08 November 2012

Hours Away From Kathmandu...

A sign in the arrivals terminal of the Tribhuvan airport.
 I am sitting on yet another airplane and thinking about Kathmandu. All I have of my new home is a four-year old memory about how FULL ON it is. Granted, it is a different sort of madness than one finds in the large cities of India – there is this sort of atmospheric, smoky haze that covers everything, and while the traffic is every bit as terrifying and the smells just as pungent, there is also something different. More relaxed. Gentler. And infinitely more strange.

Over beers (and a victorious pub quiz) two nights ago, my friend Tanya recounted her experience driving in a taxi from the airport to Thamel, the main tourist area in Kathmandu. “We were weaving in and out of traffic, and then on the side of the road, there was a sadhu. A naked sadhu. I told Peter to look, and he said ‘what’s happening on my side of the road is too interesting to look away from.’” A naked sadhu covered in human ashes wasn’t the most interesting thing on the road - that should tell you something.

 I am excited to see – in an hour and 45 minutes (!!!!) – if my memory is building it up. If it is as magical and horrible and otherworldly as I remember it being. If it breaks my heart and builds me up the same way. Intrigues and repulses me. Reminds me that the world is a bizarre place beyond all comprehension. And if it still has really wonderful pomegranate juice.

I’ll let you know in a few hours.

Violet Dear

***Author's note - I am now checked into my guesthouse, have eaten momos and drank 2 cups of Nepali chai. And yes, Kathmandu is all of those things. More to come soon - VD

1 comment:

l. e. yar said...

Hello, Violet Dear,

I've been a reader for awhile, so I just wanted to say that I'm so glad you're back! Have recently acquired an interest in monastic life myself, so I very much look forward to hearing about your experience. (As I do all of your experiences, actually...)

Anyway, enjoy some pomegranate juice for me. That shit is delicious. Too bad it's insanely expensive, here in the Midwestern U.S.