So in the words of Ice Cube, "Today was a good day" I'll leave the rest of the line out though. . .
Woke up early this morning and after spending 10 minutes getting the toilet working and another 5 for the water to heat up enough for a nice hot shower, I got dressed and hit the road to the office of the The Royal Nepal Airlines, known thru out Asia as one of the most unreliable airlines there is, all to reconfirm my flight out on the 21st( I have already confirmed once before and I plan to confirm again before I actually leave). I arrived sometime before 8AM to see that they don't open until 9 but no worries it was a beautiful day, warm and sunny. So I planted myself in a chair in the courtyard with all the other old men, listeened to my Ipod (thanks guys!) and watched the world go by.
On the way over I had meandered thru all the back streets and watched as Katmandu woke and prepared itself for the another day. People praying and paying their respect at the Temples(big and small), vegatable sellers spreading out their wares and store owners opening their doors and sweaping their steps. Maybe it was because the big holiday was just over but everybody seemed to be in a great mood all around.
Since I am leaving in a 3 days I find myself thinking back on the almost 20 consectutive days that I have spent in Nepal, more than I had expected and more days then I expect to stay in almost any other country on my trip, except perhaps for China and Australia but thats just because they are so big! Thinking about all the little ism's that make up Nepal. .
Crossing the traffic where people, rickshaws, motorcycles, cars, busses, taxi's, dogs, cows and bicycles have this symbiotic relationship that as chaotic as it sounds seems to work just fine. To cross the street you look both ways (sometimes) and just proceed to walk oneself into traffic. Everything else just moves around you (sometimes, but if it's really big you should be smart and get out of the way)
The fact that the poor (or any of us really) at home who think their life is so ruff and tough should get over it, life is tough all over and everybody should be greatful for what they have because as bad as you think your day is there is always somebody, somewhere who is having a much worse day. Somebody is throwing out carcasse's ( i mean really big ones) simply because they are in a lower caste then others and no, they are not getting paid for it.
Then there are the sounds of the city, bells ringing, horns honking, people hollering and after awhile it just all bends in and goes away. Over all I have enjoyed my stay here, met nice people like the family who owned the hotel in Gourapani during our trek to Poon Hill, it's a shame that the Maoists tax them constantly. But Richard and I were able to take a trek that was supposed to be 4-6 days and make it in 3. Hiking 6, 10.5 and 8hr days to do it. Yes that includes breaks, I was so tired I actually took a quick nap going uphill our first day. I have gone rafting down class III and IV rapids (whatever that means) meetting some good people on the way, the French couple XXXX, along with Bart from the Netherlands, Leng from Australia and Jose' the Spainard who did the 21 day Anaporana circut in I think around 10, but he was a cheap bastard and didn't want to tip our guide Sam 100rs (less then 1.50USD)> I introduced some of them to Asshole and we were up playing that the one night. Bart was very excited and found that he really enjoyed the game, thankgod for America!
And then those really long 8hr bus rides, why do I do it when I know I'm not going to like it? Because it's cheaper then flying and I'm on a budget! The incredibally uncomfortable "tourist bus" ride to a town called Dumre, some little dustbowl of a town (there are no signs to let you know that you are there) that's about 300 yards long to meet somebody that neither Richard nor I knew what to go to some other couple hundred year old town (no one there seems to really know how old it is except that it's "old") called Bandipur although it IS a beautiful town and I had probably the best room that I have stayed in while I have been in Nepal. Agni was our man though and he made everything alright. We had to jump onto a "locals bus", there is a differernce but sometimes not much besides the price, and I was finally able to get on the roof and ride the rest of the trip on top. Which when available has now become my favorite place to ride, more room, smells a lot better and it's a bit interesting when the locals find that you are a foreigner. Plus you get to keep your eye on your stuff. Remember when riding on the roof you should either always face front or atleast sit really low. . .
I think about Pohkara where the rooms are cheap and a beer cost's more then your half of the room. But the lake is beautiful and basicly everybody's cool. It's easy to see how you can get used to just hanging out. I read the DaVince code in a day and another Brown book "Angels and Serpants(?)" the other day.
Nepal is someplace where I think you can find whatever you are looking for. And if you get the chance everybody should come thru it. Just get your Visa before you come in and save yourself the que!
Oh yea, a few things about here that I found a bit odd.
A- Not there is anything wrong with it but so many guys hold hands here, that and some people are a little to touchy feelly
B- When we say yes we nod our heads, here they do a left/right pendulum thing and actually it dosen't always mean yes anyway.
C- Same same but different, ah yeah. . I found this to be just as aggrevating as B. At first I didn't get it but now I do.
D- NP time, Nepali Time, nothing here happens as fast as they say or on time. The airline office opens at 9 but no one showed up until 9:30. If someone says, "We will be there in a hour. " double it. Actually that is a safe estimate for anything that regards doing something in a certain time frame.