Travel Notes from Tansen, Nepal
The Tansen bus park is noisy, polluted and dirty. The secret alleys smell of urine, and the animal shit is just everywhere. But once you've made your way up the center bazaar, the magic comes to life. This town seems like it was transported back in time when travelers pass by enroute to Tibet. Ah, the maze. At first, the roads lead to everywhere, and you'll certainly be confused which way to go where. Oftentimes, i find myself choosing left or right, up or down. But eitherway, any direction will lead you to narrow streets filled with so many amazing wonders -- be it a really old Newari house, a lovely merchant selling all things from gold to dhaka, and the occassional beer shops.
At my room here at Horizon Homestay, there's a picture hanging on the wall which says Tansen is the window to Nepal. As days pass by, i see why. The real magic of Nepal is not the famous bakeries of Kathmandu nor the adrenaline-pumping activities of Pokhara. It's Bandipur which makes those in solitude more quiet, or Tansen which makes friendly people even more outspoken.
Tansen is not that small. I was thinking of a small town on the hill. It's thriving and booming, but commercialism hasn't tapped yet this beautiful hill station. With occasional stop-overs from tour groups, the only excitement here is seeing one foreign people walking around the bazaar. People who go here have more time in their hands, and are open to visiting off the beaten path places. I've felt blessed to be able to wander around, and i have no regrets visiting Tansen.
Yesterday, i walked around and bumped into the same set of people who helped me find the homestay where i am right now. Eager to converse, i was invited in the bedroom. I was offered a plate of fruits, and i hang out at their balcony. They have the best view in town. The room is small which can only fit two people, but i can feel the warmth of their welcome. The brothers who've become my new friends here are friendly, and i felt like i was their long lost brother. I shared my camera with one brother, and he took photos of the view. I've learned so many things about Tansen, and how their daily life is. The three brothers are all studying at, yes, New Horizon school. I asked the older brother what he wants to take up in college. He said, "Engineering". Whether be it petrol or gas engineer, beats me. I spent an amazing two hours on the rooftop, chatting. They wanted to take me up to Shreenagar Hill, but i wasn't in the mood yet to trek. I wanted to just feel the vibe of the place first, then i sweat. It was a lovely time, but i needed to explore Tansen on my own.
Passing through, I've stopped at Sitalpati which is suppose to be the main square. Now, it's one place where all the people come to sit, chat, buy stuff to pass time, and just people watch. There are amazing Hindu temples around the vicinity that's not too hard to reach. All of which reminded me of the durbar squares in Kathmandu valley but with no tourist in sight. I've seen two Hindu weddings in 1 day, all of which let me see a couple men and women dancing on the street parading.
After much walking, i stooped by at Nanglo West for some chicken burger. I overheard a couple of German people who said that the food they have is terrible. I enjoyed my burger although it was not the best. The attentive staff makes up for it.
To be honest, sometimes i feel a little intimidated when i see local people looking at me, and obviously talking about me, and sometimes laughing. But, it must have been too hard to digest for them that this person who looks like everyone in town is not Nepali. I reckon, i would feel the same, if i saw one person who looks Filipino but is not.
When i first started roaming around, it was a Saturday. And Saturdays in Nepal are a holiday. There's no school, some shops are only open, and most people are at home relaxing on this day. Yesterday, as Abbhie was playing, i was manning the house while Dhanie and Jhaneeka are out for some errands, Today was different. Sunday is school/work/shop day. So imagine my amazement when i walked out of my home stay this afternoon, only to see the madness of the first day of the week shebang.
I think i will stay here in Tansen for a few more days, but not too long like Bandipur. I love the home stay here, and Dhani, Jhaneeka, and Abbhie are the best. But every time i look at them, i see Rukum and his wife, and their adorable kids.
Today, i trekked for a bit to watch sunrise and sunset. I will tell you guys more about it tomorrow. I also have a new gold earring which i bought for 100 rupees. Okay, it's not gold but whatever. I saw many young boys sporting the gold earring, and i found out it's part of the tradition. And for the nth time, i have a new Nepali hat which i will wear tomorrow to blend even more. Palpa is famous for dhaka fabric, so i get the stuff right from the source.