Monday, April 24, 2006

Washing clothes and buying a Gho

Instructions how to wash clothes: Collect them, put them into the washing machine, add detergent, start the machine, wait (be lazy), recollect them, put them outside to dry.
O shuut, that's how you're doing it in good ol' Switzerland. In Bhutan, you have to modify those instructions a little bit: Collect them (free them from ants if necessary), fill a bucket with hot water, add detergent, put clothes into the bucket, use your hands to simulate a washing machine, fill the bucket with cold water, use again your hands, build construction to dry the clothes, hang them up, wait...
You see, I'm not getting bored. Besides washing clothes the hard way, I did a few other things during the weekend - all of them preventing me from posting ;-). Saturday, I helped redesigning the distance education web site for NIE Samtse. As it is always true for such things, it takes a lot longer than you thought in the beginning it would. At 3:30pm, we (Sonam Rinchen - a lecturer at NIE Samtse - and myself) went to the Indian part of Samtse (known as Checkpost) and ordered two Ghos (a Gho is the traditional Bhutanese dress). They measured my body and told us that we can pick it up Sunday at 4pm. In the evening, there was a cultural performance - everything in Dzongkha - so I didn't understand a whole lot. Still, it was very interesting and I enjoyed it a lot.
On Sunday, I went to the market. The vendors at the market are mostly Indian guys and they don't speak English very well - and I don't speak Hindi. I thought 'well, it'll work out' - and in fact it did. Walking down to the market, I met a trainee from the NIE and he offered to help me out. So he helped buying all the stuff that I needed, bargained, and advised. After having done that, we went to a restaurant and got tea and Momos (a traditional Bhutanese dish).

In the afternoon, we went another time to the Checkpost and tried to get my first Gho. Well, it was promised that we'll get it at 4:30pm - but in the end, we got it at 6:30pm... So instead of just sitting there and waiting, we were walking around, getting tea, observed cows that walked in front of the store and a truck with at least 30 men on it, and a ton of other things that I'm not used to...
Once the Gho was ready, putting it on was - well - an adventure to say the least. Sonam helped a lot and finally, it worked out. This morning, I had to put it on myself. A disaster. I'm not telling you how long I tried without getting a really good result. In the end, I went to the office with a not-so-perfectly-sitting Gho. After an hour, a student dropped by and he was kind enough to help me out putting it on correctly... When I went to the canteen to order lunch, students kind of started laughing (ok, I had to laugh in the first place because it felt just so strange) - and actually, one of them gave me a few additional hints (and help out right away to put them into practice).
So you want to see a picture of me in a Gho?? I guess you'll have to wait a bit...

4 comments:

Martin Geisler said...

We want the picture, we want the picture! :-)

Anonymous said...

hi sam....
i was just looking for an information about monsoon in bhutan....
n i came across the topic
Sam in bhutan ...
and i was eager to see what's there...
well you have so many interesting things shared........
perhaps it was unimaginable thing for you to have experienced a new life in an unknown place ......
but you will like it some how.....
hope you are eager to come back after few months time...in 2007....
i have no account here so im using as anonymous....

cheku
samtse

Anonymous said...

hi sam....
i was just trying to fin out an information about monsoon in bhutan....
n i came across the topic
Sam in bhutan ...
and i was eager to see what's there...
well you have so many interesting things shared........
perhaps it was unimaginable thing for you to have experienced a new life in an unknown place ......
but you will like it some how.....
hope you are eager to come back after few months time...i mean in 2007....
i have no account here so i'm using as anonymous....

cheku
samtse

jowdjbrown said...

O shuut, that's how you're doing it in good ol' Switzerland. In Bhutan, you have to modify those instructions a little bit: http://trocknerwaermepumpe.webnode.com/