Come again…wait under WHAT tree?


I believe that life is chaotic, a jumble of accidents, ambitions, misconceptions, bold intentions, lazy happenstances, and unintended consequences, yet I also believe that there are connections that illuminate our world, revealing its endless mystery and wonder.
David Moranis

Ailsa’s travel theme this week was perfect.  Connections connotates so many different things to so many people and it was fun to look through other samples of what “connections” means to others.

Eventually everything connects – people, ideas, objects. The quality of the connections is the key to quality per se. – Charles Eames

Sometimes when living in a different country it becomes very difficult to connect with the words, the culture and some of the people.  It’s not due to either party’s intent or lack of trying.  It’s more that we all come from a place that we understand because we grew up in that place.

Take directions for example.  For the most part in the U.S. you can expect to be given directions in a very specific format.  Street names, building landmarks, or even natural landmarks.  Take this out of context and move it to a country where you barely speak the language and wow do some of these connecting factors change their meaning.  A tree will always mean a tree, but as I found out today a tea shop does not always mean a tea shop.

I have been trying to find this business so I can start taking Nepali language and cooking classes.  Today was a holiday and so I decided to venture out and find this place which is only about 5 minutes (Nepali time) from my workplace.  Here is how the conversation went.

Me:  So if I am walking from my home how do I get there?

She:  From the U.S. embassy on the first main road take a right.

Me:  Yeah but if I am coming from my home which road would that be?

She:  Oh yeah.. well, take the first main road right after the teaching hospital.

Me:  But my house is the opposite side of the embassy.  I can’t take a right from both directions can I?

She:  Oh yeah.. well, from your house take the first main road right after the teaching hospital .. take a right.  Walk a little ways and then take a right again.. You will pass a guard who is usually sleeping and then after about 200 meters or so you will meet with a tea shop.  Stop there and they will tell you to take a small left and there is our building.  If you can’t find it stop at the tea shop and then call me.

Me:  Ok.  so take a right on the first main road after the teaching hospital and then take a right on the next main road.. walk a short distance and when I see a tea shop then shortly after that take a left and there you are.

She:  Oh yeah!!

So I walk to the only main road between my house and my work.  I start down this road and there is no other main road to take a right on.  So I backtrack to the next main road.. which I didn’t actually know was a main road.

Main main road

Main main road

First main road to turn on

First main road to turn on

Guard sleeping as directed

Guard sleeping as directed

Not a real right but simply a bend in the road.. at this point I can only assume I am on the right road.

Not a real right but simply a bend in the road.. at this point I can only assume I am on the right road.

Is this really a main road?  Am I on the right road?

Is this really a main road? Am I on the right road?

First left.. I think

First left.. I think

No tea shop in site so I will walk a ways as she never gave me a distance perspective.

No tea shop in site so I will walk a ways as she never gave me a distance perspective.

This was the teashop and tree I should have spotted it right off.  The last picture shows that this is in fact the biggest tree on the road.

This was the teashop and tree I should have spotted it right off. The last picture shows that this is in fact the biggest tree on the road.

This side road was the one I was to turn left on.. after the first major road left.

This side road was the one I was to turn left on.. after the first major road left.

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