When someone asks me how life is in Nepal, I can’t explain it in any other words than: “peace and love”. I can’t remember a moment in my life that I have ever felt so peaceful. Peaceful but also enormously welcome.
There are moments when you can cry. Moments when you cry of happiness or moments when you cry because of sadness and compassion. Even though if you’re not even a person who cries a lot…
Go with the flow
If you are used to the life in a Western world, the difference is almost indescribable. Western people are wary and our instincts are always arouse. Sometimes, we’re even suspicious. In my case, it’s to protect myself from dangerous things or dangerous people. “Don’t be naive, don’t trust everyone”, is what the hidden person inside me constantly thinks.
When you arrive in Kathmandu and pass through the gate of the airport, there is an enormous crowd of people waiting for you. They approach you while asking: “Where are you from? What’s your name? Where do you have to go? What do you do in your life? Do you work? Are you here for a holiday? What’s the name of your hostel?”… and yes, there goes my instinct: “Don’t trust everyone! Don’t tell them everything!”. But if I’m honest… Nepali are the most honest and sincere people I’ve ever met during travelling. The only thing they want to do is help you. And yes, they are interested in your life and your pursuits, because their culture is so different than ours. Nepali just love to talk with you because they are genuinely interested in you. So don’t let the little person that sits on your shoulder (like in my case), control you too much.
Go with the flow and immerse yourself immediately into their beautiful way of living. This way, you will learn the most of their accomplishments, religion and thoughts. And trust me: you will definitely love it.
The sound of Kathmandu
So, if you got this, your Kathmandu experience started! BIEP BIEP BIEP! Yes, this is the sound of Kathmandu. So you better get used to this soon.
Got your seatbelt on? Right, I forgot to mention this: there are no seat belts in Nepal and on top of that, they drive on the left side of the road, full speed ahead. Cows, goats, dogs and chickens are walking or sleeping in the middle of the road, people are walking and crossing everywhere and some of them also sit on top of a car. And if this isn’t not enough yet, there are also a lot of bike rickshaws around you.
Cows, goats, dogs and chickens are walking or sleeping in the middle of the road, people are walking and crossing everywhere and some of them also sit on top of a car.
You probably already understood that Kathmandu is like a total chaos everywhere, but once you’ve settled yourself in your hostel, you’re ready to explore. A hint: go to Freak Street to the hostel named ‘Monumental Paradise’. This hostel is next to Durbar Square and costs only €4 for one night in a clean room. Moreover, they have a nice rooftop terrace with a restaurant so you can enjoy your massala tea during the evening while watching over Durbar Square and listening to the buzz of the city…
A million dollar smile
During my stay in Kathmandu, I loved to sit at the outside of the temples at Durbar Square. Unfortunately a lot of temples completely collapsed or even disappeared because of the earthquake in April, 2015.
At this wonderful place, I felt like I was living in the story of a book. You definitely know the beautiful stories which you only see in a movie or read in a book about the poverty of children or street dogs? Well, now I have the opportunity to share such a story with you. I never thought I would write about an experience which is actually really meant to be written down and which will always exist in my mind…
When I made eye contact he immediately came: “120 roepies?!”. I asked him if he could speak English. His answer was: “100 roepies!”, so I didn’t need to ask further.
While I was sitting there, enjoying the moment in the sun in between the street dogs, I saw a child carrying a big pole made of bamboo sticks, decorated with inflatable toys and candy floss. When I made eye contact he immediately came: “120 roepies?!”. I asked him if he could speak English. His answer was: “100 roepies!”, so I didn’t need to ask further. I gave him some food I had left (because I already fed the street dogs a lot) and a bottle of water. When he drank the first sips of water, he spitted out the tobacco that was still left between his teeth and lips. Not more than 10 seconds later, the bottle was empty. I can’t imagine the thirst he must have had. After giving him some money, he placed his bamboo stick against the wall of a temple and he ran towards a woman who was selling corn to feed the pigeons. With the little money he had left, he bought a little bowl of corn. With his bowl, he ran to the middle of the square and spread the corn around his feet, so all the pigeons were standing around him. It seemed like more than a thousand pigeons were sitting there on the ground of Durbar Square while he was standing in the middle with his empty bowl. Suddenly he stamped hard with his feet which made the thousand pigeons fly away around him. And while they were flying towards the sky and back to the rooftops of the temples, the little boy had a million dollar smile on his face when he was looking at the sky with the sun in his eyes and all the flying pigeons around him…
“Put your heart, mind and soul into even your smallest acts. This is the secret of success.” – Swami Sivananda
The smallest things in life can create happiness. Maybe this is our ‘Western disease’ because we always want more and bigger things in life that we can not even imagine or afford to have. We forgot the secret of success to put your heart, mind and soul into even your smallest acts. This is one of the most important things Nepalese people know the best.