Nepal

I was up really late yesterday taking on the phone, so I slept until 1 pm today. Well needed tho! Once I had breakfast and showered I decided to do some local sightseeing. I searched the web and found a tower not far away, Dharahara, also called Bhimsen Tower. It was supposed to be 213 steps to the top and providing a view over Kathmandu valley. So, I headed over there. However, once arriving... the tower wasn't a tower no more. Just the base was left. Later that evening I learned that it got destroyed in the earthquake in 2015 and 60 people died.

I few minutes after arriving to the tower, the rain started to poor down. But I bought myself an ambrella and kept going to a park area. The positive thing with the rain is that the street that normally is crowded with motorcycles, bikes and people, almost was empty. So I could walk in my Natasha speed and get to my destination faster.

This "park" which I wanted to reach, wasn't what I was hoping for. But I found it to be beautiful in it's own tragical way. It doesn't look much for the eye, but I could see the potential of it. If only some money and work would be put into making the park bloom it could totally be a tourist attraction that would produce new money for the city.

I headed on to a place I past a few days ago, Garden of dreams. I didn't know at all what it was, I had just seen the sign and it sounded nice. And it sure was. Not a very big garden, but very beautiful and a contrast to the rest of the area.

I finished my day with dinner at the hotel and had a nice conversation with someone from the staff. I love taking to natives, it's the best way to learn things about the country you're staying in. Namastē.

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Nepal

I want to start by writing the boring things, because I must whine some. So, I tried to make it work at my hotel, but it was just too many factors that bothered me. And it wasn’t just the previous mentioned factor, it was also so noisy in some many ways, so I haven’t been sleeping well. And I never felt like coming home when I got to the hotel, hard to explain, but I just had a lump in my stomach when arriving to the front door. I didn’t even want to spend time in my room when writing, it just felt uncomfortable and sitting in my bed made me feel disgusted, because I had a big brown blanket that I didn’t want to touch. So, I always just slept with the sheet. I know I shouldn’t be that picky, but I’m paying the hotel and I’m not getting what they announced, so I just walk out to another hotel that I’ve found online. And once I entered here, through their cozy restaurant area and into the hotel I got the best vibe ever. The staff greeted me well with great English and they offered to show me a room. One hour later, I had packed all my shit and I was in my new room. I just threw everything in and then went down to the hotel bar, sweaty and smelly, but who cares. I had myself a beer and some cheeseballs and had a lovely talk with the bartender, Sunny. He’s so nice, speaks very good English and is all-round educate.

So now I’m lying here in my comfy bed in my room where I feel at home in after a nice warm shower. The hotel, the room and the staff is just great and it’s the same price as the previous one. Also, the hotel dog is just an adorable little fatty. I could go into even more boring details, but I’ll spare you from that. And it's ok, cause my dad got to hear it all :) So, here what has taken place today….

Today I spent the entire day at Emile Academy International, which is the private school where the Swedish organization Gatubarn I Nepal sponsors 10 kids so they can attend. The school have around 500 kids attending in the grades from one to ten. All classes except Nepal language is taught in English. I joined various classes in four different grades, and it was so enjoyable to see so hard working students with such good spirits. What I liked with the school was that each morning and ending of the day started out with an assembly out on the courtyard.

The kids were, not so surprisingly, quite interested in me the foreigner, who I was and why I was being there. They all got so intrigued by me, that I ended up signing about 100 hundred autographs. The kids were pushing each other to get to me, so I had to raise my voice and made them stand in line. I don’t know what my signature is worth, but it sure made them happy to get it. And a child’s smile is priceless.

After school, I had dinner at the female pastor’s house together with Bijaye, their hospitality is heartwarming. Once we finished dinner I thought Bijaye was driving me home, but he took me to Pashupatinath first. It was a village with historical monument, a temple and some monkeys! He knows I love monkeys. The other day he took me to the monkey temple, but I haven’t posted those pictures yet, because we just made quick stop there and I need to go back early in the morning because then you can see even more monkeys running around. So, all the monkey temple pictures will come in one and the same post later on.

But the most interesting here was the burning of corpse. It’s a Hindu tradition to burn the body of the dead near the river and when it all has turned into ashes; they swipe the ashes down into the river. I have never seen a dead person before IRL, and today was the first time. It was a lot of corpse getting burned, but one of the dead persons was still getting prepared so I could see her feet and her face before she got fully wrapped. Even though I stood on the other side of the river, it felt bizarre seeing them getting burned and breathing in the smoke of them, of bodies that one’s was a living human being.

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Nepal

I could probably write a chapter for a novel from all I’ve experienced so far, but I’m gonna try to keep it a bit short.

So, I arrived here on Tuesday and got picked up from the airport by the ministers of the church that the Swedish organization Gatubarn I Nepal work together with. It’s trough Gatubarn I Nepal, a Swedish organization, that I’m doing this trip. They have done a lot of work down here for orphan children as well as with some families. When we arrived at my hotel I just dropped my bags of in my room. I didn’t even bother to shower as I normally like to do after a flight, I felt like a walking zombie after my flights with no sleep and a little too much wine so I couldn’t care less about it. We had some food together at the hotel, that took like 1 ½ hour for them to make. And it was just some raw vegetables and dumplings…. Afterwards they showed me around the area a bit and to a supermarket so I could buy some essentials. Back home at the hotel I just unpacked, showered and then crashed and slept for 12 hours.

I couldn’t write anything yesterday, because I was still tired and not feeling as myself after travelling and landing in a country so different than mine. And as always, I need some time to adjust, make peace with my living situation and learn my surroundings. Yes, I can be spoiled and I do love the comfort of my life in Sweden and my home. So, the first days it’s always gets to me when the Wi-Fi is down, the room is dirty, the people don’t understand what I’m asking after and having shower in cold water. But traveling like this also includes a selfish part, I get to practice my patience and I get to appreciate the life I get to live. So, with some patience and speaking simple English with the staff, I learned how my hotel works. To get warm water I must call the reception about 5-10 minutes before I want to shower. To get housekeeping, you must tell them that you want it and then leave the key to them, cause there’s only one and the housekeeping is not that the room gets cleaned, the trashcan gets empty and the bed gets made. And about the Wi-Fi, the money just rans out from time to time and when it does it takes a while before it gets reload. After hand, this is just minor issues that I can live with.

On Wednesday Bijaye, the pastor, picked me up with his motorbike. The traffic here is crazy and barely have any structure. And there are cows laying here and there in the road’s. But Bijaye is a great driver so I wasn’t worried at all. We started of with him showing me their church and then they had morning service. Afterwards he showed me around in a poor and underdeveloped part of Shantinagar. The area was poor, filled with litter and the roads was just mud, the houses, well if I can even call them that, was small and made of whatever material they had handy. However, they were homes! Because even though they were lacking so many things that we are taking for granted in the western world, you could still be met with smiles, laughter and a community that cared for each other. These homes were located next to the river, which means that when the rain season starts the area gets effected badly. They try to keep the water away by building walls of sandbags, but still when the river rises the nature takes over. I tried to come up with ideas of how to protect them from this, but so far I could only think of things that would require a lot of money. Money to buy good material to build sustainable walls, high enough, to protect them. And it wouldn’t due to only do it in a small area, because then the water would find itself in somewhere near and the street will get flooded anyway.

Today, Thursday, I got picked up again and driven back home after the day. I’ve said that I can take a cab, but he insists. Today we went out to the countryside where they have agriculture, because I said that I want some hand on work to do, and help wherever I can be at use. So today we plowed some ground, all by hand since they don’t have the fancy machines we have. It was warm and tough, and I only did so little. Much respect to these people who everyday word so hard to make a living by farming so they can get food as well as some profit from selling at the market.

Afterwards they showed me around in the nearby village that was located on a hill. Wherever you go there is constructions going on, people are building homes and repairing their homes. And it’s both men and women working, as well as kids, but so far I haven’t seen situations that has been alarming even though I do think they work under bad conditions. And, I got to see an old temple, it was not taken care of, but still beautiful in its own way.

One last thing, I must say that I’m surprised to see so many Westerners here. But I guess I shouldn’t be since we do love to hike and go trekking, and Kathmandu is a perfect place to start from. Oh well, time to hit the jumping ropes and get some exercise done :)


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Nepal

So, in the last post I wrote that I had a good feeling about this flight... And I was right. The flight from Arlanda Sweden to Doha most have been the most enjoyable flight ever. Seated next to me I had the nice, funny, caring and smart Mr J. And it didn't hurt that he was easy on the eyes either ;) We just talked and laughed the entire trip while getting tipsy together! Things got said that made us laugh so much. I would write it all ... but getting it out of context it might not be as fun as we experienced it. But one thing that made me laugh was after the captain said something and Mr J said: The muslims have fasted but now they will get their food. And I responded: Was that Arabic he spoke? Mr J: "No, it was English. I don't even speak Arabic". So, writing it down it doesn't sound so much fun, but for us it was... since I thought English was Arabic. Was it his accent or the wine, who can tell.
Oh well, all and all that I can say... it was the best flight ever. To bad I couldn't have his company on the next flight as well. But it went well anyway... I kinda doze off now and then.

Funny playground at Doha airport and a nice welcome sign when arriving to Kathmandu.


Now, I'm in my room... I have been up since yesterday 8 am and it's 3 pm now. So tired and my brain isn't working. So I can't write much about how it is here or how it feels. Just can say that my room works, the area as cool and the people I met so far are nice. Can't believe that this is gonna be my home for a few weeks. Realized also that I packed way to much and should have gotten a smaller bag...

The view from my room.
Namastē!

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Nepal, Personal

For weeks people have asked me if I'm nervous... but I haven't been. Because it has been so much at work, in my personal life and with preparing for this trip... that there hasn't been any space for feelings. And I've been fixing things up till today. These last minutes fixes is so far from normal Tash. Organization, planning and control has been keywords in my life. But I'm loosing grip of those aspects a bit. And if feels great! And I bet most of my close friends would say: Finally!

But here I am... sitting at Arlanda realizing that I'm about to fulfill a childhood dream. I always, since I was a kid, wanted to go to a country in Asia or Africa to do some volunteer work. And now I am!  When I came back home from China last year I decided that this summer I will do this! I believe that you just have to set your mind on things, and universe will make things move in order for you to get there! The secret is to believe you can and that you will! I hope that this trip is just the first of many where I will get the chance to make a difference ♡

Almost time to board the plane... nervous about traveling for so long due to my issue with small spaces. But I have a good feeling it will go smoothly! My concern now is my pulled muscle in my thigh. It just snapped when putting my back-pack on at home. And at Arlanda when I had to put it on again, it got way worse. Even tho I'm currently limping and my leg is hurting, I'm in such a good spirit! Thanks for all the support and love I have had lately. Peace :)

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Personal

It truly has been a while since I felt this kind of joy. The kind of joy that gives you the feeling that you have an entire zoo in your stomach. It doesn't just bubble and tickle. It's like an explosion of great feelings tumbling down your soul like wild animals on the African safari. Being in the nature and being adventures is something I have started to appreciate more and more these last years.

This time when I went up to my Winterland I tried out something new: electric mountain-bikes. And don't for a second think that it must be easy because it's an electric bike. The opposite! You still have to pedal all the time. It's just that you can go upwards steeper hills, easier get over rocks and other obstacles and go way faster. My bike went 25 k/hour. Its was so much fun, scary, intense and challenging both physical and mentally. But all together it was a new level of mindfulness. Because you have to work simultaneously with body and mind, planing the speed, changing gear at the right time, suddenly change track and be aware of upcoming obstacles at the same time when you might already are getting over one. Friday I was out on the bike for 2 1/2 hours. At the begining I was a coward and I didn't went fast at all. But after falling twice, getting my legs bruised and my feet all wet I was like f**k it! And I just peddled and allowed myself to let go. All together I felt 5 times that day, but no injuries tho.

The feeling of freedom I felt was magical! And I felt the kind of joy that makes my eye tear. And when that happens, I know that I'm so thankful to be alive!

On Saturday I went out again for 37 kilometers. And that day it was even more difficult because the track at times went in between trees that stood narrow. So balance and courage was the key words. Even tho, that day, I managed to only fall once.

As I kid I sometimes went fishing with my dad and my brother, and I miss that very much. So when I'm up here I also try to get some fishing done. This time I didn't catch any fish, but the day was so beautiful so I didn't even care.

And as usual I also went for a walk without destination, which is the best kind. I just love walking and just go towards the direction that feels good for the moment. It truly is a great way to clear my head and at the same time get some exercise. This time I ended up walking for 5 hours and by the end of the walk I found my self caught in a mist when I was on the top of mountain. For a moment it felt a bit uncomfortable since I wasn't 100% sure I was walking in the right direction, the gps stopped working and I only had sight a few meters in front me. But as usual I trusted my gut which lead me back home. I just had forgotten how big the mountain was, therefor it felt like I was walking and walking without reaching the path down.

Life has lately been going in extreme speed with long days filled with hard work, planning for a big trip and at the same trying to have a social life. So these days up here have done its magic and brought the stress level down inside of me. Forever grateful for my travels to my Winterland ☆

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Italia

Five days, four nights and a lot of things to check of from my bucket list... Usually I have a lot to write and often I do take the time to share my feelings and impacts of my journey. But this time I'm just gonna let the pictures speak for them self. And instead let those small moment of joy, laughter and inspiration be written in my memory and soul.

Castel Sant' Angelo

The Vatican City

Fontana di Trevi

Circo massimo

Colosseum and Roman forum

Piazza Venezia

Street art that inspires

Thankful for another journey that I've been blessed to do ♡
Love this statue outside a hospital with the text saying:

"I was ill and you visited me"


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My paintings

~ Sia - Helium ~

I'm trying but I keep falling down
I cry out but nothing comes now
I'm giving my all and I know peace will come
I never wanted to need someone

I wanted to play tough
Thought I could do all this on my own
But even Superwoman sometimes needed Superman's soul

Help me out of this hell
Your love lifts me up like helium
Your love lifts me up when I'm down
when I've hit the ground
You're all I need

And if you let go, I'll float towards the sun
I'm stronger 'cause you fill me up
But when the fear comes
and I drift towards the ground
I am lucky that you're around

You lift me up and I am found


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Personal

Going straight from graduation to work was fun, however a vacation in between would had been nice in order to relax some before starting a new chapter in life. So this mini vacation was exactly what I needed!

I had nothing special planned that I wanted to do these days, which at times ends up the best. Just wanted to see my friend A, hang out at some pubs and maybe do some shopping. And I got to do that and some more. I sure got to shop, more then I expected. Gosh, carrying the bags home one of the days was harder than a Thai boxing session it felt like. People smiled at me on the streets while I was trying to pass by people with all my bags. What can I say, when I start... it's hard to stop.

Right picture is a line of guys standing outside of Victoria secret, probably waiting for their girls to be done with shopping in a four floor store with tons of goodies.

Friday night in London happened to be St. Patrick's day. It's an Irish holiday, but still celebrated here as well. We started of at around 6 pm and ending at around 4 am. It's started quite chill, but then at the second bar A's friend started to bring in the carbombs. And after a while we headed to this Irish place, the Swan. A quite shitty place, far from being a fancy place. But once you ignored the unfriendly staff in the door, whom
just trough-out my chewing-gum pack on the street while searching my bag and saying No gums!, the overpacked place and people just jumping in to you, spilling on you... it was a blast!

Rule back home: Wine followed with water. This night: Carbomb followed with Heineken. It was a crazy green night that needed some alternations to stay on track. And I can't remember when I last had such a fun time. People were so cheerful, happy and crazy. And I definitely danced like no on was watching!

Eating is one of the best things about traveling, so I tried to have some typical English dishes, but the best place was of course at an Italian place.
All and all I can say that this I has been an successful trip and I'm coming home with so many nice things! And of course it was wonderful to see one of my oldest and dearest friends.

But was I looking forward to get on the plane after last trip... hell no! I sure was nervous and my heart was beating arriving at the airport. However, it started well this time. I was getting some whiskey for my dad at the tax free shop and decided to get myself a bottle of Laphroaig. And I had this highly friendly seller helping me finding the bottle. He also introduced me to other brands, shared some whiskey history and gave a whiskey tasting. It all ended up with me getting Laphroaig tho.

After that I headed to the lounge to have food and wine & prosecco. I was not about to shed a tear on this trip... so there was only one way to save the situation... Cheers ;)

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Personal

Didn't think I would be writing a post so soon into my vacation. What could possibly have happened in just a few hours. But being me, everything can happen it seems. So I just have to get this of my cheast before landing in London...

Step one towards tears... Checking in and all went smoothly. But at the lounge the first hiccup accord... nothing major but the thing is... I do panic some due to flying. And it's not about being afraid of flying, but I do get claustrophobic, it's hard to sit still for a long time and I don't like not being in control of the situation. So, obviously flying isn't the ideal situation for me. Yet I love to travel. But in regards for me to handle the situation, everything has to go smoothly and I need to feel comfortable. But in the lounge, when getting some wine from the tap (you get it yourself) the tap is almost empty and the very last of it makes this extra spark (which happens sometimes). And so much wine just splashes all over me! And the personnel reacts very poorly! They should just run over and hand my towels. But no, I need to beg for napkins and cleanex. Also, I have to take me sweater of to rinse part of it. Yup, that's how much wine I got over me. This incident might not be much for the ordinary person, but for me that already is having a calming therapeutic session in my head about the flying situation, kinnda is a tad enjoying.

Step two... One of the passengers is in a wheelchair. Somehow their booking had some hiccups and the seats she and her co-travelers had wasn't suitable. So they would have been ordered to get of the plain, unless they got my seat and the peoples next to me. We had booked SAS-plus and we hade booked the front line that had extra space. I kinda needed that place, it sure does help me with the claustrophobic situation. But certainly the three of us moved so they as well could travel to London.

Step three... Get me right here... gladly I offered my place to this girl. It was the right thing to do!
But having control of the situation helps me to keep calm. And being seated in a smaller seat and just having things being shift around makes me nervous. I tried to listen to music, reading... yaddi yaddi. I tried all the things, that so far throughout all my travels have worked, but it didn't today. I had to go to the flight attendants and ask if they had closed the door, I needed air! Space! But it was closed! Could they help me, they asked. I just said no and turned around back to my seat.

Step four... Flight attendant comes and offers me a seat back in the plus area, also a seat next to the lane. Thankfully I accept, grab my things and goes over there. While seating, next to and old lady and her man, the man asks me why I'm getting seated here and that I can't sit here. And he does it with quite an attitude. I reply the reason why and explains that the attendant told me to move here. Still he argues, and I say that he should not have an attitude with me, he can take it with the attendants. I start to cry, you know that way when you snores and can hardy breathe. And then a passenger in the line in front of me involves and says. "Haven't you seen what has happen? She moved already because of the wheelchair situation!" The rest he said is just a blur... I just stood up and went to the attendants. I couldn't breath and the tears just streamed like a waterfall...

Luckily I had flight attendants from heaven... literally. They took me in and got me seated in their chair, behind the curtains, so I could cry in peace. They asked me what happened and they gave support. And wine, as soon as they heard that wine calmed me down with my situation, didn't even have to ask. One of them stood with me talking for quite a while as she calmed me down. But she did advised me to tell attendants that I have this issue with flying, but I said... "So far I've handled it.... but it kinda gets worse". She replied... "It often does, but just tell us. So we can help". From now on I will, hopefully, unless my proudness is getting in the way. But this flight it was already blown out the window...
They even offered me to stay seated there, to have my meal there. But I said I could go back, as long as they talked to the old man before I seated. And they did. However... he didn't say a word to me again... maybe an apology would've be in place...

I did said thanks to the man who stood up for me and he and his wife was so understanding and supporting and asked how I was doing now. With that, I want to say: Stand up for each other! When you hear or see something that's not correct... freaking make a stand! Even a stranger can need a strangers support when no one else is around!

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