Sunday, 25 November 2012

Colors of Kathmandu: An Intro to Nepal

I'm feeling a little nostalgic.

Our trip is winding down- only two more weeks left before we fly back to France- and I'm thinking about how things used to be. Back at the beginning. Back when it was all fresh and new.

Back when I was taking this blog thing seriously.

You don't have to tell me (although some of you already have), lately, I've been a worthless blogger. Back in the good old days, it was a blog post a week- sometimes more. These days? Well, let's just say that, even after a decade with the same person, I'm having sex more often than I'm blogging.

And what's my excuse? I have the time: I was on a tropical island for an entire month doing absolutely nothing except making a few drinks. I have the motivation: many of you have been following this blog for nearly two years (for those of you who have- THANK YOU!). I have the material: these last few months have been some of the most interesting and eye-opening of the entire trip.

No, it seems that, as the trip slowly comes to a close, there's a part of me that is finding it harder and harder to share this part of my life. Like I don't want it to end so much that I'm kidding myself into believing that keeping my experiences to myself will make the trip last longer. Like taking the time to document it is taking away from the experience itself.

The thing is, I like blogging. I love sharing this with people who are interested in something that is so important to me. I'm doing this for myself as much as anyone else. It's just that lately, I've been wanting to savor every second living these last few weeks, not writing about it.

But that's not fair. You, who have followed me throughout this adventure, deserve more. So, once again, I owe you an apology. And, more importantly, I owe you a timely blog post.

So let's get to it.

We have just finished a two week whirlwind tour of Nepal, which included a 10-day trek, a two day rafting trip and one day exploring Kathmandu. I'll get to the outdoorsy stuff in a later post (but hopefully not too much later!), so for now, I want to give you a little taste of a country that we adored, by way of a photographic love letter to it's capital city, Kathmandu.

This post is going to be picture-heavy, as Nepal was seriously a feast for the eyes. The incredible natural beauty of the mountains was breathtaking, and I'll give it the gushing review it deserves in due time, but it was Kathmandu that really gave us a feel for the colorful, multi-cultural assault on the mind and senses that is Nepal.

The very first thing we said to each other upon arriving in the city was, "It looks like India."

We had always thought of Nepal as nothing but the Himalayas, Sherpas and Buddhist prayer flags, but here, in the lowland city, we could have been in Delhi.

Granted, neither of us have ever actually been to India, but, you know, we've seen Slumdog Millionaire- that has to count for something, right? (Kinda like how Forrest Gump gave me a feel for Vietnam. I'm so internationally aware...) But lame cultural assumptions aside, Kathmandu really did look like what I imagine India to be: a riotous explosion of colors, religion, smells and sounds, albeit with a fraction of the people. Women in flowing saris of warm reds, oranges, purples and pinks, men in sweater vests that would make even the oldest, whitest golfer jealous; spicy curries, sacred cows roaming the city streets, speeding buses and trucks decorated like Christmas trees, complete with blinking lights and garland. The dusty, polluted streets, the cacophony of horns and street vendors, the Hindu temples tucked away down hidden streets and sidewalk stalls selling everything under the sun.

We f-cking loved it.

It was La Paz all over again: crazy, colorful, chaotic. Only this time, the food was better.

As much as I want to, I can't possibly do it justice in words, so here are the pictures.

Typically colorful Nepalese architecture outside of Kathmandu
Sacred or not, cows are not supposed to eat plastic bags...

A toddler playing with the prayer wheels at a temple
Rickshaw parking

So, after all my explanation and ass-kissing about how I owe my audience more, I'm leaving you with that: a half-written post and a bunch of pictures that do the hard work for me. 

I'm a blogging legend.


  1. I love this post. Here's hoping that once you get back to France the sweeping nostalgia will cause you to conjure up some more blog posts after the fact. Or start working on that book. ;-) You've got a willing editor based in Los Angeles.

  2. I wanted to write in English but my English is so poor that after your writing I have to switch in French (I won't be much better but easier...):
    Merci Elissa d'avoir encore une fois pris ce temps de partage avec nous. Je te trouve trop sévère avec toi même. Je trouve exceptionnel que tu es continue le blog à une fréquence assez régulière malgré tout. Et même si parfois la fréquence ralentit, ton talent du récit et de l’écriture va grandissant. Donc MERCI et BRAVO.



  3. I can't wait to hear about the next adventure; this being the beginning not the end. Don't feel guilty about treasuring moments. Selfishly savor. Like Nate said above, take it in. Reflect. See how the moment changes in your memory and how you change along with it. So keep it to yourself, as long as I get to see you soon I don't mind.