After my much anticipated Chia, CM ji arrived and we caught up a bit on what had been going on since we saw each other last in DC. In typical CM style, he laid out my itinerary for the next couple of days starting with dinner that night with 2 of his colleagues. In further CM style, once finally finding the restaurant, the dinner party of 4 became 8 and it became apparent my idea of a quick dinner and early bedtime was not in the schedule.
During dinner I was introduced to the others at the table; a young woman who was a student at HVP-Kathmandu school for 9 years and her husband who were in town from their home in England; a holistic doctor who every evening, closes his shop and feeds hundreds of street children (a ritual he has had for many years), the doctor’s brother who’s visiting from Seattle, the doctor’s uncle, and a young quiet man, I didn’t really meet.
With the simply awesome vegetarian dinner well settled in my stomach, we headed off to see the ‘uncle’s’ new sari shop. The new shop was housed in a 6 story high by ½ block long building. I was told that the uncle owned the building and the first 4 floors will be turned into other shops (as this area is the main local shopping area in the city – or as they said “Prime Property”). We proceeded up to his house on the 3 floor and had CHAI! I was told that the uncle’s great-grandfather brought the first vehicle (a jeep) to Nepal and how it wasn’t driven, but carried by many men into the city as if they were carrying in royalty. I believe the jeep was for the king and the year was around 1950. His great-grandfather was the ‘middle man’ in the process and we looked at photos of him and the then King.
Chia finished, we then proceeded to see the uncle’s soon to be home. He and his family will be moving their house from the 3rd floor on up to the newly remodeled 5th and 6th floors (5 years in the making). It was stunning to say the least; beautiful tiled floors, hand carved wooden staircases; a very well done mix of modern and cultural design. By that time I was again a walking zombie, but since we kept moving, I appeared alert and alive! As the doctor kept saying “only 10 more minutes” we then walked to see his office, so he could prepare some holistic medicine for his brother’s trip the next day back to the USA. I saw the courtyard where the street children gather each evening to be taken to a nearby restaurant for their nightly meal and the very old building that the doctor’s ancestors built.
The evening finally came to an end and as my head hit the pillow, I once again gave thanks for another beautiful day of life.