Red is Beautiful, Sweet is Tasty

I’ve been meaning to catch up on this for a while, but life can get pretty busy. I’ve been biking a little bit lately, up into Shivapuri, Nagurjun, and am planning to ride to Nagarkot this weekend. Fun stuff, getting back in shape, except for getting a leach. I hate leaches.

I’m at the Department of Transportation Today, getting the paperwork for our Personally Owned Vehicle (POV), of which we’re (dips) allowed only one by the Nepali Government. Folks in the know will remember our car issues of late, but bringing everyone else up to speed, we had a 1988 (or 1992?) Subaru 1600 Legacy DL wagon. A beater, but a pretty decent ride, considering. That is until the main bearing got destroyed and timing belt damaged due to the engine timing being way out of whack. In the states, this wouldn’t have been a big deal, I would have gotten a rental and had the car fixed inside of a week. Here…well let’s just say things are not so smoothly running. The end result was that we scrapped the car (new pneumatic lifts, new tires, new battery, bye bye) and bought a Maruti Gypsy. And now two months later, I finally have a certification letter for destruction of the Subaru engine (have sold it for scrap too) and am getting the right to have bought and be driving our current vehicle. What a process it’s been!
When you drive a Gypsy, you realize that everything you’ve had up until now has been an amazing luxury vehicle, and this thing is just a trumped up barbie car. Night-vision rear view mirror? Nope. Shock absorbers? What are those? Tiny seats, rattly frame, rear seat belts that hardly function (am getting after market ones from Amazon), etc. The one upside is that these things are so plentiful and inexpensive to maintain that when we DO have a mishap, it will be easy and cheap to repair.

The rains have come early to Kathmandu, and I’m already getting leery of the lettuce, what with a possible Cyclospora issue. No warnings from the community yet though, so we’re tentatively pressing on. It does mean more city-supplied power though, which is great. It means that I don’t have the run the generator much at all, and the UPS unit has time to recharge for the computer.

We’re ramping up for the visitors we’re having this year; I think the only months we aren’t yet hosting people are June and August. And with the summer comes the transfer season, friends and acquaintances moving on to other climes around the world: Egypt, Namibia, Saudi Arabia, Israel.

And that’s the news.