Monday, 8 July 2013

Locked out!

So sometimes you have a little voice in your head telling you that you should be doing something now. You could listen to that voice or... dismiss it and say you'll do it later, what's the hurry anyway? NO! Listen to that voice! It's an old habit to turns things down for later and as they say, old habits die hard.

So on Friday, we left for dinner at around 9:30 ish.

'You're going out this late?' Our house mate, Chowden, exclaimed. "Remember to take the gate keys and let me give you my number now."

So 9pm doesn't sound very late to us westerners, but in Nepal everything has to shut by 11pm. Walking out of the house at 7pm in Boudha will leave you with 80% of the shops already closed for the day. Only big restaurants stay open this late.

Now bring on Saturday. We have just visited monkey temple and we left for lunch around 8ish. We  heard so many raves about Flavor Cafe (yes, it's spelt the American way), so we decided to finally eat there. Our expectations were not let down. Pretty outdoor dining, excellent wifi AND trust-able western dishes & local (salad washed in iodinised water, anyone?). We had to stay there for as long as we can, we were getting internet withdrawal effects. In fact, the restaurant had to push the bill to our faces for us to get the message that we had to leave.

We started heading back around 10:30ish, talking about which desserts we want to try in flavor's, when we were greeted by a big, fat lock. Then came flooding back the memories of Tenzin telling us the gates get locked at around 9pm and Chowden telling us to take the gate keys if it's too late. "No worries, we had Chowden's number", we though, "We can call her and get her to open the gates for us." That was until Harriet scrolled through her contacts list twice and saw no sign of Chowden's name. We were locked out.

So this is when we worked like the A team. We all had different resources to get us out of this pickle. Harriet tried to climb over the gate but it seemed to be too good at guarding against intruders (that's a good thing, afterall) and we tried to flash the torch towards our flat but the view was probably blocked if not facing the wrong way for our housemates. I had Miss Tsultrim's number and Victoria had credit but the phone would't go through. We thought we could somehow contact Joanna about our flatmates' numbers. Luckily, Harriet had told her mom to call her an hour later in the restaurant. Perfect timing! I thought I had Joanna's number (house and flat) and I gave that to her. She called back moments later saying it had to be the wrong number. The conversation went like this:

'Hello' comes the reply from a guy with a thick Yorkshire accent.
'I don't think you are Joanna...'
'I don't think I am.'

We tried to give the number again in case it was wrong. There are no street lamps in our section of the road so we waited in the darkness. To make things worse, I really needed to pee. What would we do?

And then a miracle happened. A figure came into a balcony. Was it our balcony? YES! We jumped up and waved our arms in the air like we were trying to be rescued from a shipwreck. Our saviour, our hero! Chowden was soon running down the stairs and opened the gates for us. Turns out, she saw we left the gate keys and that we were still not back, so she decided to look out for us. We ran back to the flat and immediately demanded we had Chowden's number (and she took ours).

What would have happened if we were locked out? Sleep on the streets? Ask a stranger for their couch? God no! Boudha has plenty of guesthouses. We weren't terrified or annoyed at the situation. We laughed throughout the night and still look back at being looking that Chowden was looking our for us. As for Harriet's mum's second attempted at calling Joanna:

"Hello, is Joanna there?"
"This is Joanna's mum, Joanna is sick."
"I'm calling about her flat in Kathmandu."
"Joanna doesn't have a flat in Kathmandu..."

And the little voice in my head? It was telling me on Thursday I should take Chowden's number too with Harriet, but I thought I'd get it from Harriet later.


  1. Wow Nuz you're having crazy adventures already! Seriously, girl be more attentive so you can stay safe! I almost had a heart attack reading through this! Anything else I should be worried about?

  2. Haha, I don’t think you should be worried! I’m always with someone (most of the time) and we have our housemates looking out for us luckily :) ALSO! Give me your address so I can send you a postcard!