24 Sept, 2010

I wrote this back in September 2010 when traveling around Nepal, and I have just updated and translated it.

There’s a lovely full moon in Bandipur. I love it. Especially because I’m coming from Kathmandu, where you don’t see anything because of the pollution.  

Bandipur is a quiet little village on the hills. I saw kids playing football on flip-flops, farmers, big trees.

Guesthouse in Bandipur

The guesthouse here in Bandipur is amazing. I feel like I’m living in the past, at the time when my parents were children. Ceiling and doors are made of wood. The floor is made of pressed ground. There are giant spiders waiting for me outside the door (and I hope they’ll keep waiting outside). The bathroom is a boxroom behind the house, with a hole on the floor (but with cement around the hole, quite modern). There’s no flush, but a bucket with a small pot. I think you can use the same water to wash the floor or yourself after you’re done with what you had to do, as long as you use the left hand (with the right one you eat and shake hands). Above the shower there’s a container to collect the rain. No shower for me tonight. The cold shower gives me headache. I washed myself the Nepal-way. There’s a concrete small square in the middle of a room, with two containers full of water. One looks cleaner than the other, so I assume the first one is for face and teeth, the second to wash your feet. Nothing out of the ordinary. I’ve seen these mature men covered in soap, naked as mum made them (just a bit fatter maybe) showering in the Lhasa River in Tibet, little will be able to shock me now.

In Nepal they also shower in the street. Along the streams, if out of town, or from public fountains along the roads (how I saw in Kathmandu). Interesting. They are not fountains as we know them, like the Trevi in Rome. They look like roman baths, I’m not sure why, I don’t know if in Rome there were similar places. Well, they are spaces about 10×10 meters large, a couple of meters below street level, with a sink in the middle. People go there to collect water for the day or to shower. I saw many women washing their hair at these fountains. They are also a meeting place, where neighbors chat while they wait for their turn.   

Public bath in Bandipur, Nepal
Public bath in Bandipur, Nepal

Coming to Bandipur from Kathmandu was kind of interesting. We were on a minibus, that can carry about 20 people. All squeezed. The road follows the river Trisuli, all bends and drivers drive like crazy. As a result, three people were vomiting. In their small black plastic bags. In Italy the driver would stop if someone feels like vomiting. Not here, there is not ime. The girl sitting in front of me lifted her bag full of vomit, to throw it out of the window (nevermind the plastic thrown in nature). The problem is that the bag had a small hole, from where a drop of vomit reached me. Strange enough it didn’t have a bad smell, so it didn’t bother me too much. It worried me more when some time later she put the head out of the window: if she was going to throw out, it would have hit me completely. Fortunately she felt better. Another girl spent the last half an hour with the head inside the black bag.

In Bandipur I met the first Italian traveler of this trip. He’s from Turin. He’s been traveling for 10 months and still has 3-4 months to go, that he will spend between Bangladesh, Iran and Middle East. Interesting. I’m going to ask him to be friend on Facebook (editor note: he’s now a well established photographer, Luca Vasconi; his pictures are really something, he has a special sensitivity.

Ok, power cut. It’s 11pm something and the power is cut. Time to go to bed.

Next Stop: Pokhara.