Day 043 – Have you found enlightenment yet?
2008/10/16 § 1 Comment
In Kathmandu I do not get over the feeling of being caught up in a giant movie set. I am on the set of this Eddie Murphy movie with the “golden child” and some adventures await me around the next corner. Usually around the corner is a moto-driver and the adventure is to evade him (Moto-drivers are always male. See previous post for more info on driving and sex).
However, or maybe because of that it is a lovely place so far. For the first time I felt like breathing again, and that in a rather literally sense. Finally less of all the stench that seems to be following you around in India. Not as much of the urin/feces/undefined rotten smell and much less dirt. Right when the Airplane doors opened I felt like taking a deep breath, the first in an eternity it felt like.
The air may not actually be that much cleaner, due to the stuffy streets. Nevertheless, maybe one can smell the close proximity to some wonderful nature, or maybe it is due to the much more comfortable temperatures. Whatever it is, with or without fresher air, me and most of my fellow travelers coming from India feel like having arrived in a comfy zone.
Hard to explain, but if you plan on doing some traveling in the touristy parts of north India, or if you are there right now, going gently mad and reading this right now, Nepal may be the place you should throw in to your travel plans for good measures and a pinch of sanity. OK India is not all that insane sure. And I said it myself: I expected worse. Nevertheless, Nepal is refreshing compared to India any day of the week.
Even the crazy Kathmandu. I was warned of this place but I guess laying in a bed in Delhi (or actually sitting on the toilet in Delhi most of the time) watching Hindi television has made me harder… 😉
A downside obviously is that Nepal has become (I assume it was not like this all along) a Disneyworld. There are too many tour guides and too many agencies who want to guide you somewhere. And while I am planning on doing some mild trekking or rather hiking it takes out some of the fun being bombarded with offers all the time. Besides, from what I hear people think some of the treks are so populated and well organized that one could do them easily without guide. I might just attempt that. So, if you never hear from me again… 😉
For starters I will stay in Kathmandu and explore the area around. Loads of things to see, both nature and culture wise, it seems…
One sincere warning though; if you (as some hippie-types I have seen around here) have come for enlightenment, you may come in vain. Today I was asked a million times by locals what I was looking for (Hello sir, what are you looking for, I can help you find; that kind of thing). A million times I replied “enlightenment” or “wisdom” or “Nirvana” or “Shangri-la”. Not once was the answer anything even remotely resembling any of the Zen- or whatever buddhistic mantras or phrases that I have seen or heard anywhere before. Unless…”want taxi?” has been meant as a “mantric-guidance”…like the sound produced by one single hand clapping…maybe…or…maybe not…