Sketch 27: Life Around the Himalayas, arrival
Updated: Apr 14, 2020
Day 1: Kathmandu
On a bright morning 7th of October 2019, just as the plane started slowly descending, I first glimpsed the Himalayas. And at that moment, I knew that this journey would be one of a kind. Stepping out of the comfortable environment of our aeroplane, we inhaled the strong smell of dust. What first caught my attention was the dense cloud of smog resting above the city of Kathmandu. Well, some things will definitely take some getting used to...
During the upcoming days and weeks, I will seek the answer to a seemingly straightforward question:
What is the everyday life in and around the Himalayas like?
I want to get to know people, live with them, and share all those little moments that Nepali people Nepalese. I plan to wander the main streets of Kathmandu and Pokhara, but more importantly, I will be spending time in the suburbs and in villages, excited to find out what real life is all about. I want to climb the hills and feel overwhelmed by the beauty of our world, and at the same time, try to understand how people live in these hostile and remote areas.
The itinerary for the journey is the following:
The first night, we sleep in a school called HVP in central Kathmandu, where we will be teaching later on.
Then, we will head to Pokhara, and from there for a roughly 10-days long trek to the Khopra ridge.
Returning to Kathmandu, we will move to Thali, a village in Kathmandu Valley, where we will spend around three weeks living with our Nepalese friends and teaching in another of the HVP Nepalese schools.
The last week of our time in Nepal will be spent living and teaching back in the central HVP school in Kathmandu.
Sketch of the day: Business as We Know It
Now, let us move to the first sketch of this trip: Business as We Know It. It shows a simple moment from Thamel, the bustling centre of Kathmandu. A tourist is trying to negotiate a better price for his fruits. A local is working hard to overcharge the foreigner, with a broad and friendly smile on his face. Definitely an everyday situation for everyone living in Nepal and a novelty for me, a European used to fixed prices. The first few times of such a strange shopping experience, I felt like in the middle of a bazaar that I only knew from books. But soon, this way of bargaining became a natural part of my day. Such was the first glimpse into Nepalese culture: I expect it to feel a random, somewhat confusing or messy, but exciting and friendly.
Date: 7th October 2019
Location: Thamel, Kathmandu, Nepal