After an overnight in Kathmandu, I must catch a 11:10 flight to Pokhara, some 200+ kilometers west Most travelers take a bus, rent a car and driver, but not many fly and cough up the $106 for a 45 min. flight as opposed to 7-8 hours on the road. Kathmandu domestic airport terminal has monkeys on the roof, no pavement in front and so clouds of dust rise up with each passing breeze. But once inside all is orderly and efficient, quite decrepit, surely a new terminal is in the works? After going through security for a second time, there’s even a statue of the Buddha as one enters the departure lobby. This addition is likely for the foreign tourists since Nepal is most definitely a Hindu country before it is Buddhist.
Not sure why I am unable to generate enthusiasm for a trip to Lumbini, the place now considered to be Shakyamuni’s “home” base in the south, and will attribute this “pass” to the allure of mountains to the north. It would also help if I were a card-carrying Buddhist and had enough faith to believe that the founder of “my” religion originated at this alleged site. No evidence anywhere for anything, but that’s all right.
Reading by candlelight,
her sun-disk earring
into the shadows–
Vermeer would know
how to make
this beauty last.
(Moondance restaurant, Pokhara)