This is the latest installment, part 5, of Joe’s ongoing Nepal Chronicles, a , regular feature of our blog, based on his trip to Nepal.

Bed early last night and up early this morning.  All of us having a hard time staying up resulting in a tough time sleeping in the mornings.  My wake up call came from Eoin this morning.

I lay restless and distracted for an hour fighting the demons of my sleep.  Their turn to win, I finally struggled out, felt the great relief of a morning trip to the bathroom, pulled on some dirty clothes and traveled dead north to Kathmandu’s second city. The city of roofs.  Walking into a Swedish guest on the way I realized as I said, “Namaste” that “Good morning” did not take long to get replaced.

Onto the roof, greeted by the bells of the golden temple and the dance of the other roof dwellers.  There is the tooth brusher, vigorously doing his daily brushing, moving to the rhythm of the prayer.  The husband and wife feeding pigeons, throwing the food to the metal roof, it landing with the rat tat tat of a machine gun.  The pigeons waiting at the start line all scuttle across the starting line like they have heard the starters gun.

There is the lady in full dress washing her hands, the man drying his face with the white towel in what appears to be a simple meditation.  There are the Buddhist prayer flags sending their prayers to the almost non-existent breath of fresh wind and the Buddhist flag flying proudly from many houses.

prayer flag

And on the roof beside me a young lady painting.  A portrait of her grandmother, who sits gently brushing her other granddaughter’s hair.  One stroke at a time of both artist and brusher.  A simple, gentle start, love oozing from all three faces.

Although thriving with life up here, it is gentle life, no angry voices, no dance music or heavy metal, no angst or thought, just the gentle stretch of a city pulling itself out of bed, the shaking of the sleep demons, pigeons, cats, monkeys and people.  Prayers, teeth brushing, bird feeding and bell ringing.  Clothes lines, solar panels, water towers and flat roofs.