Sunday, April 14, 2013

April 14th, the Airport

Sitting at the Kathmandu Airport, I'm sitting in the front row of black metal stationary chairs bottled to the floor. I've had to tell the fellow behind me three times to stop kicking the back of my chair. He's about 25 years old with about 10 of his buddies with him. He seems like a pleasant chap, but I'm getting annoyed with the kicking and telling him politely to stop. I think it's a nervous reflect, three times having to turn around and give him the "eye" and politely comment please stop, is getting to be a little frustrating. He has stopped for now; it's most likely not personal, I'm trying to rest before getting on a crowded flight to Singapore with 13 hours of layover time.

I'm also tired, didn't sleep well last night, ended up writing from about 2am until almost 5am, then had breakfast with clay at 7:30 am. We went to the hospital to see Alena to say goodbye, she seems to be Okay but you can tell that being alone for the next 7-days is going to take a toll on her, and she'll have to depend on the hospital and the trekking company to help her. They hope to evacuate her to Japan on the 21st of April.

I learned something new today, when we flew from Kathmandu to Lukla and back, I noticed that the tires on the 20 passenger plane looked flat. It wasn't my imagination, they take the air out of the tires because of the high altitude and high pressure at this elevation. When the plane landed in Lukla, the tires looked somewhat normal.

I'm on my flight from Kathmandu to Singapore, I have the aisle seat, the guy in the middle seat evidently has not ever flown, he didn't know how to fasten his seatbelt, so I reached over and showed him how to do it, he doesn't speak English, but he nodded thank you. There is nothing better in my opinion than a genuine smile, that's what caught my eye of the woman I'm married too, a bodacious smile. A smile is universal, it communicates friend or foe, it tells more about a person's "self," than anything, it may be the real window to the heart in my opinion.

It's 3:14 pm, they are serving lunch, it's chicken and rice, chocolate cake, rolls, red wine, and coffee. It's not too bad, a little different than the garlic soup, rice and potatoes we ate every day on the trailšŸ˜³

Right now Nepal is somewhere in miles behind me, as we fly towards Singapore, I realize I miss it and I've only been in the air for about 3 hours. What a place, what an experience, and what a gift it gives to those who embrace its rich diverse culture in people and in geography. Pranav,
One of the doctors we dropped off at Base Camp for 3 months says Nepal has over 90 different religions. Being from Nepal, Pranav says there are mountain gods and there are gods of the earth, gods of the sky that are all worshipped within Nepal. The people are devout and they expect all foreigners to respect their ways. When you approach a Stupa, you walk to the left of it with the Stupa in your right, no matter how unaligned it is with the trail. Every time we had something significant take place like reaching Base Camp, the Sherpas would put around our necks a silken sash to represent good luck by the gods.

Every temple you entered you always take off your shoes no matter how hot or cold it is; one day it was one of those frost bite cold spells and we were to enter the temple, the floor in the temple was so cold I started walking in circles in the temple as if I were trying to see everything, truth be told, I wanted to warm my feat. Thank goodness we never entered the temple while prayer was going on, or else we would have ha to be still and our little toes would have frozen.

Because of the long layover in Singapore, I'll try to take advantage of the free city tours they offer to international passengers outside the airport; no need to sit inside for 13 hours sleeping with one eye open to protect my backpack while I try to rest.

I can tell now, miss Nepal, not the gasping for air trekking up the mountains, not the yak dung everywhere, or the cd frost bitten nights, but the rich culture of life and contrasts.

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