After the initial onslaught and adjustment, I find myself rather enjoying this crazy place called Kathmandu.
It’s not a place to rush around like a tourist, but rather the perfect place to relax and unwind. Sure there are amazing sights to see, and I’ve done a few of the big ones, but it’s less about ticking things of your travel list and more about soaking up what makes Kathmandu.
I am rather fortunate in that I have a month in this wonderful country and I know I’ll be back later this year, so the urge to do and see all can be supressed. There is no rush.
This was the mistake I made when I first arrived. I was eager to rush out the door and see it all, to experience everything. It only left me exhausted and stressed. The constant hassling, the feeling that you’re being scammed at every turn because of the lack of familiarity wears you down. By Saturday(Day 4) I made the conscious decision to do absolutely nothing.
Meeting an old friend for dinner the previous evening helped put things into perspective. He reminded me I’d made many significant changes to my life and I needed to take time to let them settle. And that I should just relax.
Even in London relaxing meant trying to fit things in and see people at weekends which I didn’t have time for during the week due to work.
Yes there were days vegging on the couch in front of the telly but this was mostly due to a paralysing hangover and physically nothing more could actually be achieved.
Not relaxing in the true sense of the word.
For the last 5 days I’ve let this city wash over me. I’ve ambled down little streets discovering cafes and restaurants. Sometimes spending most of the day sitting on rooftops or in courtyards relaxing.
No surprise, it hasn’t come easy. After 12 years in London there is a lot of reprogramming to be done and circuits to be rewired, but every day I get better at it.
Yesterday I wandered over to the Garden of Dreams, snagged myself a shady spot on a bench and made use of the Kindle my ex-colleagues gave me as a parting gift.
Reading was usually saved as a distraction from the horrendous commute twice a day.
Today I’ve spent the afternoon in a cool and peaceful courtyard,, listening to chilled out classical guitar, nibbling on great food all washed down with local beer. Oh and the fresh mint lemonade!!
The key, I’ve discovered, is to not feel guilty and not to think of all the things I should be doing.
THIS is exactly what I should be doing!
(More Kathmandu pics here)