Thursday, July 01, 2004

6/13/99, 3:24am email - excerpt

"hello from ktm!

i just made a killer deal to stay at the Lhasa Guest House for 300rs/night! With the exchange rate for 1 USD now established at about 65 rs, that means I'll be staying at a somewhat classy (moderate to upscale) hotel in a TIBETAN neighborhood for $4/night approx. They knocked the nightly rate down by 50% (!) because it's now the off-season and nobody's booking rooms now. NO problem! I'm there. You should be here too. More tranquilo than mexico, if you can imagine it. i feel like i'm in a place close to heaven...

I'm excited for my move out of the too-noisy and not-too-clean Mont Blanc 2nd floor room I've inhabited for 2 nights. though people are very laidback, they sure are noisy. never a feeling of loneliness or isolation here. from around 8am until well after 9pm, the ramrod traffic styling of everything from rickshaw to motorbike and these little tiniest automobile vans you ever saw, all command the narrow Kathmandu roads. and nobody recoils, not even the pedestrians, when a motor vehicle swoops close by--within about 6 inches of your bones--as mary evans says you have to re-calibrate your "kinesphere", cuz there's nothing like personal space here. everything is up close and in your face, without the mean spirit and aggression of the u.s. style of closeness.

the colors, the smells, the sounds. all 3-d, finally. and i am very indulged. what a mindtrip, what a different place. i am happy. i am relaxed. so far, no sick.

i just celebrated (every moment a joy to celebrate, actually) with a 650 ml bottle (they only have these in KTM, no little beer bottles here) of STAR premium lager--'nepal's original beer', as reads the bottle label. And a plate of Tibetan veggie momos (steamed) and chipati bread are on the way! A vendor in Thamel just told me that I have a Tibetan face and the guy at another email access place near the awesome stupa at Swayambhu got really confused when i spoke english cuz he thought i was Nepali! I am so relaxed; am glad too that i fit in, blending in so it's easier to meet & observe the locals. Everyone's doing a thing, some thing. Every moment has an experience of newness for me. I am noticing and relishing every detail of my perception.

'Ma lanu huncha?' Can you take me to...?
'Ma lanu huncha?' Can you take me to...?

Next, I take rickshaw to Vajra Hotel to have dinner with Rajendra and Sabina (and her husband) at their invitation. They are long-time friends of Evans' (having done theater and art work here in KTM together for a number of years).

You wouldn't believe the messy mud paths here. It rained non-stop for about 15 hours last night and there's more to come, I'm sure. After all, the monsoon season has officially begun.

And guess what thrills me the most (almost): no one here seems to know where the hell Texas is! i love it! Texas couldn't matter less to these wonderful Nepal people.

Much love!"

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