Re-entry, Kathmandu to Bangkok

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.

The two hot nights and days in Kathmandu with no AC and no electricity were enough for now. I packed, checked out of the hotel and was at the central ticketing office at 9:15 am, a bit before opening time. With new ticket in hand, I was in a taxi on the way to the airport by 10:00 am, anxious to get to Bangkok with its smooth roads, luxury cars with working shock absorbers and intact seats.

I suddenly, unexpectedly, love Bangkok, even with a traffic jam that took one and a half hours from the airport instead of the usual 40 minutes.  We’re friends today, Bangkok and I.  Had a great massage, a good meal and quiet, clean suite with AC, a luxury bed, and wifi.

I had been out of the world of Internet and phones for three weeks.  Bangkok is my chance to integrate Mustang into America.  I talk about re-entering civilization, but I feel like I left civilization when I left Mustang and entered the madness of a much less civilized world in Kathmandu and Bangkok.  My soul lives in the mountains and was nourished in the monasteries of Mustang.  I need time alone now to integrate, catch up on email and write.  Alone in Bangkok for three days is oddly perfect.




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Having journeyed to the Far East and Asia over 20 times in the past 20 years, I’ve been intrigued and inspired by the ingenuity, craftsmanship, balance and human spirit that have gone into the making of those works I have seen and collected.

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