Jet-Lagged in Nepal — By Lydian Shipp
Asia Nepal South Asia

Jet-Lagged in Nepal — By Lydian Shipp

It hasn’t rained hardly at all.

It’s the monsoon season here in Nepal, and I haven’t seen more than a few rain clouds. But to be fair, I did feel a light mist yesterday when we were out walking.

I’d been expecting a lot of rain; I carefully waterproofed my shoes with special waterproofing spray before we left in preparation for the copious amounts of rain. Although I did this, I had still been looking forward to the rain.

We actually packed Under Armor and cooler clothes both for this trip due to the fact that we didn’t truly know what the weather would be like. Ultimately, we had expected that Kathmandu would be chilly, given it’s up at altitude and all.

It’s definitely not cold, though. Contrary to our original impression of the weather here, it is shockingly humid and hot. As I write this, I have taken off my black short-sleeved t-shirt in order to cool down. Most of the windows in our apartment are open, but it’s still fairly sticky. Occasionally, a barely-there breeze will blow through our living quarters.

I wish I had more positive thoughts. I’m clean, I’m fed, and I’m watered. I’m in Nepal, with a view of the world famous Himalayas right out my bedroom window, and all I can do is complain. It’s hard to say what’s causing my negativity. It could be the jet lag, the rabies vaccination I got yesterday, or the altitude.

I have two positives that I can think of:

  1. We had chickpea pancakes for lunch and breakfast.
  2. We are staying in today, and are not going out to look for essential items like notebooks and honey.

My dark outlook on life may be caused partly by my lack of sleep and generalized discomfort. I’m hot, my bed feels no different than the floor, and I didn’t get almost any sleep last night. Although I was exhausted at nine last night, I forced myself to stay awake until ten in an attempt to acclimate to the different time-zone. I’ve decided I don’t like jet-lag; I was looking forward to it before we left for some reason.

When 10 o’clock rolled around, I started trying to sleep. I tossed about trying to get comfortable on my rock-hard bed. I discovered that when I rest an arm or a leg (ideally a leg) on one of my spare pillows, I am slightly more comfortable. It’s like I’m distracting my mind from the solidness of the bed with the softness of the pillow. I don’t sleep under my covers, either. It’s just a little more comfortable that way.

Despite the adversity, I did get to sleep.

At almost exactly one in the morning, I awoke angry and uncomfortable. I flopped around in my bed, trying some alternate sleeping positions, thinking that perhaps I had woken from discomfort. It would have been nice if that had been the issue, but it wasn’t.

A dog yowled and screamed at the top of its lungs, its bark reverberating off the walls of the apartment buildings, and up into my bedroom. Its bark was sharply contrasted with the peaceful chirruping of crickets in the background. Every time that dog screamed, every single other dog in Kathmandu started barking as well. It was awful. Just when I thought he was finally done with his screaming, he started right back up again.

Then a narcissistic pigeon that had made its nest outside my window started cooing at himself. The dog yowled some more. The other dogs barked. I stared at the ceiling admiring my calmness amid the stress of the current situation.

I wondered if the windows were open, and if that was why I could hear the dog so well, so I got out of bed and checked.

They weren’t.

My calm went away quite rapidly as I realized there was nothing I could do to drown out the dog. I cursed quietly, imagining how I would get the dog to shut up. I’m honestly ashamed to admit this since I’m usually a very humane person, but I imagined everything from strangling the dog to kicking it to the moon.

As I luxuriated in my thoughts of making the dog shut up, a distressing idea popped into my mind. What if Yowler was the cute little puppy we had affectionately named Cadbury? I shoved the thought out of my mind and went back to my daydreams as the next set of yowls and barks reached my ears.

This morning, the narcissistic pigeon was still cooing. I emailed one of my friends, and mentioned my annoyance with the bird. She emailed me back with an interesting suggestion on how to quiet it. She said I could try throwing bread crumbs on the ground, and then wait for the bird to go and eat the crumbs. Then, while it was distracted, I could drop a rock on its head.

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