Sunday, April 24, 2005

temples and chucking

I have now been in Kathmandu for a couple of days, and am getting much more used to the place. I have seen lots of temples - both Hindi temples, which are the triple roofed kind, and Buddhist ones, which are white, and have the all seeing eyes on them. All very fascinating, and photos to follow. I have also been rather ill, and as yet haven't eaten more than a couple of bites of bread a day for the last 2 days. Not much fun! Still, all part of the process, if you ask me. I also passed out this morning at Durbar Square, right outside the temple of the Kumari (the kumari is a living goddess - she is only 4 years old, and will be a goddess until her first period), but I was with my tour group, so they have all looked after me very well. This afternoon we went to see the temple where they hold cremations - all very Michael Palin; I watched, but didn't take any photos - it seemed intrusive, although lots of other people were.

Tomorrow we fly to Lukla, where we start our trek. Everyone seems to be quite nervous, in that no one has actually done that much trekking before. Everyone seems to be like me, and have signed up for it on a whim. The last group who did it told us we would cry - good omen! Anyway, no internet contact for about 2wks. Wish me luck for the trek.

Friday, April 22, 2005

am arrived

Have arrived in Kathmandu. Its all rather overwhelming, at first in a scary way, now in a rather relaxed fun way. Have only been here about 12 hours, but have managed to find myself on the back of a motorbike driving across town (traffic is completely mayhem here - people drive on all sides of the road, and people walk down the middle it seems) to a restaurant I don't know with a guy I don't know who buys me dinner. Tres strange. I don't think my mother would approve! Still, I survived. Am having quite heeby-jeebies about the water here, and must get around to buying a couple of bottles of mineral water. Still, I ate 12hrs ago and haven't been ill yet, and I think that's a good sign. Nepali food is grim -like Indian but worse. Its tres non-cultural of me, but I'm sticking to Western until the trek forces me to change. That way I can experience the delights of sausage-chicken pizza. Yummmmeeee.

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

goodbye goodbye

So I'm off today. I have such jitters its untrue. I'm sure that once I actually leave, then I'll be fine, but the thought of spending 6hrs in Heathrow on my own just getting nervous is killing me. See, I'm panicking at the thought of panicking. I am such a loser. Gone is my cool, calm exterior. Now I just want someone to hold my hand!

Man, my bag is so heavy. I am currently consoling myself with the thought that a lot of the stuff will be posted home from Kathmandu after my trek is done. Somehow I don't think that longjohns are so useful on the beaches of Thailand. My other worry is that I am going to be so unfit for my trek to Everest Base Camp. Then again, Cara was reassuring me last night, saying that I would be dying for the first few days, and then it would be grand. She also told me to take a picture of myself in a bikini before I went, and then after, to see whether I am going to be truly emaciated at the end of it. Certainly a possibility.

Of course I didn't sleep particularly well, so I'm really tired this morning. I am going to be shattered by the time I actually arrive. Blurgh. But yes, of course its going to be so worth it. My poor wee mammy is pretty sad though. But I'm going to meet her in four months, and even then, I lived in the US for eight months whilst I was studying there, so its not like I haven't been away for so long before.

I don't think I'll be posting her for a couple of weeks, most likely at the end of my trek. Then I hope you are all going to come flooding back to hear my stories of Maoists, blisters and tea-houses.

Monday, April 18, 2005

rain rain rain

It has rained here for three solid days. Man will I be glad to get away.

Yes, I am finally getting to the excited stage. It comes after the stress of how the hell is this going to fit into my backpack stage. Right now, it doesn't. But I'll make it!

Sunday, April 17, 2005

music and books

Seeing as I am going to be bereft of any new music for a long time (something that is not so good about ipods), I am stocking up, taking my cues fromRollingStone, as usual. So, I'm taking my chances with Beck, Martha and Rufus Wainwright, and then as a wee old school treat, Paul Simon. iTunes is horrendously addictive, although you should really be able to buy the killers there. As for books, all I am in the mood for are tales about UN failures - Emergency Sex is one such book, and one about Rwanda called We Would Like to Inform You that Tomorrow We Will Be Killed With Our Families. Even though that's what I'm in the mood for, I'm not taking it, instead opting for some lighter fiction. Oh, and Bergdorf Blondes for the plane. Can't wait. It'll make me think of Emma - she used to tell me funny funny stories about the fashion fashion girls of NYC.

Last minute stresses

So, today I realised that I didn't have a fleece to take with me. I wasn't in the remotest bit bothered by this, until Kate and Dad started giving me the heebie-jeebies, and now I'm panicking and thinking that I'm going to be cold unless I go and get one. Yes, I am officially a loser. And not just a regular loser, but a chubby one. I read somewhere that you burn 6,000 calories a day at altitude, and therefore I will naturally lose loads of weight whilst I am trekking. I am therefore taking advantage of this by munching as much as possible before then, with eating fish and chips on Friday, followed by a Ben and Jerrys sundae and nachos at the cinema, and today I have had a nutella and banana toastie and lots of chips and salsa as well as regular meals. No doubt I will be cursing the excess baggage whilst I am trekking!

Thursday, April 14, 2005

the things I'm thinking

Even though I'm not going to be in Australia and New Zealand until September and October, they are what is consuming my mind at the moment - I think it is because my mum is coming out to meet me, and so I am wondering how I am going to fill my days whilst I am there. I have pretty much decided I am going to see very little of Australia, and instead going to focus on "skills". Ha ha ha. What I really mean is that I am going to sign up to surf school, which should be hilarious, but not as hilarious as Jillaroo school. Me running around on a horse chasing some sheep? Awesome.

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

passport back in my grasp

Sigh. The doorbell just rang, and with me only being in my underwear, and my mum only having one leg, I had to grab an old dressing gown (I will never be as chic as Audrey manages to be in Breakfast at Tiffanys - I'll probably never be chic in all honesty!) and run downstairs to face the postie. Luckily, he was nice enough to say that my package did look pretty damn important, and therefore was forgiving my undress. And now I have my passport back in my grubby mitts, with a very unexciting Thai visa in it - it even says Cardiff in it, which totally ruins all designs on worldliness if you ask me. But still, it means I have a year's worth of comings and goings, which is rather nice. Nothing worse than a visa stress, I can assure you. So, if I had to leave tomorrow, I could, which is also good.

still waiting...

Right now I am waiting for my passport to be sent back from the Thai Consulate in Cardiff, hopefully with a three month Thai visa in it. Its not a good state of affairs really, to be leaving in a week without a passport. But obviously at this point in time, there's not much I can do about it. I did speak to a lovely welsh lady at the Thai consulate on Friday before I sent them my passport, and she seemed to be very nice and trustworthy, hence me sending her my passport. Now I'm not so sure!

Back into town now to do some more shopping, and hopefully I'll actually learn some Thai. How do I expect poor Thai kids to learn English if I can't speak a word of Thai? Yes, no chance. Oh, I so wish I hadn't been so keen to save the world back in November!

Monday, April 11, 2005

still getting ready

It doesn't matter how much preparation I seem to do, every morning I seem to wake up and think, "oh crap, I have to do that". I mean, imagine if I had only given myself a couple of days to get my ass in gear? I have no idea how I would have managed. It doesn't bode well for when I get back and have only a week to get myself sorted for Edinburgh. But never mind. Today's main feats involved getting lots of drugs, posting things, and fighting with my sleeping bag. I think I have won, but I'm not sure. Oh, and ordering casheesh, which is always fun. I think its because I do everything in dribs and drabs and waste lots of time sort of "wandering" that I don't get things done faster, but honestly, who could be bothered. But then again, I should be spending some quality time at the gym getting in training for Everest. Eek.

Saturday, April 09, 2005

packing and preparations

Originally uploaded by scarlettholly.
How on earth is this all going to fit into my backpack? But fit it must, because this is what is going to accompany on my 8mth exodus around the world. I feel like I should be able to take less stuff, but in all honesty, there isn't even that much there. And certainly not that many clothes, which, for those who know me, will be shocked. Instead its all sleeping bags and mosquito nets. Quel glamour.