Kathmandu, Pokhara Oct 2010
Back to Thamel the pumping heart of the tourist centre in Katmandu. Back to the smog, the traffic jams and occational cows on the narrow streets in this bustling city.
Buddhist monks chanting from a cd, incense and promises of 100% pashmina shawls.
The smell of eggs, leaking taps and sinks in the bathrooms, keyboards that doesn’t work, cockroaches reminding me of the movie the Naked lunch (cronenberg).
The signs offering all you would ever want and more, 24 hour hot and cold shower, colder than if ever hot, roof tops with mice and rat games at night.
Yoga, Reiki, Massage, Laundry and Trekking, you can get things done here by just visiting one shop.
It feels great to be back.
The feeling of getting lost in the streets around the market and the Durbar square, only to find yourself standing in front of a temple you found in a back alley. The constant and living vibe of the pujas in the morning, the Hindu religion have so many gods to celebrate that there is always a bell ringing or a candle to be lit. Visiting Katmadu is like getting a glimpse into a medieval town.
One thing that always amaze here is how the different religions seem to live together without any bigger problems. Hindu and Buddhist making offerings side by side in the swayambhunath.
The Muslims often being the butchers in the society, as long as you buy meat from different butchers you can get away with being a buddhist and meat eater.
The cast system not being as enforced in society as in India, but always being there as a cloud hanging over the unfortunate ones.
Katmandu is just the capital of Nepal. You leave the valley and you will soon realize that many places are forgotten by the state they belong to.
The poverty ridden and rural part of Nepal seems to have no allies in the big city where the decisions of this diverse country is taken.
Our Lassi Wallah in Katmandu
But when they reached the power and went from being a guerrilla movement to a party elected into the government they forgot who they really should represent, the poor got forgotten another time and as always they had no one else to trust than themselves. At the moment there is no elected government in Nepal, the Maoist leader choose to resign after a dispute concerning the military and Maoist army. There will soon be elections, but the politicans are the same and they are all waiting to eat from the bowl of corruption.
Recently the people of Mustang, a restricted area where trekkers pay 500$ just for the permit to go trekking there, revolted. Hardly any of the money collected from the state reached their region, they threatened to close down the tourist trails if nothing changed. Change is promissed, but we’ll have to see what really happens.
Tomorrow we will head out on a three week trekking in the region of Annapurna and the restricted area of Mustang and the Lobas. The trek will take us to a high plateau similar to Tibet where customs and religion has survived.
A little Tibet outside of Tibet.
Yoga and chanting in Pokhara, we wished more asanas and less chanting………
And to this a bit of Rocco Chanting
May all men be as Rocco
May all beings get a bit of him
May all be living with a thought of him
May all be at peace when he comes
OM, Shanti, Shanti, Shanti