When you are mum of four and three year old girls the prospect of two weeks on your own is pretty exciting (not that they aren't amazing and lovely and everything but you know...... they're pretty intense!). Combine this with a trip to your favourite city, Kathmandu, a wallet full of money to spend and the knowledge that you will be making your next six months of work infinitely more interesting, by buying lots of new lovely stuff with said money, and it all adds up to a pretty great work trip!!
So off I went to Kathmandu at the end of August with a spring in my step. Arriving it's so different and yet at the same time so totally familiar me..... I love it. I also love that we were all here last Christmas so everyone at home can imagine where I am and everyone at here remembers my family.
I didn't know what to expect really in terms of buying. When we were last here we were testing the waters, buying things we loved and seeing what other people loved! This time I felt more confident but at the same time hoped I hadn't wasted a journey as I was hoping to buy some summer clothes a new thing for us. I needn't have worried. On my very 1st afternoon I found a new supplier with colourful, soft, stone washed cotton and really great guys working there. The next day they were making me samples and I was visiting the factory, choosing colours and styles and placing my order. This helped me get my picture of my stall sorted in my head and other things fell into place around that. Drapey stonewashed cotton in teal, plum and cream; butter soft buffalo leather bags with raw edges and rustic hand stitching; textured crochet shawls and tops with stunning lace patterns..... I could go on but you should come and see it all............... I was busy from pretty much dawn to dusk. Its amazing what you can get done with no distractions and when you can walk adult pace! Probably a good thing that after 12 days I was out of time and money.
Everywhere I had a lot of fun too. Totally by coincidence I met one of my best friends who I had been in Nepal with for 8 months in 1994. We hadn't seen each other for about 10 years (living on the other side of the world, kids etc) but here we were in the place we met, at the same time. His Nepali was better than mine but it got me going again and it was fun to chat away to all my suppliers in it. They all speak pretty amazing English but even speaking a bit of Nepali is great, and always good for a giggle.
A few hairy moments like coming round the corner on the bus back from Pokhara to see an earlier one on the side of the road almost over a precipice, or climbing deep into a cave on a VERY rickety ladder. The things I do for you Sky Gypsies...
So glad I went, so pleased to be home, I sure didn't rest but I do feel refreshed and raring to go for the summer season ahead.