Sunday, December 12, 2010

Iron stomach

On this field trip I am cursed with the twin good fortunes of being well-fed by the friends I live with when I'm in the village, and also having a very robust digestive system.

Last trip I was also relatively well fed - but spent more time living alone in KTM where I had more autonomy as to what I would eat, and how much. Also, for most of last trip, I was - to a greater or lesser extent depending on the week - quite sick. It's not something I really mentioned on the blog partly to prevent unnecessary worry and partly because it was so persistent it wasn't worth mentioning. So even with an unhealthy diet and a lack of exercise routine last year I still managed to come home not looking too different to when I departed (I did lose a heap of weight in the middle and ate a lot of cake to make up for that).

My iron digestive track has lead to the development of a stomach a little less solid and a little softer.

I have never eaten so much in my life as I do in the village here - and growing up with a Polish grandmother I can tell you that is not a flippant statement. How they eat so much rice is beyond me. The strangest thing is that after a week we had to sit down and have a serious conversation because my friend has been concerned that I'm not eating much. I pointed out that Nepalis eat a lot more rice than Australians - I didn't point out that since they won't let me do any work I'm not as hungry as she is after 8 hours in the fields.

Of course, having a more robust digestive system has made me much more cavalier about where I eat and what I eat. I still don't ever think I'll be able to eat the fresh coconut sold on the streets of Kathmandu, no matter how much my mouth waters every time I walk past - but I have eaten all manner of questionable things on this trip and remained unscathed.

I'll just have to hit the salads and bike riding when I get home.

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