Katmandu’s Old Circus

child acrobats

child acrobats

My obsession with circuses started with Toby Joins the Circus, a childhood story. I love Water for Elephants and The White Bones; I’ll read anything about elephants or circuses. I land in a new country, and one of my first questions is: Do they have a circus here?
The circus in Katmandu was open every day- a permanent set-up as far as I knew. I walked there with a cotton mask covering my nose and mouth because the smog I’d been inhaling for weeks was affecting my lungs. After a long wait, the audience was allowed in. We were about 30 in total- I was the only white person. circus in Katmandu
I’d been traveling through India and then Nepal for months, so I was accustomed to the shamble and poverty. Still, the large rips and holes in the circus tent surprised me. The canvas was a rag held up by poles, shafts of sunlight pouring through the holes. There seemed to be more holes than canvas and I wondered: Why bother putting it up? We sat on wooden benches surrounding a circle of packed earth, sweating in the humid heat even at 10 a.m.
My heart sank as the clowns and tricksters entered the single ring. Most of the performers were children: wily strong children who didn’t smile much. They piled themselves in every possible combination and contortion on bicycles, horses and poles. They swung from fragile-looking bars attached to the wires above them, and tumbled gracefully into flips and leaps. The animals were clearly not pets; they were wild, lean, heavily chained. The big cat show was frightening, mostly because I didn’t trust the strength of the rusty locks and feeble cages.elephant on tricycle
It’s always the same debate with me- is it better to boycott attractions that treat animals and, in this case, children, poorly? The Nepali circus and the Indian zoos with their tiny cement cages would not have noticed my boycott- ah, but what if all the travellers made a statement en masse, you ask? I still don’t know- I didn’t see any white tourists at the busy zoo in Jaisalmer or at the circus in Katmandu; their paying visitors were mostly Indian and Nepali.
For me, the experience is cultural. After all, in Canada, those children would have been in school. But in Katmandu, these children had work, a “roof” and food to eat. I had only to walk the streets to see hungry begging children, who were without the essentials of life.
I won’t forget one boy in particular, about 10 years old, who I noticed throwing some garbage onto one of the large piles along a narrow Katmandu street at dusk. To my astonishment, he then stood back in a runner’s starting position. Then he ran, leaped above the pile of garbage, kicking his feet out so he landed flat on his back in the centre of the garbage pile. He sank a bit, into the cans and plastic, so that he was almost out of sight. I waited but he remained there, and I realized he’d settled into bed for the night. I thought about rats.
In that environment, is it a bad thing to support the circus performers by attending? I don’t know…but whether the ticket is $30.00 or $3.00, I just can’t walk by a circus.
Under the Big Top

savouring summer

Sunflower at the beach grew wild.

Sunflower at the beach grew wild.

Humid here for days, grey and wanting to rain but it hasn’t come- what a sight doing Qigong on the beach this morning- the shades of grey from sky to water, honking geese skimming the surface, sandpipers and ducks…a mom with a baby playing at the water’s edge, and me, gently stretching and bringing in the beautiful peace of the place…I love to start summer days thus and school just a week away- how will I manage to start the day with an alarm clock instead… I don’t know- how DO we manage that? It seems inhumane.

Japanese-English questionable quotes


On a menu: “Rare cheese cake.”

On a menu: “Cheese washed potatoes.”

On a white t-shirt with a pink kitten worn by a preteen on the subway: “Beat me.” (She wouldn’t have known what it meant.)

On a peach t-shirt with flowers: “I love him truly. He is handsome and rich. He makes jokes at my expense.”

On a t-shirt: “Individuality. I’d like to be familiar with fashions, but I won’t be carried by them. Those who are sticky about their way of life are nonethe-less wonderful.”

On a water glass in a restaurant: “A glassful of drops. Each drop is tomorrow’s dream. Sip your dreams by drops.”

Sports announcer on TV: “When I watched the first game I felt the world cup games had begun.” No further comment.

News announcer wrapping up a news report on land mines in Egypt: “You can feel the terror as the people walk through the fields-but they have to live here. That is their fate and that is all we have to say.” That’s what my bilingual TV translated.

A group of male Japanese teachers inviting a visiting American teacher out: “We’re going to get prostitutes tonight. Want to come?”

High school class answers the question: What is a disadvanatage of being good-looking?

– The good-looking seem to be tired.

– Good-looking is threatened by storker (stalker).

Very advanced student: “I turned and toasted all night.”

And my favourite: “Big scream TV.”

More uses for Turkish salce

More uses for Turkish salce

Eggplant wrap with dolma & olives

Turkish French fries

Eggplant wrap with dolma          Turkish French fries


Salce recipe

A bit of salce (pronounced salje) in the fridge makes simple meals easy this summer.

1-      Turkish French fries:


Cut 2 -4 potatoes into even-sized chips, any style. Fry them in hot oil (I use coconut in a shallow cast iron pan). Maybe two batches.

When the potatoes are golden-crispy, remove & blot with a paper towel to soak up excess oil.

Option 1-


Mix  2 Tablespoons of salce with juice of a lemon, so that it’s thin enough to dollop over the fried potatoes like ketchup. Heap the whole thing with chopped fresh parsley. Think of parsley as a vegetable. Eat it with a fork or pick it up with ripped pieces of French bread.

Option 2- messier but worth it


Drain most of the excess oil from the pan and add 2 or more Tablespoons salce (I don’t know! How many potatoes did you cook?) Heat, add the juice of a lemon, stir.

Add the fried potatoes, stir to cover in salce mixture and leave to fry a few moments at a time, turning when the salce blackens. Add ripped fresh mint or sprinkle lightly with dried mint.

Serve with about a cup of chopped fresh parsley on top.

2-      Eggplant wrap

Slice an eggplant, sprinkle with seasalt, set aside.

Peel 6 – 8 cloves of garlic.

Heat olive oil in a fry pan.

Dap eggplant with a paper towel to dry as the salt draws out moisture. As the oil comes up to medium heat, add eggplant slices and garlic cloves. Add olive oil liberally as the slices fry to sticky brown and you move them all in and out, turning them and the cloves until browned and soft.


Eggplant, garlic, onion

Spread tortillas or flat bread with salce. Mash or cut up the garlic cloves and add to sandwich with eggplant slices. Roll.

Lotsa options: add a few potato fries from above, maybe black olives, blackened green/red pepper, fried onion, parsley, any leftover chicken in the fridge?


salce is already spicy-hot and salty


3-      Chickpeas and salce:

Rinse a can of chickpeas (or white beans)

Put them in a pot with 2-3 Tablespoons of salce, 3 or 4 cloves of garlic (whole or sliced) and just cover with water. Boil until most of the liquid evaporates.

Optional- add ripped fresh mint or crushed dried mint during cooking or as a garnish.

Serve with lemon.

Holographic Healing 1

Holographic Healing by Laurie Fraser

published by Tone Magazine, November 2011

I don’t know where I learned to heal by holograph.

I tap into a client’s energy by muscle-testing (kinesiology) and their energy leads me through menus of possible healing methods to the procedure they desire. I often see/know things intuitively, yet I still check for permission from the client’s energy before proceeding. I make no decisions on my own.

So when I started to see holographic images, I just added them to my menu. This method of healing is often chosen by client’s energy, leading me to understand it is very effective and powerful.

When I see the image, it is in the air, about a foot over the client’s body. I am guided always to work directly on the image. For example, I saw a 3-dimensional image of a client curled into a ball, darkness around her, and felt deep sadness. I then ask questions by muscle-testing (getting yes or no answers). Comfort her? No. Stand her up? Yes. I did so. Clear away the darkness? Yes. I did so. Bring her light? Yes. I put a sun above her. Complete? No. Send her love? Yes. I did so. Complete? Yes. Tell the client about the holograph? Yes. This client was struggling with the loss of a loved one.

How does it work? I don’t know! It fascinates me. And, no doubt, it does work. Take a peek at more intriguing examples:

Depressed client: holograph of big black muddy hole, only her muddy arms visible, hands gripping to the edge of the hole.  I pulled her out, cleaned her off.

Overwhelmed client: I saw him as a puppet, stick arms and legs attached to strings. I cut the strings to free him.

Angry cat: red kerchief tied to her head. Removed kerchief and disposed of it.

Emotional issues: holograph of client as a young girl in a tree. Take her down? No. Go up there? Yes. I went to join her, talk and keep her company. At one point I said, “Do you ever pretend you’re a bird up here?” “No, I pretend I’m invisible” Holograph complete, tell the client.

Persistent cough:  dark damp evergreen forest. Found client in the forest. Led him out to a sunny meadow, instructed him to take deep breaths. Open mouth, let sun in. Dry out.

Angry client: saw her in a Ku Klux Clan outfit. I removed it and disposed of it. Tell client about holographic healing? No. (It wouldn’t help her with healing and was unnecessary.) Note here that this woman was probably no more racist than the next person, but to work on it, the image had to be obvious and how else recognize racism? Also, this client made a point of calling me to describe her relief and sense of balance and happiness afterward. (I did more work than just the holograph, but it was only one session.)

Client dealing with a break-up: saw her at a picnic table. I brought her all sorts of treats and healthy food to encourage her to enjoy, to eat. (She later told me she hadn’t been eating.)

Me after a decadent Christmas: at a picnic table but the food I brought myself was all cleansing- lemons, greens, water. No treats were permitted.

Communication issues: saw client at a great distance. Brought her closer. Chatted a little.

Depressed client: saw her daughter, young sad girl. Brought her close to Mom. Told client, “She misses you; she needs your attention”.

Depressed client: saw an angel and slowly realized it was an actual angel, not an image. She said her name was Carrie and she wanted the client to know that she always with him, he is never alone.  This had a very emotional effect on the client. Tremendous gift.

Child with allergies, emotional issues: saw him wearing a green hoodie. Took it off. I was guided to understand that this was an actual item of clothing that he owned and that he shouldn’t wear it anymore; it made him feel sick. Told the mother and she said, yes he had one; it was second-hand from an autistic boy. She threw it away.

A client struggling with addiction: saw her in a jail cell. I unlocked it and gave her the key to keep.

There are so many more! Often I see uneven colour and I smooth it around the person evenly. I’ve seen all kinds of problems with feet- heavy boots to be removed, feet slipping on ice, chained ankles. I’ve seen clients in pieces like a puzzle and I put the pieces back together like a mannequin and smoothed out the lines where the connections showed. Often body parts are out of proportion- the head is too big or the arms are too heavy and long. Often I help a client, for example, over a crack in the ice or the earth, or I give them an oar because they’re in a boat with none.

Sometimes I’m directed to give something to the client- an umbrella, a red parachute (newly single woman), a yellow tricycle (he wanted one in the past), a red wagon (so she wouldn’t have to carry so much) etc.

Usually the holographs come out of the client’s heart, but lately, more and more are coming out of chakras.

So, I still don’t know where I learned to do it. I figure I’ve always known and have recently remembered. And I am grateful.

Love answers 2

DSC00387    What Have You Done for Love?

One Canadian reader answered: “At the age of 15, I met a Turk online.  We fell in love and I married him under an Islamic contract. It was a passionate and intense relationship. We understood each other with all our quirks and we created a safe environment for each other. We alternated visiting each other regularly for 4 years.  I got to explore Turkey and that sense of novelty and freedom added to the emotional intensity of our relationship. He was 6 years my senior.

Our ivory tower was soon destroyed by the realities of life: citizenship, religion, logistics…  We were comfortable with our romance but everything outside of it tore us down.  I was a young, stubborn idealist and my naivete and immaturity ended our relationship. If only I was a bit wiser at the time…

A few years later, I converted to Islam. I married a man 11 years my senior with an almost opposing personality.  It was not love but a rational decision to marry in order to complete half of my religion.  I have 2 children from him and we live in Yemen.  I sometimes I miss the love and passion I had with the Turk, but my current husband provides stability and a nourishing environment to raise healthy children.

As a person who thrives on connecting on a deeper level with people, this relationship has not been easy. However, my first love showed me the depth and potential in loving another, and the dangers of our shadows projecting unto another. It made me wiser, and I’m hopeful that a more mature and healthy love can be found again, perhaps at another junction in my journey.”

Another Canadian wrote of an affair:   DSC00381

“Thirteen years ago I fell in love with my neighbour. He told me he loved me and that was it – I was hooked. I was married with two small children and so was he. On New Year’s Day, after four months of passionate sneaking around, we told our partners we had met our soul mates and we were leaving.

24 hours later, after threats from his wife, he called it off.

My husband came to where I was, picked me up off the floor and whisked me off to a hotel where he held me while I wept in anguish at losing what I thought was the love of my life.

What I did for love was stay with my husband. I realize now, after 22 years of marriage, soul mates are the stuff of fairy tales and his love is the stuff of life.”

I wondered how those 2 families managed to be neighbours after that, and the reader answered me thus:   “He moved a year later. Thank God.  My husband and I are still in the same house though. We laugh about it now.”

Wow! Thanks for the stories guys!

To participate, please read “Love and You” and share with us- everyone has a love story. Or two.