Thank God for Good People.
Maria and I were seated next to each other on the broken-down, beaten-up bus that was making the long bumpy journey from Pokhara to Kathmandu. We were instant friends, talking about everything from our Asian travels to yoga to "boys". We giggled and teared up, we slept and then drank chai. Just as I'd done on my
arrival into Kathmandu I did on my departure: I hopped in a cab with a new found friend and followed suit. She took us to Thamel, the touristy hip area in the capital. I was so grateful because emotionally I was shot- my brain was toast. She arranged our room and then put us in a bicycle rickshaw for a tour through town, which ended in Darbur Square. She acted as my tour guide, showing me the amazing sights around the square and filling me in on the backstory. We ate momos in a dodgy little hole in the wall, sipped tea at a fancy rooftop restaurant and then walked and shopped and talked. She saw me off at 5 this morning and we vowed to meet up again somewhere someday soon.
2. Johnny + Steph:
While waiting in line to board the plane I had a brief but nice encounter with a couple. Lucky me, I was seated in their row for the flight. Johnny and Steph have been together for 10 years, and have been living and working in Thailand for about 5 of them. Johnny is from Ireland and Steph is from Germany. They are travel junkies, and love living in Bangkok thanks to its easy accessibility to travel to amazing (and cheap!) places. Have one of the worlds largest international airports in your backyard definitely has its perks. We shared and compared out adventure stories, I read their palms, and we talked about trips that we look forward to taking in the years ahead. After an emotional week and exciting morning I was so grateful for the down-to-earth, totally stellar couple, who made my flight to Delhi a memorable one. We exchanged details and next time I'm in Bangkok I will certainly be hitting up their guest bedroom.
Picture this....you're in an airport and you can't leave. Just a few steps outside the door is everything you need: Internet, SIM cards...and Internet! These are two things that cannot be purchased in the airport for any price. So my cell phone wouldn't work, I couldn't get on the Internet, and I had no way of even making an expensive overseas call (sometimes these newer high-tech airports aren't so accommodating to those who aren't "connected"). Again, I could feel my throat tighten with sadness and anxiety. The problem was that now I would be arriving around midnight. A friend in Sri Lanka had arranged my transport and where I was staying. I had no way to contact him to tell him of the change, to come up with a new game plan, or to book a cheap hotel near Galle. Anywho I started talking with Nidhi, the girl at the AirTel (cell service) counter. Her hands were stained pink from this past weeks Holi festival, and she was the one who (sadly) informed me that there was no way for me to make a call or go online. Well, what to do what to do? I told her thanks and that I was headed to grab a tea at The Coffee Bean. She said "No! Go to the Starbucks. They have fancy coffees with chocolates and all sorts of beautiful things". She said that she'd never had one but that they looked great and that I should go there for one of them. We started talking about my dilemma before I headed off and she let me use the company's computer (a major no no which she could have gotten in trouble for) and then she called a hotel in Galle from her cell phone to tell them about my 3am arrival. She really saved my butt, so a few minutes later I returned with the largest, fanciest, froofiest, chocolatey-whipped-cream-Frappacino goodness that Starbucks had. Her eyes were the size of tennis balls and she must have said thank you about a thousand times. I don't think that she enjoyed the flavor so much, more accustomed to the uber-sweet chai of local India, but it was more about what the modern beverage meant- so she slurped it down with a smile.
All in all, I could not have survived these past 24 hours without these four very special people. I think that good people attract good people, but I also would like to think that my Dad had a hand in all of it too. The lesson here: that a smile will attract more love and kindness than a frown. Thank God for Good People.
And so the journey continues...wish me luck with my delayed arrival and visa-issue in Sri Lanka!