Wednesday, March 09, 2005


It's springtime. It happened in the last two weeks. No more jackets to go out, just a nice shirt and a sunny day. This kind of weather means a lot more to me after going through winter than it otherwise would. Take southern California, where it's always sunny and warm - there's no contrast there to make springtime. Taken to the other extreme, like in Fargo, springtime isn't nearly so sweet either. The piles of black melting snow and slush in the roads take too much away - once those are gone, the wanderlust of it being warm and sunny is gone. But here, it's just right - like in northern California. Since there's no snow on the ground, all of a sudden when it's sunny and warm, everything's beautiful. The contrast from just a few days prior is what does it. All the girls suddenly are a great deal more attractive too. I attribute that to everyone switching to fewer layers.

And springtime has me thinking, this place is good for me. I'm feeling good. I've been taking care of myself.

Springtime also means there are a lot of white people walking around the streets of Kathmandu who look like they're 'finding themselves in Nepal'. This often includes looking like a homeless person in San Francisco, but with the addition of the dirty clothes being expensive, synthetic, quick-drying materials. There may be a poncho. There may be a book about Buddhism or ayervedic medicine under the arm, and a whiff of incense may be detected when you walk past. It almost certainly includes a necklace made of rope, and possibly includes a man purse. If no man purse, then a huge, formless bag. No fanny packs, no SLR cameras - that's a different genre. I don't bring up the 'finding themselves' genre to beleaguer their deal (much). I bring it up to draw the comparison that this kind of thing is not what has gotten me happy in Nepal. It's something else.

It's not been big things that have led to feeling good. It's not resolutions. It's small stuff, in the presence of a lot of life's issues being an average of 12 and 1/4 time zones away. I've been sitting up straight. I've been sitting cross-legged more. I've been shaving every other day. I've been wearing presentable clothes, for once. I've been getting up at around 8:30 without an alarm clock. I've been washing my face. I've stopped wearing white socks. If you spend a little more on socks than you would if you buy clear plastic bags of white socks, you can get some nice stuff - not fancy, just not white. For starters, steal your dad's socks like I did. I've stopped touching my face.

That last one is the weirdest - I know. A guy I know once recounted to me, while going down the 405 one night in LA, that a doctor told him that the way to get sick less and have better skin is to stop touching your face. The story went that the doctor relayed it as 'off the record' - the kind of thing that makes you lean in and speak quietly. It seems to be working.


At 10:05 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

William: Maybe you did get sick cause you touched your face! This fall and winter, when they were telling us what to do in lieu of getting a flu shot--which Big Brother claimed weren't available at that time--was, among other things, wash your hands often, and for at least 20 seconds with soap (sing happy birthday twice, if you do't know how long 20 seconds is), KEEP YOUR HANDS AWAY FROM YOUR FACE, and sneeze into your sleeve--which sounds disgusting to me. Keep your sleeve to yourself--and away from me--after you've sneezed into it! jwb

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