Who owns the dairy goat farm
Author: Horst Hahlbohm
I check my return flight. Something is wrong and then the network collapses again. At the reception I have a network and can find the address of Türkish Airlines in Kathmandu. Teknath calls. He wants to see me again and come to the guesthouse. He'll get back to you soon. He's at the Annapurna Hotel, I'm at the Annapurna Guesthouse. After explaining the mistake to him, I go next door for breakfast, coffee and pancake. Unfortunately, they can't really make cappuccino. The third time he calls, I've just finished my coffee next to the guesthouse. He doesn't find me and we meet at the Chetrapati. Well, I'll go there.
We go towards the Nabil district. On the way Teknath realizes that we are near the Templehouse Hotel.
He wants to invite the owner to a big party in his area, as he bought 40 hectares of land there 35 years ago. So he's kind of a neighbor. The Templehouse Hotel is a magnificent property in an original Newar house.
The boss comes and we have tea together. It is one of the most successful tourism managers in Nepal and once a year in Berlin to make new connections. I get a brochure from the house, but I think that the price is way over my budget. Teknath told me later that the boss was more of a king's supporter and didn't believe in the new democracy in Nepal. We both see it differently. We walk to Nabil and ask a taxi driver for directions to Turkish Airlines. He thinks it's still a long way and logically offers his taxi. The price is not too high and I agree. In fact, he drives for a long time and then doesn't find anything. I give him the phone number and he calls for a long time. Turkish Airlines has moved. Now it turns out to be a good thing to have taken the taxi. The driver actually finds the office and only takes 100 rps. more than agreed. That's fair. The Turkish mouse checks the flight and says that everything is going according to plan. There were only shifts on the outbound flight. She books me in right away and reserves a seat for me in the aisle.
We go back on foot, Teknath shows me the Thamel Chowk as a future meeting place and I give him my old hollow fiber sleeping bag at the Annapurna Guesthouse, which is a bit bulky and heavier than down but has served me well on the glaciers in Pakistan. I'm taking Teknath to Ratna Park, because I definitely know my way around Thamel better. We say goodbye and I stroll back. On the way I buy a small backpack that I want to use while jogging. Then I treat myself to a piece of Black Forest cake with cappuccino and find out again that the cake is too sweet for me. My cell phone rings, Prem is at the Annapurna Guesthouse. So back there. They gave him the new room with the two beds on the third floor and I'm moving. We do a little shopping tour, including to Pilgrims Bookhouse, where I buy a poster from Kailash for each of us. At the Chetrapati again to the pharmacy and then to the hidden stupa that Prem had shown me. We light butter lamps, this time for my recently deceased friend Joachim Kratochwill (chips). Then I cover myself with prayer flags. Today is the last day of the Indra Jatra Festival and people make parades with Ganesh figures.
Partly following the music trains we get more into the center of Thamel. While I am getting hemp fabric for shirts in a fabric shop and have the package weighed, a musical train with dancing Nepalis comes by. A huge stage is set up on the main street from Thamel Chowk into the city. In front of it a lot of chairs - all on the street, so that the traffic has to squeeze past them at walking pace. Folk dance groups present their show.
An ethnic group appears for each song and shows the drum-supported dance. For a while we watch the spectacle of the Ministry of Tourism. Then we go back to Thamel. Furthermore, the colorful groups roam through the district, including a group of Tibetan women in typical clothing.
We go back on foot and eat next to the guesthouse. I'll quickly get the little farewell vodka with it. Prem asks whether I want to sleep or still dance. We danced after the Gokyo Tour - so let's go. We go to the ATM because today he wants to pay. Shortly after Thamel he leads me to the Nepalese dance hall Pokhara Bar. I am the only western guest. What a place: Several musicians, dancers and singers on stage.
The drums kick in to the alternation of the high female voices with the men. Women and men each sing a verse.
The dancers present their choreography. But it is so empty in the shop that none of the guests is dancing. With so many people on stage and so many staff, the whole thing probably doesn't pay off at all. After I have had my beer and Prem has his vodka, we switch stores. Directly at Thamel Chowk there is a flight of stairs, past the security man. I would never have suspected a Nepalese dance hall here. It's jam-packed and loud. People eat and drink. The stage extends across the corner from us. On the left of the stage there are 6 dancers and in the direction behind the dance floor is the stage with musicians and singers.
There is beer or vodka again and I am slowly noticing the effect. Prem pulls me onto the dance floor. Here men dance in the most curious movements between little footwork and snake-like, hand-assisted movements. Some jump a little, then sirtaki-like footwork again. When it comes to movements, I'm not noticeable, but I'm the only Westerner again. It's fun and the more the alcohol gets into my body, the wilder I'm at it. No dance is left out now.
I'm sweating like a pig. The Nepalis put their arms around my shoulders and we dance together. A particularly tall, young man whom we saw in the first restaurant must have devoured a fool of me. He always wants to do the sirtaki-like dance style with me, but is already so wrinkled that I have to be careful that we don't both fall on the dance floor. I don't like the arm around my neck either and every time I skilfully escape without ending the dance. Every now and then a woman comes to dance. The long one, who asked me for the fifth time what my name is and what country I am from, absolutely wants to sing a song. It works amazingly well. Wouldn't have thought that he would even hit the mark in this state.
The song is well known, a woman sings the other part and the Nepalis sing along. The dance floor is full, even fuller than I am even though I have reached the stage of perfect sing-along in Nepali. Prem is also there all the time.
During a dance break to wipe off sweat, two Nepalese women come to us. I have to skip the new beer to be on the safe side. Then it's back on the dance floor and soon the music ends. It's 1.30 a.m. and the ladies are gone, including change. Prem is a little pissed off, but says: "The ladies have the money better than the pub." Tall Hendrik asks one last time my name and which country I come from, the others say goodbye to me with selfies.
What a last night!
Friday 28th September 2018
We make our way to Annapurna Guesthouse. It is of course already closed there and we wake up the understanding boy at the side entrance. Prem falls into bed immediately, I set the cell phone alarm clock to 4.30 a.m., that is, 2.5 hours later. I am still quite upset and sleep restlessly. So I get up without any problems and have to wake Prem violently. It's still a lot of wrinkles, I'm rather tired. Together we will take the luggage downstairs and find a taxi straight away. The streets are empty and the airport can be reached quickly. I pay and give Prem the last of my money. We hug each other. "You are like a brother to me.", Are his words, "I have to go to bed."
Hassle-free check-in. With all the presents I came across the approved, stately 30kg luggage. The morning flight shows me the impressive Himalaya Range. A wonderful farewell look.
A little later I sleep - with a short break to eat and change trains to Hanover.
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