Once again, I’m out of the country for the 4th of July.
This is the second year in a row that I’ve been away for Independence Day — last year I was in the air flying to London, and this year, I’m in Nepal for a religious studies conference. Will I ever get to just relax at home with some barbecue and enjoy my city’s small fireworks display?
Whether I do or not, I wouldn’t have traded a day in the US for the day I had on July 4 in Nepal. There were no fireworks, no parades, no 4th of July sales, and no Americana-themed outfits (though I guess you could argue that my top is blue with white stars, kinda like the flag), but what I got to do instead was even better.
Once again, I spent most of my time sitting in class during the conference session, and only afterwards did I get to go out and explore Nepal. And once again, I decided to head up the mountain and go into town and see what there was to see.
This time, I went out with my two roommates, Elsa and Haya, and Haya’s friend, Sadiq. With no particular vision or plan in mind, we started walking.
After climbing through some brush off the main road, the first sight we came across was a nice view of some rice fields at the base of a hill. I guess to anyone who lives in Asia, the sight of rice fields isn’t really anything to write home about, but for me, it was cool. Plus, the lighting was good, so I got some good photos.
From there, we went into the old part of town. Or at least, I think it was the old part of town? There were no signs that I could read, or people whom I could ask, but after walking past several more “contemporary” (quotation marks because I don’t really mean it as an architecture style, but more as a description of the age of the buildings) shops and houses, the road grew narrower and the designs seemed to grow more traditional.
In the US, traditional might mean Victorian or colonial style homes. In Nepal, though, traditional seems to mean more ornamental — for lack of a better word, oriental. To me, an American who doesn’t really see much oriental architecture, it was really cool to see.
While in the old section of town, we came across a temple. I’m not sure if it was Buddhist or Hindu — like I said, I had no ability to read signs or ask locals — but at any rate, it was neat. It didn’t seem to be in use as a religious site, at least at the time when we visited, but more of a local hangout. Some kids played football around the courtyard, and friends sat on the steps and chatted.
At the top of the steps leading up to the temple, there was even a nice view of the town of Dhulikhel. It would’ve been the perfect place to set off some 4th of July fireworks — you know, if I had them.
Overall, it was a less than conventional Fourth of July — but not less than fun. In fact, I think it beats my average Fourth of July activities (i.e. shopping the sales at the mall.)
That’s about it for today. Thanks for reading, and I’ll see you in the next one with more updates on my trip to Nepal. Don’t forget to check me out on Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook, Bloglovin, Twitter, and Tumblr! For business inquiries, shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org!
Top: The LOFT
Skirt: The LOFT