Some really profound stuff in today’s update; makes me feel stupid for window shopping and doing restaurant reviews when there is so much suffering in the world. We’re really proud of Wandersis, and it sounds like the experience in Nepal will prove to be life-changing.
may 17, 2011 | an image that gave perspective, and other points of interest
Today is Buddha’s birthday and a national holiday. Laxman and I went up to Monkey Temple at 5am as always, but the streets were already so full of people. People brought bananas for the monkeys which made them very happy. There are decorations everywhere.
But, because so many people would be out today, the beggars lined up on the streets. On our way back to the apartment, I passed a little girl lying on the side of the street. She was shaking with leprosy. Her hand was poorly amputated, stitched up with 5 botch-job stitches. In place of her hand was a stump, swollen and infected, shiny and red. Beside her was a woman and her baby, both starving and dirty. The woman looked up at me with desperate eyes and held out her hand. I had no money, no food with me. It was everything I could do to not burst out in tears in the middle of the street.
When I got home I was listening to Beatles on Sara’s computer, and Let it Be came on. I couldn’t help it. I cried so much. What suffering. What perspective. I’m so shaken up. I don’t think the image of the girl and the mother and baby will ever, ever leave my mind.
I also so three young men standing in a circle staring at something on the way back and when I looked they were staring at a dead mouse lying on its back and poking at it with their feet. This didn’t provide any sort of perspective but I thought it was a rather curious image, to see the young men take such notice of a lifeless rat. I was sad for the little rat too.
I know my way around very well now. I like going to buy bananas in Thamel and haggling them to the price I know they are instead of the jacked-up tourist quote. I love the little Nepali children who all excitedly yell “Hello Miss!” because I am white.
My cockroach kill count is now 2. My second victim was not Brian. I discovered last night that Brian never existed… it’s Nisha grinding her teeth every night, which is the same sound as cockroaches. This made me deeply sad because a) it won’t cease to wake me up at night, and b) I never really had a cockroach friend, even if I was plotting his murder. No, I happened upon a cockroach when I went to the bathroom this morning and killed it with a bottle of toilet cleaner.
Last night after Dhal Bjatt we went to a bar for drinks with Laxman. There was a live band that played Lynard Skynard, Deep Purple, Stevie Ray Vaughn, etc. The nightlife in Kathmandu is pretty epic, especially in Thamel (the tourist area). The streets are bathed in neon lights and flashing signs, and you can hear live music everywhere from raggae to hard rock. At the bar Nisha asked if cows can get drunk and I said yes, anything can. She asked if they would still produce milk if they were drunk and Sara said “No, they’d produce Bailey’s.” I thought this was really funny haha.
Today we’re taking the Balaju orphans to Monkey Temple for Buddha’s birthday…. climbing up there twice in one day makes me a little bit nuts.