Sunday, August 4, 2013

The Gurkha Highlanders' Picnic

CN GBU-16 and I are pretty close friends. We've been able to lean upon one and commiserate with one another through some challenging times, both academic and personal, over the course of the last few months. Owing to our shared Scottish experience, our shared Nepalese fixation, and our aspirations toward careers supporting national defense, we decided several months ago to inaugurate a sort of honorary, ad hoc military organization: the Regiment of Gurkha Highlanders. With me as the commander ("The Brigadier"), and her as my deputy ("The Colonel"), we adopted the latin motto "MOTIVA PLVS OCCASIO" - "Motive and Opportunity" - traditionally the gauge of whether a suspect may have committed a crime, but a more motivational slogan for our shared and individual endeavours. In fact, I even photoshopped an image from one of the most unintentionally awesome films in history, Starship Troopers...

... that features our "unit crest". I took the badge of the Royal Regiment of Scotland, changed the motto to "MOTIVA PLVS OCCASIO", and added our "battle honors": Muscat (in Arabic), to represent my own focus on Oman; Pokhara (in Nepali) to represent GBU-16's work in Nepal, as well as my work with the Nepalese in the Middle East; Napoli (Naples) to represent GBU-16's homeland; and Aberdeen (in Scots Gaelic) to represent our time here in the Granite City. Behind the crest are a Nepalese khukuri and an Omani khanjar.

All of that information is background for what happened on the final day of July: we hadn't hung out in a few days, and GBU-16 was missing Nepal, so we agreed to meet up and have a Gurkha Highlanders' picnic! I stopped into the Gurkha Kitchen and got two orders of momo dumplings, an order of motor paneer, and two pieces of Peshwari naan. I met GBU-16 at the Mounthooly Roundabout, and then we walked to Union Terrace Gardens. GBU-16 picked up some Tennent's, as the only beers available at the shop where she had stopped into were Tennent's and Budweiser, and she knows from prior conversations that I "wouldn't wash my car with that stuff!" It was perfectly appropriate for a Gurkha Highlanders' picnic, as Tennent's is brewed in Glasgow. We had a taste of Pokhara alongside a taste of the Clyde! Brilliant!

UTG didn't disappoint in the entertainment department, either. There was a young couple, the female member of which was really cute, who were making out on one of the nearby park benches. There was another couple, not quite as young (or as sober), whom we couldn't decide whether they were making out, or copping a series of collective feels, or what. There were folks juggling fire and barbecuing, several dogs running around and playing, and even a few little girls who went in less than two minutes from playing with one another's hair to sliding down a slightly muddy hill. Perhaps the most entertaining episode was when I threw the last bit of Peshwari naan (GBU-16 having conned me into eating half of her momo dumplings - I was stuffed) to a group of seagulls, which then proceeded to chase one another all around the park on foot and in the air. Hilarious, because Aberdeen's seagulls are truly insipid (to the point that they've made me appreciate Aberdeen's comparatively polite and non-invasive pigeon population - congratulations, universe, you win).

As the evening wore on, we left UTG for the Tippling House for one last drink before walking King Street back to our respective digs. The Gurkha Highlanders' picnic was an overwhelming success, and perhaps GBU-16 and I will have a chance to repeat it before we part company later this summer.


  1. by drinking outside in an area without a licence you did break the law

  2. The alcoholic drinks were my idea. Beer tastes so much nicer in public gardens. I would do it again.