I had been away for nearly a month travelling and visiting friends and family in Europe. Christmas in France, 2016 greeted me in Finland I was somewhere between a 70 degrees sauna and a -4 degrees ‘Avanto’ a hole made in a frozen lake to dip into after/in between the sauna. The beginning of January was spent rediscovering Barcelona with my cousin – the architect studying there – so it was an extraordinary discovery of Barcelona its quaintest corners and squares but also its vibrant night life – casual and affordable. I loved all this I absolutely did – but the living in other people’s homes and the limited time alone got exhausting towards the end. My last 2 days in Paris, I was glad to walk around visiting amazing book stores all the time openly content that in a few days I would be back home in Nepal, in my apartment, alone for few days to recoup from my travels!

Ever since I got back, I have been sleeping A LOT and hanging by myself, reading and watching a lot of TV series and movies. Its been GREAT! But its also been cold. The Indian border blockade continues – so there is limited cooking gas and fuel being sold in black! The power cuts have increased and its COLD! The days are sunny but the nights are very very cold – with no means to heat homes and barely any means to eat hot meals, its not easy! Life has been hard for so many people in Nepal since the earthquake in April last year and this blockade and fuel and gas shortage have aggravated things for everyone. Yes, we in our apartments in the city in Kathmandu are having a hard time but we still have walls, a roof and food. Hundreds of people still live in temporary shelters in the coldest parts of Nepal and due to shortages, food and warm clothing is not reaching them in time. People are dying due to the cold in some parts of the country.

Things seem to be moving too slow – the Indian border blockade continues without much visible action from the international community, the Nepal government is still in knots with the Madhesh parties while people are freezing with barely any food to eat and wondering how they will survive the winter. These are tough times and it is increasingly difficult to feel peaceful!