The big white stupa just around the corner smiles in the bright sun while somewhere in the background the monks sing their seemingly eternal mantras. The strangeness of the location and the assembly of dislocated people make it easy for me to blend in. It feels like fading away in a life I have always wanted but were unaware it existed. The nightly cold and early morning wake up call by the horns and drums of the monks in the monastery next door somehow makes my senses alert in way not experienced before. Even my skin feels different.
At the small table just behind me sits a woman from a country I haven’t been able to find out and on the other table behind me is an young man, I suppose he’s American. The three young kids, one boy and two girls sitting at the long table just underneath Mark Twain’s quote obviously know each other for some time. The probably work here as a teacher or in some health care project.
My eyes travel along the bookshelves and find Women’s Wisdom just alongside Dan Brown and a book about the problems of Islam in between LeCarré and Ludlum. Oh, and some Boeddhist books on the other end of the top shelf. The lady behind me answers her phone. It’s a Nokia, as the ringtone tells me. She’s talking Italian. On the lower part of the stupa small children sit and enjoy the warmth of the sun. The monks are still singing their mantra which I somehow don’t hear consciously. I suppose that’s how it’s supposed to work, slowly settling the sounds and words in my brain. Funny enough I feels like I can understand the words although I really don’t. But no, I do. I do understand.
The joy of locking out the world, easing the mind, soothing the soul is so tremendous that I understand how it can easily be addictive. If one is receptive for it. Funny how the tourists and the dogs seem to be the only ones walking counterclockwise around the stupa. The coffee latte tastes just like home. Home not only is far away, it also feels like that. Looking out the small barred windows I see the little Tibetan women with their colorful striped skirts slowly walking in the crowded but not very noisy street. Maybe I’ll join them, looking for the young Lama Dorji who I met two days ago at the temple near the stupa. His eyes are joyful and curious. I like that and maybe we’ll have another chat. Or maybe I’ll just sit in the sun on the roof. Silent. Listening. I guess no one will see the water behind my eyes.
Jus like any Saturday at the Saturday Café in Boudhanath, the other strange birds behind me are scribbling along or clicking away on their little laptops. Throwing thoughts into another world. Just like me.
Alice © 2010