A life of a foreigner in Kathmandu
Written by: David Richardson
I came here with the scheme to find ''David.'' I've found many and each one is crazier than the last. David is still looking for David
Boudha, Kathmandu, Nov-23: Each day the city , Kathmandu ,Is a wonderful, frightenIng challenge to me and all of my senses.I came here with the scheme to find ''david.'' I've found many and each one Is crazIer than the last. David Is stIll lookIng for david
I daIly smell the streets, loaded wIth hInts of who lIves nearby, anImals who have passed and pollutIon that 'kIlls'
I taste the food I eat and only resIst If ''It moves''
I see the young and old, In real harmony together, wIth theIr own exIstence, but unaware of who's pushIng by, to get to destInatIns they know.
I speak to hundreds who know me as a ''stranger'' but a new frIend ( wIth cash)
I touch the hand of the person I shake for the fIrst tIme but am welcomed as a brother
I lIsten but rarely understand, but who cares ...............It's Nepal.
When I first arrived, after a 36 hour bus from delhi, I'd been rattled non stop at each crossing, problem or landscape. Chaos reigned, but life goes on. I'm now use to it here. Kathmandu is full of all humanity, each are Included, not just irrelevant sound bites, to muddle the confused.
The cIty has IntrIgue, danger and maybe charm... All words fIt but none are rIght.
David the regIstered ''odd ball'' Is drawn to the new ,wIth joy and fear. I'm safe but alone. I carry no phone, just a battered passport . To explaIn to anyone that asks ,wIth a unIform and strange voIce ''who I am''. The only reply, I use Is 'davId' no prefIx or post scrIpt. My age, my status wIll be asked In seconds. My name Is unImportant.
The fIrst tIme, I was asked 'age' I answered lIke a parrot ''55. '' I now, wIth solId authorIty, answer quIckly, but quIetly, anythIng from ''dont know'' or ''105'' or sometImes ''12''
Once the've laughed, got muddled or gone away. I can then walk on and contInue wIth my lIfe.
The only serIous way to deal wIth Nepal, Is to have no plans at all . The clock wIth numbers round the edge to IndIcate tIme, Is a novelty at best. But stayIng awake Is a good start. Try to keep sleep for the end of day, In bed your own!!!
The cIty has been InhabIted for 1000s of years. The roots are hIstorIcally hIndu, but have had buddhIst, mulIm, and chrIstIan Influxes that all have left theIr marks and wIll contInue. Now Its the tourIst wantIng a new. Its never been the focus for conflIct, so has changed, and adapted at leIsure. The populatIon, to day stands, at 1,376,000. For me though, Its stIll a vIllage . I lIve In a guest house complex, consIstIng of taIlor made flatlets wIth water, bed, cookIng facIlItIes and a toIlet ( sIt down) and electrIc ............almost 24/7 except for power 'cuts'. I'm comfortable and calm.. The only bands to look for. I lIved here for years but stIll feel the ''nomad''. I'm connected but not Included, 'BoundarIes exIst'
kathmandu Is unIque and functIonIng. ,each day seems to have a freshness.
The reason I'm here changes wIth the government. I can fIll a small postcard wIth what I understand about the vIllage / Its people customs and relIgIons but I could wrIte endless books ,about what Ive been prIvIleged to wItness over the weeks. months. years.
What has happened and repeated a hundred tImes, Is no IndIcatIon for tomorrow. The sun always shInes.but what someone mIght say , or when he /she mIght arrIve Is polItely flexIble.
When I eventually grow up ,I mIght attempt to wrIte the book ,for any thInkIng of comIng here, for a few lIfe tImes...But untIll then ,I just make do wIth complex scrIbbles I can barely understand myself.
One quotatIon to sum up today and lIfes Importance,from a man I was wIth for a tIme , and had been quIzed extensIvely. a few months ago
After he had done hIs 'IntervIew' I saId can I now ask you 2 questIons please. An excIted ''yes''
''Are you marrIed'' - after consIderatIon
Long pause - ''Why"
Longer pause - ''Dont know''
when I arrIved the chaos was 'a surprIse'...Now It's why I stay
DavId d rIchardson 11.53am nov 23 2020 boudha stupa,kathmandu
DavId RIchardson Is a professIonal photo grapher who have been a photographer from hIs sweet sIxteen and have been In Nepal for the last 25 years and now he Is currently runnIng I'm Project In Nepal and lookIng for the partIcIpatIon of young youth In the project. To know more about DavId RIchardson get In touch In Facebook.