Submitted by Ben Ayers on Wed, 2008-10-15 09:54.
September 29, 2008
Kathmandu in all her glory, in her veil of rain. The monsoon rains should have left by now - retreated with the squadrons of china-white cranes that have begun to strafe the city on their way south. But it is still raining, making a very bad year for flooding even worse. Floods have taken dozens of lives all across the Southern belt of the country, and hundreds more in India. Still it continues to rain.
And I have shed my American ways, donned the intrepid INGO-leader type, taken my blue shirts out of my old expedition drum and dropped them off at the dry cleaners. It is peculiar to me that I have to be so much more dressed up and preppy in Kathmandu than in America. It wasn’t always this way – I can still feel, intimately, the years when I would pick fleas out of my hair from sharing a concrete floor and sleeping bag with a nearly-stray dog in Bhaktapur. The time when washing my clothes by had was too much effort and so I just didn’t do it. Now, I network over cocktails, button up my shirt, get my hair cut while around me the city continues its slow decay. I’ve always felt Kathmandu stays together by somehow falling apart. The greatest urban optical illusion.
But, the field beckons. The real world. The reason for all of this pretense and time spent pushing plastic buttons on a computer. Ten Days.