Sunday, October 3, 2010

October 3rd, 2009 Nepal Journal Entry


I had breakfast with Wolf from Holland. Prem and Naba came by to check on us. Prem and I walked around Thamel to do my shopping. There is a climbing guide here from Canada, his name is Felix. He is very funny and he is waiting on his clients to arrive. Naba ask me to go to lunch, and we went to one of the oldest restaurants in Thamel. It is a Japanese restaurant, and as usual he ordered for us. What he ordered was Salted Mackerel, when it came to the table the fish was looking at me… A fish head, some rice, miso soup, and 3 green beans. After lunch (or what ever you want to call it) I went to a cyber cafĂ© and called the airlines. They got my flight confirmed, so I leave Monday at 4:15pm from Kathmandu to Delhi, at 10:55pm I leave Delhi heading to Newark. I arrive in Newark at 4:35am and head to Houston at 9:00 am and head to OKC at 10:33! I prayed and made God a bunch of promises. I had to pay a $250.00 change fee but my hotel was $125.00 per night so it all works out the same. This trip has changed me. I know I have a full plate at home, but there is sooooo much more to life than just accumulating things. That afternoon I was on cloud nine. As Wolf, Felix, and I were sitting in the garden at Hotel Encounter, an Indian gentleman came and ask if he could join us. His name is Wolf! How ironic, two guy’s named Wolf. Wolf is Indian, but born and raised in the UK. He is super funny and is also a professional photographer. Wolf #2 is heading to Namche, and Shayngboche to do the Everest panoramic shot. We have a ton in common, and we hit it off immediately. Wolf is 45 and has two kids, and is disabled from injuries sustained while he was a police officer in the UK. The four of us decided to go to dinner at 5:30, after having the fish head stare at me earlier, I was ready for dinner. Wolf #2 suggested the Ambassador Garden Hotel; he had lunch there. He said that there was a nice outside patio area and that it was very Zen. We arrived and he was right, it was very cool. The ground was covered in a type of grass that we would love to have on a putting green here in the US. I ordered a coffee, and they all had drinks. We ordered our dinner, I took Wolf’s suggestion, spaghetti bolognaise. It had buffalo meat in it, and being the first meat I had eaten in weeks, it was filling! We had ordered some chips or French fries for an appetizer. The waiter brought us chili sauce instead of ketchup, and we all had a big mouthful of this stuff, and we laughed about that for a while. After dinner they had a few more drinks, and we continued to laugh, and have a blast. Funny thing is… We are all here for the same reason, we love the outdoors, living free, pushing our bodies to the extreme and enjoying life. It makes it easy to talk to people when you have so much in common. After a few cocktails, we heard some American rock-n-roll coming from a rooftop bar. We walked to the Shiska Bar and went in. The house band was playing 60’s, 70’s, and 80’s American rock. They were actually very good, but it was funny to hear the Nepali accent. Wolf #2 ended up ordering us all a large Jameson whiskey, and things started to get out of control. By this time Wolf had started calling Felix, John McEnroe as there is a slight resemblance. We stayed for a couple of hours, and then started walking back to our hotel. After dark, the streets of Thamel are no place to be….. “Hey Sir, you need girlfriend? You need hashish? You smoke weed?” Luckily Wolf having Indian heritage spoke very good Nepali. He told the pimps and drug dealers to leave us alone. We went back to the Encounter, and Felix had a big bottle of Glen Levit single malt scotch, and we toasted each other until it was empty. Wolf #1 made a few very mature statements…. “The people of Nepal show a roadmap of where they have been on their faces.” This is so true, and it came from a 19 year old boy! As we continued to talk late into the night, they were asking me several questions related to the trek. I was telling them about the two beautiful Sherpa girls, that were making yak dung patties, and smiling, laughing, and singing, as well as the 10, 11, and 12 year old porters carrying everything from beer and red bull, to kerosene (6 five gallon containers each), and 6 one inch sheets of plywood, from Lukla to Namche or even Gorek Shep. These people smile while doing this and even greet you with a solemn “Namaste.” Wolf #1 said something else very mature…. He said “Makes you wonder who is happier?” WOW! That is so true. Who is happier? The westerners with all of our hustle and bustle, trying to fit everything into our little box, accumulating “Things”, keeping up with the Joneses, so to speak… Or the two little 12 year old Sherpa girls who were making Yak dung patties with their bare hands, knowing that this winter their families will stay warm at night, knowing that their nasty, stinky, hard work has to be done. I guess they know nothing else, and it scares me to think about Western expansion in the Khumbu region. I know that tourism is the only revenue for these people, and the government is so inadequate. There are no public utilities or schools here and the economic impact of tourism is what they have to rely on. School is a minimum of $40.00 per month per student. Most trekking guides make a $100.00 per month salary. The Nepali Sherpa way has remained the same for thousands of years, and I pray it remains that way! Wolf #2 and I are going to meet at 10:00am in the morning to tour the city and take pictures. I am going to bed!

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