Nepal postcard

[From November 2007.]

Pedaled into Chitwan National Park via backroads and dirt paths, spent time with elephants and debated metaphysics with Nepalese Christians, of which there are not particularly many, but they somehow found me.  This in the wake of getting lost last night and hitchhiking on one of those enormous painted Tata trucks.  All it took was a wave, the name of the destination, and then a nod: three wiry youths lifted bikes up into a steel bucket above the cab.  Surprisingly spacious, those cabs, it turns out, and the drivers seem to do quite well running a public taxi side business, as folks on the roadside would load in with their tied up upside down live chickens or sacks of grain or whatever. And we bumped along sharing weird fruit and laughing, even though we didn’t understand a word anyone was saying, smiling and nodding vigorously.