In the process of exploring, touring or travelling, whatever it is we think we are doing, we would tend to meet people completely different from us. These people would inspire us and somehow leave an imprint within us that would always stay until our neurons turn useless. Well, in Nepal and India, we were very fortunately to have met the following people;
American at new Delhi airport – as you all know by now, our flight from Singapore was delayed and it caused us to miss our connecting flight to Kathmandu. We were at the transfer desk, irritated and were about to explode when this American smiled and said, “I guess we all would be stuck here”. He took Jet Airways from Bangkok and it also caused him to miss the same flight we missed.
He was smiling all the time and he was contagious. I was about to scold the Jet Airways staff until I saw this man’s smiling face.
He had so much good stuff to say about Japan, where he had been currently based, and so much bad things to say about the Philippines where he used to stay at. He said he used to own a property in Boracay 20 years ago. One night, a group of armed men paid him a visit and decided to steal stuff from him. From then on, he never went back to Philippines.of course, we tried to defend our beloved country and summoned him to give Philippines a second chance because this time, Philippines is so much better. Not sure if we were able to convince him, but at least we tried.
He remained positive and happy all throughout the eight hours of wait and I thought, if this old man’s not at all negative, why should I be?
K. from Nepal – our guide in trekking around the valleys of Kathmandu.He said he was not originally from Kathmandu. He was brought up in an area where it was very backward. During his time, they didn’t have higher education in the area, hence, he had to go to Kathmandu to study.
He narrated a very funny story while we were trekking, he said, last time, he thought every animal was called chicken,(cute) and he would keep on following foreigners trekking around the area.
He worked and studied at the same time. I couldn’t remember what his course was but it has something to do with engineering. He worked hard to earn his degree and then eventually, he was able to set up a tour company named Alpine Exodus. Alpine was used as per some foreigners’ suggestion. Now he somehow regrets not using Himalayas.
Working hard has its pay off.
W.P., Nepal – 26 years-old American film-maker, who decided to stay at Kathmandu for a long time to establish an NGO called Beyond the Four Walls, which aims to help Nepali women get empowered through educating them.
Myself, J, and K were sitting together in the hotel’s dining area when suddenly, this man approached us. He said, our group was the only bunch not busy with tablets and phones hence, he chose to approach us.
He introduced himself, told us about his cause and asked about our trip as well. He said he was doing what he’s doing because of his great admiration to his mom who brought him up well despite being a single mother.
Unlike most guys his age, his mind’s different. That’s why I think he deserves a mention.=)
P.G. and her father – As mentioned in my previous entries, our train from Agra to Delhi was delayed and we were so helpless, we asked them about options to go back to Delhi. They happily and accommodatingly replied to our queries and suggested that it would be better if we’d just wait for the train, which we did.
While waiting, we were able to talk to P.G. (Dad didn’t know English) I was amazed to see and hear such a young girl (20years) talk about her plans and ambitions. She wanted to take either MBA or be in the military. She was to go to Delhi that time, to take her Military exam.
According to her, her mom’s a doctor by education, but was unable to practice because her father’s family didn’t allow her to do so. Her dad was against her studying further. She had to show him how much she wanted it, until he had no choice but to affirm. She wanted to change her family’s thinking about women. She was so matured for her age. She’s highly and admirably empowered (just what her country needs).
I had a feeling she was quite embarrassed on how the way women are treated in her country and how most of her countrymen act.
She said she ‘d get married after studying and this would be an arranged marriage. She accepted that fact full-heartedly. She never had a boyfriend (doesn’t have plans of having one) and she doesn’t even believe in love marriage. She strongly agrees that parents always want the best for their children, hence children should follow (so the entire family would be with her all throughout her married life).
Anyway, she and her dad entertained us while waiting for the train. During the train ride, they claimed to the train inspector that we were with them when the inspector realized that our tickets were only waitlisted and not confirmed seats. Dad fed us with food sold on the train and helped us bargain with the tuktuk driver when we arrived in Delhi. They were angels and as I said many times, they were opposite of most people we encountered in India.