In The No-Man’s Land Between Naïvité And Simplicity

Hm, I was greatly tempted to pontificate here on conflict resolution and peace among men. We all know that is not going to happen, because too many countries are making good, good money by keeping these wars and proxy wars going.

But , while on our trek, I saw three things that were so simple, yet so powerful and compelling.

First, on our way from Mukrinath to Jomsom, we walked through the valley – dried up river bed – that leads not Mustang. The valley bottom was filled with pebbles. And there I saw on the ground this “baci e abbracci” (kisses and embraces) pebble.  

In a naïve interpretation, this is “Warm apple-pie and mother-love” but if we simply look at a kiss and an embrace, how can you fight and hat someone who embraces and kisses you in friendship?

Next is this sign in Jomson.  

This is the first time that I have ever seen an official,public announcement sign, that was set up by a government – albeit just a local one. I find this a pretty powerful sign, because of its clear and simple language and because of the easily understandable pictograms. I suppose this sign might have been a mishap, because it is the only one of its kind I have ever seen.

Lastly, I saw this maybe eight year old boy already carrying loads about town. I suppose that the majority of people reading this little blog of mine are doing at least well enough to have a device that allows access to the Internet and that they have access to the web itself within said device. I suppose, you do not necessarily live in a war torn county or a paranoid dictatorship. 

  Now, imagine, that your life’s trajectory would have been similar to the one of this boy. Then we’d really have a reason to bitch, moan and complain. And still we do – look at the great migration in Europe, caused by desperate refugees from countries the Euro…..Whew, just caught myself as I was falling into the pontificating rant, that I stated I wanted to avoid.

Look, my point is – exercise some consideration; take the risk of advancing trust and confidence in someone you don’t know much about. Not everyone is out to get you or you or you.

Stay sharp, but don’t be paranoid.

Sometimes, seemingly complicated and big problems have simple solutions. And yes, I know this may sound very naïve to some.

Cheers Markus \m/

You Can Lose Your Shirt In Bangkok

I know this is probably pretty mean, but I could not resist. As I was going to work today, I saw this strung out dude lying in the bench of a TukTuk. I am just thinking out loud here, but he looked as if he had a heavy night of partying in Bangkok. What I do not understand, how can you lose your shirt. If you are gambling and loosing, wouldn’t you expect to lose more than just the shirt. Or was there a sudden flash of insight after the shirt was lost, where your conscience put the foot down:”Man, we better stop, ‘cos’ we, like could lose even more,Mike a sock and a shoe, heaven forbid, I could end up in my underpants.”

See, highly unlikely scenario, that’s why I don’t get the loss of the shirt. Anyway, I wish him a good recovery sleep and fond memories.

And with that I say stay sharp and if you party hard in Bangkok, wear a cheap shirt – you might lose it.

Cheers Markus \m/ 

P.S.: it was not Matthew McConaughey, word has it, he likes to take his shirt off, but then so do I. 

Annapurna Himalaya – Visual Summary Pt5

Hm, amazing. We are on our last leg of this trek’s visual summary.  Jomson is the last destination we walk to. From here on it is driving, flying, horse, yak, donkey, piggy-back or jet-pack, but no more walking. So, let’s get on with it.

Jomson itself, as I have written before is forgettable. The citizens are rather full of themselves, the value for money is lousy and the stores way over promise and under-deliver – overall verdict: DISAPPOINTING! But, being the eternal optimist, there are silver linings. For example, when you walk around Jomson, as we did, you discover beautiful crop fields and gardens.

JomsomGardenOfEdenI have mentioned the phenomenally tasting apples and Himalaya Rocket Fuel 2.0 (Himalayan Apple Juice….[droooooool]), this is where they grow – good stuff.

JomsomTreeIn the fields around Jomson, I found this old and weathered tree. After two days, however, we moved on from Jomsom. By now you now that the flight was cancelled and that we took a dependable and rugged and punishment-tolerating Mahindra Bolero Camper.

B4Beni-1Due to the late arrival and the early flight out of Pokhara, I have nothing from Pokhara – you have already seen the images from the lake. So on we move on to the plane from Pokhra to Kathmandu. We see Manaslu.

Manaslu-PlaneThe biggest peak slightly to the right of the center is Manaslu, one of the 14 8000m peaks in the world. Once, I Kathmandu, I switched into street photographer mode – very unusual or me and a little uncomfortable. But I figured:”What the heck, this is vacation.”

KTM-PigmentSalesStreet vendor selling super saturated color pigment.

BikeTransportThis gentleman, was navigating and incredible amount of packages miraculously attached to thus bicycle through the traffic.

GroceryLadiesKTMThese two ladies were selling fresh vegetables…in a visibly casual and comfortable manner.

RikshasKTMThere were very active Riksha drivers underneath a cable chaos that proves that the 2nd law of thermodynamics MUST be true (disorder always increases).

RikshadriverNapThere was at least one Riksha driver who said “screw it all” and napped instead of pedaling.

LadiesChattingKTMThere were women chatting and taking it easy, while the works of art in their shop spoke for themselves. There were Fetishes and masks waiting to be purchased and haggled for by knowing tourists.

HouseOfFetishAnd of course there were people passing by and going in and out the famous Bong House.

BongHouse-ColAnd with that beautiful luminescent view of Kathmandu’s Bong House, I leave you for today. It’s been a great ride and was a lot of fun revisiting the places we saw on this trek.

Stay sharp and take here easy.

Cheers Markus \m/