Johan’s diary Wednesday 20/1 2016
It’s about 6:00am, and the monk’s drums wake me up. It’s approximately 1:30 Swedish time so I easily fall back asleep.
7:45 The drums wake me up again, and I lay in the warmth of my sleeping bag for a bit dozing in and out. It will not be pleasant to step out of this warm sleeping bag when it is only 8 degrees inside my room.
08:00 I finally wake up, and will have to get my body adjusted to the Nepal time. I slept well last night so I feel quite refreshed and looking forward to the day. For breakfast today it is rice porridge with raspberry and coffee. I have brought with me an e-reader from Sweden for Tashi (the monk in charge of the hostel). One of his Swedish friends sent it to me, to give to him, so Tashi will be very happy to receive this!
09:30 I get out on Kathmandu’s streets to see what has happened since I was last here in September 2015. It is cloudy and about 10 degrees outside.
12:30 Back at the hostel, and it is a little warmer outside now. The sun came up and it was probably about 15 degrees for a while. I’ll grab a simple lunch, consisting of a bar and coffee. Viewing the solar panels and realize that there should be hot water for a shower, so I open the faucet to the shower and let it run, after 15 minutes I have warm water so I am happy to take a fairly warm, and refreshing shower. It was nice to not have to wash my body in cold water!
Here is a small summary of what I have seen this morning:
– A number of construction, reconstruction and demolition projects are underway, some were started in September and some are new.
– They have cleaned up the rubble at the collapsed buildings and, in some cases, begun to rebuild.
– The road network seems to be in even worse condition since the last time I was here.
– There is burned garbage in many places along the streets and eateries that is being used as fuel, due to the shortage of gas. In other words, it is even smokier now.
– There is less traffic, as many vehicles are parked and there are really long (kilometers) queues at petrol stations since many gas pumps are closed. They have been waiting for days for fuel supplies that do not seem to come.
Once the fuel appears it costs about 5 times normal, which in Swedish kronor will be approximately 40 SEK / liter, then I remember that a construction workers salary in Nepal is around 1500 SEK / month and a car park attendant at the airport makes around 1000 SEK / month. I am unsure how they will be able to afford gas with their low salaries, due to the increased cost.
– Seems to be more beggars, mothers with children, and I haven’t seen this before. It feels so sad and frustrating to see how miserable their lives are. It bothers me that I cannot help everyone, but try my best to help those that I can.
14:30 I make a cup of coffee in anticipation of Karma who should be here between 14 and 15.
15:00 No Karma.
15:30 No Karma. A new guest checks in at the hostel, and he turns out to be a Dutchman who has previously been in Ratankot and helped, he says that he has been waiting on Karma at the airport, but that he hasn’t come. Apparently Karma left in Ratankot for burial / cremation of kin, which he has not told us about. We are in Nepal as this happens, but slightly frustrating for a Swedish person!
16:00 I go out on the streets again to take some pictures.
18:15 I get back to the hostel as it starts to darken. I message Sophie a little and the electricity comes back just after my emergency batteries retire.
18:30 The electricity disappears and the battery has not had time to load, so now the internet is not working. For dinner I have stew along with coffee and three biscuits for dessert. Tasted delicious!
20:00 I feel full and satisfied after my dessert. I write in my diary by light of candle, hoping the Internet will start soon. Thinking of the day and realize once again how good we have it in Sweden, I am very grateful for all that we have and wish more people did too!