For years you were waiting for me. For years I wanted to meet you. You, your chaos, Nepal, the Himalayas. But every time it just wasn’t the right time and each time I decided to choose someone else. You turned out to be patient. Forgiving. Pure in all your strength you still were waiting for me with a smile on your face. Patience is rewarding, they say. We’ve always had a special bond, without even seeing each other. Crazy huh? The first travel story I ever read on the internet was about you. A story in Comic Sans and bright colors and unclear pictures, gone offline in a distant past already. A story only read by aunt Carol and ‘be careful, love, mom and dad’. A story that was so beautiful that it directly touched me and made me want to have people all over the world reading beautiful travel stories. An inspiration to start blogging. To seize all travel opportunities. After, I left for four times living abroad and I shared all my adventures with the online world. Countless times I threw my backpack on my backpack and still I try to inspire my readers. You stood on the waiting list, on top, sometimes so close, but fear and love and choices have let you stand there for nine years.
And suddenly I stood there. Next to you. The crazy thing is that I can’t remember how I, without thinking, left with my backpack and my love to finally meet you. Apparently it was time. There I was. In Nepal. Arrived at the disaster that is called the airport of Kathmandu. It turned out to be your way of welcoming and show exactly how you are. Chaotic. Noisy. Calm. Dusty. Warm. That’s you. My unattainable love that suddenly was accessible at all and I wanted to push you away and seize you at the same time. I got into one of your taxis and it brought me to your heart.
I took you all in. I saw meditating monks, women so old and wrinkly and beautiful that it almost made me cry, hundreds of stray dogs, thousands of motorbikes and millions of prayer flags, holy men, dead bodies burned right in front of me, beautiful temples, rest, hustle, white Himalayas peaks with razor-sharp edges and silky snow, red as blood during sunset. I heard honking, shouting, barking, squeaking, but got carried away by the sound of singing bowls, mantras, calm music at the same time. I saw beggars, color popping dresses, painted eyes that followed me at all times, piles of garbage, sacred cows and the sweetest children.
There are a thousand Kathmandu’s. You are a morass of chaos and beauty. And I love you, without a doubt. Amid your chaos I wandered around for days. I almost felt like flying. Did you see that? It was like I was looking to myself from a distance. A wandering blond girl in a long dress that didn’t belong there, but did at the same time. She shared at a monk in trance and forgot, like he did, everything around her. Blissful. She seemed to be swallowed up by the swamp, but didn’t sink. With a confident smile, she moved herself further through the chaos. I saw that she was happy. She felt at home there, strange as it may sound. Home is everything and nothing at the same time.
Yes, you made me intensely happy. Thank you, Kathmandu. You are so beautiful. And you are so intense. You are noisy and beautiful and bizarre and polluted and fascinating. And you are pure. And you are…life. That is what you are. Life. Lively. Life and death. Alive. Bon Vivant. Life-threatening. High-spirited. Lifelike. Thank you for everything.