Waking up in Kathmandu

by Annalise on October 8, 2009

Every morning here we are greeted by a collision of sounds, most of which are new to us and all of which appear to be coming from the room next door as everything reverberates off of the concrete walls of these multi-story homes built in close proximity to one another.  This all starts at about 5:30 daily and is unavoidable as we prefer to sleep with windows open to enjoy the cooling night air.

The prelude to this chorus  is the combined song of a variety of gorgeous song birds which are abundant in the fantastic gardens kept in the community.  And as the sun begins to rise, we hear first the roosters, next the crows and conversational cooing of pigeon, the stirring of people in their homes and then the early morning vendors join in, calling out in a loud repetative, sing-song chant the particular product or services they deliver by bicyle.  Next, the the shrill ring of doorbells rung to allow workers into the gated yards followed by the clash of keys and unlatching of gates.  In response to all of this, the barking of the dogs both enclosed within yards and a few unclaimed muts loitering outside.

Like precussion in the background you get the rythmic sweeping of long grass handbrooms used to clear the night’s rain and other dirt from the ground and roof-top decks.  And as these earliest morning risers, almost always women, go about their domestic work, the sound of feet on concrete steps ascending and descending between the layers of their first tasks.

And so we’re up!

We brought ear plugs on our trip so that Robin could practice his pipes indoors when necessary but we may have found another use for them….

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