Yesterday my feet took me to Swayambhunath (Monkey temple). It is just a half an hour walk from the Secret Garden, which is my home here in Kathmandu. Walking down the dirt roads, crossing a bridge over a narrow river and hiking up the hill to the temple made me feel more home than I have ever felt before. Smiling bright eyes and warm greetings from the people aside the road, added joy to this journey of a house on two feet.
After climbing the last steep staircase, I found out that the site was closed due to film shooting. I sneaked my way through tourist crowds to a small street for shade and rest. I sat down on a doorstep and slowed down my breath with drawing the street. While being there and enjoying the rewarding rest stop after workout, I overheard angry tourists shouting at the PR of the production company and demanding their rights to take photos of the temple, as they are the ones who bring money to Nepal. Silently drawing, I had a thought (that I am not very proud of) – if I would ever need to choose between facing a mountain lion or an angry German tourist lady, I would probably feel more safe with the first animal.
I finished the drawing and walked back down. On my way I decided to make one more drawing of the main staircase to the temple. I sat down just on the base, where the security guards directed people to take the back road to the top. Being there, I understood that the guards do not speak English and that’s why they were not informing visitors about the moviemaking. So I took the role and warned new people that they can’t see the stupa up close, in case the photo making was their main priority. Soon the security started sending people to me for more information. Through the clear eye contact and a smile I became friends with the guards, using the most true and universal language of all.
Now, I am at my favorite morning café Himalayan Arabica Beans. I thought that I stop drinking coffee here (like I did in South America), but I decided to wait a bit, because the local coffee here is the best I have ever had in my life!
Next to me is a little Nepalese girl who is listening and singing –
“Two little monkeys jumping on a bed,
one fell off and bumped his head.
Mama called the doctor
And the doctor said
No more monkeys jumping on the bed”