I have been writing every day since I reached Kathmandu before the trek, May 7th. I didn’t want to lose those fleeting thoughts that occur when the mind is free like it was during this trek. I’ve felt an undercurrent of internal change for the past year. Becoming is a vague, invisible process. I’ve been quietly hungry to end the strange stupidity that has me be anything I’m not. Simply Me. Haha. Great title to a book set surprisingly in the land of Zero Ego. Ha! That’s the best I can do: be who I am. Simple it sounds, but there are no manuals worth a shit written on the subject. There’s lots of writing, noble, beautiful, honest writing, but nothing works the same way twice. I am the one to discover what’s to be. The line between banal and profound is a tenuous, wiggly thing.
I’ve lived too long, trying to not give offense to others. I’m probably still a nice guy who will be happy to open the door for you and smile, but I don’t have time to always be nice or to worry if you will think bad things about me. I’m not in a hurry for anything right now. I just spent two days sitting on the deck looking at the gardens and hills, listening to the hawks screech, and writing. I’m happy. I have a lot to be happy about, but this happiness is groundless.
I decided to leave for Bangkok a day early. The gentle demeanor of the Nepalese people evaporates on the streets of this super-over-crowded city. The infrastructure that could manage 500,000 people a few years ago has not been improved, so the five to seven million people who are here share, somewhat aggressively, the limited public space. There is a flow of sorts, but it’s as bumpy as the backstreets and alleys in which I spend most of my time. Continue reading Re-entry, Kathmandu to Bangkok
Post-trek re-entry into the “real” world started in Kathmandu, the wickedly over-crowded, hot, traffic-filled city of terrible roads, bad cars and worse pollution. At the moment I’m in Bangkok to complete the fulfillment of a lifetime’s dream of trekking in the Kingdom of Mustang. Bangkok, after Kathmandu, it’s looking like heaven. I’ve used this city as a convenient hub city for my Asia buying and travels, but we have never been good friends. I guess I’m just a country boy. I like lots of green, mountains, quiet, and open space. Continue reading Flying out of Mustang
It is fair to say yesterday was one of the two hardest days of physical challenge of my life. The other “hardest day,” I was twenty-one and fresh out of college and the first time really on my own. A friend and I were in the Rocky Mountains of Glacier National Park for my first day of my first backpacking trip. I was using my brand new $21.95 REI budget backpack to carry my 70 pound load. Padded straps would have been extra. We had 3,500 vertical feet to climb on a five mile trail, then another 3,000 feet to hike back down the other side of the pass. Heat stroke hit me long before we found camp, but there was no possibility of stopping. The pain and exhaustion were still excruciating hours after we set up camp. Continue reading The Hardest Day
5:50am this morning bed-tea arrived. This wonderful Indian tradition is a treat for guests in most Indian homes. My first experience of bed-tea was at my wife’s family home in Delhi in 1984 when we were first married. Tea and biscuits arrived at our bedroom along with about a dozen extra cups. I was delighted by the tea, but puzzled by the extra cups. Before I could ask my wife what’s up with the tray of cups, the whole family poured into our room and snuggled into bed with us. Question answered. A baker’s dozen of happy, chattering, warm Indian bodies. Bed-tea sounds romantic! Continue reading Day II Bed Tea
Four brothers, John, Hem, Mahesh, and I formed the Bad Dogs of Mustang Club during the first week of the Trek. We decided Bad Dogs are blunt, honest, and naughty. At first, Mahesh seemed too nice to ever be a Bad Dog, but he learned quickly, coming into his natural Bad Dogness with joy and creativity. We were together constantly for 24 days in hugely uncomfortable and challenging conditions and shockingly beautiful environments. We ate every meal and climbed every pass together. We had total permission to be ourselves. Blunt and funny, we cherished our freedom to be, with never a judgment of each other. We were bad and beautiful, joyous and compassionate. Brotherly love permeated our world. Continue reading Bad Dogs in the Kingdom of Mustang
I had written to a friend saying I don’t pay attention to certain things like proper filing of papers and washing the cars because it takes too much time away from the fun, creative parts of life, the intent being to free me from the (?) of life.