The city of prayer flags, broken roads, luxury SUVs, maruti taxis and peaceful poeple..
“Namaste in Nepali literally translates into; ‘The light within me, bows to the light in you’, told my friend as we sipped coffee at 32 degrees in Chennai. She went on about the extremely cold winters and how delicious the BUFF (buffalo meat) momos were in Kathmandu. I would later realize that I’m a sucker for all those, right after I purchased my tickets to Nepal for December.
So after five hours aboard two very bumpy Air India flights, I landed in Kathmandu and was welcomed by the sign that read “Tribhuvan International Airport”. If I have to be honest, the first thing that came to my head was the steaming plate of Buff momos at the Lupis Himalayan Cafe at Lazimpet.
With my mouth beginning to water already, I soon took a cab from the airport to my stay near Thamel, which was the heart of the city. While on the way, I decided to showcase my, what I would later realize was broken Nepali, to the driver. I subtly asked him, “Dai, tapaile naam ke ho?” (Brother, what is your name?)
“Deepak”, he answered, smiling. And soon to my surprise he asked me (in English), if I was from Chennai. After I cleared his doubt, he showcased his Tamil to me! “Koncham koncham tamil theriyum” , he said. (I know little little Tamil.
That’s when I decided to keep my eyes pointed outside the window and enjoy Kathmandu. Quietly.
After a day’s rest, I decided to put on my tourist clothes and get on with exploring the city. I planned my day out before starting off, marking out places and deciding to walk and not use any vehicles at all.