Written for Nepali magazine VIVACITY - http://vivacitymagazines.com/component/content/article/132-twentytwo-issue/332-a-beauty-in-chaos.html#
Nepal, never ending peace and love; this motto may have been forgotten by our government but it remains in the people and the mountains.
Being half Nepali and half European, I have the privilege of trusting open parents to go off adventuring around the majestic valley. Since I was 12, I started using the tuk tuks and micro’s to get home, as living in Bhaktapur and taking the taxi isn’t an affordable option. The public transport in Nepal is not for the weak hearted as you need your elbows and determination to secure your space, yet it has its own little charms. Certain examples of my experience are of hanging out of a tuk tuk in the monsoon rain, with my best friend, as the woman inside offered us her umbrella and kept our belongings dry for us.
On another adventure, I decided to sit on the floor of the bus, to ease the fatigue in my legs as I was too tired. Across me three old wrinkled ladies sat in a seat for two. All scrunched up yet they made a space for me and insisted I sit next to them, just so that I wouldn’t have to sit on the floor. These kind gestures and hospitality are what make Nepalese so unique and sweet.
Being in Europe, one of the aspects that I miss is the connection and relationships you develop with random shopkeepers, barmen or taxi drivers. You could say customer loyalty, but in Nepal it’s a bit different. The Nepalese appreciate when you remember them. One main location to find such lively people who love to have a small chat is Thamel. In the haze of all these friendly conversations, two spots in Thamel became my place, my favourites. The first spot, is the Falappel corner, on the start of Mandala street. A little cosy shop with tastebud-tingling wraps and an area to meet bizarre wonderful strangers. Strangers such as an Irish man who entertains you with stories about Greek gods and goddesses and about which finger you should wear rings on.
The Falappel corner is located right next to the buzzing, rushing main street of Thamel, so spot two is somewhere quieter. Located across the Kathmandu Guest House on the top floor is the Tom & Jerry Pub. A musky attic pub, where every edge of the wall is covered in signatures and doodles. Souvenirs, T-shirts and flags hung up with precious memories scribbled on them. The atmosphere itself is heart-warming, also to add to that, the barmen there are pleasant. Men who are in their 30-40’s who will tease you about marrying you off to their relatives and offer you lots of popcorn which are free at ‘ Happy Hour’. The pub is perfect for a chilled time with friends as they have two pool tables , an indoor fire place to heat you up in the winter and they also do ‘Football nights’ when popular matches are showing. If you aren’t skilled at the art of pool, just ask the pool master there. He’ll give you certain tips and tricks that’ll improve your skills dramatically.
Around each corner of Nepal you are bound to discover an adventure, create a memory or meet incredible people. I’m not saying that every soul you meet is going to be a saint. Though I think ‘treat people how you want to be treated ‘ is a moral that most follow, so be kind and you’ll have an amazing experience in this little country.
Nepal is a beautiful country filled with enchanting tales and mesmerizing mountains. Kathmandu though has a peculiar rare beauty to it; A hidden beauty among the dusty rim and creeks of the valley. A beauty in chaos.