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Shekhar Basnet’s US Visit

It was raining the day I landed at Boston and my first thought was “Oh lord, it’s monsoon here as well”. How wrong I was. By a lucky chance, the days I spent in Boston were very pleasant, not hot and not cold as well, although the folks there said it should have been a bit hot. Well, I was not to complain about the change in weather. There’s not much to mention about the flight which was uneventful except for my unsuccessful attempt at keeping a few millimeters of personal space between this huge lady who was spilling all over my seat and myself without much success. By the way, do you know there’s an electric train running inside the Doha Airport terminal building from one end to another??? Talk about development!!! It’s such a huge structure but one does not get lost because it’s so well managed with full of information, whereas over here a gate sign was pointing to a toilet.

Anyways, coming back to my Boston days, it was a back-to-college-hostel type of experience. I was to spend my month at Extended Stay America at Burlington which is about a few minutes drive from the US office and a few minutes of walk from local Malls and Bars and Grocery stores. So, yeah, if you are guessing where we would head to every evening, you are probably correct. The air outside the hotel smelled of sticky-sweet aroma which got stronger as the evening wore on. The smell somehow reminded me of Kathmandu. My room at the hotel (read hostel) was kind of a college student’s union office where you could meet the US Nepal members that too till late at night. And my roommate Mr. Bhatt, being a chef (without hat) helped I guess in turning it to a frequented place.

I was there to cover for Awanish (someone feed him more rice please) while he came over to Nepal. Plus there were some IT tasks that needed to be handled by an old hand (pun not intended). I would not want to bore you with the work details so I’ll just skip over to the weekends. The weekends were ours to spend as we wanted to. I managed quite a few places to visit with friends and colleagues and relatives. The Niagara Falls experience was spiritual and it made me realize what an insignificant speck of dust I am in front of nature. If you get the chance then I suggest that you go there. The road trip to NYC with an ex-member of Deerwalk was just epic. Absolutely loved the freeway concept where the traffic keeps on flowing like a river. There’s a long stretch of straight road on the way to NYC and we managed to do 122 Mph (don’t try this). New York was hot, crowded, noisy and fun. I loved the place but did not have time to cover all the landmarks sadly. Tried my luck in a casino at Atlantic City and actually won. Beginner’s luck… While driving to Maryland, we took a wrong turn and drove through the countryside for hours and what a pleasant drive it was… Memories to be cherished for a lifetime!!!

All the time while I was there going around places, I could not help but think when our country would be developed but sadly I could not imagine it to happen in my lifetime nor in my son’s lifetime. How well they have preserved their history. Can we imagine tourists flocking to visit TriChandra College? Yet it is a historical landmark of Nepal. The American people I met there were extremely warm and welcoming. The lifestyle that they lead there made me rethink my (mis)conception of how Americans are so materialistic and we are not. I wonder if it’s not the other way around. It’s amazing the way Americans follow rules and regulations. I guess it’s the way that they are bred.

I think I should also mention that I made some decent contributions to the betterment of the American Beverage and Livestock Industry as appreciation for granting me the visa.

The awesome Deerwalk people who went out of their way in making us feel at home will always be fondly remembered by me. My thanks and remembrance to them all.

But in the end, despite the clean air and the blue sky, I literally missed the dust and the mud and the chaos of Kathmandu. As they say, home is where your heart is and I guess my heart is here. And so after a month I was back on my terrain with a loud bang! crash! and screech of brakes…

[Shekhar Basnet, Engineering Manager at Deerwalk Services Pvt. Ltd. Nepal, visited Deerwalk Inc, USA, from July 31, 2019 to August 31, 2019]