Sunday, October 30, 2011

my nepal encyclopedia

To try and capture more of Kathmandu than I can by camera, and to record all the random things that make up this trip: an encyclopedia of words, places, moments. (All the Nepali words are my spelling, since the actual language uses another alphabet...)

Aunty: what the kids call us and the other house moms. I taught the kids to call me Kiki Aunty since they had trouble pronouncing Kirsten!

Bai: younger brother

Bus rides: bus rides in Kathmandu are crazy. The ceilings inside are maybe five feet tall, so if we have to stand, we all have to hunch over - while packed in so tight it's impossible to move. The ticket-taker, who rides on the step outside of the door, also works to cram as many people inside as possible, a puzzle-master of sorts. Make sure you have the right change so you don't get ripped off.

Chai: Nepali chai is sweet and heavenly. Mix black tea, cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, milk, black pepper, and tons of sugar.

Chia: tea. Nepalis drink either super sugary black tea or milk tea. Milk tea is boiled milk with black tea and sugar, and I drank it constantly at the children's home. The more, the better.

China: none. Example: when Rajn came up to me and said, "Panties china!" meaning, "I have no panties" :( Don't worry, he does have panties, but he wets his pants so much still that he runs out all the time.

Dahl bat: rice and lentils - the staple Nepali meal.

Dai: older brother

Danyabat: thank you (pronounced DAHN-ya-baht)

Didi: sister. I guess Nepalis call each other Didi, Aunty, Uncle, Bai, or Dai constantly - either attached the end of a name or all by itself.

Dogs: I really dislike the dogs in Kathmandu. They either bark, howl, or shriek all night long, especially at the children's home. And we heard two dogs die in huge dog fights two nights in a row at the kid's home. It was so horrible!

Higher Grounds: a Christian owned coffee shop close to the Debortolis that actually really looks like a western coffee shop and feels like home. And has yummy pancakes. I've only been there once but really want to go back before we leave.

Jamasi: a Christian greeting meaning victory in the Messiah (pronounced jay-mah-SEE)

KFC: not to be confused with Kentucky Fried Chicken, the Kwality Food Center serves Indian food like momos (dumplings) and naan. Lyssa and I can eat there for about 300 rupees, or barely four dollars, depending on how much naan we get...

Khokana: the village right outside Kathmandu where the children's home is located. Lots of rice fields around - it's beautiful!

Lazarus: the Debortolis' red jeep, so named because it's died and been resurrected so many times. Should fit five people, but can fit twelve... The van at the children's home, a rickety thing that should fit eight, has fit 21 Nepali kids with Gonga driving. I saw it with my own eyes, and then rode in the next trip with 14 adults and bigger kids. I don't think I need to say that there are no seatbelt laws here.

Mirinda: an orange soda, like fanta, that comes in a glass bottle. Yum!

Miro nam Kirsten ho: my name is Kirsten (pronounced MEER-oh-nam)

Mo lie chya dinus: give me tea!! (pronounced mo-LIE chee-uh din-OOS)

Motorbikes: they're everywhere. And while at the children's home, our primary transportation. Lyssa rides on the back of Nelson's and I ride on the back of Dinesh's. Slightly terrifying - Nepali roads, if paved, are dense with potholes and loose gravel, people, animals, buses, other bikes. Also exhilarating!

Naan: garlic or butter, we eat this stuff in mass quantities when we go to Indian places!

Namaste: hello! (accompanied by pressing your palms together, like in prayer). Direct translation is "I salute the gods within you" which is why "jamasi" is such a cool greeting for Christians.

Numbers: I can count from 1-10 in Nepali now! Ech, dwee, teen, char, baht, cha, saht, at, noo, das.

Pani: water

Paneer butter masala: my favorite Indian dish - butter masala with chunks of cheese.

Rupee: Nepali currency - 76 rupees to one American dollar. For 76 rupees, you could get two cokes, or eight pieces of roti, or one and a half pieces of naan, or four donuts.

Soaking: a Saturday night worship session at the Debortolis' house. Always by candlelight. We listen to a sermon podcast, have Communion, sing, sleep, praise the Lord. It's the best!

Ta piko nam kay ho: what is your name? (or timro nam kay ho for someone younger)

Tiksa: "it's all good". Most useful Nepali word to know, I say it all the time now!

Thammel: the trekking district, full of narrow shops with fake North Face (and any outdoor brand you can imagine) gear. Rumor has it you can buy three Patagonia down vests for $40...

Toe pie la danyabat: a super polite way of saying thank you, meaning "thanks to you"

Universal: a bright green, orange, red and blue cafe with delicious Indian food and the best naan in Kathmandu.

1 comment:

  1. such a great idea! its a great way to give a peek into your Nepali life!