Saturday, October 23, 2010

and it's hello again from Kathmandu

where as usual the internet is slow and unreliable, but at least since Dashain we only have 2 hours a day of powercuts (without a schedule as yet so it is always a surprise!).
Our flights here were fairly uneventful and we had the boys all primed for the sprint to the visa desk. Buying a visa here is much cheaper than at home - you just have to queue for a bit. Anyway, they all got through and there I was with my passport full of Nepal visas and a request for another. The man glared at the 90 day visa I had earlier this year (of which I used about 30 days!) and said "You can't have that visa I will only give you 15 days." Oh dear. I attempted to reason with him, and show him exactly how many days I had stayed as you are only allowed 150 days in a calendar year. He wasn't buying it and by now I was holding up about 50 people who were getting a bit cross. So he took me aside - "are you handling it dear?" asked Robin . Yes go away! - and said that he would take my passport and send it to Immigration. What a good idea I said - as I know that the people in the office are about 10 times smarter than this idiot appeared to be. So I got into the country but didn't have a passport or visa. Oh well.
We were flat chat from the moment we got out of the airport  with people coming to see Robin. Nobody comes to see me anymore :(
On Wednesday we sent the boys sightseeing while Robin had about a hundred meetings and I went to the Immigration office to see about my passport - the nice Mr Gautam was very busy as it was their first day of opening after the holidays, so he asked if I could come back on Thursday and of course I said yes. And when I did get there on Thursday after dropping the boys at the airport I got my passport and a visa for 90 days which takes me to the 10th of January - which is way more than I need. And my new BFF Mr Gautam and I agree that the people at the airport cannot think.
Meanwhile, yesterday I spent about 4 hours at the Tilganga Eye Hospital having tests and getting poked in the eye and having 3 lots of stinging drops put in. Ouch. Not only do they sting but they make your eyes sensitive to the light - and when you are walking from one building to another in the bright sun following someone in a crisp white coat it HURTS. Good thing Puru was with me to hold my hand and stop me crashing into some potted geraniums. He was also useful for distracting me when I had to have a blood test. And of course he speaks Nepali which came in handy once or twice.
Anyhow, I am booked in for next Wednesday (my goodness so fast) but unfortunately they can't restore my sight to 20/20 in that eye as it is now at -14 (so where is my white stick?!) but they will get it to -7 the same as the right eye, so at least my eyes will be balanced - unlike my brain. So soon it will be back to the world of contact lenses.
And emma chisit I hear you ask? Well, first of all, the current exchange rate is about 68 rupees to the Aussie dollar. So, I paid Rs 50 to register as a patient. I paid Rs 650 for all the tests I needed (which at home were going to be $755) and I paid Rs 25 for antibiotic eyedrops which I have to put in 4x a day from today. Oh, and then when I go on Wednesday for the op, with a private 'relaxing room' as Puru put it, I have to take Rs 10,500. Yes that's right about $150. For the best eye surgeon on the planet to treat me in a brand new hospital. Go figure.
So, today I am off to meet some friends at the markets at 1905 for chocolate croissants and other goodies.
 But just before I go, imagine if you will my surprise when I opened the door yesterday and saw this:
Don't try this at home

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