Learning, to slow down in life, a very important lesson, someone learned, on her travels, translated…
I’d Secretly, Felt that Sense of Ecstasy, Thank Heavens, that the Tour Guide Was, Late Again, Allowing Me, to Catch a Glimpse of that Mystic, Beautiful Early Sunrise in the Fog………
The Mystic, Beautiful Sunrise in the Fog
My very first backpacking experience was to Nepal, not catching the touring routes, not rushing, found a place in Kathmandu, the capital, and stayed there, like a local from around here, during the daytime, I’d, wandered around, and, as the sun sets, I’d, turned back to my hotel.
After over ten days, I want to stay timid, but my heart, drifted farther, and farther away, I’d wanted, to, venture to the town at the foot of the Himalayas, Pokhara, to duplicate the way of life I’d found in Kathmandu, just walk simply and relaxed.
The bed and breakfast I’d stayed at in Kathmandu was located at the foot of the mountains, it didn’t have the morning calls from the hotels, nor the concierge, I can go in and out as I pleased, at my will. But the owner of the B&B hired the maids and the drivers, delivered me my breakfasts in the morns, and they’d done my laundry, ironed my shirts too, and he’d knocked on my bedroom door, asking, “Is everything okay?” every now and then, the owner doesn’t live here, but, it wasn’t difficult, to get in touch with him, he’d lived in the white house, overlooking this B&B, I’d passed through the gates, climbed a few short steps, and, can call out to him, and he’d, hear me.
In this small mountain village, I’d almost forgotten, the existence of time. But this day was different, I’d needed to be out by six thirty, and get to the bus stop that takes me to Pokhara at the center of the city, and so, I’d asked the driver to wake me up.
just you, and this huge mountain!!! Not my photograph…
There isn’t a phone, or internet services, and naturally I’d not brought along my cell phone, it’s just, that without the modern day inventions of morning call, I can only, wake to the crows of the roosters. But, I’d not believed that I would, hear the rooster crow, and so, I’d, stayed, alert through the night, so tense, that before light, I’d gotten dressed, and sat at the edge of my bed. As the time ticked away second to minute, the driver was still late, until my watch pointed to six, I can’t hold it any longer, I’d, bounced up, gone into the darkness, ran toward the back mountain. And still, as I arrived at the white house, there wasn’t a door bell! I’d, banged on the doors hard, started screaming, at the top of my lungs, and finally, I was able to, get the owner to wake up in the cold of the winter, he’d answered the door, still half asleep. Seeing me at his door, it’d, truly, jolted him to completely awake, he’d realized, that something was really wrong, and, flew into a panic, as he ran, to wake up the driver, still not yet dressed.
After the raucous, don’t know where the driver came from, like he was a deer with the headlights, shone in his face, the moment he got into the driver’s seat, he’d, pressed down hard on the gas pedal, and started, bumping around on the pebbled roads, and, went in and out of the narrowed alleys, plus, there was NO streetlamps all the way, making me even more nervous, and, I’d, looked where his headlights shone. I was shocked, by the sights, in the trash piled up sky high, there were, two men fighting, maybe, they’re fighting for the glass bottles which they can sell for some cash in the junk pile? Not long thereafter, the headlights shone on a couple of the barefoot students, and I’m thinking, that living in the mountains was, too hard, the children in poverty wanted an education, and naturally, they’d had to, wake up before the sun, walk around in the darkness, for a couple of ours, to school………
And, the car bumped, and hopped, finally, got me to the station, and still, that bus that’s, parked by the side of the roads, was, really quiet, nobody was in there; there were, only a couple of those like me, left alone, pacing outside, keeping their necks tucked in tight, trying, to chase away the coldness. Actually, I’d, already gotten use to how unpunctual Nepal was, so, I’d not have any complaints, just watched everything around me happening in silence, and even, I’d found myself, rather, enjoying this, accidental solitude, I got to see a different scenery.
Waited until the sky is light, finally, the driver came, and, the tourist cramped up the bus, and, the bus left the city, in full speed, then, it’d winded on the roads, for seven, to eight hours, then, we’d, arrived in Pokhara. This, was an odd final destination all right, so empty, just a plain, it seemed, without even, a bus stop. The bus parked, and, a group of Nepalese rushed toward us, with their arms extended, necks sticking long, those who’d managed to get off the bus, couldn’t even get their feet on the ground, called out, that they can take us on the tours themselves.
taking that trip…not my photograph.
I’d found a thin, dark-skinned young man, with thick eyebrows and large eyes, he’d promised, to take me to the lake for a boat ride around, then on the next day, to hike up the mountains, to see the seven smaller lakes, after he’d passed through my trial period, then, I can, hire me, to take me up to the mountains, step, by step. My tour guide didn’t have the certifications, an illiterate, in order to earn the money from the tourists, he’d taught himself to speak and read in English, his English was as BAD as mine.
After we’d toured the lake, we’d made a date for the next morning, for pick up at seven at my hotel. I lived in the valley, maybe it’s how tall the mountain surrounding the hotel was, the roosters crowed even louder, before the sky was light, I was already, wide awake, and stood on the lanai, waited, for the sun to slowly, climb up to the highest peaks in the Himalayas; finally, finally, it’d, tilted its head, then, there’s that ray of golden light, that pierced through the skies, then, slowly, moved its way, across the valleys, slowly, lifted, that black veil away, and, everything, the trees, the red flowers, all became, colorful, and that thick fog still went with the wind, playing, like a young girl, in silk, pulling and tugging at my clothes, playing that game of hide and seek with me, I couldn’t help, but extended my hand, tried, to grab the fogs that came and went, it feels good, that morning dampness; until the entire valley was, totally, illuminated, and the fog, it’d, finally, dissipated.
Taking All the Sights on the Mountains in on My Own
I was, secretly glad, that the tourguide was, late again, allowing me, to catch a glimpse, of that mystic fog.
Here comes that tour guide without the licensure, he’d immediately flagged down a cab, and, we’re, on our way. The roads leading up to the mountains, surely wasn’t made with asphalt, the muddied roads, with the pebbles in them, and, it’d, added to my own fearlessness toward life, ran, all the way, toward the skylines by the Cliffside, it was, so dangerous, speeding on, such roads. I’d not dared to breathe, feared, that my breathing would, distract the driver, and suddenly, we’d all, flipped into the valleys, and died. After we’d passed a few fierce turns, we’d arrived to the peaks safely, I stood on the apex, the panorama of the Himalayas surrounded me, the peaks were covered in snow, with the lakes down below, glowing in gold. There was, NO one else here on this mountain, but me.
No matter how afraid I was of traveling alone into the mountains, I’d still, gave in, to the calls of the mountains. The guide saw how satisfied I was of this first try, the shyness he had about him, turned into, smiles, and, as we’d ridden down the mountains, he’d, became, chattier.
“What time is it?”, he’d looked at my watch. What, you don’t have a watch? I’d, looked at his wrist, no watch! And, looked at the meter on the cab, no clock!
“Six,” I’d, pretended to be calm, thinking, no wonder he was late this morning.
“No, it should only be about five.”, he’d said, so assured of himself, although he didn’t have a watch.
how majestic the views, not my photo.
I got angry, raised that watch on my wrist high, “This, is a watch!”, meaning, that this, was a product of technology, if I don’t trust my watch, should I trust you then?
“Don’t believe me, ask the driver”, the driver gazed up toward the skies up ahead of us, smiled, said, that it should be five, or five-thirty, but not yet six.
I just didn’t believe them, and, started a bet with him, said whoever lost, will treat the other to a meal.
Naturally, the tour guide was a local, and he’d not have any money, this, was a huge gamble for him. But he wasn’t, the least bit panicky, confidently, said, that we’ll see who’s right as we arrived at a hotel in town.
I felt happy, thinking, there’s NO way you can beat my watch with your hunch!
The cab arrived at the hotel shortly enough, and, it was, FIVE. I’d, lost, and that, was when it’d, dawned on me, that in the past fifteen days or so, nobody WAS late, it was my watch that was, too fast.
I’d trusted and relied on the technologies in this impoverished country, without realizing, that my watch was on, fast-forward every single day, and, after a dozen or so days, it’s, almost an hour ahead of the real time.
I’d been told, that we have a TON of instincts, like how some animal can know before when they’re to die, before they’d died, they’d, gone and hidden themselves away, turns out, that humans have these sorts of instincts too, but because we’d grown too reliant on technologies, and the products of civilizations, or we’d been, blinded, by our own desires, that was how we’d come, to lose these, natural instincts.
In the following days, I’d still worn my watch, but, it’d, slowed down, because as I’d hiked deeper into the mountains, there’s NO way I can know, how much faster it’d, gone, so I’d started, using my senses, to feel the light, to smell the scents, the molecules in the atmosphere, like the clouds, the fogs, the moistures in the air, temperature, and, what they’d all mixed together felt like; maybe, I have yet, to develop the means, to accurately tell time, but, I’d, let go of time, learned, to tune all my cells in, to experiencing everything. And, I’m, very glad, that my watch stopped functioning on this trip, so, I’d understood, to get my lost instincts back, from my days of, living, from day to day, in Nepal for a while.
So, you’d gone from the fast-paced modern day world, to a place, where the paces slowed down considerably, and, it took you some time, to adjust to the life of slower living, but, slowly, you’d, accepted, and started to, internalize this way of life, because, you’re, away from the hustles and bustles of the busier life you’d led from before.