"A sum of money is a leading character in this tale about people, just as a sum of honey might properly be a leading character in a tale about bees." - Kurt Vonnegut

Monday, December 14, 2009

Seven Thousand Eight Hundred Eighty-One Dollars and Twenty Two Cents

A word about the money theme:  As my short time here expands to a longer one, I realize that although saving money is important for reasons of fiscal prudence, my 10 USD per day goal requires a little further explanation than that.  After all, I could live here for 300 days on 20 USD per day and still have plenty left to fly home and pay a month's worth of rent (or get some hookers and blow, depending on how I'm feeling).  The goal is more about living a simpler life, as you may have gathered, although I haven't actually said it. Dubai is a magic funhouse of ways to waste your money.  You find all sorts of excess that you are tempted to believe that you can't live without.  My first few nights in Kathmandu showed me that I can live a pretty fun filled life here too, but that would kind of miss the point, wouldn't it?

I met a Korean nun at a tourist attraction (temple) a couple of days ago.  She was already aquainted with The German from a previous bus ride, and having just had a harrowing taxi experience, she decided to join the two of us while we did some touristing.  We watched the corpse burn together and then she laughed and joked while she watched us smoke a joint in the temple garden.  She was 34 years old and this was her first trip abroad.  She was a funny and beautiful person who spoke with joy about her life as a nun, and with equal joy about traveling and adventure and breaking the rules.  She came back to our dorm while we drank some beers with our French dorm-mate.  Then she bought us dinner and shed tears at our parting. 

Tonight and tomorrow, at her suggestion, I'll stay at a Korean monastery.  The price is only a donation for three simple meals and a mat on the floor.  After that, I'm told that the meditation center will accept me for an intensive meditation practice that has me a little nervous.

1 comment:

  1. Wow. I can't wait to read all about it! I am so living vicariously through you and am utterly jealous and impressed.