All heads are up and bodies totter from left to right, then backpedal, listless as their airborne kites, while they maneuver the invisible string, one hand feeding the other.
Backdropped by the Ganges and a whitewash of rustic buildings, swatches of colorful kites still rule the sky in the aftermath of Varanasi’s traditional festival. The ground, too, since the competition lies in kite cutting- or steering your kite string to tangle and sever another’s before they do the same to you.
To call these “roads” is to upsell them 100 percent. They are mountains. Mountains with, naturally, two extreme angles: roller-coasting up and nosediving down. On the back of a motorbike, both directions feel a lot like falling.
In Nepal, a society that still prioritises men, it’s hard enough to be a woman, let alone a woman who is addicted to drugs.
The first thing I learned from the boys at Dignified Life Foundation (DLF), a blue-walled rehabilitation center for male drug and alcohol users in Birtamode, Nepal, is that an addict will always be an addict.
Which is not to say an addict will always be addicted. The entire success of their program relies on this distinction.
And so, in the same way people pass on good recipes they’ve made, I give you this: the free pass to China: tried, tested and true.
The many faces of Bhutanese refugees as they commence their annual celebration for the country that exiled them all those years ago. After 27 years, some eight thousand refugees still remain in camps in Eastern Nepal.
I’m only halfway clear on the directions, obscured by Korean. The inferred objective: kick up as much mud at the opposing team as possible, and make a lot of noise while doing it. The clear objective: make them dirty. Nobody came here to remain clean.
I am a runner the same way some people are alcoholics, in that I’d never define myself as such, but it’s something I do frequently. That I’ve done frequently for a while now.
Sometimes, hearing them speak English makes me feel seven and sunburnt again. It’s like listening to a word, any word, be said enough times that you no longer hear where it begins and ends. No longer associate it with any meaning. Letters like milk stirred into a latte. Flat lines of the alphabet glued together in a way that is, well, foreign.
The summer I spent in Italy was my second time returning after having studied there my freshman year of college. “For a woman, it’s always for a woman,” a French ex-pat I met on Jeju Island in Korea recently said to me. “I came here for love. She didn’t stay, but this bar did,” he said, rapping his knuckles on the surface of the wood between us. I didn’t have a bar, I had a Bruno, but I didn’t tell him that I got the better deal.