What a crazy day! I slept badly, woke up mighty crunchy and with headache. (We had no water at bedtime, and I didn’t want to chance the tap/well water on my first day.) Made a water run first thing, took a walk around the neighborhood. So many motorcycles, hustle and bustle, and dust. We put together some of the bikes (except mine, which will be the hard one since it’s in a dozen little pieces due to having to cram it in a bike box 1/3 too small). The whole plumbing situation (water pump/hole in the floor toilet) will take some time getting used to. For now I’m leaving my serious pottying to restaurants.
I need to make Potty talk for a sec. Even though I find the No TP cultural difference unappealing (and scary), after my first whole day here I get it. (Yes, there’s no TP! I really don’t want to get into it, as I’ve avoided the new system thus far, but yeah. Maybe in fancy places.) So it’s kinda cool because the Nepalese people basically don’t create much disposable waste. There are no garbage cans. There’s almost no packaging, or plastic. The only people drinking out of water bottles are tourists. It’s pretty rad! Whatever packaging there is they burn or leave out for the animals to eat. (I saw 3 cows today noshing on a big pile of trash in the road. That was kinda gross, but I guess it’s the other side of the coin.
So we walked all around town with our Nabin and Binod, saw some temples, went into some shops… the economy in Katmandu is largely geared towards tourists, so there are tons of places to buy textiles, clothing, paintings, jewelry, trinkets, all hand-made, much of it beautiful and very tempting. Good thing we’re traveling light, or I would’ve bought gifts for the whole family. We visited Thamel Square, right near our house,a and Durbar Square which had dozens of temples. We even saw a living goddess, Kumari. She was probably only 4 years old, and when I saw her peek out of her house she was so beautiful, and I felt a holy presence! (No pics, respect!)
I was definitely feeling the jet lag and came home and took a nap while my peeps rested too and watched a movie on my laptop. We went out for a traditional dinner of [some kind of] dal (All-you-can-eat, they came around with more and asked if you wanted any, just like home. And all for 70 rupees, less than a dollar!) We dined with Martin, another couch surfer who is staying in the room above ours. What an interesting guy! He’s been a nomad for twenty years, since he left home at 18, and he doesn’t work, but follows his convictions of helping make the world a better place, practicing freeganism and making publications to promote living happily and in harmony with the world. A professional vagabond and freeloader, it was inspiring to hear his story.
Totally wiped out from walking around and dodging traffic on tiny streets, I’m going to bed! In the morning we’ll get up at 7 to go visit a temple at the highest point in the Katmandu valley. If all hoes well tomorrow and we don’t have any problems with our bikes and getting a map to plot our journey to Pokhara, we’ll depart on Wednesday!
Namaste. Anthony P[ees in a hole.]