Saturday, February 2, 2013

Day trip: Bungamati

Approximately ten years ago, when I was eighteen, my big plan in life was to volunteer in a village in Nepal as an English teacher. Right before I was due to leave, the civil conflict between the Maoists and the government intensified and I asked my dear mother "how do you feel about me going to Nepal with all this happening?"

My mom gave a typically diplomatic answer, saying she would support me whatever I did, but that "honestly, I'd prefer if you didn't." That was enough for me and I called the whole thing off. Years later, I was thinking about interning in Nepal for the UNHCR, but ended up calling that off because I got a more exciting offer from a grassroots Jewish peace group in Israel/ Palestine. Suffice to say, Nepal and I are like ships in the night.  

Now, much to my bemusement, I find myself in Nepal not for a job or a holiday, but for a visa run. All the same, getting the Indian tourist visa I am hoping for takes at least a week, so I'm getting a bit of exploring in. I've been staying at a home stay in Patan (which I much prefer to Thamel, in terms of a place to stay) and looking around Kathmandu during my days. I must be getting old, because I find the cold, dust and noise of Kathmandu quite a lot to take, and I decided to take a day off yesterday by heading out to nearby Bungamati, a 'medieval' style agricultural village. 

I planted myself by that tree above and enjoyed the pollution-free air and green views. And the people passing by. 

The group of teenage scamps above ended up being my tour-guides for the afternoon, teaching me about the hindu religion in general and local interpretations of the surrounding hills and rivers. They also ended up admitting to me that they had spent the day drinking alcohol and smoking cigarettes, for which I gave them a disapproving look and a health lecture. One of them mock-pick-pocketed me (by attempting, and failing, to untie my backpack), but the others all yelled at him and apologised to me profusely. All in all, an adorable group of rogues and I shook each of their hands before they left me to my own devices. 

The cuties below saw me with a camera and demanded a picture. Their mother insisted they say "thank you" to me, while I said dhanyabad to them.  

Spot the Animal!

Prayer bell


1 comment:

Jill L said...

beautiful post, beautiful photos and beautiful people