Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Some Video From Nepal

Below are a few clips from my aforementioned trek in Nepal. The scenery is fairly generic Himalayan trekking territory. The twist that might make these clips a tad different is the presence of my ebullient traveling partner Kanchana. Check her out as she takes over a Nepali kitchen, dances, gets exhausted, and generally absorbs Nepali culture with wide-open eyes.

I've got a total of nine such clips over on YouTube: .


Kan left a bubbly impression on everyone in her path, with the exception of one Nepali guest-house owner who was stupid enough to incur her wrath by offering up his impressions of Thai prostitutes he encountered in Germany. Kan responded with a profanity-laced harangue which I enjoyed immensely as I downed my rakshi. It seems that his wife, lingering over the stove, savored the exchange as well....she certainly didn't attempt to intercede. Regretfully, there's no video.

My own approach, as usual, was more introspective. The mountains are amazingly beautiful, but the beauty only seems to register in nanosecond bursts. As soon as you start thinking "it's so amazing", it all begins dissipating. You call your compadres over to share the experience. You pull out the camera and seek out the most postcard-perfect angle possible. And if you actively refrain from pulling out the camera, the act of trying to hold onto the moment will probably kill it as well. It's a bit of a koan that I carry in these sorts of mind-blowing places.

When I first trekked in Nepal in 1987, I didn't even bring a camera. That's how strongly I strived to extend these moments. But then, there are family members and friends who would sincerely like to see what you've been up to. So the policy has changed.

Even now, though, you'll notice that I rarely point the camera on myself. That's not a case of camera-shyness. I just want to show a decent approximation of what I'm seeing and experiencing.

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