Showing posts from 2020

Mud, Magic Honey, and Faith-Based Driving in the Nepal Annapurna Region

  Nepal Journal Mud, Magic Honey, and Faith-Based Driving in the Nepal Annapurna Region   Richard Carr Fall 2019 Nepal is a faith-based nation. Temples, stupas, mani stones, gompas, and monasteries abound throughout the valleys, mountains and jungles of this majestic, mysterious, and muddy land. Colorful Buddhist prayer flags decorate taxis, restaurants, department stores, buses, and trucks, religious sites, and mountain summits. The presence of faith is also apparent in the way that Nepalis is drive. Technically you are supposed to drive on the left-hand side of the road. This doesn’t always turn out to be the case, however. When it becomes inconvenient, due to the poor quality of the road or the frustration of the driver, people sometimes switch over to the right side with no apologies: barreling down the wrong lane and nosing themselves back onto the left side if there’s any threat from oncoming traffic. Drivers speed fearlessly to the most advantageous open space in the road with u

Walking from The Atlantic to the Mediterranean over the Pyrenees

If all you did was to listen to the news you would think that society was in such a divided state and so fraught with evil and violence that you couldn’t leave the house without risking peril. However, if you defy all that seems to be right in front of your nose and allow yourself to walk out the door and over the hills beyond the world of the familiar, you will be surelysurprised by the amount of kindness, compassion, and generosity that exists between common people who encounter each other in course of an average day. I have just flown from New York to France where I spent the night in Paris walking the streets until dark never feeling a moment of threat or danger. There were no terrorist attacks. There weren't people fist fighting on street corners over who is best to lead the country: LePen or Macron. It was in fact the same Paris that I visited on other occasions. Parisians have a reputation for being unfriendly, curt, petulant, and unhelpful. I have not found this to b

The Wild Road to Everest Base Camp October 2018

The Wild Road to  Everest Base Camp October 2018 Kathmandu is an assault to the senses. It rivals cities in India for nihilistic traffic, pollution, dust- borne pathogens, impossible crosswalks, and crowded store fronts - always with the obligatory guy sitting on the steps in front urging you to come in and buy his counterfeit stuff. In theory, traffic is supposed to keep to the left, as it does in England or Japan. In practice: any open space is fair game. Traffic is ostensibly controlled by ineffectual men in uniform that spend most of their time cowering in small wooden booths but do sometimes immerge to waive long red wands in the air until they are tired of being ignored. Almost immediately upon exiting the hotel I met the universal young man who approaches: “Hello sir. How are you? Where are you from? What are you looking for today?  “ These guys are everywhere: Istanbul, Dar es Salaam, Delhi, and Buenos Aires. I have learned how to politely decline their advance