your name), we became instant stars of the bar. Someone made us move tables so we would have a better view of the live band (we then realized that it was a live band and not kareokee), and we were surrounded by Nepali guys instantly speaking Nepali to us. The more I said "maile bhujina" (I don't understand), the more excited they would get that I could speak Nepali. The announcer came over to our table, dedicated a song to us, made us get up and dance, and by the end of the night offered me the lead female singer to take home. We figured that after the objectifying of women fiasco, it was an appropriate time to leave. What a true Nepali experience.

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