So having made ourselves a nest here, the routine at home has felt normal for a while now. But once we step outside our gate, its quite a different world of instant noise, traffic and chaos. Once you close it behind you…there you are…in the thick of it. Making the streets of Kathmandu at home is a lot different than arranging a few carpets and pillows. However, about three months in to our new life here in Nepal, even the crazy external things are starting to feel normal in their own kind of crazy way. Odd things like cows on the street, dust, bad paving, non-existent paving and giant potholes, for example. Or crows, stray dogs, hoards of motorcycles, piles of rubbish, dust clouds and street vendors… While not “normal” they are no longer extraordinary. I still have to walk looking down most of the time so I don’t kill myself…but walking and looking down at the same time, well, that’s starting to feel normal too…… And its funny, when the first challenges that you encounter at a new place start to feel be absorbed as predictible, a new layer city detail opens up and as you stop having to work so hard at those first, new challenges.
Kathmandu has so many infrastructure challenges. But it the short few months I’ve been here, we are seeing some roads getting paved and others in progress. It becomes a matter of focus. The job of fixing the city is so huge and if you only look at the long list of jobs to do everything feels so overwhelming. The really surprising thing about Kathmandu is the little courtyards and gardens hidden down alleys and behind the most unexpected locations. They really feel like the promise that the city could be so much more than it is…one day at least. But for the time being I’m enjoying the surprises and learning how to live with the messes…except the motorcycles that is!