It can only get better: Hilltops and Cram-Vans

Compared to some of my other experiences I have posted, this will probably come as a relatively uneventful post. However, what I experienced this week had to be the most important sign that I have finally adapted to Nepal.

It didn’t quite start out of that way, but as they say, once you hit rock bottom you can only go up. On Sunday morning, the hot mess show called Kevin left his wallet in the back of a taxi cab, relieving himself of a considerable amount of rupees and his debit card. Luckily, his friends bailed him out once again, giving him some short term liquidity until he could pay them back. As we all know, bad things come in threes. I had already done the sleepless limbo, the sickness gig, and now the wallet disappearing act was a sure sign that things were going to be looking up.

I finally was able to visit the space of my new host family. Tucked up in the hilltops of Kathmandu, one could describe this place as a mansion in terms of Nepali living. I would get my own room separate from the house and it would have electricity 24/7, which is a HUGE luxury in Nepal. The city suffers from significant infrastructural challenges; in winter, it is not uncommon to receive only 4 hours of electricity a day due to power sharing. Of course nothing in Nepal is easy and there would be one big catch: I would have to trek 4km up and down a monstrous hill everyday to get to work. So basically, I’m buying a mountain bike. At least one direction will be easy.

 Views from the hills around my new place.

In other news, I am feeling more adapted, sleeping like champ, and learning the public transit system. Public transit is not for the impatient and mentally feeble. But at at maximum of 50 cents to get across town, you cannot beat the cost savings. Since I cannot read Nepali script, my method basically involves yelling at every driver I come across until I find the right cram-van. Then I stuff myself inside a space with 8-10 Nepalis, more bodies than it was ever meant to hold. I’m also like twice as large as anyone else I’m sharing space with. It’s just something you have to experience.
Inside a luxurious cram-van. Don’t worry, it will be full of sweaty Nepalis soon.

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