Thursday, April 4, 2013

Never too late for Nepal

It's been a while since my last post.  At the urging of a coworker, I started a post tonight. It's been almost a year since I decided to leave my crap job in search of something better.  I posted about Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam. It was a great trip which lead to another trip in SE Asia only a month later.

After learning about the horrific past of Cambodia, it was good to come home and enjoy and celebrate my Uncle and his wedding.

I then sporadically decided to go back to SE Asia.  I knew it was last minute and I knew it would be expensive. I also knew I wasn't ready for anything else at the time and didn't want to live a completely responsible life.  I bought a ticket to Nepal and then scheduled around that adventure. In short, it was awesome...I went to Nepal, back to Thailand (which gave me so much perspective) and then to Bali. There was never truly enough time in any one place.  I'll definitely have to schedule more trips to these incredible places.

Let's start with Nepal.  This will all really be a vague reflection considering how much time I've allowed to elapse but I'm sure the memories will start flooding back as soon as I post a couple pictures.'s a great country. The visa was cheap for 15 days and people were friendly. I met back up with Jenny and we explored.  It was a dirty city. I was disgusted at how the river was treated but then again, it's hard to have a good system with such little money.

I was amazed at the prayer flags and the vastness of the structures all within Kathmandu. I learned a lot about their culture and their faiths. I feel like my ambiguous look really helped me out. Nepal is a combination of people - not quite Indian or not quite Mongolian.  I fit in nicely since I'm not quite Chinese.

Of course there was shopping, which was structured around bargaining. I knew what I wanted from Nepal besides the beauty, trekking, food and culture and that was jewelry.  It was hard to recognize the good stuff and it took time and some kind people to show me the way. I also learned how to cross crazy busy streets, navigate streets with no road side and get lost in the middle of the night.

I actually traveled to Nepal during monsoon season.  It was hot and humid, so of course the local beer was in order. We had a beer from a rooftop bar and watched as the people passed below.  Jenny and I made it to freak street, which wasn't quite freaky where we met some Germans that had traveled to Nepal and ended up staying for years.  Let's just say there are a lot of European nomads on this street and in Nepal, in general.  

We traveled to a World Heritage Site. I didn't get pictures of the people because they believe the cameras will steal their souls. I obliged and instead took a picture of this amazing door.  If you love doors then I think you will love the one of this old woman.  It's absolutely stunning. 

We met up with our travel group and the adventure began...on a one lane highway...with trucks going into and leaving India...which can be randomly stopped for indefinite periods of time so politics can be discussed...Luckily, our wait was only 1 hour before the preaching was over and we were on our way.