Someone has a drum kit in there hotel room.
Yesterday, I finished up some work in a nice little cafe on a side street in Thamel, Kathmandu. I decided on a wander, I grabbed my camera with no plans and let the visual lurking guide me.
At first glance Kathmandu has some overlapping essence of India. This city is busy, not Delhi busy, nor population), 975,453+ and has a calming charm within the winding alleys, bikes, cars and almost constant horns. I’ll creep more neighbourhoods over the next few days to build a deeper relationship with the Nepalese capital.
As I’m led around by the sights & curriosty, I stopped at a few varied public locations to sit and watch life here. Sip a drink and take it in. Slowly…
As I turned a typical narrow almost maze like street, a Buddhist temple reveals itself cropped between the dark & dusty buildings. The sides of the temple full of people sitting & cheering about, …what? I slowly manoeuvred through the shoulder to shoulder jostled streets ahead. After a few mins I come into sight of a SIX STOREY MAN MADE TREE OBJECT!!!? People hanging & climbing and screening on this massive thing, all the while it’s being pushed down the irregular Kathmandu streets on a chariot! I’m not sure what the hell is going on, but I can tell its a big deal as I’m surrounded by half the city. Rice and objects flying through the air from the rooftops, object & ground. Drums and cymbals drowning out everything within distance, in-between local cheers.
I found out this celebration is part of Bisket Jatra, which is an annual celebration leading up to New Years. Apparently the chariot is pushed & pulled through the crowds to different neighbourhoods where the celebration days continue up until New Years. I’m going out to search for the next neighbourhood now...
Came for my Indian visa, stayed for the pleasure. We enjoyed quite a few days here in and around Kandy. Visited
Sri Dalada Maligawa, one of the most sacred places of worship in the Buddhist community.
Kandyan fashion is some of the nicest I've seen. The middle aged, but mostly older women have impeccable style. The colours & prints, most made with a designers eye as well as worn with one. The textiles rival India's fabrics. I'm sure, many arriving from. Seeing so much fabric everywhere, you can't help but think of the resources that go into this tradition.
more to come.
Leaving Sri Lanka this morning, with some more perspective & understanding on other peoples lives. Such a rich culture with beautiful smiles everywhere you turn. The people are friendly, genuine and open. The nature is some of the most epic I've ever seen, both the sea sides & the inland hill country. I would be grateful to return one day to soak up more incredible experiences. Two of the most unforgettable moments in my life took place here a couple weeks ago, I hope to give a bit of detail to later with some photos and more time.
Watching the sunrise below and above the clouds this morning from this flight made me a bit sad knowing that I may never get a chance to return to this lovely place, among many others I've been fortunate enough to visit.
My mood is also heavy from my almost solo days the last week. My partner and better half flew home to Czech Republic for some work after six months together again. Roaming around like a couple gypsies in love. I miss her immensely and I'm patiently waiting till the day I see her pretty face again. Until then, I have a couple goals in mind and I'll see what life's dice has for me.
After a few days of speaking with some locals, we heard of a location that you might be able to spot some nice wildlife. So we rented a scooter to find this word of mouth spot. It was just before sunset, we left on our two wheeled, two person safari. We took the scoot down a small road to a smaller road, eventually to a dirt footpath that was used for a few tea field workers. As we approach the first layer of jungle, it partly opens up for the small tea fields. After bottoming out the little scooter several times I shut off the motor to the site of a small family of elephants! It was instantly incredible for my Canadian brain to whiteness such a sight. The two of us alone, in quiet a remote location observing the family in their natural environment.
Some time later we noticed many more elephants slowly emerging from the jungle all around us. I don’t know much about elephants, but at this point I’m thinking about several Sri Lankan’s telling me about elephants getting quite aggressive. Both of us questioned the moment and our immediate future plans.
After evaluating the body language of the elephants and our quiet situation, we decided to get in a bit closer. We walked up to a high point to have a better vantage. Between the calm sounds of the grazing elephants and surrounding sounds of life within the trees, it was a majestic moment. With an intensely beautiful sunset behind us it was hard to know where to focus the attention. The elephants of course won and lured me closer. I ventured in and climbed a log for some photos, after a few snaps the battery was done which was best for the moment. I walked up the fallen log and realised I was maybe 50 meters from a group of 6 or so. It was so humbling to watch a slice of the elephant life.
While walking back I noticed the sound of bees or wasps overhead in a massive tree, it was loud and intimidating, I didn’t hang around any longer than I had too. Right about now i’m feeling like I’m on a proper safari, with large flocks of parrots flying past.
I joined Yvet & two late arriving friends atop the hill to an approaching field worker carrying an axe and flashlight. We spoke with the nice man about the wildlife and surrounding area in broken english. He then directed the flashlight into the marshland below to about 50 glowing crocodile eyes. Mother nature is all around us.
The sun has set and its best to get home soon. We cautiously drove the little scooter back to the main road and left with an epic and unforgettable memory.
We returned home to the 3 room guest house and spoke with the family about our day. Unfamiliar with our earlier location the husband told us he was impressed and we were lucky to see any elephants.
You have to speak with everyone around you to unlock these moments. Create your catalysts.
Spent 5 weeks around Goa enjoying the Arabian Sea & sunshine. Stayed mostly in Arambol Beach with its easy vibes & good people. Our time was dedicated to working on a few freelance projects from the beach. Not as much wandering during our days but we’re ok with that.
Arambol beach is hippy central. Both the old & the young migrate here every season. Some came 40+ years ago and haven't left since. Some come to teach courses on a broad range of topics. It's an interesting dynamic here. I spent a bit of time with some of the older gents and got into some interesting conversation about days past and future thoughts.
We were almost asleep in bed under the mosquito net, then I thought I felt something possibly moving in the bed. A few minutes later Yvet spots the silhouette of the massive 4 inch cockroach beside her head in the dark shanty beach hut. We hopped up to get the light and remove him from the bed. Now 10 minutes later I'm half asleep, I feel something crawling on my arm. I quickly slapped my arm to the tickle. I open my eyes to see a BRIGHT GLOWING LIQUID SQUIRT from the contact on my arm all over me and the bed! The liquid was illuminating my arm and sheets so brightly you could distinguish the areas around the liquid itself. The glowing light startled the both of us and I hopped up again for the light switch. With just enough time to quickly look at my arm, the bed, Yvet and no actual critter. I shut the light out to see the glowing liquid again. NOTHING! The glow was gone. I flipped the switch on again to exchange strange & amazed facial expressions with her for the next few minutes. Such a strange experience.
I never did find the creature itself but I could see the liquid and the glossy highlights on my arm with the light on. I spoke with a few locals and they told me it could be a “Jugnu" (firefly). I was also told it could be a caterpillar. But none of them had heard of a situation like this before.
Today I googled the shit out of luminescence & luminescent species on our planet. Some interesting stuff out there, it's quite the evolutionary trait with many species in our seas and surprisingly quite a few on land too.
Woke up, sat on the beach and watched some dolphins swim this morning. Great start to the day.
Today in a restaurant I flushed the toilet. Instead of flushing the bowl, the water just splashed all over my feet.
I laughed pretty hard.