The monsoon is on a schedule. The downpour starts at 4pm everyday. First heavy rain, then the sky opens even wider and its a deluge. It starts to ease off about 45 minutes in, tricking you into thinking that it is okay to head out, that the worst is over. Just when you’ve ventured out in the drizzle, that is when it comes down, full throttled, holding nothing back, washing the streets clean of its sins.
I’ve outwitted the rain today.
I’ve walked into the open faced cafe just as the first rain drop hits the pavement. I pick a table closest to the street, in the company of real coffee, we settle in for our afternoon entertainment. Have you ever sat there and watched the rain? …and what people do in the rain?
The cafe fills gradually with French, English, Dutch vowels … lots and lots of continental European accent but no Nepalese.
I invite the couple to share the table with me. He is Dutch, lanky, could easy pass for lead guitarist in a 90’s alternative rock band with that unmistakable sense of self-destruct, narcissism and raw sex. She is English with an intelligent hippy allure of an underemployed nanny in a modified t-shirt come halter top. We share a smoke and talk about the weather.
This tiny cafe in Pokhara with its unfinished wood tables, raw benches and real coffee suddenly takes on the vibe of Portland, OR. We are anywhere but here. Here has become an anthology of the hometowns where we once originated; a collection of first world ideals in a third world economy.