Day 91: Journey's End at In-N-Out

Trip Start May 20, 2008
Trip End Aug 19, 2008

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Flag of United States  , California
Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Back on May 22nd when good ole Singapore Flight #### first began its descent into the Kathmandu Valley, I wrote that the zero-g moment and landing gears popping out shot my heart into my throat and nearly gave me a panic attack. "OMG what have I done, I'm gonna die, etc etc!" ran through my head over and over. Now the landing gears were popping out again and I could feel the cabin start to descend... but this time there was no epic Himalayan vista or gemstone tropical island rushing up toward the plane. There were houses, lots and lots, all identical, stretching into the horizon as if the entire planet was covered in subdivisions. There were churches instead of minarets. There was a strangely beautiful cluster of giant skyscrapers floating on an island of brown smog. And inside me, instead of heart pounding and head throbbing nervousness, there was only a calm, unexplainable warmth as if I was back in Mama's womb. After three grueling months of ruins, chickenbuses, and curry... of jungle treks, of great new friends, of tuktuk drivers and poverty and decadence, and of some amazing Nepali youngsters who would crack the brightest smiles over the slightest things... I was finally back where I at times would've given anything to be. As I bit down on the juicy grease of that first hardly kosher In-N-Out burger, listened to Ashley rant about how bad the traffic was and fought back tears of joy, I could do nothing but smile. The world is a huge and amazing place, but at the end of the day, while it's cliched to say... There truly is no place like home.

And on that note:
The. END.

To whomever is still reading this, thank ya'll for reading.

---Quote of the Trip---
"Charlie-brother, you buy Cadbury? Me? Me Cadbury? Cadbury me? You buy? Camera? I play? Me?" - Sushaan

---Quote Runner-Up---
"ATTENTION: DONT SH!T HERE. ONLY FOR PISSING." - Painted across the wall of a leaky Indonesian bathroom.

---Top 5 Favorite Places---
1. Pepsikola & Duwakot, Nepal
2. Bukit Lawang, Sumatra (Indonesia)
3. Saigon/HCMC, Vietnam
4. Ko Phi Phi, Thailand
5. Bali, Indonesia
Honorable mention: Siem Reap, Cambodia

---Places That Can Go Frak Themselves---
1. Thamel District, Kathmandu
2. Sunrise Beach, Ko Pha-Ngan

1. Silom District, Bangkok

---Where I'm Gonna Pack-up and Move to Someday---
Indonesia. (and of course Nepal)

Special, Very Belated Shoutouts to:
- Mai VSN peeps! For being such awesome co-peeps! It was an honor serving with all of you.
- To Jeff for letting me throw coconut candies at him & for being a noble travel buddy.
- To Dan for the suitcase. (told you I'd bring it back!)

Random fond memories in no order:
- Fight w/evil gibbon
- Crusing up Mt Bromo on the back of a motorbike, looking up at the stars
- Any "Dave Moment" at OCRC
- Moped drives in Bali
- Abdul crooning "Hotel California" in Bukit Lawang
- Martinis in Thamel
- Norman's beard
- Lindsey: "No, I can't accept this kitten!"
- Watchin the scooters swarm by in Saigon
- Seeing a wild orangutan for the first time
- The first hour in Singapore after Nepal, developed world culture shock
- Sushaan hijacking and possibly crippling my camera
- Laxmi Didi, and anything she did
- Everest beers in The Hut
and others.

Very Special, Even Though They Won't Read It, Shoutout to:
My Nepali family. For letting me become part of the family, letting me into their home, providing and sacrificing for me, and for existing. You are all amazing people, and an inspiration. Keep up the good work.
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