Bijay and Rajkumar, my Nepali brothers and staff members at Tings.
These are my last few minutes living in Lazimpath. I am packing my belongings and preparing to spend the night at Kalinka's house for two nights before heading first to Bangkok and then to Vancouver. These disorientingly nomadic days are probably a good preview of my summer, as I will be crashing with friends or heading to the deepest, darkest suburbs to stay with my Mum. Three months is simply not enough time to bother with renting a flat, and I am planning to sell all of my belongings anyway. It's time to let those go and prepare to be a vagabond expat 4EVA.
... but let's be honest, while it feels important to mark this occasion even I don't want to hear myself have another heartwrenching epiphany, so let's not be too melodramatic. Should be easy, as I feel a bit numb.
Sure, there were tears in my eyes when I walked away from Gertie and The Keg, leaving them expectantly wagging their tails. And yes, last night I got a bit emotional at my al fresco leaving party at Tings, the sad happy that occurs when you are surrounded by people you care for and to whom you are saying goodbye. Of course I am sad to leave the apartment where I had some great times and suffered through a cold winter (ok, so I am not sad about that part at all). But overall, no matter how much I try to make this all seem real, it just hasn't sunk in yet. I'm oddly stoic about the whole thing, and I can't decide whether that is because it is simply time to leave or because I am in denial. Either way, it's going to happen. I am leaving the 'Du.
I will miss Lazimpath, and I will miss Kathmandu. The vibrancy of everything, the chaos, the splendour - the manic highs and dark lows of this city are addictive, and I know that while I will be dazzled by Vancouver's pretty face for a few weeks, quite soon it will start to seem dull.
I will attempt walk in traffic and navigate the streets too closely to moving cars.
I will marvel at the high speed wifi and the existence of bathtubs.
I will carry napkins to the washroom with me, forgetting that they all have toilet paper.
I will gain five pounds eating ALL OF THE THINGS and drinking ALL OF THE BEER.
I will never cease to be amazed by drinkable tap water and the cleanliness of public space.
I will gawk at the amount of food thrown in the garbage.
Most importantly, I will be able to begin reflecting on this experience and truly start to understand what it all meant to me. Right now I am too in it, submerged in the swirling, complicated emotions of long distance romance, farewells to friends and what some Buddhists call "the suffering of change." But once I am back in Vancouver and have seen my pals and eaten some sushi, the excitement of being home will wear off and I will have time to pause and meditate on what Kathmandu changed inside my heart and mind. That process is at once scary and comforting but ultimately necessary.
So while right now I feel calm and ready to leave, in two days time when I cab to the airport who knows what I will be feeling (I do have a history of crying in taxis). I might be teary eyed and mournful or excited and optimistic, but I will have my head held high and my gaze pointed forward, because that's where I am going whether I want to or not. Time passes.
Boy, does it ever.