Around my neighbourhood
13.10.2016 - 19.11.2016 25 °C
It has turned out to be a happy accident that I’ve found myself living in Gaurighat, Lakeside, on this visit to Nepal. I really like my street, and I love the neighbourhood.
On my street there are several larger hotels, a handful of small ones, and a few guesthouses, as well as loads of family-run small restaurants and convenience stores. Many of the convenience stores operate laundry services, so although the gutters flow with dirty, sudsy water, there is a wonderful clean smell that permeates the air. I have two different ladies who do my laundry – I go to Laxmi if I want my things tumble-dried, but to Mrs Gautam if the items need to be dried on a clothesline. But it’s not all business/commerce – at the top of the street there are some substantial residential buildings and a couple of children’s homes, so you can often hear the sounds of children playing and there are friendly, clean pet dogs out on the street.
At the bottom of the street is the main Lakeside road. It’s always busy, but on the upside, there’s always something to see. You don’t have to go far to find a mobile juice vendor or, early in the morning, someone selling fresh, hot bread and pastries from the enormous baskets they balance on their heads. And crossing over the main road is Phewa Lake, the home of the Fewa Boat Association, with boats to rent by the hour or by the day, with or without a competent driver!
This main road around the lake and the nearby sidestreets are where I run most mornings. I take some of the sidestreets so I can pretend I am running on an incline… One of my favourite streets is the next one over, where there are enough people around at first light to feel safe, but there’s rarely any vehicular traffic. I suppose I have become a familiar (albeit unusual) sight over the weeks, as I have a number of people that I see regularly, who always give me a Namaste and a wave as I go past. It makes me feel as though I belong, even if only temporarily.
And there in the background, watching over my little neighbourhood, are the majestic mountains of the Annapurna range. It doesn’t matter whether your home is fancy or modest, everyone shares the million dollar views around here.