Pakistan and I arrived in Kathmandu, Nepal twenty-two hours after our initial embarkation. I felt as celebrated as a cesspool. My frazzled hair hung in frizzes, homogeneous to if I'd been electrocuted. After relieving myself, I could walk and talk like an unafflicted human being, but could feel the feces festering and extending and knew it was just time before another liquid explosion propelled from my ass like Hiroshima.
Upon arrival we were promptly placed in a local van voyaging to Pokhara, our lake town destination, and triggered through the thundering Annapurna mountain ranges. When five and six people were ushered into each non-air-conditioned four-seat row, Pakistan climbed onto the van's roof for repose. When I attempted the roof amenity, the van dictators - those who hang out the door collecting people and money into the van - forbade me follow because I'm a woman. I contemplated telling them that I was a man in disguise, but that seemed as logical as Britney Spears' fifty-five-hour Vegas marriage to Jason Alexander. I mollified myself by hovering my head and left arm out the window as I imagine I would were I inhabiting a jail cell.
In my full four-person row, Hitler and Stalin directed two twenty-something Nepalese males next to me. They thrust into the seat like my body was part of the mosh pit at a Beastie Boys concert. They introduced themselves, the one closest to me halfway hunkering on my lap. We jaunted through the quotidian question gauntlet of whether I was married, how old I was, if I had any children, and what my job was. Upon matriculating that I was not married, Ding and Dong grinned at each other as if I had announced that they won Who Wants to be a Millionaire. I hastily shifted my sentence to say that my boyfriend was on the roof of the van.
"But you're not married," Ding declared, prodding his pointer finger up his nose as if searching for the meaning of life in his left nostril. His brown eyes bore into mine as he swapped to his right nostril. Tears traced the corners of his eyes as he bowed back his head. As he sneezed, his arms bombarded from his body, one beaching on my chest, the other on Dong's chest.
Ding sneezed on me, his exhale and spit as savage as a tsunami. A booger rocketed onto my uncovered knee. I was just impressed. He had been drilling into his nose like an oil well for three minutes before erupting spit and a booger on my skin.
"Sorry," he said while plunging his pointer finger across my leg.
I assured him it was okay, requested he cease rubbing my leg with his booger-finger, and informed him it was more proper to sneeze on himself, or someone he knew, i.e. his friend Dong.
Dong imp-smiled at me. I rotated back to the window.
Fifteen minutes later we halted on the side of the street. Small children selling water and snacks volleyed the van like Santa Claus was inside and whoever sold something first got to return with Santa to the North Pole. Ding bought a pickle the size of a small football. He reached over me to the window to exchange a few rupees for the pickle. As he pulled the pickle towards him, pickle juice exuded onto both of my legs.
"Sorry," Ding said again, again brushing my leg with only his booger-finger.