Backtracking

After filling the last few days with drinking coffee and surfing the internet it’s time to return home. Last night I had dinner at my friend Kumar’s place and shortly I’ll be off to the airport for the seventeen hours of flights back to New Zealand. At ten AM, I take a taxi to the airport one last chance to get my lungs tested by diesel fumes and dust. The dust that is so fine that it stings your eyes, and you feel your lungs clogging up. Last night it rained heavily and I thought it would act as a suppressant but no such luck. The clouds that get stirred up by the traffic envelope the city. When I get to Thribuvan International Airport named after the late king, it used to be known as

At ten AM, I take a taxi to the airport one last chance to get my lungs tested by diesel fumes and dust. The dust that is so fine that it stings your eyes, and you feel your lungs clogging up. Last night it rained heavily and I thought it would act as a suppressant but no such luck. The clouds that get stirred up by the traffic envelope the city. When I get to Thribuvan International Airport named after the late king, it used to be known as

When I get to Thribuvan International Airport named after the late king of that name, it used to be known as Gaucher airfield, which means cow field, it’s quiet for Kathmandu and I get checked in straight on arrival. Officially you are not allowed to take Nepali rupees out of the country but normally I take a small amount back home with me to use for a taxi and general expenses before I can find an ATM that works. I do however have more than 20,000 rupees on me about 200 dollars and decide to change them back into a convertible currency. Problem the first, not enough US dollars in the bank. Problem the second, no Euros either…. or Pound Sterling. Finally, they manage to rustle up some Canadian dollars. OK close enough. The next hour is remarkably stress-free while I hang out in the business class lounge. Quite an oasis of sanity unfortunately not for long. We board from gate 1 next to the toilets the lounge stinks of stale urine and the aircon doesn’t seem to work then we get herded on a bus which spends the next fifteen minutes standing idle on the tarmac while everyone on board gets to wonder what’s happening but eventually the driver decides to take us to our plane which promptly repeats the performance and takes off almost an hour late, annoying as I have a tight connection at Kuala Lumpur. I’m flying Malaysian Airlines and at the completion of their safety

We board from gate 1 next to the toilets the lounge stinks of stale urine and the aircon doesn’t seem to work then we get herded on a bus which spends the next fifteen minutes standing idle on the tarmac while everyone on board gets to wonder what’s happening but eventually the driver decides to take us to our plane which promptly repeats the performance and takes off almost an hour late, annoying as I have a tight connection at Kuala Lumpur. I’m flying Malaysian Airlines and at the completion of their safety

I’m flying Malaysian Airlines and at the completion of their safety video, they have a benediction praising Allah and requesting his protection for this flight. While I’m sure there will be some that are outraged that this is shown to Atheists, Christians, and Hindus, as well as Muslims, it is the official religion of Malaysia and it’s their airline. Personally, I think that it’s a rather nice touch. Another nice touch is the sate they serve as an appetizer, I love sate, the chocolate mousse for dessert isn’t half bad either. Somewhere over Burma, the view out of the window is one of

Somewhere over Burma, the view out of the window is one of clouds, some flat as an anvil others billowing into the sky like plumes from a volcanic eruption. I have no idea if this means that there is a storm brewing but they certainly look the part. Below us are numerous tributaries flowing in a large river, the Irrawaddy maybe? Somehow the thought of sitting in a bamboo hut watching a Monsoon storm dumping its vast amounts of rain down on the Paddy fields and into the river seems very romantic. While I daydream about this the sun starts to set rapidly we are flying towards the night and there will be little to see on my flight to Auckland.

The flight from Kathmandu lands an hour late but I make my connection quite easily. Then it’s just a question of making myself comfortable for the next ten to twelve hours while we fly through the night to Auckland.

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