Leaving Pokhara and back to Kathmandu

Leaving Pokhara and back to Kathmandu
Kathmandu, Nepal

Kathmandu, Nepal

The visibility had decreased significantly as I drove out of Pokhara. It dawned upon me how blessed I really was, for the clear skies and high visibility of the Annapurnas in the previous days. My eyes were heavy and I was fighting the urge to sleep – I refused to, as I wanted to take in as much of the country side as possible. Who knows when or if I’ll be back.. I didn’t want to miss anything.. Finally, I understood the beeping and blowing of horns in these countries. It’s a matter of, if you’re not heard, you’re not seen. Side and rear vision mirrors are aesthetic features of the Indian and Nepali vehicles. Funnily enough, I used to lodge insurance claims for the company I work for. There were multiple vehicle damage claims by the same, Indian, and Sri Lankan drivers. Initially, I thought these people were complacent, had a lack of spacial awareness or were generally poor drivers…. But now I see, these serial offenders were clearly still driving for the conditions of their native countries and hadn’t yet adapted to Australia’s driving standard (Australia obviously still has born and bred bad drivers too). Prithvi Highway – The road from Pokhara to Kathmamdu is a narrow, winding and dusty highway for trucks and tourist buses. The trucks carry various materials… fuel, gravel and other natural resources. We hit a massive traffic jam up the range outside Kathmandu. Trucks and buses bumper to bumper, extended the 7 hour journey, to an over 8 hour journey. Slow and steady did not win the race. The people that took planes from Pokhara to Kathmandu, instead of vehicles, did! In the drive between Pokhara and Kathmandu, I developed an unhealthy obsession with the art work painted on the trucks I shared the road with. So, when I got back to Kathmandu, I went truck hunting. I paid some poor taxi driver 2000 rs, to stalk trucks at depots, construction sites and truck repair garages. I didn’t find the pretty, emission producing trucks with awesome paint jobs I wanted to see… I found something greener instead… Or it found me… On my truck hunt, I saw some marijuana growing on the side of the road. Got the taxi to pull over to make sure I wasn’t imagining things. Got out looked at it, crushed a leaf – positive Marijuana sighting. Out of a complete Schapel born fear, I got back in the cab and headed to Thamel for some last minute market shopping. Casually cruising through the bustling markets of Thamel and a skinny, Asian guy approaches me…”Hey miss, you want smoke… marijuana?”… I was taken back… I hadn’t brushed my hair for 4 days… Did I look like a stoner? I laughed and replied, “no”… He asked again, so I quizzed him on the cost (out of curiosity of course)… Then I bartered with him bla bla bla. Cut to – I’m in my hotel room, on my last night in Nepal, getting blazed. Today, the universe practically put some pot in a pipe, and made me smoke it. Like all Nepali produce, it was organic and probably cleaner than the polluted city air I’d been inhaling for the past 2 weeks. So I took the Nepali advertisements advice literally… And in couple of different ways… I got high and now, I “feel higher”…

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