My home until Sunday, Sanu’s Guesthouse, Patan.
Just about as quickly as possible I’ve left Thamel. A taxi takes me through the winding congested streets fifteen minutes away, to Patan. The streets, though still packed full of cars are just a bit cleaner, wider, and a heck of a lot more calm. I decided to try somewhere a bit more relaxed for my last few days, Thamel is great, but it is exhausting. I choose Sanu’s guesthouse after rave reviews online. For $6 a night I get this room:
Clean, spacious, and a balcony! Breakfast is included and dinner is served for an additional $1.50. There is hot water and free wi-fi in my room. Why on earth have I not been staying here all along? Within minutes of arriving I was ushered in and fed in the kitchen, copious (and free) milk tea and fried bread. The owner is beyond friendly and helpful. I feel at home. Laundry is being taken care of, and the remaining time I’m in Nepal planned. And once again, I’m on my own. I had been concerned I’d have to readjust to being alone after being with people non-stop for the past week and a half, but in fact, I mostly feel relief. I don’t have any plans for the afternoon, and that’s the way I like it. I am once again completely free to indulge whatever caprice strikes me.
The view from my balcony.
At dinner, which is served on mats on the kitchen floor I met the others staying here. Most are long time travelers volunteering or working. Naturally, as it always is with travel, I have an instant new group of friends. Though on Sunday we’ll part ways and likely, never meet again, we will all fill the necessary social void. Tomorrow we’ll sight see in Bhaktapur. On Saturday, we’ll shop at the market for a last night dinner that I (along with another chef) will make in the community kitchen. It’s an easy friendship, no one cares too much about the particulars, we are all here, and that’s enough. There are no awkward moments, no judgement, just acceptance and ease. Though short lived to be sure, its a unique and in a way relieving way to make friends, that always end in the promise of a couch when you someday might meet again. Just another reason I’m reminded of the joys of travel. As they say, it’s not the places, but the people. So far, so true.