In Kathmandu I floundered, suffering from a lack of motivation that I hadn't known since Bangkok, and yet again the reason was the same: I was getting bored and wanted to get into India. My days centred round battling with the Nepalese email system, wandering aimlessly through various shady suburbs of the city, and killing time in numerous cafés with numerous novels. But I wasn't miserable; I was far too apathetic for that.
It's always interesting, this drifter's equivalent of the dole; because the whole nature of travelling requires self-motivation, it falls down around your head when you lose interest. I found myself wandering through the city, not even turning my head to look at the strange sights, because to me the strange sights no longer felt strange. The dead goat rotting in the gutter was mere street clutter; the half-crazed saffron-clad madman, clutching his trident and dancing in public was, well, just another sadhu; the near misses of rickshaws were familiar pedestrian obstacles; the rampant colour of a Ganesh temple was simply another aspect of another building; and the stench of rotting rubbish was just part of the atmosphere; the hassle of the touts was but a fact of life. Nothing surprises when apathy strikes; I do, however, have three main remedies for the apathy blues, discovered after long periods of aimlessness in Asia.
Apathy Remedy Number One is to crash out in a pleasant spot with a good book, good food and good company; this is a favourite solution in India, where it's not so much used as a treatment for apathy, but more as a treatment for exhaustion. But in Kathmandu it didn't apply, because I'd spent my entire Pokharan sojourn crashing out, reading and eating, and I'd got pretty bored pretty quickly.
Apathy Remedy Number Two is to climb a nearby mountain, a remedy that proved especially successful in Australia; but having spent three weeks climbing some of the biggest mountains in the world, the last thing I needed was more uphill struggling.
Apathy Remedy Number Three is simply to get back on the road, where the challenges and surprises of travelling soon make apathy unwelcome and impractical. But I didn't want to leave Kathmandu until I'd either sent my email or come up against a definite brick wall, so for the time being I was stuck where I was.
No more remedies came to mind, so I wallowed in my indifference, biding my time for the return to India. There are far worse places to be bored, after all.