The Sound Of Laboured Breathing - To See A Tent City

Step by step on the Annapurna Trail

To see a tent city….

Duly breakfasted, Hendo’s Hiking Harem is herded onto a mini bus by the ever-smiling, ever-enthusiastic head guide Kirat.

The mini bus sets forth into the unmitigated bedlam which is the traffic in Kathmandu.

Not only are there no apparent traffic rules (mental note – never, never, never try to cross the road on foot), but the potholes in the road could swallow up a small horse and must be avoided at all costs; and this with complete disregard for oncoming traffic, pedestrians and small horses.

Colourful bicycle tuk tuks bravely ply this maelstrom, laden with anxious tourists with bulging eyes.

Everyone of Nepalese extraction is relaxed and happy. …their default position.

Everyone else – at least those not drug addled – is bemused.

In fact, it is a wonderful letting go of the rule-bound existences of so-called first-world peoples. Hi ho Silver! If you can’t beat ‘em, join em.

And so this day, this Kathmandu exploration day, is a day of letting down, of getting in the flow of things, in the land where it is what it is (and most people seem to survive).

A sobering sight in a litany of sobering sights, post-earthquake, is the enormous number of tent cities filling the parks and streets of the city. Refugees by the million, they are making do in the aftermath of Nature’s destruction.

The many crumbled buildings tell another part of the same sad tale.


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