Monday, September 5, 2011

Today perhaps the road

Hey people, our people, we miss you. Hopefully whereever you are you are happy and fascinated.

Today we head down to the Nepali Terai in the direction of Chitwan National Park. That is not our destination this time though, instead we will eventually head far to the east to the famous tea gardens of Ilam, Nepal's Darjeeling. Hopefully today we will make it as far as the junction town of Narayangadh and visit the holy village of Devghat at the confluence of the Kali Gandaki and Bush Gandaki rivers.

My google status has had me "on the road" for over two months now but I regret to say this has been only in a physical sense. I have been hiding, very much inside myself, unsure of my voice and my place.

I woke up yesterday morning and wrote about it, but that shit is boring, just another story of the unfilled promise of youth. The most interesting journey is the one forward towards a goal enjoying every moment.

We have been staying at the Kathmandu Garden guesthouse in the sleepy alley of Paknjol just north of the main tourist area of Thamel. Life for us here is easy. Across the table Penny slurps banana porridge and stirs her jasmine tea.

Yesterday Penny visited the Patan hospital while I went on a quest for a rainbow umbrella. Penny loves rainbow umbrellas, but the monsoon is over and the umbrella supply is short. I wandered out of the familiar Thamel district with its trekking stores and cafes and into the narrower, dirtier alleys of the city.

Alleys come together at shrines, like the spokes of a wheel. In these open spaces people sit peddling gods and gourds. I just stroll, and duck and swerve and find myself in a deep dark alley full of sari shops. Piles of folded saris, mostly red, which glow like embers in the chasm of this maul.

I am sceptical of my umbrella quest, but at least I have entrusted it to the road. I hang a left and twist a right into the maze and glance left into a shop full of umbrellas. The umbrella seller is not surprised at my quest "son this is the only umbrella shop in the whole of Kathmandu, the only shop that sells only umbrellas", but he has no rainbow umbrellas, except those hanging on the wall awaiting repair, "son rainbow umbrellas are very popular".

I buy a black umbrella with a bamboo cane for myself. It will help keep us dry if the monsoon fires up again. And I explain my need to continue my quest. "Son, there are many chances" he replied helpfully.

I am looking forward to the road to Ilam and the chances it holds.


Bob McKerrow said...

Loved you description of Kathmandu. Enjoy the lowlands and the terai. Safe travels, Bob

jamie said...

Hey Bob

Thanks! Some good wishes are needed for safe travels in these parts.