This past Wednesday was my last day in Pokhara. On Thursday morning I woke up early, ate breakfast, said goodbye to the wonderful people who ran the guest house I stayed at for the past three and a half weeks – my second family – and departed for the bus to Kathmandu. I left the city feeling as though my fieldwork was fulfilled, and had the highest hopes of writing a successful research paper.
I got to Kathmandu in the early afternoon, headed to the program center to drop off some of my stuff, and then rushed over to meet some friends for a Thanksgiving dinner in Thamel, the tourist district of Kathmandu, where many local restaurants cater to the American ex-pat population and create traditional holiday dishes. We talked about our experiences of the past month over mulled wine, pumpkin soup and of course turkey. After hearing the stories of everyone’s research time and eating a lot of food, we left the restaurant feeling satisfied.
I’ve ran into a bit of a mishap – right before I was beginning to write my paper, my computer crashed. A small mobile repair shop in Pokhara attempted to fix it for me, but reluctantly informed me that I would have to bring it to Kathmandu. Friday morning I set out to make this my goal, as I had hoped I could get it fixed in time for me to be able to write the synthesis of the research I had been conducting over the last month. Finally, after waiting for hours for shops to open (side note – in Nepal, most people wake up around five or six AM, but no shops open until ten or eleven), I found a kind man at an internet service provider company who agreed to fix my computer. Hours later I received a call informing me it would take a couple of days, and Saturday being a holiday, I could expect to get my computer back Monday or Tuesday. My research paper is due on Tuesday – so no luck there.
Consequently, I’ve been spending my time in internet cafes attempting to wrap up the semester. This week will be filled with research presentations, re-entry and evaluation period, and a final dinner. Next Tuesday I leave Kathmandu at 9 PM, and after around thirty hours of travel time I’ll be back in Chicago.
Where did all the time go?