A journalist observes life in the far north.
Lukla, at the base of the Himilayas, is fogged in for the second day and we are spending our time in a grimy, crowded, stinky airport waiting for a flight out of Kathmandu. Today the weather is worse than yesterday, we are told.
Russell took us out to dinner last night to talk about some Plan Bs, one which would entail us splitting up. I am OK with that if it’s the best thing for Alec’s climb. They want me to hang out in the city until the 8th to wait for another group of trekkers, but I am pushing to go by myself if we must split up. I don’t want to keep waiting in Kathmandu. Alec would go by heliocopter with Russell to a higher place than Lukla to start adjusting to the altitudes.
I am learning some Nepali words, such as thank you, which is pronouced “dun-ya-bat.” Right now there is an announcement over the intercom about boarding for a flight but it’s garbled. Yesterday, I would run up to the ticket agents and show them my boarding pass to see if it was my flight that was boarding.
My morale is low from the constant grind of trying to get from A to B, but I am trying to be cheerful for Alec’s sake because he is here to fulfill a life’s dream. We have been together non-stop for a week and yesterday was the first time we seriously got on each other’s nerves, which isn’t bad, I think. Hopefully we both got out our anxiety. It’s inevitable to have a conflict or two under these circumstances, in my humble opinion.
Yesterday we ate chips and cookies for six hours and we both felt crappy by the time we returned to the hotel. Today we brought fruit we swiped from the breakfast buffet at the hotel.
Tamding is our guide in Kathmandu and our driver is Citiram. Tamding commercial fished in Alaska so Alec is quite fond of him. Citiram, who is age 28, looks about 42, making me wonder about the hard life in Kathmandu.
A word about tipping. We suck at it. We over-tip, under-tip, tip the wrong person, forget to tip someone important, such as the woman who cleans the hotel room. At first, I fretted over it but now I am just resigned to the fact that we have no idea what we are doing.
We have met lots of travelers, usually Canadians, and most of them have been all over the world.