The Squeaky Robot

A Meddling Robot in a Human's World

Posts tagged “Nepal

The Unbelievable Lightness of Being

Posted on March 6, 2013

The sticky air of a South Asian country during monsoon season is thick like batter. I would sit on the balcony rail outside my room, let my legs dangle in the batter, and feel the sweet breeze of an oncoming storm. Then the roof and wire monkeys would flee, and, on cue, the clouds would roll in assertively, as if with exaggerated self-opinion. In August, the lush and sprawling Kathmandu valley saw rain everyday. Never a light drizzle or a modest shower. No, it was the season of street waterfalls. Violent in looks, soothing in symphonies, I would find a seat on broken steps and look on as the floods boldly evaluated gutter capacity. I’d watch smoky brown street rivers rush hurriedly toward me…

On Travel, Coming Home, & Moving On

Posted on May 7, 2012

Dear Blake & Misha: We returned from our epic summer journey through Russia, Mongolia, China, and Nepal with a pit-stop in South Korea late last August. I can sincerely say it was one of the more memorable experiences of my life – it was life-changing, it was path-altering, it was a three-month show of everything good that the World has to offer. I was so happy all the time, even when things were going to hell. As long as we were okay, I was happy. That’s all it took. But you and I both know words can’t really describe it, the enormity of it all, and God knows we’ve tried. I know it’s shocking, but the trip came to an end. Since August, we’ve…

Photo Essay: Urban Nepal

Posted on April 8, 2012

Swayambhunath is one of Kathmandu’s many temples. Stunning shrines can be found there, as well as bricks, souvenirs, prayer flags, and immense views of the city. Within those views you can see the city bursting with life at the edges, like ants with the task of expanding their hill, as the tendrils of Kathmandu slowly but surely snake their way into the valley and beyond. Thamel, Kathmandu: small shop owners spend their days selling tasty treats like hot samosas with sweet sauce. Enveloped by the heat and humidity of monsoon season, students find a way to cool off without destroying their uniforms. Or not. After-swim chill sesh. Negotiations are more of a social affair. A mistake in focus turns out quite well. Don’t you…

Playing with Lines

Posted on March 1, 2012

Sometimes I dream about this photo, taken in southern Spain. Sometimes I dream I can dive from the highest antennae platform right into the sapphire water, like no distance separates the two, like it is all one horizon, like the world is really a 2D Mario game circa 1993 and no one is bothered by the hassles of 3-dimensionality. Montevideo, Uruguay. Wintertime. The air is thick with exhaust and parilla fumes. I steer clear of this vendor’s display even though I am interested in purchasing oranges, simply because that is always an interest of mine. But I have a tendency to knock things over, and indeed, this has the potential to be the mother of all fuck-ups. Spetses, Greece. There is some local joke…

The Best Things

Posted on February 24, 2012

I wish I could build a library and call it “The Best of Everything that is Wonderful Home for Books”. I’d fill it with manuscripts, endless collections of thoughts about everything in the world that is the best: garden gnomes, when babies try lemon for the first time, snow forts, blanket forts, paintball forts, forts of any kind, talented street performers, the window seat on aeroplanes, aeroplanes, people who’ve good grammar, pizza with extra cheese and a slightly burnt crust, South African accents, and so, so, so much more. This list can go on forever, and in my mind, it does go on forever. I have many notebooks filled front-to-back with all the wondrous details in life that make living so unbelievably cool. The…

2011: 12 Lessons in 12 Months

Posted on December 28, 2011

I had little expectations for 2011. I always felt that some of my peers were a little too uptight with everything. Furiously scribbling down resolutions that – let’s be real – won’t get checked off the list, worried about job-hunting, boyfriend/girlfriend-catching, school-excelling, and place-going is a lot of pressure to put on oneself, especially when factors out of their control are involved. So I decided to go with it. That was my goal. To not be completely subject to the moody whims of life, but to accept them with an open mind and the thought that perhaps there is purpose behind the seemingly-random events that we like to label as ‘all of a sudden’. I feel like I did what I needed to do…

The Prostitute

Posted on December 6, 2011

This Nepali bracelet is one of the most expensive things I own. I probably fed the proprietor and his family for a month. The process of purchasing this bangle was a big affair. I saw it one day on some muddy street in Kathmandu. It glistened in the display window and called out to me. I stood outside that window for an abnormal amount of time, wide-eyed and dreaming about one day having it clasped around my wrist. I was the lost ship and it was the bejeweled lighthouse. I immediately got a price quote from the shop owner, and upon hearing it I gasped in terror. I finally knew what it felt like to be the poor man in french and russian literature…

The Shark

Posted on December 5, 2011

Travel is the ultimate teacher and here’s why. 1) Foreign exploration reminds you that there is a bigger plan to all of this, one that is more monumental than our comparatively atom-sized brains can fathom. A trillion-gazillion other things, processes, occurrences, events, meet-cutes, robberies, deaths, weddings, business meetings, classroom sessions, birthday parties, beatings are going on at this very moment in this ever-expanding universe, and you are involved with embarrassingly little of these trillion-gazillion things, events, people, places, inanimate and animate, on this earth and off. There’s a lot going on here. I can feel it, and travel makes you see it. a) Not to say that we aren’t interconnected with everything and everyone in existence (chaos theory and other philosophical abstracts), but I…


Posted on November 2, 2011

I like this photo because if someone hasn’t been keeping up with the development and history of chinese river raft motors, this photo could have easily been taken in the seventies. Yes. I went to the seventies. So. Much. Polyester. Swayambhunath, Nepal. 1963. The year Yugoslavia is declared a socialist republic, Lamborghini is founded, JFK is shot, full-scale Beatlemania hits the US, and who can forget the Great Train Robbery of ’63. What a year. USSR in 1957, i.e. the last place anyone wanted to be. Khrushchev rules, but not really. Everyone knows the KGB has eyes everywhere. The nation comes first; Gagarin is a hero, his comrade Komarov is forced to take Gagarin’s place in a faulty spaceship and plunges to his death…