Kathmandu Wedding Bells (Part I)
“I honor the place in you where the entire universe dwells. I bow to the place in you that is love, light and joy. When you and I bow to our true nature, we are one. My soul recognizes your soul. We are the same, we are one. I honor the place in you that is the same as it is in me. “
So much love and peace and meaning behind simple Namaste!
I had Nepal on my bucket list for quite some time and mostly because of the Himalayas. However, as I still don’t have enough money, stamina and courage to visit the base camp (I have no interest in climbing the summit and ending up frozen across the mountain like 200 other bodies found until now) I decided to opt for free drinks on the wedding of my work colleague in Kathmandu. I was also attracted to Nepal because of it’s people who are one of the most peaceful and welcoming people I have ever met. In Dec I have received a beautiful red invitation written by the hand of his uncle. The tradition in Nepal requires the oldest family member to invite the guests and his uncle was the eldest. The wedding was planned to last for 2 days with the first day being the most important one.
So here we were, 6 of us, flying in small Fly Dubai Boeing, drinking beers and looking forward to this “cultural” trip. On 24th of Jan 2019 for the first time in our lives we have touched the ground of Tribhuvan International Airport in Kathmandu. If you have Bosnian passport like me you can get tourist visa on arrival which costs 25$ for 15 days. Before passport control you are required to fill in “arrival card” and after that you need to visit the airport kiosk and fill in the online form. After you fill the form, the kiosk will give you a little paper and with that paper you will go to cashier to pay for the visa. After the payment you will proceed to the passport control and immigration. If you are lucky (and I am obviously not!) you will go through it fast. Otherwise, you will end up 1 standing 1 hour in a line waiting for deadbeat officer to ask you questions like “When you were born?”, “What is your name”, “Where are you going?”. Finally after this torturing we were outside the airport trying to avoid taxi scammers. Our friend told us to look for registered stand and to negotiate the price before so we followed his advice to get to the accommodation. We booked little hostel Peacock close to Patan Durban Square. During the taxi ride I spotted the tangled electrical cables, dirt, crazy traffic which is so typical for Asian countries and I could still see the consequences of 2017 earthquake.
After a long 45 minutes, we have finally arrived at our destination. Peacock has 7 rooms in the offer and they are not made for people taller than 1.60 cm. However, they were a super cute mix of old and new, wooden rugs, electrical blankets, gas water heaters, and coffee machine, hence I was ready to live like a hobbit for the next 4 days.
In the evening we went for dinner in a probably overpriced, nearby restaurant where I ordered traditional dish Dal Bhat (“dal” means lentils and “bhat” stands for rice) and mulled wine. For beer lovers, I would recommend ordering 650 ml beer Mt. Everest which does justice to its name. After the dinner, we went for a walk around Patan Square built in distinct Newar architecture style which is a mix of woodcarving, stone, brink, and brass craftsman and belongs in the list of the highest achievements of humankind (I read that somewhere). Around the square, there were so many little streets and pathways with cute cafes, rooftop bars playing rock silently, Hindu temples, and stray dogs.
By midnight I was in bed, but all my hopes for a good night sleep were flushed down the toilet. I could hear people shouting, moving house, the dog was barking and as soon as I closed my eyes I could hear my alarm buzzing. At 9 am the driver picked us up and took us to the groom’s house were we have received with a warm welcome and attention. Most of the women were dressed in red sari’s because red is considered to bring love and happiness to the newlywed home, so if you are not sure what to wear to Nepalese wedding you will not make mistake with red dress or any other detail.
Funny fact: I have left my mobile phone in my husband’s car and only figured out when I was already at the gate. And as one of my friends said I was “shamelessly taking photos with my big iPad for the next 4 days”.