I sit up abruply and reach for the ice ax. Where is it? I’m so thirsty I’ve just got to find water. I reach out and touch something hard – ice. Good – I can chop it with the ice ax, melt the ice, or maybe just suck at it, I’m so thirsty. Suddenly I see through a slit in the window curtain and in my feverish dream I imagine that the tent is opened. Not good. I try to pull it back over the window.
In my dream I’m back in camp 2. I put my hand down on my naked leg and realize I’ve taken of the downpants and I panic. I’m going to freeze my legs and die of thirst! That’s when I realize I’m dreaming. I lie back in the hard bed. My back is aching from the fever and my stomach still hurts after vomiting the last meal. As my tradition holds I’m finishing the trip with a good old stomach sickness. I don’t know what or if I ate wrong, and it doesn’t matter because it’s over with a norfloxacin in 12 hours.
I’m sitting in a small café in Kathmandu waiting out a pre monsoon rain. One man is bent over his apple laptop talking into it and then out into the air in a loud, irritated voice “it’s over. Jeeez”, in an American accent. Aha, probaby using skype. Two other couples at different tables are looking into the same guidebook over Nepal, deciding where to go next. They will probably end up at the same place again sometime later and marvel at their “coicidental” meetings.
The apathy-like calm from the mountains are still in my brain and body and I can feel completely satisfied just sitting and staing at nothing. I became a expert at this in camp 2 at Cho Oyu. We didn’t carry any heavy luxuries such as books or other entertainment. When we waited we did absolutely nothing. For 5 days!
The last 5 days in Kathmandu passed more or less without me noticing. Suddenly I’m off an airplane and sitting at McDonald’s (of all places) in Bahrain, picking at french fries and watching without seeing, the familiar feeling of a travellers zombieness. Two flights and three more airports to go. The sound of high heels on tiled floor sounds very unfamiliar, is the last thing I think about before dozing off. Again, I dream about sleeping in a tent at high altitude.