Thursday, March 7, 2013

Mr Smith is Home in Kathmandu

It's been far too long since I posted here, and with my life as hectic as it is, I just don't have the time to write here like I should. As this has been a site I have kept up at least monthly (until recently) for over three years, it doesn't seem fair to me to just let it wither away, so I will make this my official last post. Not to say that I might not write something here or put up photos of trips I do, but as a regular thing I think it's time to bring this to a close.

My Dad visits Nepal & the Grill House 

It's been a crazy couple months since my last post. In December we held a couple of large events at the restaurant around Christmas and New Years, and then in January my Dad, my uncle Bob and my aunt Geri all came to visit. This was my first family to come to Nepal since I've been here, and I was really excited to show them around the country that I have fallen in love with. While they were only here for ten days, we kept all of them rather full, from showing them around Kathmandu and the valley, flying to Pokhara, seeing the sun rise over the Annapurna range, paragliding down to Phewa lake, driving to Lumbini, going on safari in Chitwan and then flying back for a few final days in Kathmandu for shopping and going the last day of a Nepali wedding.

Panoramic of the Annapurna Range

Showing other people around the country reminds me how comfortable I have become with a place that seems so alien and different to other people I share a similar background with.  In fact part of the reason I haven't found so much to write abut here is because I lack that same perspective I arrived with and most readers in the West would identify with. I no longer gawk at cows in the road, become indignant at skin whitening cream commercials, or am surprised by the appearance of swastikas on people's lapels or above home's doors. I am certainly not Nepali, and lack the upbringing that would ever make me truly understand all of the cultural dynamics at play here, but I have become infinitely more comfortable and aware of them since I arrived, to the point where I occasionally am out of sync with what I was once comfortable back in the US.

This place, Kathmandu, with all its quirks and what seemed at first strange ways, has become my home. When I first arrived, I wasn't sure how long I would stay, and I suppose I still don't, but I don't foresee myself leaving anytime soon. I've met and become friends with a great group of people, love the restaurant that I run, and am optimistic about the future here. I look forward not only to the opportunities that seem to endlessly fall into my lap to do interesting and exciting things, but also to continue to meet equally interesting and exciting people.

I will continue to answers questions posted in the comments of this blog, and reply to e-mails that are sent directly to me. I think the trekking section contains some of the better information out there, and I'm always happy to talk to foreigners that are thinking about staying in the country longer than a tourist visa would allow and what kind of options you might have. So just because the blog may be rarely updated doesn't mean I can't expand on some of the topics I've covered over the last three years.

So I suppose that's how this ends. Not as a tidy and neat story with a beginning and an end, but then life rarely ever does supply that kind of story line. I doubt this is happily ever after for me, in fact I'm sure it isn't, but I've learned to respond to life's curve balls not with disdain or opposition to those things we can't change, but to enjoy them to the extent that they can be enjoyed. Like a roller coaster, dread of an upcoming descent does nothing to change the the course of the tracks, so better just lift up your arms and embrace what has to come. Accept what you can't change, do the best with what you can, and enjoy the ride.
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