|Picture was taken by Andre... it's his favorite... Kathmandu by night|
Namastey to you fine People,
Back from Nepal. Been here in Singapore for the past 4 days and we brought ourselves a souvenir home... caught a nice cold either still in Nepal or in the plane. So recovery was not from jetlag but from a pesky little snot-producing virus. Don't drink the water, the CDC writes... don't eat the street food... stay away from dairy products... pah... anywhooooo... Feeling almost back to normal now.
We finally arrived at the hotel after we have been thoroughly shaken about, tossed around, smashed into giant pot-holes and to our amazement, the suitcase was still there upon our arrival. Oh.. what did the taxi look like? well... this:
Let's play a little game, shall we: Can you guess the Car-Brand and year?
The road conditions are, well... they just are. Bibek, one of the aftersales managers at VW who also showed us around during our 5-day stay, explains that Nepal does not have any speed regulation; no regulation is needed as you can't drive fast anyway, not even on their highway. The streets are filled with honking noises, which is used as an intact communication device. Not as it is in Germany or say America where it is pretty much making the one being honked at aware of a mistake with the universal understanding that the warning honk usually carries ", you idiot!" Not so in Kathmandu... it may mean "hey, good Morning", or "watch out, I am coming", or "Would you kindly move aside, I am almost scratching the back of your heel". Here is what I mean:
Streets were sooooo narrow... the honking had to become a communication device. We had to put the car in reverse as the yellow bus had the much bigger argument (as Andre would say)
Well, speaking of road conditions.. it's rain season in Nepal... And people have to face certain challenges:
He wished us a healthy, long and prosperous life... all this for a super deal of 500 Rs ;-) Who said happiness can't be bought, eh? It's all there in Nepal
Working days were long and somewhat exhausting for Andre as he had to deal not only with this project, but also with his regular work responsibilities. Thus, we had little time to go and see things. Bibek was so kind and showed us a few things during lunch time or right after work without being out too long. He took us to the local temple which was run over by monkeys, but provided for an awesome view over Kathmandu. We saw the night life of Thamel, a well known touristy shopping area:
And the last day, Bibek took us 25 km outside of the city to a place called Bhaktapur. This place is "...known as Khwopa in local Newari tongue. The cultural capital of Nepal, Bhaktapur's history goes back to the early 8th century and it used to be the capital city of whole Nepal till the 12th to the 15th century. Until the early 18th century, the ancestors protected the city as a sovereign country surrounding it with boundary walls and a number of city gates. Shaped like a flying pigeon, the city spreads over an area of 6.88 sq.km and lies at 1401 meters above sea level. Bhaktapur gives shelter to almost 100 thousand people, most of whom are peasants."1 Enjoy:
|Wherever you look, there are small entry doors in Nepal houses... Bibek explains that they are made that way so that you enter the home in a bowing position|
|The bath for the King and Queen|
|He always has to flirt with the locals|
Kathmandu was a fantastic place. I would love to go there again. This has got to be my favorite destination of this summer's travel. Andre and I met wonderful people, ate interesting food, learned quite a bit of this culture and (and I know I speak for Andre as well) we have left this place way too soon. 5 Days are just not enough, especially when you are not there for vacation. We wanted to see the Himalayas as well, but there was no time. One of these days I might take you fine people with me atop the Himalayas.
I have "tons" more pictures but I hope I succeeded in displaying Kathmandu... made you feel for a moment as if you have stood beside us and that we have created a smile on your face. For now, we are back in Singapore and I am starting to build the final presentation for this project.
Until the next post... tons of kisses, hugs and all that fun stuff.