Vagabond Tim
I have been looking forward to Holi since this happened.

I awoke to the sound of children laughing outside, soon I would begin to dread that sound, the menace it contained and the deluge it foreheld. Dressed all in white, essentially wearing a canvas, I was probably asking for it, but I digress.

I walked to the restaurant where I get my morning coffee, still groggy and decaffeinated. From high above, three stories or so, I heard the giggling children. I later learned that they were counting down in Nepali as well.

The sky simply shattered. A hail of water balloons at near terminal velocity rained down around me. The combined sound of explosions and splashing water of every conceivable colour was staggering, yet I was dry and unpainted. Looking up I began taunting the young boys about their inability to hit a target. What I had failed to notice was their accomplices.It was a well orchestrated hit, the mafia would be envious.

Two young girls, about ten or so, approached me from either side as I was looking up. One threw an entire bucket of water on me, I spun away just in time to receive a face full of powdered paint. I had my mouth open at the time so I spent the remainder of the day spitting gritty rainbows.

It soon became clear that these children, rather poor even by Nepali standards, were running low on paint and had resorted to using just water in their street by street territorial disputes.
Without paint the territories are somewhat ill defined, this simply would not do.
I stopped, still without my morning coffee, and bought a few boxes of every colour I could find.
I then proceeded to arm the various factions with different colours.
Gratitude is a strange thing, each group filled their grimy kidpaws with paint and put handprints all over me.

By the time I had a coffee in my hand I resembled a Jackson Pollock nightmare.

Finally fully awake and cognitive Matt and I went to the shop and purchased water guns and more paint. With revenge high upon our list of priorities we proceeding to spray paint upon many a small child.
We then realized it would be more fun to take a cab to Thamel and paint adults. It was.

The streets ran with rivulets of liquid rainbow, it was hard to pay attention to the grandeur and beauty of the scene while hiding from aerial assault balloons and hoards of paint hurling adults, who I should add have much better aim than the small children.

By noon everyone was covered in a multitude of colours and layers of paint, and soaking wet. This created a tactical shift, now people were simply running up and giving paint covered hugs, not unlike suicide bombers.

Most everyone had incredibly paint covered hands and proceed to rub as much paint into ones face as possible.
The paint is probably toxic, the water most certainly is, and the simple fact of coming into physical contact with upwards of 100,000 people makes it impossible to know exactly what kind of poisoning I have today.
I blame those things instead of the after party as I refuse to believe drugs, alcohol, and late nights (the sun rose as I lay down) could have anything to do with it.

So In conclusion after waiting nearly a year to attend this insane festival it not only lived up to, but exceeded, all expectations.


This group of children was one of the first I armed with paint


Their immediate reaction was to go after Matt with buckets of paint water


In response he spent much of the day chasing down children and rubbing paint into their hair


The street was no place for car or beast, despite a valiant effort to paint neither cars nor dogs


The aftermath of the festival was a mass gathering of painted people at every temple in town

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