Thank god it's Friday
Because in Friday, here in Thamel, we get electricity all day long! Whoo hoo!
Too bad we are running out of cooking fuel (in this case, propane).
My American friend Vincent, who runs a resto-bar here, says he has enough for a couple more days. All the propane (in the red metal tanks) comes from India, and the trucks can't get through (as previously detailed) for the strikes by various political groups in the border region.
Normally, a tank of propane would run 1100NRs. Vinnie says people are paying as much as 3000Rs for a tank, (that is, about 50US$), which lasts all of 3 days or so when you are running a restaurant.
Yesterday, the power was off for 4 hours in the middle of the day (2 - 6 pm). I was in the Road House Cafe, which has three enormous picture windows at street level.
I just sat there in the dark, watching the street scene go by, and thinking, "these people are amazing." Little bitty old Nepali guys in traditional dress carrying huge loads of luxury goods (for the tourists) on their backs. I need to put up a photo of the loads these guys carry, easily twice their own weight. All they use is a strap around their forehead.
But it wasn't just the quaint, romantic countrymen who looked amazing. Everyone started to look amazing. Middle-aged tourists, the Sarangi guys (all Nepali visitors will be familiar with them - they stroll around playing traditional Nepali violins, hoping to sell them), the security guards in uniforms, the Israeli kids with dreadlocks, 2 Muslim guys in skullcaps and flowing kurtas, the mangy spotted dog that has been living on that corner for the past 5 years and, I notice, gets a little bit sicker and lamer and mangier every visit. Everyone just looked so beautiful. My heart went out to every single one of them.
Maybe it was the fishbowl, filter effect of the glass - I didn't have to hear their noises and smell their smells. Or, that feeling of enforced surrender (no electricity, no activity, nothing to do but sit and absorb the environment).
I found myself spontaneously trying a Buddhist meditation method, which is to put yourself in the place of every single person that walks by. Just for a few seconds each. Pretend you are them, wearing their clothes and in their body, walking along the street.
I finally snapped out of it a few hours later when the power returned. It was a great, diffuse feeling of being everywhere and joined to everything at once, without feeling overwhelmed or freaked out about it.
"Turn off your mind, relax and float downstream...."
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