Greetings from the Nirvana Garden

I’m sitting in the shade being quite delighted at the magic of wireless. A gentle breeze carries the caw of nearby crows, the toots of horns, and the crinkle of bike bells to my ear. The garden is adorned with flowers that are a good match for my hair and my teammates have taken to calling me, “Pink.” Unfortunately, it seems I won’t be pink for long as the areas of my hair that have been exposed to sun are already turning an interesting shade of yellowy orange. Once we hit the high UV of altitude, who knows what will become of my hair color? I may come home a bleach blonde!

The streets of Thamel are their usual chaotic selves. Over the warp of broken pavement, passes a weft woven from pedestrians, rickshaws, motor bikes, cars, vegetable vendors, and the occasional beggar looking for small change. It is a delicate balance of yield and go that brings me safely to my destination and I must tune into the variety of honks and toots that indicate whether I should avoid something bearing down from the left or right.

I can tell things are a bit better in Nepal these days as the street vendors are a little less aggressive in their sales of Tiger Balm, Buddha statues, treks, and weed. It’s funny–I get offered much more weed now that my hair is pink. As someone who has trouble saying “no” sometimes, Thamel provides great practice as I’m say it several times per block. As usual, I’ve been eating myself around the world visiting old haunts serving Japanese, Middle Eastern, Thai, and Indian food–all at fantastic prices-my lunch was $2.00.

Most of the team has arrived and is making the transition to this time zone. I’ve slept through both nights with the help of melatonin and seem to be getting hungry at the appropriate intervals/times. Already there is a friendly camaraderie and plans for reunions on various continents. Everyone seems a bit nervous about their gear (me included) and are looking forward to out expedition briefing this evening where we can get all of our questions answered.

We’ve been treated to two very sunny dry days, a gift, considering the week before we arrived was subject to daily thunderstorms. Hopefully the weather will hold and allow us to fly to Lukla on the morning of Oct. 4th and begin trekking. My body is antsy. The past several days have yielded no exercise so lots of energy has built up in anticipation of release.

I’m headed with Raj to my favourite prayer flag shop this afternoon and will do my best to be disciplined and only buy a few strings. Thanks for all of your well wishes. I carry them close to my heart.

Take care,

TA

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