Talk about sensory overload! I finally arrived to Kathmandu. Seeing as the furthest I've been from the states is Mexico, this is quite a different experience. The mountains are beautiful and the city is organized chaos. The waste management system is pretty much non-existent, so the city isn't the cleanest. It's strange...this place is so far from Western civilization, yet Eminem is blaring in the streets. The children are so beautiful and the women wear saris that are all unique. Old women squat on the side of the street and drink what looks like dirty water out of bowls. I'm staying in a hotel for the first 2 nights while the other volunteers have orientation for teaching English, or at least that's what the person who picked me up at the airport told me. He didn't say a word to me until I asked him 3 times where the other volunteers were. By the way, it's really a good thing that I brought toilet paper.
My first night I only slept from 10:30pm to 2:30am, so around 5:30am I decided to walk to the area that I was originally going to catch a bus to. On my way to
the Swayambhunath Stupa I had to walk down very narrow streets. The buildings are tall and people live closely in them on the top floors and their vending areas are on the bottom. The streets were still empty and people were just waking up. People here have what seems to be a lot of phlem and they are not afraid to get the phlem out very loudly. Tissues just aren't available. So, I was walking and the next thing I knew I was dodging phlem balls coming from the windows above! I walked quickly and made it without getting hit. My journey to the Stupa was amazing. A Stupa is a temple with clusters of places to worship. They worship cows here and every so often I see one randomly walking around. Anyway, I had to cross a shaky old foot bridge and I was kinda weary, but people would literally run across it no big deal. I went for it and realized it wasn't that bad.
This is when I began to see the beauty of Nepal. I am now a witness that parts of the world exist that you can't even fathom unless you are looking at
them! Some mountains were green and sparkling with sunshine while others were dark and scary covered with clouds. I made my way up the probably 2000 steep stone steps to enounter tons of monkeys along the way! They would stand inches from me. Most of them seemed friendly, but every once in a while there would be a psycho monkey that chased the others around. I got to the top to find monks and men doing Tai Chi and sit-ups. There was a temple and a small village and a weird military training camp up there. The sun was so much brighter up there! I could see so much...very poor villages and some larger palace looking structures. Women carry baskets larger than them that are attached to their head with straps all the way up the stairs...and they are barefoot!
On my way back from the Stupa I took a ride in this cart that is pulled by a man riding a bike. To clarify Namaste, it means love, peace, happiness, thank you, etc. all in one. Okay, I've babbled enough.
Have a wonderful day!
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