Its been a long time!
Long short story, I am in Kathmandu now. I am doing internship for ForestAction Nepal, an NGO focusing on policy research on forestry and related issues. I will be here for a month or so before returning back to my hometown in Sumatra and to Canberra to continue my 2nd semester of graduate study.
Despite the fact that I have already been sick only after 3 days of my stay in Kathmandu, I enjoy my overall experience in here. On my flight from KL to Nepal I sat next to two ladies, one from Australia and another one from Malaysia who were going to Nepal for holiday and pilgrimage respectively. We talked a lot during the trip that we did not even realize that we almost arrive in Nepal. The two ladies taught me about meditation, which I would like to learn once my health condition gets better.
Upon my arrival in Kathmandu airport, a friend of mine (who I met from my last year trip through Couchsurfing) welcomed me with a yellowish shawl full of Buddhist words as the tradition to welcome people who visit Nepal. He put the shawl into my neck while saying ‘Welcome back to Nepal’. It was so sweet of him. He was there with his friend who also put another shawl to my neck and they immediately dropped me to my hostel. It was 10 PM already so we need to call the lady to open the door because I booked a place in a homestay nearby my office. My first night in Kathmandu was a bit spooky as the room in so cold (esp because it is winter here atm) and the alley to my room was so dark. I could also hear dogs barking non stop outside my room. It was too cold that I could barely sleep with only one blanket.
I went to office late the next morning and met my supervisor, a really helpful guy who just graduated from Delhi University few months back. The office is not too big but it is enough to accommodate researchers with brilliant minds who are passionate about their job. Just like the way NGO work, the working atmosphere is so relaxing and there is no clear hierarchy among the staff member.
I went back home early that day and asked my friend to help me move to the girl hostel he suggested. Later that day we went to Thamel (the main spot for tourist in Kathmandu) to chill at Shisha bar, one of the most popular bars in the area. I started staying in the girl hostel the following day and I really enjoy living with local people here. The hostel is full of young ladies who are still pursuing study at uni or just graduated. So most of them are below 22. I feel so young surrounded by them. Hence I don’t think they create gap with me as they perceive me as young as them. 😛
They are so friendly and caring. They never try to exclude me for whatever they are doing like watching DVD in room, going out to visit temples or just shopping. I kinda look like Nepali too so when I go out with them it looks like I am part of a group of young colleague girl. Knowing that I am sick, my roommates are so kind to not to create noise when I sleep early like 7 pm and lend me blanket when I feel so cold. The landlord could not speak English properly but always ask if I need tea or biscuit. I guess Nepali is so good in hospitality because I don’t only receive good treatment from my housemates but also from my workmates who always try to make me feel comfortable.
Anyway, as I mentioned so far so good. I just need to get myself fit again so I can start my yoga class this weekend.