So today I got a film back that I finished a few weeks ago. Little did I know that the first photographs would go back seven months, to when I was still in Nepal. It’s funny, because as soon as I saw those photographs, I remembered the exact moments when I took them. That’s one of the great (and worst) things about 35mm photography. Comparatively, photographs take so much longer to take. A lot more effort goes into them, et voilà, better images all round.
So here are my favourites from the Nepal selection.
*hunt down some more beautiful woven fabric in Indra Chowk.
*find the pendant that Annie wanted, and buy it for her, because she’s wonderful.
*drink mint tea.
[my drawing of The Garden of Dreams, where I found myself yesterday. It was beautifully tranquil, despite being right in the centre of Kathmandu. This probably looks nothing like it, however, since five minutes after I started it, it started raining a lot, so I’ve done most of it from memory, but it has turned out better than I first though.]
I don’t know how it happened, but yesterday afternoon I ended up in an Indian slum, with a two-month old baby in my arms (I’ve never held a baby before, I was a bit scared I was going to break it), being shown around by a group of excitable kids.
Today so far has been spent in the company of my digital camera for once. (Then it ran out of battery and I remembered why I love the 35mm one instead.) Anyway, I’ve got a new thing for totally out of focus photographs, so I switched it to manual focus and went crazy. Probably going to regret this when I actually see the photographs on my iPad. Oh well.
If I wasn’t actually here, and someone described Kathmandu to me, it would probably sound like my idea of a nightmare, to be honest. Having space is such a luxury.
Today is a sad day, because my Moleskine finally ran out of pages. I’ve moved onto to defacing a battered old notebook I picked up in Pokhara for 50Rs… Not quite the same as a super expensive (but totally worth it) Moleskine.
*mint tea love. Plant a new mint plant when I’m home.
[lunch time doodling]
Today I took a stroll to the bus park, and got on an incredibly small, jam-packed local ‘bus’ to Boudhanath. My trusty Lonely Planet doesn’t make a big deal of it, but actually it’s pretty remarkable. I might chill here until sunset, that being my favourite time to take photos and all that.
In other news, it has come to my attention that I can’t afford to become acquainted with every café here in Kathmandu. Shame.
It’s a beautiful day here. A pleasant 35 degrees, compared to the ridiculous heat in the Terai last week. The weather is so different from when I first arrived here in Nepal. It makes me happy that I’ve been here long enough to see the seasons change.
[Boudhanath, World heritage Site]
I coincidentally bumped into the same rickshaw man that I was talking to yesterday (he obviously wanted to know where my husband was again, so I pretended he was sick). I asked him to take me to the office for my airline in Lazimpat (since they keep changing my flight times and it’s all very confusing), to which he was very confident he knew the way. Needless to say, he took me to the British Embassy, British Council building and then the Indian visa office before he eventually understood where I wanted to go, so the vast majority of today has been spent on a rickshaw.
In other news, I bought some insanely cheap big printed designs on beautiful handmade paper that I’m going to get framed at home (anyone who has been to Nepal before will know what I mean here…). No idea how I’m going to get these home in one piece however.
I’m now sat having lunch and drawing in the New Orlean’s Café. My aim is to be acquainted with every café in Thamel by the end of next week.
Today so far in Kathmandu:
* eating muesli, yoghurt and fresh apple juice for breakfast. First western breakfast in TOO LONG.
* getting hopelessly lost and wandering for ages and using a lot of camera film.
* finally spotting Swayambhunath (the monkey temple) in the distance and deciding to walk there. (I’ve already been there two months ago, and took loads of photos, but had no film in my camera, oops.)
* pretending I was married to a rickshaw driver, and telling him about my ‘husband’. Telling people about myself is getting tedious, so I’ve mixed things up a bit. I told someone I was Mongolian the other day.
* drinking banana milkshake and organic pumpkin soup with fresh bread at the Green Organic Café.
And I might even have a job when I get back to the UK. Happy days.
***update: Tess has a job. Yeah!
Wednesday 1st August
I did the bus journey from Kathmandu to Pokhara for the second time today, this time taking the local bus rather than the tourist bus, all for the sake of 100Rs…
I was squeezed next to a nice Nepali man named Bishnu, who cuddled up to me and slept on my shoulder. He later proposed to Jos.
And then we broke down for a while, in the middle of nowhere.
[Jos with the broken bus]
+ Florence and the Machine’s ‘Never Let Me Go’, because I listened to it a lot on this journey.