Crazy Kathamdu Reflections

Trip Start Jul 05, 2005
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Trip End Ongoing


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Saturday, July 23, 2005

the miracle is life.

did you know that Nepal is one of the poorest countries on earth? I didnt.

But its pretty unmistakable now that i am here. What an amazing teeming, chaos of life, religion, adversity and color.

Yesterday a homeless street kid approached me on the street begging for food. his english was excellent. i gave him 5 rupees(maybe 5 cents) and was on my way.

Today i met him, actually just now in the net bar. He was beaming. He told me that he witnessed a crazy tourist get attacked by the police and decided to change his life. using the 5 rupees i gave him he went to the net bar to contact his rich brother and ask for help. his brother gave him 5000Rupees! so now the boy can get off the streets, get a place to live and have some hope in for the future. Such is the amazing story of Nepal unfolding everyday.

in my life i see nothing only a urgent sense to live fully everymoment. i am midst millions and millions of Nepalis, Indians, Chinese,and Westerners but i feel a peculiar sense of loneliness. Everyone goes on their way, shopping, talking, eating,being tourists. So many tourists here in downtown Kathmandu. It seems like they are the internal parasite worms, eating Nepal's traditional way of life but in fact they are the life-blood of Nepali economy. I see young well-to-do Nepal kids wearing tommy hilfiger and other obviously knock off designer labels but their expressions are mimicing the tough gangsta Rappas on MTV but with the tough Skid Row street smarts of Kathmandu's anvil chorus of life.

Nepal, Kathmandu in peticular is a free-for-all scramble for survival. I am just one person, catagorized as a 'Tourist' but am an integral particle helping to hold the whole thing together. Sure its pandamonium on the streets, everyone feeding off each other. Tourists are hassled by the touts and beggars but we all play a central role in keeping the country alive.

I can speak like this about Nepal because its public knowledge that this whole country has a remarkably fragile infrastructure. Do you know what the king has recently done? Nepal is one of the last Monarchies. On Feb. 1, 2005 King Gyanendra says he has dissolved the government of Nepal and has declared a state of emergency as he takes control of the Himalayan kingdom. see http://edition.cnn.com/2005/WORLD/asiapcf/02/01/nepal.govt/

I did alot of research and analysis before coming here. I came to the conclusion that it was a good idea to go. One for the benefit of the Nepali economy, Two for my own private spiritual reasons to see Lumbini(Birthplace of Buddha). I feel somewhat alone here and it seems socially very different than China. Its harder to meet other like-minded people. Nepal is cluttered and clamouring with people, the other tourists seem to stick either with their own clicks or silently alone. I've been to Mighty Swoyambunath Temple hoping to see other spiritual people, all i saw was flashes of cameras and Japanese tourists with guide. the local devotees were my inspiration.

So very auspciously, before i left China i met a young English hippy who was going to Tibet then to Nepal. We've kept in contact and decided that when we meet a few days later, we will roam around the Nepali holy spots and Himalayan vistas, seeking out salvation and philosophy and insight and the swan song of Dipankara, the silent mountain Buddha who dispels all faith in words used to decribe the meaning of existence.

I bide my time here for a few days. Doing the solitary expeditions only i want to do. I am happy though. Life is good when all you need to be satisfied is: cup of hot tea, a full stomach, ambience of rich culture around you and a good book. Today i finsihed Kerouac's 'Dharma Bums' over a cup o' mint on the roof terrace aloft an antique-looking Kathmandu.

ok just some little anecdotes from Nepal, on with your day. May Love and all the blessings under the stars come to you.

- tjb
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