It’s been a minute since my last update, so here’s the quick rundown:
Last Friday, I got back to my room after a day of teaching and found a note on my bed. “What time are you checking out tomorrow? -Staff”
Now, I knew I had two weeks in that room, but I lost track of time and ended up scrambling that night to find a bed for the next day. I had been pretty lax about my apartment search up until that point, so this was really a positive for me. I made a bunch of inquiries that night, booked a bed at Cafe de Patan, and started packing up what little I had actually unpacked during the last two weeks.
The next morning, I paid my host for the second week in the room, gathered my bags, and squeezed through the tiny door into the busy Patan streets. This was the second time I’ve walked through Patan fully loaded with all my gear — a big backpack, duffel, and a day pack. Really, packing my year into two bags plus a day pack is kind of impressive. I’ve always been weirdly self-conscious about how much I pack. There was a weekend-long camp in the fourth grade where I packed so much that my friends had to help me carry my bag. As 9-year-old Joe watched his friends carry his bag for him, he swore a solemn vow…never again.
My new-ish packing philosophy demands that if I can’t carry my stuff at least relatively conveniently, I’ve packed too much. So fast forward 13 years to 22-year-old Joe wandering through Patan with his life packed into roughly 140 liters, mentally reviewing his packing list and wondering how he could’ve shed unnecessary weight. Add the 15-pound Buddha statue that my class gifted me on the last day, and I’m not happy in the Nepal heat.
I eventually arrived at Cafe de Patan, sweaty as hell, and ready for sleep. So I did. Slept, watched a movie, and then went to meet a guy about a potential apartment. He said I could move in the very next day, so it didn’t take much more for me to take it. Once I got a tour and saw the huge rooftop we had access to, I was sold.
Instead of describing my new place, I’ll just show you. Here’s the first video of Standard Passenger — we’ll see if there’s more coming.
My nomadic two weeks have come to a close, and I’m okay with that. It’s nice to actually be able to unpack and have a place that’s mine. It’s been a stressful two weeks, no doubt exacerbated by not actually having a place to live. The whole time has felt very temporary, like I’m just on a quick trip. Mentally, it wasn’t a fun place to be.
The end of my first day in my apartment was the zen moment I’ve been waiting for. I got my hammock set up on the roof. The kids in the building across the street shouted to me from their own roof, showing off the kites they were flying. People in Patan are getting ready for what’s essentially a kite-flying festival. I laid back in my hammock with my harmonica, watching the sun set behind the mountains. The soft light of my first real Himalayan sunset illuminated the kites dancing over the city, and I felt relaxed for the first time since I left America nearly three weeks ago.