The colorful flowers.
In Durbar Square.
September 5, 2006
That is definitely the word on the street over here.
I have to say that I love the (relative) ease at how things can get done over here in this part of the world. ‘Ease’ is normally not
something you think of when trying to make things happen in India…but there are certain cases where it does apply. This is
what I am referring to…
Yesterday I was debating where I wanted to spend my next ten days. When making my decision of Nepal (due to my ‘heat’
limits and ‘horn-honking’ limits in India that I know would have pushed me to the edge), I could get a plane ticket for the next
day for a low fare (as if that would ever happen at home!). I could arrive in Delhi last night and call Feroz (my new Delhi friend
who I met on my first day out here and who put together my Rajasthan trip) and have not only a ride from the airport but also
a place to crash for the night. We could then proceed to crash the last day of an Indian wedding to see people feasting on the
mass amounts of food and the wedding party taking their photographs. I could then watch the fireworks at the conclusion of
the wedding from Feroz’s patio (which makes up for the fact that I missed 4th of July this year). I could arrive in Nepal today.
And I could have a trek organized for my next five days out here. Talk about getting a lot done in just over a day!
To come to Kathmandu is definitely not getting away from horn honking and street chaos. But for some reason, it is entirely
different out here. I walked around a good part of the day and saw many things that people probably don’t normally see when
they come to this city. This has less to do with me deciding to venture out and more to do with my falling prey to a guy at the
airport hotel desk that told me the hotel was ‘a six minute walk to Thamel’. I thought ‘I can walk six minutes.’ Well, I soon
came to find out that the ‘six minute walk’ was actually more like an hour. I decided to take it in stride and just enjoy people-
watching along the way. The main thing I noticed was how apparent it is that this country is the crossover point between India
and ‘Asia’ (I put this in quotes as I know that India is in Asia but I am referring to what Westerners view as more typical Asia).
I passed many temples. Saw many people lighting candles and incense along the streets. I saw people sitting on the street
selling their produce that was lined along their blanket. And there is definitely street congestion here. When the small streets
get gridlock, it is virtually impossible to squeeze your way through the network of cars, bikes, rickshaws and other walkers. It
is shocking to me how much I like the Thamel area (the main tourist/backpacker hub). So many options of places to eat and
places to shop. Before I did any of that, I went to a few different trekking companies and decided to go with the third one I
went to…simply because I liked the guy there the best of the people that I had spoken to.
After a delish steamed momo (Tibetan dumplings) dinner, I am now getting ready to leave tomorrow at 6:30am to go to
Pokhara and start my trek…
September 10, 2006
When I arrived back in Kathmandu today, I knew of two things I wanted to still do: go to Durbar Square and go to the monkey
temple. I decided to do Durbar Square today and will wait until tomorrow to go to the temple.
I found Durbar Square downright awesome. I think it might be one of my favorite religious areas that I have ever seen simply
because it’s so colorful and there is so much activity. Of course there are tour guides that are anxious to tell you the story of all
of the temples. But they are pretty easy to brush off. To be honest, since I don’t have a guidebook, I have no idea of the
specifics of what I was looking at. But if some tour guide was to tell me the details of some 20+ temples, I am sure I still wouldn’
t have a clue as to any specifics because the facts would have just become one jumbled mess. When I have access to the
Internet, I will Google this place and become more informed. In the meantime, all I can really say is that it was a World
Heritage Site definitely worth seeing.
September 11, 2006
Well, the striking taxi drivers would prevent me from going to the monkey temple today. Darn them! Just goes to show that
you really just have to play things by ear over here and not have your heart too set on doing anything…because you just never