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Kathmandu

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Shed with a view over Kathmandu

My Nepal Trip

My first few days in Kathmandu have been a challenge. When I arrived at the hostel (compound) I was surprised to see that the walls were topped with razor wire and there were huge metal gates. Foolishly I thought these were to keep the volunteers safe, but soon realised they were to stop us escaping.

I had paid extra for a private room as I did not want to spend every morning surrounded by nubile 20 year olds in thongs, making me feel even more depressed about the toll age and gravity have taken on my body.

Stable Life

My quarters are separate from the rest of the house and it appears that the last thing to live here had 4 legs. Someone must have shooed it out and threw a mattress on the floor hours before I arrived. The only other thing in the room is a bookcase off a skip. Why the hell do I need a bookcase? A wardrobe would have been good.

A large padlock secures the door and I was advised to padlock myself in at night. I do this but then lie awake worrying that my iPhone, which is attached essentially to 2 live wires sticking out of the wall, might burst into flames. I would be totally buggered as the window only opens 6 inches ‘for my security’. These are my thoughts as I lie in bed trying to drift off, when I am bored of squashing giant beetles by torch light.

Gappy Granny

The rest of the group, as one would expect, are mainly gap year students, full of youthful optimism, wanting to see the world and doing the Nepal Trip. I am the only English person, but fortunately English is the spoken language in the hostel.

At the introductory meeting I jokingly introduced myself as the ‘Gappy Granny’. Big mistake. I have nothing against Chinese people per se, apart from the giant mobile phones, excessive use of selfie sticks and appalling dress sense. However, one particularly annoying Chinese girl, Xo Siang Ho, really hacks me off. Every time she sees me she says ‘Hilo Garpee Grawnee.’ I swear if she says it again I will poke her in the eye with a chopstick. Or I might just strangle her with her Huawei headphones,

Finding Oneself

The other person of note (or not) is an extremely dull German called Jorg. I know that a nation that prides itself on ‘precision engineering’ is not going to be full of people you want to go down the pub with on a Friday night, but this guy is a particularly fine specimen.

He is 46, single (I wonder why)? And a software engineer (exactly). He drones on incessantly in a thick Germanic accent about how he comes to Nepal every year ‘to find himself.’ If he hasn’t found himself by now perhaps he should consider going back home and jumping under an Audi on the Autobahn, to put us all out of our misery.

Culture Week

This week has been a Cultural Immersion Week (initiation by fire) on the way of life here, before I am let loose on my class on Monday. As well as trying to learn some Nepali (impossible), I have witnessed abject poverty, but also the immense pride and contentment of the Nepalese people. One wise old man said to me ‘we expect little, so are happy with little, whereas you Westerners expect so much and are never happy with what you have.’ So true…

Reflecting on Nepal (after a long climb)!

The Lone Traveller

I leave for my trip, as a lone traveller, in less than 48 hours, so my preparations are really ramping up. I have drawn up the ultimate packing list.

Meanwhile unhelpful Son decided to do something helpful!  He Googled ‘Things that can kill you in Sri Lanka’ and found:

‘Sri Lanka is home to a spider the size of a dinner plate. With a leg span that can reach up to a rather terrifying ten inches, the Fringed Ornamental Spider is the second largest in the tarantula family’

And

‘Sri Lanka is known as having the most venomous snakes of any country in the world’

Snake Wrestling

Thanks Son, if only you had applied as much enthusiasm to your university research you might have kept out of the Uni Bar for a few hours longer last term. However, I did decide that I must get better at dealing with these critters, so I have allowed one daddy long legs to enter my office without fear of being squashed to the door frame with the sole of a Kurt Geiger.

I have also folded 3 fitted sheets this week, which I feel is good practice for wrestling with any boa constrictor. As if this was not stressful enough, I am trying to condense ‘How to Run a House’ into one document for Husband to follow. 

Having run my own business for 20 years, I am not bad at Excel, but never have I had to concoct such a complicated spread sheet.  No wonder I am buggering off.  I need a break from trying to remember website passwords and whose mobile phone is with which provider.  Let alone being on top of who has finished all the blueberries and granola, so no one turns into a cereal killer.  

Jayne surrounded by a pile of clothes that she is trying to get into her smallish suitcase
Yes, I did buy that hat…. But it will never appear on an Insta post…

Hair Matters

To be honest my biggest challenge is the packing.  Being super-organised, I have bought everything I needed to get on my ultimate packing list, plus a bit more. I am worried about fitting it all into my 110 litre ‘super’ rucksack.  There is a lot of kit.  3 months’ supply of anti-wrinkle cream weighs a serious amount. I am guessing at least 2 kg.  I also have 2 large bottles of anti-frizz hair product and I AM taking my Babyliss Hot Brush. 

Insta Ready

If I am going to put any photos on my shiny new Instagram page, I am not having my mates saying, ‘Christ Jayne looks rough when there isn’t a Toni & Guy around the corner.’  I already have a few Insta followers (6) and one is called ‘MILF Hunter’. Unhelpful Son thinks I should delete ‘that perv’ but, you know what, at my age I am bloody delighted he is following me….

The problem will be actually carrying this 10 stone back pack into Gatwick Airport.  I do not want to fall flat on my back at the check-in desk and resemble a stranded Ninja Mutant Turtle.  I am not looking an arse until I have at least left the country…

Goodbye Lingfield, Asia here comes the lone traveller! Next post from Nepal, if I don’t get lost in Istanbul…

Do follow me on Instagram: hownottohaveamidlifecrisis

Route map of Jayne's travels over the next three months. From Kathmandu to Columbo in Sri Lanka.

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