For the last couple of days in Kathmandu, my group checked into a super fancy hotel to present our research projects, complete program evaluations, and begin the “re-entry” period. Stepping into our hotel began the culture shock that I’m expecting to experience when I return to the US. Having been accustomed to hotels consisting of a couple of rooms, where you share a bathroom with other guests, arriving at a place that not only offers large, luxurious rooms with all amenities included, we found there was also a spa, gym, pool, large dining room with delicious food – even a bar (with internationally priced drinks). Am I still in Nepal?
I guess this is the beginning of our culture shock. Even if I were in America this would be considered a fancy hotel, so maybe this is our academic director’s way of showing us what to expect when we are not living in a developing country anymore.
I have to say I’ll miss the inconsistencies, inconveniences and irregularities of Nepal. Although when trying to arrive at the program center on time the microbus stopping to attract passengers every two minutes might be a little frustrating, I will definitively miss the exhilaration of hopping on a bus that looks as though it had been over capacity about 20 people ago. I’ll miss the cows walking down the street amongst the cars, driving on all sides of the road. I’ll miss the spontenaity of never knowing whether or not the store you’re trying to get to will be open or not. For all these frustrations throughout the semester were worth, I know I’ll always miss them, because to me, that’s what Nepal is, what Nepal is defined by.