Nepal- Same same but TOTTALY different

Namaste everybody! you’re right it’s been more than a month without a post, I know it sounds hard to believe but I do have other things to do. I mean if I want to keep on writing this blog I have to keep on getting new ideas and inspiration from the world- which is a cool way to say I’m traveling- don’t bother me!

After saying all this new inspiration stuff, today I want to go back to my 2006 trip to Nepal!

I would also like to dedicate this post to Itzik- who’s image I see in most of my Nepal memories. I hope you found your own herd of yaks up in the mountains.

So, Nepal- the rooftop of the world. Himalaya headquarters. Actually when I arrived to Nepal I had no intention to stay there more than a week, 2 max. I was traveling 6 months in India already and I had to get out of the country and come back in again because of visa. So Nepal looked like a nice place to go for a bit, but come back straight to India yes???? so I took a flight from Delhi to Kathmandu (when I got on the plane I finally understood why someone came with the name “Airbus” for a type of plane. This was defiantly more bus than air…)and when I landed there, the visa for one month and for 2 cost the same. Now here is a GREAT tip for all you travelers: no matter what your plans are- get the 2 months visa! you never know. and so I got the longer visa. And you know what- I fell in love with Nepal and I ended up staying there the entire 2 months and after crossing the border back to very hectic India I was like- why did I just do that???  cause that’s the thing- people think of that area as one big masala kingdom. But it’s not true, India is not like Nepal that’s not like Pakistan that is not like Sri Lanka (I think… never actually been in neither of them). Or as we say there- They are all same same but different!

I don’t really have anecdotes, mainly because it was a long time ago and who freakin remembers?? but I remember in the form of stories so here goes:

My friends and I were sitting in a travelers restaurant in Kathmandu, wondering what to do (did you just noticed for the first time that it rhymes???….. common it’s the oldest rhyme in the book!) and then someone remembered there’s a famous Hebrew song (well…. was sort of famous…. in the late 80’s) about Nepal. The song tells the ancient story about a stone bird in Nepal, that once it will fly- there shall be no more wars. We googled it to see if there’s any truth in a fairy tale that was told  to us in an old pop song with terrible hair from Israel. I think we found a single page saying that bird might be in Patan square, which is a nice hike from where we were. well…. we had nothing else to do, and sometimes you just have to do the “check list travels”. you  know what I mean, like if you are in London for example:

  1. See Buckingham Palace and take photos with the foolish soldiers there √
  2. Take a photo inside a telephone booth √
  3. Go on the Tube √
  4. Drink Tea (like you can’t do it anywhere else???) √

You get me. Anyway so for some reason we thought finding the stone bird is a “check list for the Israeli traveler in Kathmandu”. and so, we searched the lyrics to that immortal pop tune ballad, sung by a female singer called Gali Atari, found a map to lead us to Patan and off we went on our expedition. So Patan was very easy to find, and the square there is exceptionally beautiful. But sadly, as we all know, on April 2015 a terrible earthquake destroyed half the country, and Patan square included. It broke my heart to see it in the news and remembering the amazing place I once saw with my own eyes. I found a few photos that I took.

Children having kite wars
The great expedition

And so we started looking for that bird, but we didn’t find it. anywhere! A few drops of rain starts to hammer on our head. we went to nearby temples, saw a bird man statue and thought- maybe that’s it!… it wasn’t… we went back to the square tired and disappointed when a little kid comes to us and asks “Gali Atari? Gali Atari?” and starts to sing the song in Hebrew! so obviously we weren’t the first Israelis to look for that silly bird. And then he points at the sky, well not exactly at the sky, but to a 5 meter pole with a small statue of a snake, that a smaller statue of a man sits next to him and then a really small statue of a bird that stands on the snake’s head……

I had to zoooooooom

Well, it wasn’t exactly what we expected…. but hey-

  1. Searching the stone bird from Gali Atari’s song and realizing it is in fact a very small and unimportant bird that’s by the way- made of brass √

So I have to say I had pretty active 2 months there. I was in Kathmandu and Chituan National Park, went to do Rafting (don’t remember the name of the river) and let’s not forget the amazing Pokhara. And also did the Around Annapourna trek with friends. It took us 18 days instead of 15 (we took our sweet ass time!). Here’s few thought about that trek:
– You probably sit somewhere in the world thinking- “Nepal is just really high mountains with snow” well, it really ain’t! in the beginning of the trek you pass banana plantations with the temperature and humidity that will defiantly remind you of Tel Aviv in the summer. Which means it feels like swimming inside a chicken soup.

After the Banana’s come the rice.

– Eat a lot of Garlic there. It’s very good for climbing up and up in the altitude level.

– Don’t drink water that hasn’t been filtered there just ’cause you think you are in the mountains so it has to be cleaner. It’s a stupid thought. But try and tell your friend that. They won’t listen to you. They will drink, but you won’t ’cause you already experienced lovely things in your stomach in India. And then everybody gets sick. An then you can go to the roof top of the guesthouse and shout so that the Himalayan mountains will echo to your voice: “I TOLD YOU SO SO so so….” Actually on second thought that sounds like a fun thing to do (I wish I done that) so don’t tell them anything…. sometimes they have to learn for themselves….

– In difficult days, remember the hot springs that shall await for you at the final day before you finish. worth it!

– Also in difficult days- remember to take a look at the view

– Also in difficult days part 2: It takes a couple of days for your body to adjust to the fact that you’re not on a hammock all day drinking banana lassi in Pokhara. If it’s hard-just see what the locals have to carry! so it could be worst…

– Make a list of your injuries after the trek when you’re back on the hammock in Pokhara. It’s kinda funny honestly. From what I remember 2 fallen toes nails, had a hole in my hill and my nose was peeling itself to non- existence form.

–  ok, I know it’s a check list again but you have to

  1. Take a photo of yourself in the Pass  √√

Sometimes when I look at it, it reminds me that I have inner power and I can do everything. Sometimes I look at it and I remember my friends who trekked with me and took that photo and the help and support we had for each other (Yael- remember the frozen chocolate?) . And sometimes I just look at it as a solid evidence to the world that I actually did that shit! and with terrible clothes too!

So remember- Don’t take life too seriously ’cause life doesn’t take you seriously. Trust me- life called and said you’re bumming them out…. Love, Peace, Harmony and a Smile!


One thought on “Nepal- Same same but TOTTALY different

  1. Very fun read and great memories! And fun pictures!! Reminded me of my times back home in Kathmandu. I’m glad you found the Gali Atari bird 🙂 The guy who is on that pole is a king. And perhaps the river you rafted on is BhoteKoshi. They also have bungy jumping over it now. And guess what!? I haven’t yet been on the Annapurna trek even though I lived in Nepal for 20 years! But it’s on my list of things to do 🙂 Did you try momos in Nepal!!? Keep writing! Your travel experiences are fun to read! Shalom! – Nirajan

    Liked by 1 person

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