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Holi in Thamel, Kathmandu, Nepal

Barely dismissed from the convent and it's Holi. Holi is known as the Indian Color festival around the world, but it's much more than just a celebration of the powder that people throw in the air that day. Spring is welcomed and every color brings a blessing. Here it's the first hot day. We only experience what is happening on the streets: a colourful powder and water battle. It's one of the oldest Hindu holidays and not unlike our carnival in some aspects. For the first time, we experience the Nepalese without the social restrictions of the caste system and full of exuberance, with a healthy dose of alcohol in their blood. The locals, who usually appear to be so peaceful, now show their playful and mischievous nature and chase us through the streets. Small children throw water bombs from the safety of the balconies and test the limits of the adults. It's no wonder that this feast is popular around the world. Only from women, I hear contrary opinions. Women of my age mostly don't participate. Younger girls crave the taste of freedom that this festival offers them. The result is drunkenness, but the girls always remain in groups. I feel very uncomfortable in the crowd, the stress and the feeling of being hunted don't leave me. I realise, once again, that I don't tolerate wanton men. Here too, the playful atmosphere is used to feel up asses and breasts and to rob unwanted kisses. It's the same everywhere. Once again it's shitty to be white and overly visible.

Everybody wants to touch, Kathmandu, Nepal

I'm not doing this alone, but with my girls from the convent and a Swiss UN volunteer. I have learned my lesson. I lose my cool in this kind of situation. The others are much better at dealing with the locals. They return the fight, buy colours and turn from being hunted into hunters. I stay in the background and hope that the day passes quickly. I've never enjoyed such celebrations. On most pictures, I look angry. Big folk festivals are just not my thing.

Turning from hunted, to hunter, Kathmandu, Nepal

We flee to a café and leave the wild streets behind us. Soon after that we all have enough and go back to our accommodations. The girls fly back to Germany, and I have to think about what I'm going to do with the rest of this month. Should I go on another trek, or can I just be somewhere and wait? There is still a lot to do in Nepal, but I have already seen and experienced what fascinates me. Except for maybe another trek, there's nothing on my mind.

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