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Chapter 10

Every trip into the school seems to be an adventure for me.  Recently, I was stuck standing on the bus near the back where I was unable to see the landmarks that inform me of when I need to move to the front to get off the bus.  I saw the TB hospital as we were driving by and knew I had to get off at the next stop and walk along the back streets to the school.  I had taken the back streets once with the doctor but was pretty confused about where turns were.  All I knew was that there was a long, steep hill to climb to get to the school.


I ended up making a wrong turn and found myself walking into the town at the top of the hill.  When I got up there I found there was some kind of odd disturbance in the townspeople.  There was a large crowd blocking the street, mostly of women in traditional Nepali clothes.  There seemed to be a lot of other people looking to see what was going on and the sounds of some of the women wailing and crying.  I took a back street to try to go around them to see if the school was on the other side.  On the back street, I saw many women washing clothes on the path that separated the town from thin jungle.  I made it around the crowd and realized I had been walking in the wrong direction.  I walked back through the crowd of women that seemed to be thinning out but had trouble seeing evidence of what had happened.  It looked as though there had been some sort of flower display in the street, red flowers, that at some point that had been driven over.  I tried another turn up the hill and recognized I was near the school.  I went into the Principal's office and was only five minutes late.  "I'm sorry I got off at the wrong stop and it made me late," I said as I saw he had not noticed my tardiness at all.

On the way back from school at the end of the day I went to the bus stop.  The busses can go to at least three different directions from this stop and I have to pay attention to ask the fare taker if it is going where I am headed.  A bus I had taken from this stop before pulled up and I did not recognize what he was saying.  I asked "Lagankel?" or however it is spelled, and he motioned for me to get on the bus.  From my seat I would hear him calling out the door.  I still did not recognize what he was saying but I figured, "eh, I'm sure this will end up in the right place."  I watched as the bus continued past the turn it normally takes and thought to myself "oops, what do I do now?"  I was a little paralyzed by the situation and stayed on the bus for a few stops not knowing what to do.  Eventually I stood up and got off at a random stop and walked about a mile to a taxi stand.


I thought it would be a short taxi ride back but it turned out I had kind of blacked out during the time the bus kept going beyond my intended turn.  It ended up seeming like one of my longer taxi rides.  When I was dropped off by the hospital I remembered I had to go to the store across the street to pick up a few things.  The problem was, the place where I chose to cross the street was a Y in the road where no drivers stop for the right of way and it can be rather complicated to keep track of the vehicles coming towards me.  I looked to my right and saw a large opening to cross, I walked half way then turned my head to look for the other traffic.  There was one small 3-wheeled vehicle just far enough away that if I hurried, I could cross in front of it safely.  So I sped up my gait.


As I was looking at this 3-wheeled vehicle and walking faster, a motorcycle crossed in front of me from my blind side (on the wrong side of the street for her) and I walked into the moving vehicle.  I had been "hit" while crossing the street.  More appropriately, I had hit a vehicle while crossing the street.  The girl on the bike swerved away and nearly fell over.  My balance was barely jolted but I had a centimeter small bruise on the back of my hand.  After visiting the store and walking to the apartment I thought of how much worse I could have been hit... and why the hell was the motorcycle that far on the wrong side of the road!?!










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