Here in Achham, alcohol was banned until last year. Though many people have been making their own “moonshine” for years, the recent influx of mass-produced, more palatable beverages, has led to a distinct increase in alcoholism, domestic violence, physical altercations, and fall injuries. It is not uncommon to see men falling down drunk in the streets in the middle of the day, and some even wander onto the hospital campus.
The other afternoon, a drunk middle-aged man stumbled into our yard just after I had returned home from work. Ryan had come home earlier to take care of laundry and some household tasks. The man approached us and loudly explained that Ryan should not be doing the laundry. He pointed at me, pointed at the laundry, pointed at me again, and told Ryan that I was “lazy.” He very clearly told Ryan “no laundry,” and kept gesturing about it as we walked inside to avoid further confrontation.
Later that day, Ryan learned a new phrase in Nepali from one of our friends, to arm himself with vocabulary in case we encounter this man again. “Timi galat ho,” in Nepali, means “You are wrong.”