Nepal #2: Thanks God. People Actually Knew We Were Coming

We finally landed in Nepal after a whopping 36 hours of traveling (which felt like nothing because for the first time in my life I learned how to sleep on a plane) and the most prominent feeling I had was shock. I had spent so long stressing over the logistics of the trip, that I had forgotten we were actually going somewhere. Instantly more stress washed over me as our unprepared asses now had to attempt to convince border security to grant us visas. We’re waiting in line and of course right when it’s our turn the agent’s system breaks down, no one was making any attempt to fix the system as the 300000 men running the border were standing around chatting. It sounded like good banter so I wasn’t too upset. We’re standing at the front of the line, frustrated and beginning to overheat when Sarah turns to me and says “Okay. We have to try and look cute and get the agents attention.” My first thought was that I’d never looked cute a day in my life, especially after traveling for 36 hours, but nonetheless I tried to make my sweaty face look nice. Sarah’s weird plan worked and we got the attention of the security man and in seconds he was granting us our visas.

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After reading horror stories of the taxi drivers in the Kathmandu airport, we left security with our best boss-lady faces on. It turned out to be fine and we found a man holding a sign with our names on it. Prior to this I had 0 confirmation that anyone in Nepal had any idea we were coming. Sarah accidentally paid a man $10 to hold her bag but other than that we were total boss-ladies. After our ride to the hostel I came to the conclusion that there are no rules to the road in Nepal, this conclusion was confirmed when Sarah asked the boy at the Hostel if he had to take a test to get his license, and the question was only met with confusion. I was so scared as we arrived at the hostel as I realized that I had put little to no thought into what our accommodations would be like. After dropping our bags off in our room our driver showed us to the kitchen, where we met Phatima. We were also introduced to ‘DeDe’ who made us some lunch. We chatted with the girls and tried to figure out some places to go in the coming days. Phatima told us about this monastery on the top of this mountain, both Sarah and I began to get excited as it sounded like the perfect activity for Saturday, until she nonchalantly slipped in that we would have to be careful of the tigers. Um. I am not going ANYWHERE near a tiger. Sarah then tried to compare tigers to bears in Canada. No. Totally different ball game.

After we ate lunch Phatina went to show us how to change our SIM cards, for some reason there were soldiers helping us fill out our forms. It’d be like if there was an RCMP officer helping you fill out a form for a phone in your local Rogers location. I don’t know why they were there, but they were super nice. We came back and accidentally napped until DeDe came in to wake us up for dinner. We met her son Bens who is the cutest kid alive and was so excited to have visitors. He’s about 13 and speaks nearly fluent English. We ate the dinner DeDe made us, which was Sel Roti and Dhal Bhaat, and it was so so SO amazing. We watched the sunset from the incredible rooftop patio here, and then returned to our room at the ripe time of 6pm, only to pass out.

The first day here was pretty scary as it felt like jumping straight off a cliff in which you were unaware of the height, or even if there was water below. Everything turned out fine, and the people and surroundings in Kathmandu are more amazing than I could’ve imagined. I’m feeling excited for the impending adventures.


Samantha McLean