Monday, June 21, 2010

one of the most awkward experiences of my life.

A couple of weeks ago I asked Khim to take me on a ride out to the villages so I could take some pictures. I had a wonderful time getting out of Pokhara for the afternoon. I was able to observe small family farms and men working in a rock query. Khim took me to meet a family that he has known for years; I was welcomed into their home to enjoy a cup of chiya.

With the sound of thunder threatening to bring rain, we decided to head back to Pokhara. On the drive I spotted a huge decorative arch made of velvet and inquired about its purpose. Khim told me that a marriage celebration was going on inside and if I would like to stop we could. Part of me wishes we never had! As soon as we stopped the bike, a group of women spotted me and quickly rushed towards me. Before I knew it, I had been lead through a series of long alley ways which opened up to a large outdoor space where more than a hundred women, all wearing red, were dancing and drumming.

The opportunity to witness all of this would have been wonderful...if I could have quietly observed from the sidelines! However, they had different plans for me! I was literally DRUG into the middle of all these women and motioned to begin dancing. I tried to explain that I had no clue how to do traditional Nepali dance. They didn't speak English, and if they had, it wouldn't have changed anything. For the next HALF HOUR I awkwardly danced in a small circle... trying my best to imitate what I had observed in the .02 seconds of observation I had before I became the center of attention. I guess it wouldn't have been that bad, except for ALL eyes were on me and no one else was dancing.

I should have turned back at this point!
Notice the underlip bitting....aka "The ultimate sign that I feel uncomfortable"

These little ones sure thought my performance was hilarious.

I was finally able to free myself by motioning that I would like to give an offering to the couple. All I had with me was 500 Rupees. I wasn't about to try and make change with I just threw the whole bill in the offering plate. I guess this was a large amount because when I placed it in the plate and said "Namaste" someone rushed towards me and placed a huge smear of red Abir and rice on my forehead. This was my first tika!