Monday, November 10, 2014

Kathmandu - The Good, The Crazy, The Entrancing

Twenty years ago while hanging out on a Kathmandu rooftop cafe, above the roiling madness of humanity down on the streets, I imagined bringing my future children here someday. At that time it's possible Nicolas was walking on those streets below, but I just hadn't met him yet. Now all four of us are here taking it all in together, each of us in our own way...

Acacia: "Omigosh it's so noisy! Why is everyone honking? Oooh! Look at those pretty backpacks! Can we go back and see those? That's the royal palace? Cool! There's so much traffic! Are there lanes? Which side are we supposed to be on? Why are there so many thousands of electricity lines going to every telephone pole? It's all looped up. It's a bit messy looking, don't you think? Everyone has dark hair. Look there's a cow next to us. It's going faster than the traffic. Not very sacred to shoo it away from the fruit stands, is it? Whoa! That's a monkey on the electric wires! Tiger balm? Cayenne loves tiger balm. Hey Cay, you should get some. I just saw a monk. Jeez! How are those motorcycles fitting in between the cars? Their mirrors are already almost touching."

Cayenne: "This place is nuts."

For old times' sake, of course.

"I  love all these baggy pants. Can I get a pair? Ooooh check out these leg warmers! They're awesome. These prayer wheel earrings are so cool! Look back out at Kathmandu. Can barely see the streets but you can still hear the horns. Why is that man lying in the road? Oh man, he doesn't have fingers. Or toes. I wonder what happened to him."

"He has leprosy."


Cayenne's favourite part of Kathmandu was away from the traffic and tourists, and drenched in colour.

Our hotel's rooftop

If you look closely at the mountain horizon, you can see a hint of white. That's Langtang, whose base we'll be walking to (and from) for the next 12 days.

I'm hoping for lots more render-them-speechless moments.



Saturday, November 1, 2014

On Being Tricked and Treated

If I hadn't been on a local street blocked off from traffic for a Halloween block party - filled with trick-or-treaters and campfires in driveways and people I knew - I might've been taken aback by the long shadow I noticed creeping up behind me while talking to Nick on the phone. I had called him in Phoenix to share what we were up to, as I try to keep him involved in our day-to-day lives as much as possible, and it'd been a little too chaotic to call him earlier with six middle school girls running around the house costuming-up.

I ladled hot cider and chili from the cauldrons on the stove to fill their bellies with a little protein before the sugar fest...

... and then they were off to forage.

After Timberline, where their favourite treat was homemade Zombie Fingers baked by our next door neighbor Uwe, they headed to the Rio Vista block party.

(Photo credit: Petra!)

I was describing to Nick the warm evening, the jumping castle and the kids dancing in the street when I noticed that shadow slink up very close to me, so I spun around and smacked right into - Nick.



When his last class of the day ended an hour early he spontaneously jumped in the car and didn't stop for nearly seven hours until he was home home. He missed his three girls.

We were a little bit tricked - and a whole lot treated!