Right. Nepal. WOW. I went with four other folk and had a terrific time.
I’ll put the bad stuff out there first. Kathmandu is dusty and dirty. People wear masks to help them breathe. The rest is good. We stayed in the touristy area of town, Thamel, which is made up of narrow cobbled roads that are lined with shops and overhung with cafes. We drank milk tea and ate steamed dumplings called momos. There are twinkly lights everywhere and shop owners asking you where you’re from in a combination of trying to get you to come in and buy something but also out of genuine curiosity. We had a guy selling flutes trail us so persistently that we ran into an outdoor gear shop and ended up buying microfiber towels. Smartest purchase of the trip – thanks, flute guy!
We spent but a measly day in the city. We live in a city. Don’t care how nice yours is, when I’m out of mine, I want to be out of all of them.
Next stop was Pokhara, flying a tiny teco-teco plane with a view to the Mountains, then straight into a car and off to the Annapurna Base camp trail. Lunch at a tiny tea house with our first taste of the food we didn’t realize we’d be eating for the next four days. Also my first taste of Nepali bread with honey – a new favourite. The rest of the trip was just walking.We had Sherpas who carried our packs up the hills and told us when and where to sit, stop, eat. They were chatty fellows, constantly joking around and talking on their phones (which had “whistle” by Flo.Rida as the ringtone).
I remember the amount of stairs we climbed and how slowly we went, bypassed by children on their daily route to school. The tall trees. The surprising leeches on our shoes. The humidity. The clouds that ‘ruined’ our views. The “big pots” of hot lemon tea. The blissful silence. Blissful, blissful silence. It was so much time to “pause and reflect”, while also being so active, that I still don’t know how many conclusions I reached over those four days. I do know I rearranged the living room multiple times in my head. The weather was warm enough to wear t-shirts during the day, and cool enough in the evenings to enjoy wearing long sleeves and drinking hot tea. Perfect weather.
It was a joy to be out of India. Or at least out of Mumbai. Or Kurla (my neighbourhood). We weren’t stared at quite so much and there was no feeling of hostility toward either our whiteness or our woman-ness.
It’s beautiful there and I want to go back and enjoy more of the hospitality of the people and the ease of life that comes with waking up and walking until you reach your next stopping point. Trekking is great. Trekking in Nepal was a dream I didn’t even know I had.
Teaching. Oh boy. I might leave this alone for a bit. It’s been a very, very long two weeks and I’m very much looking forward to going to the beach this weekend. Suffice it to say, I saw an e-card saying “Want to know what a teachers’ brain is like? Imagine a computer with 1,697 tabs open all. the. time.” and nodded my head in complete agreement. Too many tabs! I’m trying to minimize them, but new ones keep opening!
Just as an announcement: I’m staying in India for another year. I’ll do two years here and then move on to a different location. It will be nice to have some consistency to my life and my career. It will be the first time I’ve been anywhere for longer than 1 year since graduating from college. Edinburgh was the first time I was in a place for a continuous 12 months. It’s slowly improving!
I’m out for the night. This is a poorly and hastily written post brought to you with the intention of posting anything so I feel less guilty. Hopefully the next will be better!