Sunday, August 10, 2008

I'm home in Little Rock after a two-day journey on three flights. My jetlag is minimal as I was able to sleep in a hotel in Doha (compliments of Qatar Airways) and at the home of Ken and Patti Tolo in Washington, DC. It is GREAT to be here with Katie, Maggie, Mewmew! I am very much looking forward to reconnecting with friends and Clinton School classmates, faculty and staff and hearing the stories of summer adventures.

On my way home I appreciated some not so subtle changes in my activities of daily living which indicated that I was no longer in Kathmandu. Here are a few:

In Doha:

  • Cars outnumbered motorbikes 50:1.
  • No cows or goats on the road.
  • Abundant petrol.
  • I went into the hotel bathroom without my flipflops and the floor was dry.
  • I flushed the TP.
  • I brushed my teeth with water from the tap and I SWALLOWED it without fear of later gastrointestinal retribution!
  • The bathroom actually had a bathtub, and water from the showerhead did not rain down on the toilet.
  • My mattress was more than 1.5 inches thick.
    My pillow did not feel like a brick.
  • Dinner was a very decadent buffet with fresh salad and fruit...and my stomach did not knot up in worry while eating it.
  • People were NOT friendly.
  • No one said "Namaste!" (I'm beginning to appreciate what a lyrically cheery greeting that is!)
  • The TV had BBC and CNN on it.
  • The news actually reported all of the arrests of Tibetan protesters at the Chinese embassy in Kathmandu. (Did we ever see that on the news in KTM?)

In Washington/Bethesda:

  • Free and fast WiFi! (...which I have decided is life's greatest luxury!)
  • Strawberries, blueberries and bagels for breakfast. (No milk tea. Sorry, Carly!)
  • A full night's sleep without a chorus of barking dogs.
  • No 5am worship bells or the scent of incense wafting in through my windows.
  • A 20 minute taxi ride cost $45.
  • People were actually out jogging.
  • I ate a sandwich on whole grain bread!

Except for being with Katie, I'd trade it all away for another week in Nepal.

We'll see if my current opinion stands the test of time!


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