After an incredibly long trip from DC to Nepal, involving 3 long flights (the flight to Seoul alone was over 14 hours!) and multiple airplane meals, Nicole and I finally arrived in Kathmandu on Thursday.
We were met at the airport by someone who didn’t speak English but had a sign with our names on it, so we hopped into a taxi with him and headed out. We had no idea where we were headed or exactly who this man was, but we didn’t have long to contemplate that as our senses were immediately assaulted by the crowded, dirty and chaotic streets of Kathmandu.
The streets were full of people, cars, motorcycles, bicycles and animals, all weaving in and out of traffic, amidst continuous honking. After two straight days in sterile airports, my senses were in overload and I think my mouth was probably hanging open the entire drive through the city.
Nicole and I alternatively laughed nervously and stared in amazement as the traffic, seeimingly without adherence to any rules, flowed all around us. A few times I looked over at Nicole and her eyes were squeezed shut as oncoming buses, overflowing with people riding not only inside but on top, sped by her side of the car with only a couple of inches to spare.
At one point, we drove within inches of a cow and our driver reached out the window and touched it with his hand, and then I couldn’t see exactly what he did, but it looked like he kissed his hand, and then touched his forehead and chest. I am not sure of the significance of this, other than that cows are sacred for Hindus, but I found it fascinating to say the least!
Finally, the taxi pulled over and we had arrived. We weren’t sure where we were, but it turned out we were at a guesthouse that JMC had arranged for us. The man who had picked us up worked for the guesthouse and suddenly things became a little clearer. This was surely only the beginning of surrendering to the unknown in a place I’ve never been to and where I don’t speak the language. It is clear that we will definitely have to be ready for anything over the next couple of months….
Posted By Stacey Spivey (Nepal)
Posted Jun 3rd, 2006