Who knows what kusum is? I stumbled upon it accidentally today. A sour-ish fruit, but God, isn’t it nice to keep popping the little thing into your mouth? 

I visited a VDC called Chaumala. It’s been a really hot day. I couldn’t stop sweating, and not just a little droplets of sweat, but torrents, my shirt was drenched, my cap was drenched, I guess I stank (and in the bus I sat next to this cute girl – sadly she turned out to be a teenager, maybe only 17, who told me point blank that I’m handsome and sweet – and I asked her, ‘How do you know I’m sweet yet you’ve never tasted me?’ and she said ‘I just see you and I know.’

She was talking in very good English, so she was confident no one else in the bus would understand what she was telling me, and she had these nice lips, teasing lips, that I wanted to kiss – crap, wasn’t I talking about the weather? or was it kusum? Oh yeah, she told me, ‘at school, we learn that Africa is very, very hot’ and I laughed at that. In my whole life, I’d never sweated this way. Throughout last night and from the moment I woke up, right through my shower, and until now, I’m sweating, sweating, sweating, and wondering where all that sweat comes from! I’m must have sweated ten litres or more)

Well, I was talking about kusum!

It seemed like there was a party or something. Whole flocks of people (mostly men and women) kept streaming out of the jungle – or what they call jungle here, they should see Mabira forest! – carrying loads of kusum.

Every home I went to, I was offered kusum by the tray loads – and I ate, and ate, and ate the fruit until my tongue developed soars. When it did, my hosts simply laughed at me. They said it happens to everyone, and the only trick is to keep eating kusum, otherwise if you stop, you get a painful tongue when you eat something else.

wow. they ate this kusum with a mixture of salt and piro – salt and pepper – powder. When I asked if the powder is piro (hot) they said no. So I pinched it off the plate and dumped it in my mouth and then the fire that sprout out made them laugh.

But there seems to be a kusum craze in this little village. Lovely village by the way. I should go back there, if only to see Janaki again (the only Nepali girl with a dimple, who offered me accomodation at her father’s house in case I failed to get transport back home) She’s cute!

Okay, I’m very tired, and this being a blog, I won’t even bother to edit. Who reads it anyway?

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