Monday, February 8, 2010

Othello, Apartments, Yoga & Maybe Some Trekking

So all kinds of things to talk about in this post. First I guess I'll talk about the play we saw on Saturday night, Othello: The Sen of Nepal. I wasn't sure what the hell a sen was, and at first kind of assumed it was a typo. Clearly it was supposed to be the line that replaces the Moor of Venice, so I thought maybe it was an ethnic group, but I had never heard of Sen people and I'm somewhat familiar with the Nepali ethnic groups, even though there are like 20. A Google search revealed it's a popular Bengali last I guess it means the dude is Bengali, which would fit the play. Anyway the play was put on by a new stage company called Nepali Shakes, with the founder having studied and preformed in London and New York. The actors all appeared to be of college age, and it was held at a college in Patan, just south of Kathmandu. Now understanding people who speak with a Nepali or Indian accent can be tough to follow, when they are speaking in Shakespearian English it can be  almost impossible. The guy playing Iago talked a little fast and the guy playing Rodrigo was a little tough to understand, so the opening scene was brutal, with maybe 10% comprehended. After my ears warmed up to their speech patterns I was much better off and all of the female characters spoke very clearly and were easily understood. The sets were good, the acting very decent. Over all it was an enjoyable experience and if they did another play that looked interesting I think I'd go.
Next up is the apartment search. We looked at a whole bunch of places on Saturday, and though I liked one of them, Kim thought it lacked privacy due to a common area going through the area that connected all the rooms. I can't blame her for not being wild about that. So today we looked at another four places and liked a couple of them. One is just down the street from where we are, it's on the top floor, so when the sky is clear it will have mountain views, and best of all it is dirt cheap, merely $135/MO. The drawback is that it is a little smaller than the other places we've looked at having just a Kitchen, bath, living area and one bedroom. Another place we looked at is in a nice part of town with a good sized garden on the ground level and again sits up on the top floor with decent views. This place has a tiled bath with a tub, good sized sunny rooms and is just around the corner from the largest shopping center in Kathmandu. At just over $200/mo it's a good deal too. Finally there is the very large fully furnished apartment that is right next to the Prime Ministers house. This one has ample space, 3 bathrooms (one though is an Asian squat toilet), 2 bedrooms, overlooks the prime ministers grounds and comes with a localized hot water heater, TV, stove, refrigerator, and is fully stocked with plates and utensils in the Kitchen. This would be like getting a place next to the white house in the US, it's kind of weird. The real estate agent joked that there is 24 hour security because of the armed guards at the Prime Ministers place. Looking out the east facing window no more then 50' away is a tower with an army dude in it and a machine gun. Kim of coarse thought this was the best and at just under $350/month it really is a nice deal. The cheapskate in me is kind of trying to convince me that I want the place that is $135/mo. Kim may win this one though.
  lastly it looks like we may take some Yoga classes. Kim is the one pulling for this, but if she can go trekking, I can put in an honest effort at Yoga. Besides I could use some additional flexibility. As for hiking I'm thinking of going as soon as we get this apartment thing worked out. Tibetan New Year starts on the 14th, and they celebrate for like two weeks. I'm thinking any area with Sherpa or other Tibetan people would be the place to go. I'm inclined to try and do the Everest Trek again, as getting up to Namche Bazar to see any celebration could be a lot of fun. I am going to look into Langtang as well, but I have never been up that way so I have no idea what it's like or what ethnicity inhabits that valley.

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