Excited and exhausted, we arrived in Kathmandu after nearly 26 hours of travel. We picked up our things from baggage claim and headed outside, past boxes of new baby chicks that were be prepared to be shipped and hoards of people speaking rapid Nepali.
The taxi ride into the city was the craziest of my life. On the left side of the road, our car zipped through hundreds of motorcyclists, children on bikes, towering buses, and expertly dodged goats and dogs who were meandering into the road.
By the time we arrived at our hostel, Tay and I were both smiling from ear to ear; unable to believe that we were in Nepal as adrenaline coursed through our bodies. I don’t know what I expected Kathmandu to be like, but my imagination wasn’t accurate. I could never have pictured a city filled with so much random activity and sound. When you’re not being bombarded with Nepali music from local shops, then you’re listening to blaring car horns (that are all completely unique and imported from India), or men walking by you in dusty alleys mouthing the words “Hashish?” with their arms extended toward you, as if they’re greeting an old friend.
We stayed at Pilgrims Guest House in Thamel, a neighborhood in Kathmandu, and were greeted with two piping cups of delicious sweet, spiced tea, and the hostel’s resident pug (and mascot), Chamtu.
If you know me even a little bit, then you know that I love pug dogs and was ecstatic to be greeted by our fat, furry friend.
Although exploring the city at night was a bit overwhelming at first (there are no street lights to be found, and hundreds of bodies rushing past you in the darkness), I enjoyed touring around town and soaking everything in. Had we really made it to Nepal?
We treated ourselves to a celebratory feast at Mustang Thakali and sampled momo (Nepali dumplings, most often stuffed with buffalo meat – called “buff” by the locals), rice with a variety of curries and chutneys, and mango lassi…all for just $7 for the pair of us.
It was only 8 p.m. when we got back to Pilgrims Guest House but I fell asleep almost immediately…well, after watching a few minutes of a cricket game on the television that is. Jetlag took a serious toll on the both of us, and unsurprisingly, we woke up at 4 a.m., blinked at each other in the dark and started laughing like bank robbers who had just pulled off a successful heist, “We’re here. We did it.”