Days Like These - Part IV
Sep 08, 2010
In the morning we bid our farewells to Dolma and, armed with handfuls of dodgy dollars, cross the bridge that spans the gorge. If there ever were a more expressed national border I am yet to cross it. And if there were ever a greater gulf dividing two cultures, I am yet to experience it. Immediately the severity and austerity of Chinese Tibet drops away. We are on a bus, filled to the brim, careering down an absurdly half-constructed road and all is colour and sound and joyous and filthy and disgustingly, unashamedly alive. I cannot stop smiling. We are in Nepal. We have travelled overland from London to Nepal and all is mayhem and luscious and ridiculously enthralling and I cannot stop smiling. I am so sincerely happy. So thrilled. And I am not the only one. Amongst this busload of life, these chattering children, this woman vomitting out of the back window, these sweating and swearing men, amongst these chickens and sacks of rice and wool, these bags of hooky DVDs and loose gas canisters that threaten to explode with every bump and swerve, through this air thick with Bollywood music and incense can be made out five westerners who cannot wipe the stupid grins off their white faces and who will be stuck, trance-like to the rattling windows for the next three, maybe four hours as the bus continues to hurtle down this seemingly endless gorge.