Wednesday 30th April 2008
Ok, so I recovered from my nasty nasty stomach bug, and after a couple of days of recuperating in Pokhara (where I mostly alleviated my boredom by shopping. I got some very nice lampshades!), I eventually decided to head back up to Kathmandu.
I was a little bit gutted at my aborted attempt at trekking, especially after my Tibet trip got cancelled too, but I now only have three weeks before I set off travelling anyway, so plenty of time for beaches and more shopping instead!
On the bus ride up (8 hours) I was sitting next to a nice English bloke, so we chatted happily most of the journey. Our topics of conversation varied widely, from literature, to travel, and life in general. I told him about living in Korea and Kuwait, and what I was now doing here in Nepal, and he is really keen to go to Korea too, so we mostly discussed that.
He was a really nice guy (called Shaun), and he was terribly sweet, and ever so impressed with the things that I’ve done so far.
And that’s when it happened.
He was gushing away about how amazing it all was, and he suddenly said
”I mean, Wow, you know, I think it’s just so amazing that people your age are really getting out there, you know? I mean, wow, you’ve really LIVED.”
I stared at him in horror, and I think my jaw may have actually dropped open, as he suddenly said “Oh gosh, I’m sorry, you’re not offended are you?”
Luckily for him the window next to me was stuck so I narrowly avoided hurling him out of it, but REALLY.
“People my age“!!!!
Pardon my french, but how fucking old did he think I was anyway?
He’s bloody 22, and I’m almost 27, – hardly his grandmother!
I still haven’t gotten over it, and have repeated the story several times to poor Karla and Alan already – I may even have to get Priya to translate it for Aamaa.
I must admit that I didn’t help my case when we got around to sharing our snacks – he gave me some chocolate biscuits, so I pulled out my zip-lock sandwich bag filled with cashews, peanuts and dried apricots to offer him some.
In my defense, I was supposed to be trekking, and nuts and dried fruit are good trekking food, cos they don’t go bad and have lots of fibre and protein and stuff.
Well they do!
Plus they’re yummy and I like them.
However I did feel like a granny.
“Dried Apricot, deary?”
People my bloody age – what is that supposed to mean exactly???
And as for “you’ve really LIVED.” – lived? past tense? What exactly did he think I’m going to do for the next few decades? Curl up with my cats and look back on my glory days???
Cheeky bloody sod! I don’t know, young people today!
Later on, we got around to music, and I mentioned I’m going to some concerts this summer, and one festival, mainly because the Counting Crows will be there, who my friends and I really want to see.
He looked at me blankly and said “Who?”
I’ve never felt quite so dated in my life! And I’m only 5 years older than him!
Anyhow, I shall attempt to move on from this little incident, although from here on out dating is going to be ten times harder – up until now I’ve generally only been concerned with being fat, but now I have to worry about looking old too.
Maybe I should start using those old-people face creams that de-wrinkle you? (Even though I don’t HAVE any wrinkles yet!!!! Pre-emptive strike?)
Ok, so onto a far more flattering anecdote – I received an email (at our new official email address) from a man called Machindra, who was at our fundraiser and was really impressed with our show. He and his friend are making a ‘music video’, and it just so happens that they need some foreign models to be in it. Would Karla and Maya be interested in “volunteering” to be in their music video, and in exchange they would like to make a donation/support our orphanage?
I wrote back that I was extremely flattered, but would prefer to meet with them to discuss it further before committing to anything. It would be awesome to say I was in a random music video while I was here, but it really really depends what they require us to do.
Standing around as extras in a club or sitting in a convertible in front of a wind machine is fine with me, but anything involving hot pants, bikinis or dancing in general will be vetoed immediately – unless it’s a comedy video, as my dance moves are pretty special!
So, we’ll see just what kind of “video” it is, and decide from there!
Very sweet and flattering, although I think if we do it, I’ll have to be VERY clear on the clothing issue – after all, people of my age (and size!!) just can’t pull off hot pants!
So, I’m now heading back to the orphanage, to spend the last couple of weeks with the kids and get all my stuff ready to move on again – I’ve got loads of stuff to post home, (including my nice new lampshades!) and I still have to get my Indian visa, which involves getting there at 5am in order to get a token, of which they only issue 100 a day, and then waiting until 9.30am when they open the doors to start the long process of forms and long queues!
Then I can start planning my travels and get geared up for beaches and Pina Coladas!
In case I haven’t told you guys yet (I lose track), my plan is to go down to Pokhara with Karla and Amy on about the 20th May to celebrate my birthday together down there, and then I’ll leave pretty much the next day, and travel by bus and train across the border to India and over to Delhi (which may take about 36 hours or so of buses and whatnot).
Then from Delhi I fly to Chennai (Madras) and get another flight to Singapore. I’m not stopping in Singapore, but will then travel by bus straight across the border and around Malaysia for about 10 or 11 days, including plenty of beach time and shopping!
Then I fly back from Singapore to Chennai, where I’ll start my travels around India, stopping at (hopefully) Pondicherry, Bangalore, Haampi, Goa and then after a few more days on the beach, I’ll get the train up to Delhi again (48 hours of straight train travel!), stop off at Agra to have a squizz at the Taj Mahal, and then I fly home at the end of June!
The slightly daunting thing about all this is that I’ll be travelling in India for about 3 weeks, in June, during the hot, wet monsoon season, which is going to be almost unbearable and very very silly! I suspect all my plans to travel on a budget will go out of the window, as I’ll need air-con all the time, but hopefully due to the intense heat, I’ll have the beaches to myself!
So, that’s the plan, at least for now!
I should be home at the end of June, for all you people who can’t wait to see little old me, although I should warn you all that my summer is starting to fill up remarkably fast, with all these concerts and festivals and weddings and hen nights to fit in! (and of course, I’m not as young as I once was, I may need some early nights in there too!).
And in amongst all that excitement, I may also attempt to find an actual paid job somewhere too! Anyone with any ideas or recommendations please come forward!
And then there’s also my book to publish….. (wishful thinking!)
Busy busy busy!
hope you’re all doing very well, tons of love, and it won’t be long til I’m home again, although you can expect a LOT more emails between now and then as I gallivant about happily!
tons of love (especially to all of you “people my age”!)
Old, Ancient, Decrepit (and yet wrinkle-free) Maya