I was still a little wary bringing a $1,000 computer onto the streets of Kathmandu, but I was slowly starting to feel comfortable in the chaos. As long as I carried the bag slung crosswise across my body so it couldn’t be snatched, I really faced no risk. Nothing could cut through the thick leather straps, if that was even a thing that happened here. Hell, I’d carried it on the much more dangerous streets of Kuala Lumpur, I could carry it on the streets of Kathmandu.
It’s been a month of Nepal posts! I just want to take this opportunity to say thank you to everyone who’s taken the time to read my story (Read Chapter 1 here). It’s a really good feeling to have your work seen and appreciated. Extra thanks to those who have been sharing on social media and leaving comments. I read every single one, and honestly, they mean a lot.
I’ve been letting my words take center stage, but I thought you all might like to see a few more pictures from my time in Nepal. So enjoy this photo supplement, mostly taken in the Thamel neighborhood of Kathmandu. I will continue to post photo supplements as the story progresses. All pictures and videos were taken by me, shot on an iPhone 6S.
I am awoken at 5:30 a.m. by the sound of jackhammering outside.
I groan, and go back to sleep.
The jackhammer people aren’t concerned. They wake me up at 6:30, 7:30, and 8:30, until, finally, I accept that I just won’t be sleeping any more.
It’s day 2 in Kathmandu, and my room is still just as lonely. The first thing I see when I open my eyes is the second twin bed, empty. According to the reservation I put in online, today should be my last day at the Annapurna Guesthouse. Seeing as the front desk staff hasn’t even asked about money yet, I don’t think they’ll mind if I stay a little longer. After all, I’ve been in Thamel for a day, and I already realize the rate I am paying is absurdly high. That could be part of why I seem to be the only guest here.
I should move to a hostel today, I think to myself as I take a shower. The water heater is working today, thankfully. I spend a long time in the shower, trying to quiet my thoughts and figure out a plan for the day.
I don’t plan anything, and eventually just get dressed and walk out the door.
Momentum is the only thing keeping me going right now.
I told the agent thanks, and I’d think on it. I folded up the piece of paper with his budget calculations on it, and stuffed it in the back pocket of my slacks. We shook hands and he must have committed my face to memory, because for the next week, every time I passed his office, he would call out to me and ask about my plans.
But today, we simply said goodbye. I left his office, and headed for the main streets of Thamel.
The sensory overload was immediate, and total.
As I entered the lobby of the Annapurna Guesthouse, the owner greeted me warmly. He asked about my travel and how I liked my room.
“Load shedding right now,” he said, pointing at the lights. “No power.”
I nodded, dumbly. That explained the cold shower and nonfunctional TV.
“We have generator though,” he said. “No interruption.”
I could have asked him why the power was down if his generator ensured no interruption, but I really didn’t care. A few months ago, when I was working midnight shifts for my company back in the U.S., reliable power and wifi would have been my paramount priority. Now, I had a different job, one I could work on any schedule I chose. But to be honest, I didn’t much feel like working at all in Nepal.
Why should I care if the power went out, now and then?
Isn’t that why I was here, halfway across the world: to disconnect, to see something new?