Written on 25 May, 1:40pm, Nagarkot, Nepal
Karma (my guide on the trek and friend) and I awoke early today to travel 33km out of Kathmandu to Nagarkot, a hillside “village” famed for its sunrise and sunsets views of the Langtang Himalayan range. I had absolutely no idea what to expect of Nagarkot. After all, it was Pasang (another guide on the trek and friend) who had suggested we make the trip. Pasang eventually could not make it as he had to help some of our other friends arrange for accommodation in Kathmandu.
Nagarkot, however, would turn out to be the ultimate test of my ability to just do absolutely NOTHING. It is now 1:44 pm and we’re already back in the hotel after doing a 3-hour walk around the area and some lunch. Here I am sitting here in the balcony watching some school children, still clad in their uniforms, playing a game of “catching” along the tarred road, while Karma, after finishing his millionth cigarette, is now lying on his bed, singing along to some Nepali song he’s blasting from mobile phone.
Being in Nepal has changed my lifestyle quite a bit. Nepal has been a nice reprieve from the hustle and bustle of city-state Singapore. Even in all the madness of Kathmandu over the last 2 days, I find that I have been spending a great deal of time just sitting in some place drinking chia (Nepali tea. And yes, I didn’t misspell chai) with my Nepali friends.
Okay, I just realised that Karma has disappeared somewhere without a word. He’s obviously feeling bored too.
Back to talking about doing nothing.
There’s no TV here, no Internet. I didn’t even bring my book or my iPod. Good thing I brought this journal and some postcards.
Okay, even the school children have gone home. The only sounds I hear are that of some birds squawking and some strange insect flying around me. Wait, I just heard a rooster from a distance. And a motorbike. Ah, the sounds of nothingness.
I spot a couple from the opposite lodge and they are hugging each other. Oops, they spotted me staring at them.
I also see a group of friends on the rooftop of another lodge a distance away. I heard them laughing and singing along to a guitar earlier in the day and now they are still on the same rooftop, talking instead. They’ve obviously truly embraced the art of doing nothing.
[Writing this halfway, I fell asleep on the bed and awoke an hour later at 3pm. The sky was cloudy as it had been the whole day and there was still nothing to do.]
Karma returned bringing tea, and announced that it was his turn to sleep.
2 minutes later, he jumped out of bed and said: “Let me try to get a TV. There are apparently no cable channels, but at least there’s TV.”
Not long after, he came back, TV-less, and exclaimed: “Stupid Pasang. This was his idea. There’s nothing to do!”
Thinking about how ridiculous this trip was becoming, we both burst out laughing for a good 5 minutes.
“Let’s get him to drive down to entertain us,” I replied.
We were both clutching our stomachs and literally in tears.
“Come on, you get up and dance, I’ll watch. It’s boring! I don’t mind,” he joked.
“And we don’t even have cards,” I told him, in between laughs. “You go sleep. Can sleep for 12 hours, and get up in time for sunrise.”
In a mock serious tone, Karma replied: “Alright, goodnight.” Staring into his cup, he said: “Good, I’m done with goodnight tea,” and proceeded to lie down on his bed to ‘sleep’.
Again, 2 minutes later, he sat up and called Pasang to complain.
After putting down the phone, he ranted: “Not coming back to this hotel anymore. Another one I came to before was better. There are even mosquitoes here!”
Tired from the joking, our laughter finally died down. We fell into silence as he played with his phone while I continued writing this journal entry.
The silence, however, didn’t last very long as we began our useless conversations once again. They went something like this:
K: “You can go for a walk. Get out turn right and right.”
D: “And where does that lead to?”
K: “The Jungle. *laughs*. You can go. I’ll sleep.”
K: “Oh I know what we can do. We can go riding.”
D: “Yep, down the hill and up again. Oh, we can even go to Kathmandu, and back in time for sunset.”
K: “Okay, I go to Kathmandu, you stay here.”
Written on 26 May, 5:05am, Nagarkot, Nepal
Great this trip is such a failure. I just woke up at 5am to see the sunrise, but it is already bright! I was told that sunrise was at 5:45am, so 5am should be playing it safe, right? Apparently not.
And to make things worse. It is super cloudy.
And this is the awesome 5am ‘sunrise’
Written on 26 May, 5:15am, Nagarkot, Nepal
Oh great. And now it starts pouring.
Back to bed.
Images from the two days at Nagarkot:
Biking through Nagarkot
Stopping to drink chia (tea) once again
It was so boring that I was getting ready to jump. Okay, no not really.
We had to settle for chess at night. And here’s a very unglamourous shot of Karma.
View from the top when the sky cleared a LITTLE
PS: go Google “Nagarkot” for actual images of how the place is supposed to look like.