Saturday, April 30, 2011

Monsoon season. I'm sitting outside my hotel room in Pokhara, Nepal, attempting to put together some coherent body of information on the research I've been doing for the past month in Bhutan, and its raining. Hard. Fat drops like rocks on a tin roof drive travelers out of their cozy rooms to see what all the hubbub is about. Apparently I'm the only one in this hotel, since no one's come out to join me, which is just as well since I'm supposed to be writing a paper anyway. Well, what better than rain to start off spring, huh?
I got back to Kathmandu on April 27th and decided to bus it eight hours to Pokhara, the unashamedly tourist/hippie town in Western Nepal. Its really a bueatiful place. A calm lake surrounded by green jutting mountains, backed by white peaks. Daily rain and the relatively southern latitude give it a tropical feeling, with white birds flying circles in the misty mornings and papayas as big as a toddler for sale on the side of the road. There's bikes for rent, trendy cafes, and any kind of food you could want. But I wouldnt know, because I'm writing a paper, right?
Getting back to Kathmandu was some kind of wake up call for me. I dont know, its so alive there. Everyone lives so close together, close to life, close to death, close to crap and trash and food and dirty water... For some reason this time around it feels beautiful to me. The same city I resented two months ago is now a colorful maze, a collage of culture and life and boldness. It just goes to show that everything is a product of our perception. Kathmandu hasnt changed, only I have. Nothing has inherent good or bad qualities, its out projections upon emptiness, the creations of our mind, that give meaning to the world. Funny, I knew this journey was to be a spiritual one; I didnt know the world was an expert on experiential learning practices.
This week makrs the end of my semester abroad and the beginning of traveling through South East Asia alone. So far my attempts at being friendly havent brought too much luck, but I think its the Universe's way of saying "sit the fuck down and write your god damn paper, play later." I did happen to run into some friends from Occidental on the way over here, and got to catch up (and split the cost of a room!) on the first night. Now its just me, a half eaten papaya, and the beginnings of a 25 page research paper. Day 1.

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