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Waiting

Yippee, this summer 2023 we are going to Nepal again. To see how things are going and what we can do to help the children get a better future. So looking forward to it. I can’t wait.

As a Dutch citizen, you must have a visa to enter Nepal. You can arrange this upon arrival at Kathmandu airport, but I would always advise you to go to the Nepalese consulate in Amsterdam beforehand. This is faster and simpler: at Kathmandu airport, you have to wait in line with the rest of the travelers┬áfrom your and probably other flights. And it’s not fast. At the consulate, things go a lot smoother.

In itself, getting a visa for Nepal in the Netherlands is a formality: just go to Amsterdam. Wait a minute, and submit the form with a passport photo. Then you will receive a sticker and a few stamps in your passport, you pay, and voilà. You are ready for your journey.

On the other hand, waiting is the real beginning of the whole Nepal experience. And waiting is a profession in its own right that has almost developed into a higher art in Nepal, among other places. As a traveler too and in Nepal, you better learn to wait well, otherwise, you will experience an uncomfortable journey. Because in Nepal you can wait for anything, at any time, and for any length of time.

The waiting already starts at the consulate itself. Because you can only go there on working days between 10.30 and 13.00. Nice and easy for people from further away who have to work. You have to take a day off or combine it with a day in the capital.

Once you are inside the consulate, the waiting is actually quite fun, because there are more people going to Nepal. They all have their own stories. Then you hear things: great stories, tips, and suggestions.

Waiting is an art you can learn. As a right-minded impatient person, I should know. The secret of good waiting – like so many things in life – lies in good preparation. As an experienced┬átraveller┬áto and in Nepal, I had to learn that through trial and error.

In those unprepared cases, within five minutes boredom, thirst, annoyance, and other non-conducive feelings hit hard and inexorably. And then the penny dropped. Because, what is it that they say? ‘When in Rome, do as the Romans do’. That saying works elsewhere in the world as well.

After the first, less pleasant waiting experience, I copied the art from the local population and other tourists. Tourists in Nepal, you never go out without a bottle of water, something to read, something to eat, music, a pen, paper and/or possibly a pack of playing cards. If you unexpectedly have to wait indefinitely, you can go in all directions: eat, drink, read, listen to music, write, and perhaps a game of cards with fellow sufferers. That works every time.

In this way, waiting suddenly becomes a completely different experience. Watching people together, having whole conversations, thinking about the meaning of life, and/or cleaning the photo camera. Almost nervously soothing.

That’s not to say I’m now a fan of waiting, just that I’m more adept at it. Since I mastered the fine art of waiting, I have only had nice waiting experiences. And that is very important for a pleasant stay in a country like Nepal.

So I can wait to go to Nepal again. Before you know it, it will be summer!