Present and past can't reconcile. They stand as perfect strangers, me in the middle. I hold my diary, the first page written in Nepal and try to go back to that feeling of new: "Sunny villages, big eye little girls, stands with fruits, fat cheeks children, women washing themselves at the fountain, just covered by a cloth, lazy dogs. A gorge, a stream, terraced green hills, irregular stones stairs roads. Up we go. Step by step we climb." And I remember it was very hot from Nayapul to Tirkhedhunga.
When we stopped for lunch I was glad. The trekking's route is dotted by lodges, we just sat down and our guide Ram Bir dashed to grab the menu. We soon got used to the routine: "Mint tea! Ginger Tea! Hot Lemon!" First of all some hot drink, then the long waiting for the food, prepared on the spot with local vegetables and the eggs of chicken scratch about, served by Ram Bir and other porters in metal crockery. 100 rupees corresponded with 1 euro and average dishes cost about 300 rupees. Water isn't safe to drink for us so we had to buy potabilsed water to fill our bottles.
Nepali food is tasty although not very elaborated. It includes vegetable soups - sometimes enriched with chicken or nooddles - rice, dry noodles and momo. The main Nepali dish is Dal Bath, meaning rice with lentils. Nepali food is moderately spicy as coriander, curry and tumeric are largely used.
More climbing, more stairs. We arrived to Tirkhedhunga about 4 pm. We took place in the small basic rooms of our lodge and sat chattering in the yard. Lodges are more or less all the same: kitchen, dinning room, loo and shower at the ground floor, rooms upstairs. In the room there are just two beds and sometimes a small bedside table. Refugees in the Alps have got very few and small windows to keep the warm inside, Nepali lodges instead have got a lot of windows! sometimes there is a heater in the dinning room, often there is nothing at all. You have to eat full dressed, to drink a lot of warm tea and to get straight into your sleeping bag just after dinner.
"Nepalis are friendly people" I wrote that night "aways kind, smiling and polite. Here in the mountains life is basic, they have to work hard just to survive, and still they look serene."
Past and present here can meet, because yes, it's true. Nepali people are really friendly, gentle and in the end serene. I haven't seen any fight, any argument, I haven't got any rude reply, not even in Kathmandu. Individuals of course are not all the same, but I have got the impression that the Nepali culture is deeply shaped by a positive approach to life. Religions can play a role, as compassion, kindness and acceptance are main values in Induism, Buddhism and in the himalayan sciamanic believes.